Treatment for Coughing in Cats

Coughing cat treatment

Why is my cat coughing? How can I treat my cats cough? What can I give my cat for coughing? In most cases, this is the first thing that comes to mind to the owner, whose cat regularly coughs. To determine the treatment of a pet, the veterinarian must determine the cause of the cough. In this article, I will share information about the most common causes of coughing in cats and how to treat it.

Causes of Coughing in Cats

Some feline cough causes are simple to treat. Others are more major and can be deadly. Your vet can discover what’s troubling your pet and keep him in good health.


It’s the most common feline breathing condition. About 800,000 American felines– or 1 percent of all domestic cats in the U.S. — have some kind of it. Ones that spend a minimum of part of their time outdoors are probably to get it.

When something aggravates your cat’s respiratory tracts, they get inflamed and shrink. This makes it difficult for him to breathe. He could get a slight, continuous cough.

Asthma triggers include pollen, mold, feline litter dust, cigarette smoke, fragrance, obesity, stress.

If you see your pet coughing, take him to the veterinarian. Asthma can get worse quickly, and he might not be able to breathe at all.

Other Causes of Cat’s Coughing

Allergies. The causes and symptoms resemble those of asthma. Your veterinarian can determine which is to blame.

Fungal lung infection. Your cat might get a fungi from the soil. Each part of the nation has a different type, however coughing is a common sign.

Heartworms. This disease is spread by mosquitos. If you live in an area with these bugs, your feline is more at threat. You can get preventative medication from your vet. The symptoms resemble asthma, so your pet could be misdiagnosed.

Lung cancer. Some growths can be managed with medication. If not, surgery may be an alternative.

System diseases. Coughing can be an indication of pneumonia, which can be identified with X-rays and might react to antibiotics and other therapies. It may also be a sign of heart disease, which be diagnosed with an ultrasound or electrocardiogram.

Tight collars. Pressure on your cat’s windpipe can cause damage and lead to a cough.

Worms. These are typical in felines. It’s one factor your pet gets regular blood and fecal tests at the veterinarian.

Diagnosis for Coughing in Cats

Correctly established cause of coughing to your cat – the key to successful treatment. Therefore, the diagnosis should be carried out by a qualified veterinarian.

Because coughing is frequently associated with other signs of breathing infection, an extensive preliminary develop may not be needed. However, if the cough is serious or if it has actually been present for some time, then further investigation may be required. A comprehensive case history documenting the beginning of the issue and its development, any changes in the cat’s home environment, or any other signs of health problem in the cat, will be essential. The diagnostic work-up might include numerous types of blood tests, including heartworm antigen tests, laboratory cultures of a wash sample from the lower respiratory tract, endoscopic examination and radiography. Ultrasound assessment of the heart may be necessary in some cases. The cat may need a sedative for a few of these procedures. A number of these tests will also assist distinguish coughing from feline asthma.

Treatment for Coughing in Cats

How your vet treats your feline’s cough will be identified upon discovery of its cause.


If the tests have yielded positive for parasites, then your feline will be treated based on the specific worm. For heartworms, your veterinarian may wish to help your feline’s breathing through the use of bronchodilators, and in extreme cases, administer medication to eliminate the worms. The medication, nevertheless, presents risks and must only be a last option factor to consider. Lungworms and roundworms are more easily treated with basic parasitic medication.


Your veterinarian might prescribe antibiotics in case of infections. They are often offered for a minimum of 2 weeks or more, however even if your feline starts to show signs of improvement, it is recommended to bring on the treatment for as long as your vet recommended, as symptoms may return otherwise.

Other Medications

If the coughing is a more chronic problem that has actually existed for one to 2 months, there may be irreversible damage to the mucous membrane surface areas in the lungs such that they are not efficient in healing. In these cases, respiratory infections may be prolonged and frequent. Targeted supplements that improve mucous membrane repair work or serve as immune stimulants might be practical. Anti-inflammatory drugs might be utilized to reduce inflammation, especially if there is an allergic basis and the allergen can not be found and gotten rid of from the feline’s environment. When it comes to certain kinds of cancer, chemotherapy might be an alternative.

Home Remedies for Coughing Cats

As we said earlier, most of the causes of cat cough can be treated independently, at home.


Hairballs are a typical reason for coughs, and usually, those are easily treated with a non-prescription hairball medication. You ought to have the ability to tell quite quickly if your cat’s cough is triggered by a hairball, due to the fact that he will eventually expel a tubelike “ball” of hair.

A relentless cough could be an indication of an upper breathing infection (yes, felines get them, too), especially if also accompanied by sneezing, a runny nose, watery eyes or a fever. A visit to the vet may be in order. Relentless coughs due to feline colds or flu can in some cases be helped with medication, however it’s important not to give your feline anything without consulting your vet first.

Chronic Coughing

Chronic coughing and breathing difficulties can be one of the most tough symptoms for your vet to detect. There is a broad selection of possibilities for the origin of a cough in a dog or cat. Something as basic as drinking water too quickly can trigger a fit of coughing, but when an animal coughs throughout the day or periodically for days in a row it’s time to start trying to find the factor.

There are numerous possible reasons for a cough including contagious diseases like kennel cough, distemper, bronchitis, or an upper breathing infection such as feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR), feline calicivirus (FCV) and others in felines. Additional ailments that can cause a cough or breathing difficulties include allergies, asthma, chronic bronchitis, cancer, collapsed trachea, heart problem, heartworms, parasites, gum disease, pneumonia, or ecological irritants such as smoke and other pollutants.

Detecting the source of a chronic cough or breathing problems can take a bargain of examination and requires the assistance of your vet. Thorough evaluation of the history of the cough and a physical examination are the initial steps. Extra tests might be essential such as, blood work, analysis of fluid samples, fecal samples (to examine for parasites), x-rays or ultrasound.

Kennel Cough in Cats

Kennel cough, likewise referred to as Canine Infectious Tracheobronchitis, is caused by a variety of viruses and is generally passed between dogs, especially when stressed out, in close quarters such as kennels, shelters, grooming establishments, dog programs, pet shops and even veterinary health centers. Symptoms are usually a dry, hacking cough that often ends with a retching or gagging. One might also discover a watery discharge from the eyes and/or nose and bad appetite. Symptoms might not appear for approximately 10 days after the dog’s direct exposure to the virus. Kennel cough is usually not serious for a dog with an usually healthy immune system.

Immune support (see below), steam or vaporized air and rest are the best remedies. Use a vaporizer to help dampen the air, or steam up the bathroom if you do not have a vaporizer. Keep your dog separated during this illness considering that it can be easily transmitted to other dogs and often even felines and humans.

Calicivirus in Cats

Calicivirus (FCV) becomes part of the feline upper respiratory infection (URI) complex, a group of viral and bacterial infections (e.g., FHV-1, chlamydiosis) that trigger discharge from the eyes and nose. Calicivirus and feline rhinotracheitis virus (or feline herpesvirus infection-1, FHV-1) account for 85% to 90% of all URIs in cats. A cough or breathing difficulties can accompany these viruses.

If your dog or feline is diagnosed with a respiratory viral infection antibiotics will not help, (unless there is a secondary bacterial infection). The best home treatment is to support the body immune system for a faster healing. Vitamin C, anti-oxidants for dogs and felines consisting of vitamins E and A, and respiratory natural formulas for felines and dogs can help support the immune system as the virus runs its course (typically 2-3 weeks). Vitamin A not just increases resistance however also helps combat stress and supports the membranes of the respiratory tract. Cod liver oil is an outstanding source of vitamin A and supplies the included health benefits of essential fats. A liquid quick of broth and water during the initial day or 2 of sign beginning is often advised and animals may voluntarily (lose interest in food). A dog or feline with no other disease issues besides a viral infection can safely quick for a number of days, so use broth and keep plenty of fresh water available, but do not require food unless directed by your veterinarian.

Felines Inhalant Allergies

Inhalant allergies may likewise trigger symptoms of an upper or lower breathing infection. Determining the particular irritant or irritants can be quite tough (see Asthma below), and traditional allergy tests are not always dependable, so a holistic method is best. Treatment for inhalant allergic reactions includes a change in diet to a high-quality allergy formula with no fillers, artificial preservatives or spin-offs together with proper supplements to help alleviate symptoms and stabilize the body immune system. Please see “Alleviating Your Pet’s Itchy Skin” which describes the actions for allergy relief, consisting of inhalant allergies. Inspect our Only Natural Pet allergy items for simplified supplement choices.Integrative Therpeutics allergy items, like Inflamzyme, can function as a natural anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory and can be useful for animals with inhalant allergies.


Asthma is more typical in cats and is most frequently connected with allergies or inhalant irritants. It is tough to differentiate between asthma and chronic bronchitis as the symptoms are the same. Symptoms may vary from periodic coughing to frequent and consistent coughing spells and wheezing. Cats might stand with their neck extended while they cough and breath through their mouth in an effort to get air into their lungs. Normal respiration in a cat is 20-30 breaths per minute and normal pulse rate is 110-140 per minute. Higher than normal pulse and respiration rates can be signs of asthma or bronchitis. Asthma is characterized by respiratory tract hyper-reactivity and tightness in the bronchioles of the lungs and is considered reversible. Chronic bronchitis includes air passage inflammation and excessive mucus production. Chronic bronchitis can lead to irreversible constricting of the airways.

The irritant accountable for causing asthma symptoms might be a single source or, most likely, a mix of any number of things consisting of pollens, mold & mildew, smoke, family items such as cleaners, pesticides, hair sprays or perfumes, feline litter, dust & dust mites, vaccines, stress, cold air, dry air and food. A very premium air cleaner is a good investment for the household with an asthmatic pet. Use natural, non-toxic cleaning products, get rid of air freshener plug-ins and sprays, keep the home clean and as dust-free as possible and utilize a humidifier if the air is dry.

As in treating allergic reactions, a diet change is crucial. Felines with asthma need to not consume dry food however ought to be fed a grain-free canned, freeze dried, dehydrated, or raw food diet. Natural respiratory assistance and/or natural respiratory supplements might provide enough symptom relief to minimize and even eliminate the use of inhalers and steroids for some cats. Ivy leaf extract has a long history of usage for adults and children with asthma. Initial reports about its usage with asthmatic felines have been appealing. PetAlive AmazaPet is a combination of herbs and natural active ingredients to help in reducing the frequency and intensity of asthma attacks. The natural complex in Nature’s Herbs Respiratory Relief might likewise offer relief for animals with asthma and bronchitis symptoms. Newton Homeopathics Cough-Asthma is a natural treatment developed for sign relief of breathing problems including asthma.

If mucous production is included such as with chronic bronchitis, then the addition of a respiratory support product like N-Acetyl L-Cysteine (NAC) can be beneficial in helping to break down mucous and enhance breathing capacity. NAC is also an outstanding anti-oxidant.

Gum Disease

Periodontal disease or tooth and mouth infections can cause coughing as well. Oral infections can trigger inflammation in the throat causing the animal to cough. An infection in the mouth can likewise cause tonsillitis which will lead to coughing. This is most typical in small dog breeds such as Toy poodles, Yorkshire terriers, Maltese and Pomeranians. Gum infections can move to the valves of the heart and trigger damage there too. This is why appropriate oral care is so important for our buddy animals. Once the issue has progressed this far, oral surgery is frequently necessary to remove infected teeth and clean the rest.

Recovery of Coughing in Cats

As coughing is uncommon in cats, it can be simple to get rid of it as soon as the cause has actually been figured out. If your feline has gotten treatment, you should still keep a watch in case the cough returns.

For coughs triggered by basic matters such as hairballs, then fixing your feline’s diet ought to prevent any reoccurrences.

When it comes to asthma and allergic reactions, try to watch out in case any other symptoms establish or the coughs worsen. If possible, you might wish to consider a change of environment. In the more extreme cases, following up with your veterinarian can only help prevent any worsening of your feline’s position.

For circumstances, in the case antibiotics have been prescribed, you ought to enable your veterinarian to take a look at your feline to be particular the infection has actually been thoroughly treated.

Coughing in Cats: Questions & Answers

What can I give my cat for coughing?

Allergies could be the possible trigger of your feline coughing a lot. When an extensive cleaning of your home isn’t enough, antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or cetirizine (Zyrtec) can help alleviate coughing symptoms. If your cat is still coughing intermittently, it would be a good concept to make a visit at a complete veterinary workplace for some diagnostic screening.

Can worms make a cat cough?

Yes, it’s possible. Symptoms are usually most serious between 6 and 13 weeks after infection when the adult female worms in the lungs produce big numbers of eggs. Not all felines will show signs of infection, however common symptoms consist of: Persistent cough, typically with bouts of intense coughing.

When should I take my cat to the vet for a cough?

If your cat’s cough is persistent, continues for more than a few days, or starts to aggravate, take them to the veterinarian. A cough that continues may be a sign of a breathing infection or asthma.

What does a cat cough sound like?

Like this (see video with sound on):

If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission.

References and used sources

Reyus Mammadli

Having engineering and medical education, in recent years actively engaged in the study of the development, reproduction of domestic animals. Special attention is paid to the treatment and prevention of diseases of Pets.

Author of several hundred articles about health and healthy lifestyle. In recent years, he has been treating Pets and birds together with specialists. In their articles on shares both his knowledge and experience, and, based on reliable sources, methods of primary diagnosis of diseases in Pets and General recommendations for their possible treatment.

Of course, the articles are only informative. In each case, diagnosis and treatment should be carried out and prescribed by a qualified veterinarian.

Pet Health
Leave a Reply