Should I Be Concerned When My Cat Coughs?

March 18, 2021 12:06 am Published by

Coughing isn’t always bad. Your kitten is probably trying to get rid of a hairball or clear their throat. However, coughing isn’t exactly good, either. Coughing in kittens can be a warning sign for a slew of serious health concerns, including feline asthma and respiratory infections. Since coughing will happen from time to time, it’s important that cat owners in Alexandria, VA understand what makes their cats cough.

Symptoms and their causes

Sometimes cats cough because they’re hacking up a hairball. But if no hairball is produced, there’s likely a more serious issue at play. Dry, wheezing coughs are often a sign of feline asthma, especially if the cough consistently occurs multiple times a week. Cats with asthma crouch low to the ground and stick out their necks to inhale as much oxygen as possible. Asthma that goes untreated can become life threatening, so schedule an appointment with your vet to discuss treatment options.

Much like with humans, coughing in kittens is a sign of respiratory infection. This is likely the cause when your kitty’s cough sounds wet and produces phlegm. Cat owners should look out for additional symptoms of a respiratory infection, like sneezing or a cough that progressively gets worse. In severe cases, inflamed airways might cause the kitten’s tongue and gums to turn blue and requires immediate medical help.

When to speak with your vet

Any of the above symptoms warrant a visit to your veterinary clinic in Alexandria, VA. Even if you’re not sure what makes your cat cough, speak with a vet just to make sure it’s nothing serious. Again, coughing will always accompany a hairball—symptoms that persist outside of this scenario are cause for concern.

Veterinarians are the only individuals qualified to properly diagnose coughing in kittens. They’ll gather information from you in order to figure out the cause, such as when the coughing started, whether it’s a wet or dry cough, if your cat regularly goes outside and so on. From there, your vet will come up with a diagnosis and prescribe the necessary treatment options.

Treatment plans for coughing

Now that you know what makes your cat cough, it’s time to help manage their symptoms. You can start by ridding your home of airborne pollutants that trigger the cat’s asthma or allergies. Frequently change the air filters and clean rooms to minimize dust, mold and pollen. The vet will also explain how to administer corticosteroids and bronchodilators through an aerosol chamber.

Kittens receive antibiotics for respiratory infections and antiparasitic drugs to kill parasites like heartworms. Your vet in Alexandria, VA might even recommend preventative treatment to avoid worms in the future. Remember that antibiotics and antiparasitic drugs treat the cause, not the symptoms. To alleviate your kitty’s discomfort, ask about symptomatic medication like cough suppressants.

To put it simply, the occasional hairball is perfectly normal. Persistent coughing and wheezing, on the other hand, is not. Before your kitten’s symptoms get worse, schedule an appointment with the vets at Kingstowne Cat Clinic. We’ll get to the bottom of the issue and prescribe a comprehensive treatment plan so your feline friend can get back to their normal kitty self.

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