It sounds very different. One of my cats recently had a very bad asthma attack.
At first we thought he was throwing up or had an upper respiratory infection. We got him in right away and he had a very inflamed airway. You should get kitty in for a checkup if there is coughing. Respiratory issues are very serious.
Here is a link to a search on PetEducation.com for "coughing in cats", they have some very helpful articles.http://pet-information.peteducation....and&ts=results