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Hacking/Coughing, but no hairballs

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

We're taking our 1 year-old male to the vet on Friday because he's been hacking. I thought for a few weeks that he might have had a hairball, so I gave him some hairball remedy. No hairballs ever come up with his hacking and now it's happening at least once a day and I'm really scared.


There's no rhyme or reason to it, sometimes it's in the morning, sometimes at night. Sometimes after he eats, sometimes not. Has anyone had any experience with this? Any particular tests I should make sure to get (X-Ray and Bloodwork of course).


I'm concerned the vet is going to shrug this off as a hairball or some general allergy and suggest switching his food. Which, I'm totally fine with of course, but I want to make sure I'm asking all the right questions.


Thanks for any help.

post #2 of 12
That must be a scary experience for you and unpleasant for hte cat. Does he adopt any particular position when coughing? If he crouches close tot he floor with head and neck extended, it could be an indication of asthma. The vet can usually tell by listening to the lungs, backed up with an Xray. It is quite common in cats and there are several forms of controlling the symptoms. Good luck with the vet visit and I hope they find the cause.
post #3 of 12

Does your cat look anything like the cat coughing in the video at this link?: http://www.fritzthebrave.com/asthma/symptoms.html

post #4 of 12
Ugh. My kitten does this too. Its so infrequent and quick that I never really worried about her. I should have known better. Looks like im scheduling a vet appointment tomorrow.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

He does crouch close to the floor and his head and neck are extended and he does look like the cat in the video. Sometimes, it happens when he is on his cat condo. He won't jump down to the floor, but he'll hack in whatever position he was in, ie., if he was sleeping curled up, he'll just lift his head and hack -- extending his head/neck. But when he's on the floor, he definitely looks like the cat in the video. I'm going to try and take video of him when he does it.


It was happening once or twice a month, but now it's almost once a day. So I'm definitely going to make sure the vet does an X-Ray and listens to his lungs and heart.


My other cats, Typo and Shadow do this too, but very infrequently. Typo probably hasn't done in in months. Shadow has done it once recently, but he doesn't extend his head and neck like Puck does. Shadow is a long-hair, so I don't know if his are actually hairballs, though. I'm going to have the vet listen to his lungs too. Maybe the vet can give me a 2 for 1 on the X-Ray! (yeah, not likely!)


Thanks for the replies everyone. And good luck peekasoph! -- Keep us posted!

post #6 of 12
I would recommend a heartworm test also. My Riley has asthma which was caused by heartworm infection. He now has asthma for life and takes inhaled treatment for it daily. He had the same coughing symptoms which started gradually, then became more and more frequent.

Definitely have his chest x-rayed and a heartworm test. (Riley was 100% indoor cat)
post #7 of 12
I've got my appointment scheduled for 11am tomorrow. Peekaboo did everything described in this thread by kittysback so ill let everyone know what the vet says tomorrow.
post #8 of 12
The vet appointment went well.

She has no traces of asthma or any heart problems.clap.gif

He was still concerned because she was coughing and had a little eye discharge.

He felt it was nessecary to treat her for a minor respiratory infection. The gave her a shot of antibiotics and gave me some antibiotics to take home for her and Sophie since I explained Sophie has a little worse eye discharge. He also gave us some ointment to rub in their eyes to help with the discharge. He said I should see improvement by Tuesday at the latest.
post #9 of 12
That is good, and I do hope it is only a minor infection and will clear up soon
post #10 of 12

I have a large long haired female Mane Coon cat and she isn't loveable and hates to be held or combed, she is about 5 yrs old.  She has in the past had hairball issues but always got them up. Now she lays low to the floor and coughs like she does with hair balls but she seems to swallow it back if she coughs up anything. She eats good and seems to use her box regular. She is totally an inside cat. I have given her hair ball ointment from the pet store, which has done her no good at all.  She would be a terror to get to the vet as she isn't a social cat by any means.

post #11 of 12

My cats get grass stuck in their throats sometimes, it is not always bad, but the first time my cat had it, I did take him to the vet, & that was his diagnoses, sometimes you can hear the grass when they cough, it sounds like when you whistle thru grass?? 

Or it may pop up just for a second, the vet said if you do see it,  Don't pull on it!!

Genera;;y when they do have it, they will swallow a few times after they cough, as if trying to get something down...

This can be dangerous to them also, & can lead to being unable to breath, but that's in the worst case.

My cat was given some medication I can't remember what, to loosen it I think, he eventually coughed it up himself, & so have the others since, as they get it occasionally to.

Just keep an eye.  Also it could be & I experienced it with my cats, lung worm, generally with worming it will not happen, but I am pretty sure, it has to be an all round wormer that will treat every kind of worm, not just the tummy ones.

And I am pretty sure that is catching too.

They both will require a vet visit, especially for lung worm, as it will only get worse, now I know to buy a wormer that covers every type of worm, or an all in one, a little more expensive, but worth it.

You can buy a lung worm tablet over the counter at your vet or pet shop, it may not require a vet visit, & then see how you go, it will take a couple of weeks for the lung worm to go, & the coughing to stop completely.

If it carries on, definitely time for a vet visit, as it may be something underlying.

post #12 of 12

Also, you may find spit up if they have been coughing, & you didn't know, that is a sign of grass in the throat, as it is very hard for them to get it up, if you find spit up, ( not vomit), with grass in it, then it is confirmed & hopefully they got it all up, watch for the coughing to stop, or off to the vet.

Good luck, I never like seeing my buddies coughing their rings out either.

Lung worm coughs, have a very urgent way about them as in, they will suddenly wake out of sleep with fast intense coughing, or it just suddenly happens, they will cough very fast or close together,

especially if they have had it for awhile.

They seem to find it hard to get a breath in, because the coughing seems too fast for a breath, but they do.

I always get tempted to go & pick them up or pat their back, & often find myself doing it, I sometimes offer water or milk.  My Waffles refused milk today after a coughing fit, which my hubby & I.  We will keep an eye on her.

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