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Hacking/Coughing, but no hairballs

post #1 of 23
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 23
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 23

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 23
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 23
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 23
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 23
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 23
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 23
That is good, and I do hope it is only a minor infection and will clear up soon
post #10 of 23

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 23

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 23

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.

post #13 of 23

Know it's been quite a while since this thread has been started, but I've been noticing something similar with the cat I'm in a trial week to make sure she'll be adjusting well to our home.  She's been hacking often and only for a few hours during the day and then she seems to be ok.  It's almost like a hairball and I had contacted the gal who brought her over and she was in touch with someone else through the place she's with and had suggested the mineral oil, pumpkin and hairball paste (which I'm using cat lax from the local vet's place).  That has been going on since about Friday or Saturday and nothing as of yet.  After reading some of the comments I'm beginning to wonder if it is truly a hairball and not asthma or something else.  I've contacted the gal that brought her over via text as well as the foster that she was living with to see what she was like there with her on if she was doing anything like that.  So will see what they say on what will happen.  If it is something like asthma, I'm not going to say I don't want her as I'll do what I can to help her and still take her in at the end of the trial period, if they feel that she will be well taken care of in our home.  

post #14 of 23

I just went through this with Lita.  

 

She was coughing at least once a day.  It was like she was trying to get a hairball out, but nothing ever came up.  I took her to the vet and had her x-rayed and found out that she had pneumonia.  We treated it, and now she's fine.  I would ask your vet to x-ray your kitty to rule out pneumonia.  If she wants to change the food, kindly ask her to do the tests first and if they all come back okay, then you can discuss a diet change.  

 

I hope you can figure out what is going on.  Sending purrs. 

post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by denverwriter22 View Post
 

I just went through this with Lita.  

 

She was coughing at least once a day.  It was like she was trying to get a hairball out, but nothing ever came up.  I took her to the vet and had her x-rayed and found out that she had pneumonia.  We treated it, and now she's fine.  I would ask your vet to x-ray your kitty to rule out pneumonia.  If she wants to change the food, kindly ask her to do the tests first and if they all come back okay, then you can discuss a diet change.  

 

I hope you can figure out what is going on.  Sending purrs. 

Glad to see that Lita is doing better.  I've voiced my concerns a few times with the gal that brought her over.  Once I know for sure that she will be here with us permanently, I'm going to be taking her in to get checked over.  Knock on wood, but so far tonight, she hasn't had any issues with the hacking, so that makes me feel good, but still concerned.

post #16 of 23

Yes, i was reading about what was happening to your cat & the same thing is happening to mine.  What if anything did you find out, I've called my vet & he said to give her something for an hairball but I just think it's something else.  Thanks so much I really appreciate it.

post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeganH1206 View Post
 

Yes, i was reading about what was happening to your cat & the same thing is happening to mine.  What if anything did you find out, I've called my vet & he said to give her something for an hairball but I just think it's something else.  Thanks so much I really appreciate it.

My suggestion would be to make an appointment for her to get checked out to rule anything else out to be on the safe side.  I know with mine it had me concerned because nothing was helping with mine with what was told to do and I was persistent about it as well.  This was before I had adopted mine and I even said that I was willing to take her in to get her checked out because it was going on for so long AND it was happening before I even had her for the trial period!  I'm friends now with the gal that was fostering my cat (I've officially adopted her on 7/12) and she's having issues with others in her home having issues with being sick in some way, shape or form.  When I saw her picture to adopt her, there was just something about her that was calling me to get her and think that was the reason why was with the issue she was having there (plus another not good issue that she had in the first foster home she was in where those fosters killed her brother and have been wondering if they did something to her as well).

post #18 of 23
Based on this thread, I became convinced my cat had asthma. I took to the pet hospital since it was the weekend. He stopped breathing in the waiting room. The vet tried to resuscitate him with a heart injection and the syringe filled with fluid. thinks it was coronavirus. He was about 4.5 years old.so, I'd suggest nobody diagnose online. Just go to the vet.
post #19 of 23

my cat Chica is having the same issue, we let it go for about a month and it eventually grew worse. she began to have it about 3 times a day, in addition she was weezing and when she slept, it sounded like she was snoring. if you found out why this happens please let me know, i dont have much money so i only want to take her to the vet if i have to 

post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindseyStirling View Post
 

my cat Chica is having the same issue, we let it go for about a month and it eventually grew worse. she began to have it about 3 times a day, in addition she was weezing and when she slept, it sounded like she was snoring. if you found out why this happens please let me know, i dont have much money so i only want to take her to the vet if i have to 

@LindseyStirling  Hey, my story is identical to yours. My female cat is also coughing a couple times a day, wheezing, and when she sleeps, it sounds like she's snoring.  Been going on for about a month.

 

Did you ever find out what was causing it? I haven't taken mine to the vet either, I have the money but she is completely wild and I'm honestly worried she will die on the way there or injure herself in the cat carrier. She was/is feral and only knows and trusts me.  Besides the above^ symptoms, she seems completely fine and acts like nothing is wrong. Just wondering how your kitty is doing and if you took her to the vet and got any answers. I will have to take mine in if things don't improve, but I dread it, especially because she isn't even acting sick at all when she doesn't cough. The vet appointment alone might kill her, yet maybe not doing anything at all might kill her too.....I'm stuck right in the middle and I don't know what the heck to do. headscratch.gif Everyone in my family is just telling me to keep an eye on her.  Well, I am keeping an eye on her....and nothing is changing.... and I'm going nuts keeping an eye on her. 

 

Thanks for any update............  :) 

post #21 of 23

I have a cat who just started doing the same thing. I took him to the vet on Friday after we'd thought his coughing was just a fluke. They x-rayed him and didn't find anything wrong. They suspected a URI, so gave him an antibiotic shot and Laxatone. He's still coughing and still not eating, which I'd noticed was "off" on Wednesday. I'm taking him back in tomorrow morning because he's not better and as of this morning, he's vomiting. He is getting water, but nothing else. He refuses to eat turkey bits, he refuses his canned food and of course, nothing else is going in. He's not got a hairball as far as I can tell. He coughs just like the cat in that video did.

I've had several well-intentioned people tell me everything from "it's his teeth" to "he's got a bone stuck in his throat". I know they mean well, but unless I hear it from our vet, I'm not going with that answer.

I will hopefully find out something in the morning.

post #22 of 23

As an update to this, I am happy to report that he ate this morning. I spoke to a friend who recommended that we try petroleum jelly-and when I told her he had Laxatone, she said to give it to him and not to waste time. He was yelling outside my bedroom door this morning and actually ate some food, so that's a plus for him today!

post #23 of 23

That's really great news.  I was concerned when you said he also wasn't eating.  Mine has been eating just fine, in fact, maybe even more than usual. Glad to hear he finally ate for you.... let me know how things go.  Things are about the same here. My kitty had another "dry coughing" event a few hrs. ago, she seems to always be in the room across the hall from me when it happens, or when she just exits that room it also happens.  I'm beginning to think there's something in that room causing some type of allergic reaction or something. Her symptoms began the exact day it turned cold outside and we had to turn our heater on....maybe the heat vent in that room (?)  I don't know, just watchful waiting for now, unless she gets worse...of course I would take her in if I see her condition declining in even the slightest way, but she seems the same.  Just the stupid cough and snoring. Sorry for calling it stupid, I'm just frustrated.  Keep us posted and thanks.

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