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Cat cough

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

My 3 year old cat has a dry cough. Normally it happens when it's sleeping. She wakes up from sleep, then she extends her neck forward, and starts coughing. It sounds like she has phlegm in her throat. Picture a time when you had a cold and you had phlegm in your throat whilst you cough, that's exactly how it sounds. She'll do it for about 30 seconds usually, and it looks like she coughs something up in her mouth then swallows it. She did throw up worms some weeks ago, we took her to the vet and gave her medicine for it every two weeks.


If she does the coughing, she'll do it maybe 2-3 times a day, then maybe she won't do it for say a week, it just depends (it's not a consistent everyday thing, but she has done it maybe a few times a day for 3 days once). Other than this and the worm incident, she shows no signs of being sick. Afterwards she is perfectly okay and fine, she plays a lot throughout the day. Also, after her coughs, I have heard her meow before, and the meow is faint and raspy, like she has something in her throat (she doesn't normally meow when doing it, and the meowing wasn't caused by the cough or anything). Also, when she's doing it, although it does look like she coughs something up in her throat (because she swallows during it), she doesn't appear to be vomiting, just coughing.


Any ideas as to what this could be? Thanks!


EDIT: also, we do have a weird/old heating system in our house that could be causing this. Our heat comes out very dry, and sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with a sore dry throat, so this is one of the things I thought was causing it. Our other cat doesn't have this problem, though (but that still doesn't mean the heat issue isn't causing it).

post #2 of 7
Look up cat asthma cough on youtube and see if it looks like that. It sounds like when Riley has an asthma attack. He extends his neck forward, low to the ground and has a dry cough and sometimes spits up a little bit. I would definitely take her to the vet.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

This is pretty much what the cat does:







also this:






except the cat coughing in the last one is more intense than how my cat does it, it'll normally have a few short coughs that will lead to one last cough which will be like one of the coughs in  that last video, then that's when it looks like she's swallowing something. Then afterwards I'll hear her breath and it sounds like she has phlegm in her throat, and soon after she is perfectly okay.

post #4 of 7
Riley developed asthma due to a heartworm infection. It started with just a cough now and then and progressed to several times a day. He now gets an inhaler each day. I would definitely get kitty checked out. Don't rule out heartworms automatically either. Riley is 100% indoors and still managed a mosquito bite!
post #5 of 7

How did this go with your cat? Did you get a proper diagnosis? My cat doing exactly the same, coughing when she wakes up, the vet checked her over and said it's nothing to worry about but something must be causing it, be nice to know how you got on, thanks.
post #6 of 7

My baby Frannie had that going on when I first adopted her.  I was in a week trial and they thought it was originally furball issue.  The gal from the place I was adopting her through finally took her in as it continued.  They thought it was a bronchial infection and she got a steroid shot and medication.  Happened again about a month later, again treated it as a bronchial infection at my vet. I kept questioning the vet about asthma and any other issues it could possibly be, but he pretty much shrugged it off and didn't really do or say much to any of my questions or concerns.  I am now going to a new vet and I was finally being listened to and it is actually asthma!  I'm not professional, but i'd question to see if it is an asthma issue.  To top it off after adopting her, we did the quick test for FIV and was given a positive result so she was given medication for the FIV AND infection and she didn't even need them (waste of money when I went to the first vet).  A week ago this past friday I had the western blot test and got the results  yesterday that she is NEGATIVE, but ended up havingto take her in because she was doing the hacking/coughing thing, but not as bad, but it was the hard cough like she was going to get sick and did everything you mentioned (which was what she was doing when I first got her).  So steroid shots (Depo-Medrol) have been helping her with it.  Plus, after going to the new vet, found out she had tapeworms that I didn't even realize she had and thought it was something else on her hiney as she's had flaky skin as she's got a belly on her and can't reach from about mid back to tail and thought it was flakes from that just getting moved down to below her tail by her hiney.

post #7 of 7
Coughing like that, especially on waking, strongly suggests a little fluid on her lungs that she's having to clear. There are a number of causes for this - the two most common being asthma and heart problems. I'm not saying it's either of those for sure, but she needs thoroughly checking out to determine the root cause. Taking a video of her doing it to show the vet could really help too.

Good luck with getting to the bottom of this vibes.gif
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