Why Is My Cat Coughing? Common Causes and Possible Solutions


Coughing in cats can be a concerning symptom for cat owners. Just like humans, cats can experience coughing due to various reasons. In this article, we’ll explore the common causes of cat coughing and provide insights into possible solutions to help you understand and address this issue.

Common Causes of Cat Coughing

1. Hairballs:

One of the most common causes of coughing in cats is the formation of hairballs. When cats groom themselves, they ingest hair, which can accumulate in their stomach and form hairballs. These hairballs can irritate the throat, leading to coughing.

2. Respiratory Infections:

Respiratory infections, such as viral or bacterial infections, can cause coughing in cats. Common respiratory infections in cats include feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus. Coughing may be accompanied by other symptoms like sneezing, nasal discharge, and fever.

3. Asthma:

Feline asthma is a chronic condition that can cause coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing in cats. It is often triggered by allergies or environmental factors, such as dust, pollen, or cigarette smoke.

4. Heartworm Disease:

Heartworm disease, primarily transmitted through mosquito bites, can affect cats as well as dogs. In cats, heartworm infection can cause respiratory issues, including coughing.

5. Allergies:

Just like humans, cats can have allergies too. Allergies to substances like pollen, dust mites, or certain foods can lead to coughing in cats.

6. Foreign Object or Irritant:

If a cat accidentally inhales or swallows a foreign object or irritant, it can cause coughing as the body tries to expel or clear the foreign substance.

7. Other Underlying Conditions:

Coughing can be a symptom of other underlying health conditions in cats, such as heart disease, lung tumors, or respiratory parasites. These conditions require veterinary diagnosis and treatment.

Possible Solutions and Treatment

The appropriate solution for cat coughing depends on the underlying cause. Here are some general approaches:

1. Hairball Prevention:

Regular grooming and brushing can help minimize hairball formation. Additionally, specialized cat foods or hairball remedies can aid in reducing hairball issues.

2. Veterinary Evaluation:

If your cat’s coughing is persistent, severe, or accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian. They can perform a thorough examination, diagnose the underlying cause, and recommend appropriate treatment options.

3. Medication and Treatment:

Treatment for cat coughing varies based on the cause. It may include antiviral or antibacterial medications for respiratory infections, corticosteroids for managing asthma, or heartworm prevention measures. Allergies may require identification and avoidance of triggers or the use of antihistamines or other allergy medications.

4. Environmental Control:

If allergies are suspected, minimizing exposure to allergens by keeping the living environment clean and free from dust, pollen, or other irritants can be beneficial.


Cat coughing can have various causes, ranging from hairballs to respiratory infections or underlying health conditions. It’s essential to observe your cat’s symptoms, consult with a veterinarian when necessary, and follow their recommended treatment plan. By understanding the causes and implementing appropriate solutions, you can help alleviate your cat’s coughing and ensure their overall health and well-being.

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