Coughing in cats is quite rare phenomena, though nevertheless there are many diseases that are accompanied by a cough, or it may be the primary symptom. However, even if your cat cough, there are no reasons for panic, because in most cases this is not a sign of disease, but only a protective reflex aimed at removing foreign objects, liquid smoke or other irritants from the respiratory tract. Even more we state that a prolonged coughing may indicate the development of the disease and, in this case, an accurate diagnosis can only be made on the basis of veterinary inspection of the cat or its analyses.
Cat Coughing Causes
As we mentioned above, the causes of coughing in cats are different, but they can be conditionally divided into two types: body’s response to the invasion of natural or chemical substances into the airways or the symptom of a disease. Let us consider when a cough is a defence reaction to the first cause:
- dust or any other similar substance (.. grinded pepper, flour, etc.) raised in the air cause discomfort in the throat from which a cat gets rid of by coughing;
- any acrid smoke (from burned rubber, plastic, or simply a cigarette smoke) can cause coughing in cats;
- any foreign objects (bones, beads or even small toys) falling into the throat or respiratory system to cough them up .
In case of different health problems a coughing in cats is observed in the following diseases:
- respiratory diseases (bronchitis, laryngitis, pneumonia, etc…);
- worms infections (cat coughs when migrating in the body the larvaes fall into the lungs and bronchi);
- cardiovascular disease (causes a so-called cardiac coughing) and;
- allergic reactions of cat body with a symptom of bronchial asthma.
Remember, a regular coughing is not a separate illness, but a symptom of one of the above-mentioned diseases or other disorders in cat’s body.
Cat Coughing Symptoms
Now let’s look at the symptoms of coughing. First of all we will interpret what the cough is. Coughing is a very quick exhale after a deep inhale. During coughing due to a strong air pressure from the lungs vocal chords quickly opens and a contraction of the respiratory muscles occurs. This rapid ousting of air helps to clear the throat, bronchi and lungs from unnecessary substances that have been accumulated there (for example, a foreign body or mucus).
Coughing in cats looks like this: the animal pulls the abdominal wall inwards, slightly bends its back, stretches its neck forward and lowers its head down; and a distinctive hoarse sound comes out from its throat. By doing so cat tries to strangle a cough reflex. Note that sometimes coughing can also be accompanied by vomiting.
Types of coughing in cats
As there are different causes of coughing in the cats, the very cough is different. Veterinarians conditionally divide cough in animals on several kinds. Here they are:
- depending on secretions that accompany cough, it is distinguished between wet and dry;
- depending on the intensity of cough – hacking or exhausting;
- depending on duration – acute or chronic;
- depending on the tone – clear or muffled;
- cough frequency is also important (whether it lasts during all the day or just in the morning and evening).
Due to its kind a veterinarian can determine the most probable cause of coughing. However in many cases an accurate diagnosis is possible only after tests.
Cough treatment for cats
As you have learned treating cat for a cough should take place just after we found out the cause. In some cases it can be performed only a veterinarian on the basis of examination and laboratory test results, but in most cases it is possible to identify the cause and treat a cat cough. So we already know what are the reasons of coughing in cats and what types of it exist. Let’s look at how to treat coughing in cats depending on its cause.
The simplest case is a cough as a protective reflex (discussed above in details). It does not require treatment; simply remove the cause and the state of the cat is stabilized. In the case of cough due to parasites and worms you will have to get rid of them. However this can be prevented by a regular cat deworming (generally every 3-6 months). If the cough is a symptom of disorders of cardiovascular system the treatment should be prescribed only by a veterinarian. In this case a diagnosis is based on the results of special clinical tests.
In the case of bronchial asthma additional treatment is needed which can sometimes last for the entire of cat’s life. However generally asthma has seasonal nature, and coughing appears only in spring and autumn. Therapy should be appointed by a veterinarian as hormonal therapy is used as well as antihistamines and carticosteroids.
If the coughing in cats is caused by respiratory disease the treatment includes antibiotics and special medicine to facilitate expectoration which are to ease the animal’s condition. As in the previous case a specialist must assign a cough preparation because the treatment will depend on the type of cough (e.g., dry or wet). Therefore if there is no possibility to show the cat to the vet observe what kind of cough the cats has and tell the seller of vet pharmacy where you buy the drugs. There are definitely skillful professionals who will tell you any necessary information.
Preventing cough in cats
The best option is to prevent the occurrence of coughing. Therefore you should regularly vaccinate cats against respiratory diseases that are caused by viruses. Modern cat vaccine are endowed with antibodies that prevent the development of viral diseases which caus the cough.