Cat Coughing 101: Signs, Causes and Treatments

Hey there, fellow pet parents! We all know that nothing perks our ears up faster than an unfamiliar sound coming from our furry friends. Imagine hearing your cat cough. It’s a sound that can make any cat owner instantly concerned. Before you jump to any conclusions, let’s go through the what, why, and how of cat coughing. And remember, for any health concerns, always give us a ring at Live Oak Veterinary Hospital in Sonora, CA. Call 209-432-9437 or book an appointment online.

Understanding the Signs: What Does a Cat Cough Sound Like?

Coughing in cats isn’t as common as in humans or even dogs. But when it happens, it’s usually a dry, hacking sound. Sometimes, it might even seem like your cat is trying to clear their throat. Other times, coughing can be accompanied by other symptoms such as lethargy, loss of appetite, or difficulty breathing. Pay close attention, because understanding the signs is the first step to helping your cat.

The Common Culprits: What Causes Cats to Cough?

Respiratory Infections

Just like us, cats can catch a cold or get a respiratory infection. Bacteria, viruses, and even fungal infections can lead to coughing.


Surprise! Cats can have allergies too. Pollen, dust, and even certain foods can irritate their respiratory tract.

Foreign Bodies

Cats are curious creatures. Sometimes they inhale or swallow something they shouldn’t, leading to coughing.

Chronic Conditions

Heart disease, asthma, or lung issues could also be the cause. These are serious and require immediate veterinary attention.

Diagnosis: How Vets Get to the Bottom of It

After hearing a cough, your next step should be to consult a vet. Here at Live Oak Veterinary Hospital, we take a comprehensive approach to diagnosis, which might include X-rays, blood tests, and sometimes even a bronchoscopy. It’s all about ruling out the causes one by one until we find what’s troubling your feline friend.

Treatment Plans: What to Expect


Once the underlying cause is identified, medication like antibiotics or antihistamines may be prescribed.


In extreme cases involving foreign bodies or tumors, surgery may be the only option.

Long-term Care

For chronic conditions, ongoing treatment and lifestyle changes might be necessary.

Prevention: Keeping the Cough at Bay

To keep your cat as healthy as possible, make sure they’re up-to-date on vaccinations and regular vet check-ups. Keep your home clean to minimize allergens, and supervise them during outdoor activities to prevent any accidental swallowing of foreign bodies.

Time to Take Action

Your cat’s health is our top priority here at Live Oak Veterinary Hospital. If your cat has been coughing, or you’ve noticed any other changes in their behavior, don’t wait. Call us at 209-432-9437 to make an appointment or book one online today. Early diagnosis and treatment are key to keeping your feline friend in purr-fect health!