Coughing is a common protective reflex that clears secretions or foreign matter from the throat (pharynx), voice box (larynx), windpipe (trachea) or airways, and protects a cat's lungs against aspiration. It affects the respiratory system by hindering the ability to breathe properly.
Below is an overview of Chronic Coughing in Cats followed by in-depth information about the causes and diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause of this condition.
Common causes include obstruction in the windpipe, bronchitis, pneumonia, heartworm disease, lung tumors, and heart failure.
Watch for a chronic cough, or one that lasts for more than two or three weeks. It can begin suddenly or develop gradually. An occasional, infrequent cough is normal in cats. See your veterinarian if your cat has a chronic cough.
Veterinary care should include diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause of the cough. These may include:
Additional diagnostic tests may include:
Successful treatment depends on accurate diagnosis.
Home care recommendations depend upon the underlying cause of the problem. There are several things you can do to help your pet:
Coughing is a symptom of many different diseases or conditions. These diseases can be differentiated by various diagnostic tests. Diseases that cause coughing include:
Radiographs are taken during both inhalation and exhalation to evaluate the airways and lungs. Fluid around the lungs (pleural effusion), lung tumors (neoplasia), or heart failure may be identified.
Additional diagnostic tests may be recommended depending on earlier test results and/or lack of response to initial treatments. Recommendations may include:
Definitive therapy of any chronic condition is always depends on first determining the correct diagnosis. There are numerous potential causes of coughing. It is necessary to identify a specific cause to provide optimal therapy.