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Common Causes of Coughing in Cats

Common Causes of Coughing in Cats

Is your cat coughing instead of purring? Cat coughs are an indication that your pet's lungs, throat, or airway are irritated. While some causes of cat coughing or wheezing are easily treated, others are much more serious. Today, our Orlando vets list some common causes of cat coughs and what to do. 

Why Cats Cough

Is your cat coughing repeatedly? This is bound to be upsetting for both you and your feline friend. Cats often become apprehensive and agitated while they are coughing, making it appear as if each cough will be their final breath. 

If your cat's cough is ongoing or severe, it's important to have your cat examined by a vet right away. The veterinarian will be able to diagnose the cause of your cat's cough so that effective treatment can be provided. 

The vet will need to identify the underlying cause of your cat's cough to determine the proper treatment. The nature of your cat's cough along with the results of exams and diagnostic tests can help your vet find the cause of your cat's cough and prescribe appropriate treatment. 

Causes of Cat Coughing, Wheezing & Sneezing

There are numerous potential reasons your cat may be coughing, wheezing, and sneezing. Here are a few of the most common:


The most common feline respiratory disorder diagnosed by our veterinarians in Orlando is asthma. Cats who spend at least some of their time outdoors are more likely to develop asthma. They may start to cough as a symptom of the condition.


Similar to people, cats often suffer from allergies that have them wheezing, coughing, or sneezing. 

Fungal Lung Infection

Does your four-legged friend spend time outside? They are at an increased risk for a fungal infection, which can lead to coughing and other symptoms. Fungal infections are typically easy to treat when diagnosed early.


This deadly condition is spread by infected mosquitos. Your veterinarian can administer preventative medications to help protect your cat against this extremely serious disease, which can be treated but may result in complications from the treatment.

Lung Cancer

Coughing can also be a sign of lung cancer in cats. Some lung tumors can be controlled with medication. If not, surgery may be an option for some cats.


Cat coughing can be a sign of pneumonia. Pneumonia in cats can be diagnosed with x-rays and may respond to antibiotics and other therapies.

Congestive Heart Failure

Signs of congestive heart failure in cats include shortness of breath, coughing, or wheezing. If your cat is struggling to breathe it's time to see your vet. Heart failure can be diagnosed using ultrasound or electrocardiogram.

Tight collars

A tight collar can put pressure on your kitty’s windpipe causing damage and leading to a cough.


Worms are particularly common in felines. It’s one reason your kitty should have regular blood and fecal tests at the vet. These tests can help to detect parasites early when they are most easily treated.

Treatment for Cat Coughing

Treatment for breathing problems and coughing in cats will depend upon the underlying cause. Do not try to treat your cat without the guidance of your vet.  After your cat has been thoroughly examined, your vet will recommend appropriate treatment options. Your cat's treatment for coughing may include cough suppressants, antibiotics, steroids, or other medications.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your feline friend coughing, wheezing or experiencing other breathing difficulties? It's time to contact your vet. Contact our Orlando veterinarians today to book an examination for your cat.

Caring for Pets in Orlando

Caring for Pets in Orlando

East Orlando Animal Hospital is always happy to welcome new clients to our full-service animal hospital. We look forward to meeting you and your pet!

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