Cats can cough for several different reasons such as suffering from feline asthma, bacterial or viral infections, heart disease, due to foreign bodies in their air passages, or even due to pulmonary parasites (e.g. lungworm).
The most common reason is chronic irritation of their airways, also known as allergic airway disease or feline asthma. This type of cough can be triggered by inhalation of irritants such as dust, pollens, mould, cigarette smoke, perfume, cat litter dust, stress or any type of aerosol household products.
These irritants cause narrowing of the cat’s airways resulting in cough and sometimes in difficulty breathing. Some cats are just mildly affected while others can become very ill. This condition can be life threatening.
Retching and regurgitating hairballs can be mistaken for coughing and cats will cough occasionally. If you notice your cat’s cough persists for more than a few days, if it is a productive cough (if your cat tries to expel some sort of material) or if your cat seems unwell do not hesitate do take your feline companion to your vet.
It is very important to find the cause of your cat’s cough and start treatment as soon as possible. If left untreated chronic feline asthma can lead to irreversible narrowing of the cat’s airways.
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