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Cat Coughing & Wheezing

Cat Coughing & Wheezing

While you may only be accustomed to the gentle purrs of your kitty there are times when you may hear other more concerning sounds and wonder what you should do. Here, our Egg Harbor Township vets discuss coughing and wheezing in cats, some of the common causes of this and what the treatment options are.

When Cats Are Coughing

Coughing in cats can be frightening. Not only does it sound unnerving but it can also cause you to be quite concerned for your feline friend. Often when cats are coughing they become agitated and apprehensive, making it appear as if each cough will be their final breath.

If your cat develops a persistent or aggressive cough then you should reach out to your vet as soon as possible. Your vet will perform an examination and any other necessary tests to diagnose the cause of your cat's cough so that treatment can begin.

In order to properly treat your cat there will need to be an accurate diagnosis o what is causing the cough. The nature of your cat's cough along with other findings can help your vet to diagnose the cause of your cat's cough and prescribe appropriate treatment.

The Common Causes of Coughing or Wheezing

Here are some of the most common reasons a cat may be coughing or wheezing: 


Asthma is the most common feline respiratory disorder that our Egg Harbor Township veterinarians see. This condition is more common in cats that spend lots of time outdoors.


Cats can experience the symptoms of allergies much like people. They will cough and sneeze and be all around a little stuffy.

Fungal Lung Infection

Fungal infections are more likely to occur in cats that spend a large amount of time ouside. Fungal infections can result in coughing and other symptoms. When caught early fungal infections are typically easy to treat.


This life-threatening condition is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito. Preventative medications are available from your vet that can help to protect your cat against this extremely serious disease.

Lung Cancer

If your cat has lung cancer then they may develop a frequent cough. Some lung tumors can be controlled with medication. If not, surgery may be an option for some cats.


Coughing in cats is one of the main symptoms 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.

Ill-Fitting Collars

If you place a tight collar on your cat then they may have their airway crushed causing coughing, wheezing or a number of other potentially severe symptoms.

Parasitic Worms

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.

If your feline friend is coughing, wheezing or experiencing other breathing difficulties it's time to contact your vet. Contact our Egg Harbor Township veterinarians today to book an examination for your cat.

Always Welcoming New Patients

At Newkirk Family Veterinarians, we always accept new patients into our veterinary family. Our veterinarians are passionate about the health and well-being of Egg Harbor Township pets. Contact us today to book your pet's first appointment. 

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