Cat Dry Cough Causes

Cat dry cough causes can range from having a hair ball stuck in the cat's throat to bronchitis and heart disease. Dry cough is only a symptom, so, while it is important that you pay attention to other signs in your cat's behavior in order to establish causes, it is your veterinarian who should diagnose and treat the dry cough as well as its underlying causes.

Causes of Dry Cough in Cats

The possible causes of dry cough in felines include:

  • Hair balls can get suck in your cat's throat. The presence of these will lead to acute coughing episodes followed by spitting of the hair ball.
  • Asthma. If the cat also sneezes, but has no other symptoms between the coughing episodes, asthma is the probable diagnosis.
  • Allergies to dust, pollens or smoke can also cause lung disease signaled by dry cough.
  • Lung cancer can be a cause of dry cough in older cats. As the lungs receive blood from other organs, cancer present in one part of the body can also migrate to the lungs causing the cough. Surgery or medication can control the disease.
  • Infections with viruses or bacteria are more common with young cats.
  • Heart failure. With this condition, the coughing will mostly appear when the animal is resting at night or following physical effort.
  • Tracheal collapse is also a possible cause, though rare in cats. If the cough is stimulated by drinking water, the cat may be affected by tracheal collapse.
  • Larynx or esophagus disease will cause coughing after eating, as the food can pass into the airways.
  • Parasites, such as heart worms, can also cause a dry cough. These are more likely to occur in areas crowded with mosquitoes.

Diagnosis of Dry Cough in Cats

Your veterinarian can recommend a blood test as well as the screening of multiple organs, stool exams to look for parasites and chest x-rays.

Bronchoscopy can be used for examining larger airways as well as for removal of larger objects stuck in the cat's airways.

Flushing of sterile fluid into the airways also helps collecting culture for a microscopic exam.

Treatment of Dry Cough in Cats

If there is a hair ball stuck in your cat's throat, she will simply cough it out. While this is common in cats, if you have a long haired breed you can discuss means of supplementing the cat's diet with your veterinarian so that the problem appears less often.

If you cat has a recently developed dry cough, you could try removing new things in the household such as furniture, the new air freshener or the new detergent.

If the cough lasts for more than 24 hours, you can rule out hair balls or allergy from the causes and ask a veterinarian for a diagnosis.

Your veterinarian can recommend antibiotics if there is an infection, or steroids for allergic reactions.

Cough suppressants might also be prescribed once the cause is clear.

While treatment should only be prescribed by a veterinarian, you can help prevent most causes by feeding your cat a well-balanced diet.