Common Causes of Cat Cough

Cat cough may be caused by several factors including allergies, fur balls, bronchitis or bacterial infections. Even if your cat has something that is stuck in his throat he will cough. Coughing is a reflex caused by an irritation of the throat. The body tries to get rid of the irritant. The cough can be dry or moist and other symptoms such as stuffed nose or fever may also be present.

Cat Hairball Cough

Cats will often have to expectorate hairballs and they cough to do so. Hairballs are formed in the cat's stomach as a consequence of the cat ingesting his own hair while grooming. Long haired cats are more prone to hairballs. The hairballs are easily eliminated and you don't need the vet's help. The sounds the cat makes may be scary, but don't worry, your cat is fine.


Bronchitis is one of the most frequent causes of cough in cats. Your cat will have fits of cough and will expectorate. The phlegm will be white and consistent.

Feline Allergies

Cats that are allergic to different chemicals, dust, pollen, smoke or mold may also cough. Other symptoms of allergies will include frequent sneezing, wheezing, itchiness, watery eyes and runny nose. The symptoms are similar to the signs of a feline cold, but allergic cats don't have fever.

These allergens may cause coughing immediately after the cat has contact with them.

Cat Cold or Respiratory Infections

Cats with a cold or flu will cough as a symptom of the infection. If your cat also has a fever, watery eyes and runny nose, these may point to a cold.

Respiratory infections are signaled by constant coughing. The cat also has fever and has difficulty breathing.

Feline Kennel Cough

Kennel cough, scientifically known as Bordetella bronchiseptica is a respiratory infection that affects the upper respiratory tract. The disease can easily lead to pneumonia and is more severe in kittens and younger cats. Early vaccination can prevent the occurrence of kennel cough.

Cat Asthma

Cats can also have asthma. The cat will cough and this will be moist. Other symptoms include wheezing and difficulty in breathing. After the coughing episodes, the cat will present no other symptoms.

Feline Parasites

Even if parasites don't necessarily cause coughing, heartworms, hookworms or roundworms may cause episodic coughs. The cough is moist and the cat will also lack energy, have a lack of appetite, lose weight, vomit and have diarrhea.

Other less common causes include lung cancer, heart disease, trachea or larynx disease or irritation.

The coughing causes are difficult to identify, especially because coughing may point to several diseases and the accompanying symptoms can be similar. If your cat has a constant cough and it lasts for longer than 24 hours, it is best to visit a vet and have a proper diagnosis. Meanwhile, observe any possible extra symptoms, so that the diagnosis can be precise.