Tony Reeves

Medically Reviewed By

Piet Hellemans, DVM
Veterinarian & Veterinary Consultant

Coughing is a common problem in cats, and while it may seem like nothing more than an annoying habit of bringing up phlegm, there are many possible reasons your cat could be coughing.

When should you worry about your cat’s coughing and seek veterinary help?

If your cat has been coughing for any length of time, it’s important to determine the cause and seek veterinary help if necessary. While most cases of cat coughing are benign and don’t require treatment, there are a few conditions that can be serious and potentially life-threatening.

Knowing when to worry about your cat’s coughing is essential in ensuring that they receive the proper care. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most common causes of feline coughing and when you should worry about them.

Let’s dive in.

What are the most common causes of coughing in cats?

Cats are notorious for their “rebellious” cat behavior. They often ignore commands and enjoy doing things on their own terms. But there is one thing that cat owners know all too well: coughing

Coughing is a common problem in cats and can be caused by a variety of things, such as allergies, infections, and even cancer. If your cat is coughing, it’s important to take him to the vet so he can be properly diagnosed and treated.

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The most common causes coughing in cats are :

  • Allergies
  • Feline asthma
  • Upper respiratory tract infection (URTI)
  • Vomiting foreign body
  • Heartworms in the cat
  • Lung tumors

Estimates suggest that between 3% and 14%of cat visits to the veterinarian were for coughing or other respiratory conditions. In a study by PetPlace, 86% of cat owners reported that their cat had coughed within the last year.

Which cat breeds are most likely to develop a cough?

Here are some cat breeds who are most likely to develop a cough.

  • Siamese
  • Himalayan
  • Persian
  • Burmese
  • Russian Blue
  • British Shorthair

What to expect when coughing is caused by cat allergies?

An Allergy – This is the most common cause for a cat to experience coughing. Cat allergies can be caused by cat saliva, urine, and dander. Symptoms of cat allergies include respiratory issues, sneezing, and watery eyes. Coughing is simply the body’s way of getting rid of cat saliva, cat urine, and cat dander. If you are concerned that your cat has cat allergies, speak with your veterinarian.

Speaking to your vet can help you get an idea of what might be causing the cat allergy, and what can be done to help your cat feel better.

When should you seek veterinary help for a cat that’s been coughing?

The first thing to do if your cat is coughing is to take note of it.

If the cat coughs only during certain activities, such as playing or cat grooming, then there’s no need to worry.

However, if the cat has been coughing for more than a few days and/or has been showing other abnormal behaviors such as loss of appetite and lethargy, then it is time to head to the vet for a visit.

How is a cat’s cough treated?

Treating a cat’s cough can involve a number of things. The first step is to determine what’s causing the cat’s cough, as the treatment will vary depending on this information. For example, a cat with a respiratory infection might be prescribed antibiotics.

Some coughs can be easily aided with natural anti-inflammatory supplements.

If your cat’s coughing persists for more than one day or worsens after initial improvement, it’s important to take him to see a veterinarian again. He might have something more serious than an upper respiratory infection or allergies that requires medical intervention.

Be aware of any significant changes in your cat’s breathing or coughing patterns after he recovers from his initial illness. A cat with asthma, for example, is at risk of having an asthma attack.

What are some home remedies for cat cough

Some cat owners will try home remedies to help their cat with a cough. It is important to remember that many of these remedies are not proven by any studies and it’s possible they may actually make your cat sicker. Some examples of home remedies include:

  • Steam inhalation
  • Chicken Soup
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Probiotics
  • Supplements made with natural anti-inflammatory ingredients

How to keep your cat healthy and minimize the chances of a respiratory infection ?

Cats are wonderful pets, but their owners have to be careful with them. Many things can go wrong with the cat’s respiratory system. It’s important to be knowledgeable about cat coughs so you know when to see your veterinarian for help.

Keep your cat indoors, and make sure they always have fresh water, cat food and cat toys. It is also important to get your cat on a yearly schedule for check-ups with the veterinarian.

Decrease the cat’s stress to prevent coughing episode.

If you have more than one cat, make sure they have their own territory and toys so they can play with each cat who lives in the cat’s house. Cats cannot be extremely stressed out without it showing in their health.

Vets can help with prescription diets and breathing treatments to help put a cat back on the road to health . Pet insurance is also a good idea as it will provide cat owners with some financial relief in case something serious develops.


Coughing is a common problem in cats, and there are many possible reasons your cat could be coughing. Knowing when to worry about your cat’s coughing is essential in ensuring that they receive the proper care. Some natural supplements may help ease your cat’s cough. Always consult a vet if you have any concerns about your pet’s health.


David is our expert for all things concerning CBD and your four-legged friends. Animals often need special attention and care and that's David’s specialty, but he’s also an expert in all CBD topics, so whatever your question, he's happy to help.

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