Why Cats Cough

Cough plus congestion can be a sign of serious illness.

By J. Veronika Kiklevich, DVM | Posted: Mon Dec 13 00:00:00 PST 2004

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Q. My cat Mufasa is almost 11 years old and still has a lot of energy for his age. Recently he's developed a cough that sounds like he could be congested. He has also been throwing up from time to time. I really don't have the money to take him to the vet. Each month a vet on wheels comes around to help people out that can't afford regular vet bills, however, I'm not sure what kind of vet services they provide.

Can you recommend any affordable veterinary assistance? I'm really concerned about Mufasa he's like a family member. I appreciate any help you can provide.

A. Cats cough for a variety of reasons, but the fact that you perceive that there may be some congestion is cause for concern. I do not know the capabilities of the mobile veterinarian, but it would certainly be worth investigating. I am also not familiar with the various assistance programs in your area, but you might try contacting the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in Knoxville, as they might be able to refer you to such a program.

Mufasa's cough could be related to feline asthma or an underlying heart problem. When we add possible vomiting to this list, I become concerned, especially by the fact that he may have picked up an infection with heartworms, which is common in your area. We always become concerned and look at the possibility of neoplasia or cancer, especially in older cats. However, if he is eating well and not losing weight, then this would be way down on the list of possibilities.

Be certain that he is getting good nutrition, and try to get a veterinarian to evaluate him soon.

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Reader Comments

janet    Bethlehem, PA

6/27/2012 4:16:45 AM

good article, thanks

Philip    Durango, CO

4/27/2008 10:31:39 PM

If I have to "rob peter to pay paul" that is what I will do to see that my cats get the BEST medical care. I would rather spend money on my "BABY" then to spen it on FANCY CLOTHING, An Automobile or the like. Our cats give us so much in return, more then any MATERIALISTIC "THINGS". Time spent with a cat is never waisted, nor is the money we spend on them. My Cat's UNCONDITIONAL LOVE is worth more then GOLD(at $1,000.00 per oz), and he is 23 pounds (368 oz).

janet    bethlehem, PA

2/6/2008 5:21:46 AM

Maybe it's a hairball making the cat cough

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