Cat Can't Stop Coughing: Why Is My Cat Coughing?

Is your cat coughing instead of purring? It could be a sign that something is affecting their lungs, airway, or throat. Our vets at Brodheadsville have outlined the possible reasons for your cat's cough and provided helpful suggestions to alleviate the issue.

Why Is My Cat Coughing?

Seeing your cat cough, no matter the reason can be distressing. Cats tend to get nervous and uneasy when they're coughing, which can make it seem like each cough could be their final one. If your cat has a persistent or severe cough, it's crucial to take them to the vet immediately for an examination. The veterinarian will be able to diagnose the cause of your cat's cough and administer the appropriate treatment based on the nature of the cough and other relevant findings.

Causes of Cat Coughing

Your feline friend may exhibit symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, or sneezing due to various reasons. Here are some of the most typical causes:


  • One of the most frequently observed respiratory disorders in felines by veterinarians is asthma. Outdoor cats have a higher likelihood of acquiring asthma and may exhibit coughing as one of its symptoms.


  • Like people, cats can also suffer from allergies that make them cough and sneeze or wheeze. 

Fungal Lung Infection

  • If your kitty spends time outdoors they could pick up a fungus from the soil, and coughing is a common symptom. Fungal infections are most easily treated when caught early.


  • Are you aware that cats can contract heartworm disease from mosquitos, which can be fatal? Fortunately, preventative medications are available from your veterinarian to protect against this dangerous illness effectively.

Lung Cancer

  • Lung cancer is another potential cause of a cat cough. Some tumors can be controlled with medication. If not, surgery may be an option.


  • Cat coughing can be a sign of pneumonia. Pneumonia in cats can be diagnosed with X-rays and may respond to antibiotics and other therapies. 

Congestive Heart Failure

  • Shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing can all be signs of congestive heart failure in cats. If your cat is struggling to breathe it's time to see your vet. Heart failure can be diagnosed using ultrasound or electrocardiogram.

Tight collars

  • If your cat's collar is too tight it can put pressure on your kitty's windpipe causing damage and leading to a cough.


  • Cats are susceptible to worm infestations. Therefore, it is advisable to take your feline friend for routine blood and fecal tests at the veterinary clinic. These tests can assist in identifying parasites at an early stage for prompt and effective treatment.

Treating Your Cat's Cough

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. Following a thorough examination, your vet may prescribe cough suppressants, antibiotics, steroids, or other drugs to treat your cat's health issue.

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 you're concerned about your cat's cough, don't hesitate to reach out to our veterinarian team. We offer around-the-clock emergency care for cats at all of our locations.