Cat Sneezing and Coughing

by Carol
(Medford, NJ)

Reader Question: Cat Asthma or Upper Respiratory Infection?

I have a 4 1/2 month old Ragdoll kitten that started sneezing when he arrived home, approximately 4 weeks ago. The sneezing was fairly wet but no nose discharge and his eyes remained clear. But lately coughing fits have taken the place of the sneezing. I took him to my vet and was told that it's most likely an Upper Respiratory Virus. But after seeing a video of a cat with Asthma, I am concerned. When his coughing fits start, he hunches over and stretches out his neck, however, his mouth remains closed, so no open mouth breathing.

These attacks last for about a minute or less (seems longer to me) and then he is fine. He had no loss of appetite and other than the coughing attacks, seems fine. I have started him on NHV Respiratory Relief, but it's only been a week, and I am not sure how long it should take to see improvement. It is very hard to see him going through this. I am now at the point that I am wondering if I should get a second opinion or see if he gets past this. Any advice or opinions on this would be welcomed.



Vet Gives A Second Opinion Regarding a Cat’s Upper Respiratory Virus.

Hi Carol,

It would be unusual, although not impossible, for a 4 ½ month old cat to develop asthma. Your cat’s age and history do fit very well with a respiratory infection. I am concerned, however, that you are now seeing some coughing. It is possible that the infection has moved from his upper respiratory tract into his lungs.

If his condition does not improve after a week or so with his current treatment (or if it gets worse at any time), I’d recommend that you either bring him in for a recheck or get a second opinion. Chest x-rays and other diagnostic tests could help with figuring out exactly what is going on and how best to treat it.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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