Wheezing Cats and Sneezing Cats


by Bill


My nine year old female calico has developed, for lack of a better term,a "combination hacking cough/sneeze". I have determined she is not trying to cough anything up. This has been occasional over the past 24 hours. I held her to my ear and can hear her wheezing slightly as she breathes. Appetite and behaviour are otherwise normal. Eyes, ears, nose and throat all are all clear.

What's up, Doc?

Hi, Bill,

She could be suffering from anything from an upper respiratory infection to asthma to hair balls to heart disease. I could not give you a more specific diagnosis without listening to her chest and possibly seeing x-rays. She should be taken to the vet unless the symptoms have resolved and stay away. I'm not sure how you determined she is not trying to cough anything up. That would be almost impossible for even a vet to know without xrays.

At any rate, any abnormality in the breathing of a cat or any excessive coughing or sneezing should be addressed with a trip to the vet.

Return to Cat Upper Respiratory Infection.

12 Week Old Kitten with "Cold"

by rachel


My 12 week kitten has been sneezing a lot and it looks like she could have a cold starting in her eye. I was wondering if there was some kind of home remedy that could work, or something over the counter.


Dear Rachel,

I'm sorry, but it is not safe to try to treat a kitten with a cold with human over-the-counter medications. Most of the pain killers and antihistamine/decongestants will kill a kitten or a grown cat. Never give a cat anything without checking with a vet. There are SO many drugs for people or dogs that are very dangerous for cats.

In addition, young kittens can become very sick with "colds". They can even lose part or all of their eyesight and can die if they're not eating or drinking. Due to their small size, they can become dehydrated very quickly. Sick kittens should see a vet right away.

Return to Cat Upper Respiratory Infection.

Breathing Issues for my Cat

by Becky Laloli
(Redding, Ca)


Last night when I came home from work I noticed that my cat (Smokey) was breathing weird. It's like he is panting. I can tell he is uncomfortable. When you just look at him, you can see that he is taking heavy breaths, but he is eating and drinking and walking around fine.

At first I thought he may be hot because we live in a hot climate but at night it cools off and its normal and he is still doing it this morning.

Any ideas of what this could be



Dear Becky:

Anytime a cat is having abnormal breathing, it is an emergency. Go at once to the vet. He could have fluid in or around his lungs. He could have asthma. He could have heart disease. I could go on and on, but bottom line, any change in breathing can be very dangerous. Please go right away.


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