Why Can't My Cat Stop Coughing?

If your cat is starting to excessively cough, it means that something is irritating their throat, lungs or airways. When it comes to coughs, some causes are easy to deal with while others are more serious. Here, our Wake Forest veterinary team explain some of the possible causes for your kitty's cough.

Why is My Cat Coughing?

It can be disturbing to watch your cat repeatedly cough. It can cause your companion to become agitated, apprehensive and it may even seem like each cough look like it will be their last!

If your cat is experiencing an ongoing or severe cough, it is important to see your veterinarians as soon as possible so they can provide you with a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

The nature of your cat's coughing, along with other physical findings by your vet, may be helpful in diagnosing the underlying cause of your cat's distressing symptom.

Here, our Wake Forest vets provide you with some of the possible causes of your cat's cough.

Common Causes of Cat Coughing


Asthma is considered to be the most common feline respiratory disorder, Cats who spend any amount of time outdoors are liable to get it and may experience a cough.


Allergies may also be the cause of your cat's cough. 

Fungal Lung Infection

Your outdoor cat may pick up a fungus from soil. Coughing is a common symptom of exposure to fungus.


Heartworm disease is spread by mosquitos. If you live in an area with these bugs, your cat is more at risk. You can get preventative medicine from your vet.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer can also be a cause of your cat's cough. Some tumors caused by cancer may be controlled with medications. If this is not the case, surgery may also be an option.


Coughing can be a sign of pneumonia, which can be diagnosed with x-rays and may respond to antibiotics and other therapies. 

Congestive Heart Failure

Coughing could be a sign of congestive heart failure in your cat, which may be diagnosed by your vet with an ultrasound or electrocardiogram.

Tight collars

Pressure on your cat’s windpipe can cause damage and lead to a cough.


Worms can be quite common in cats. It is one of the reasons your feline companion gets routine fecal and blood tests at the vet.

Treatment for Cat Coughing

Treatment for you cat's cough will depend on what’s causing it. Don’t treat your pet without talking to a vet.

Options for treatment may include cough suppressants, antibiotics, steroids or other drugs, and even surgery, but you should work with your vet to find the best option.

If your cat is repeatedly coughing without stopping, contact North Wake Animal Hospital as soon as possible.