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Chronic Coughing in Cats

By: PetPlace Veterinarians

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Coughing is a symptom of many different diseases or conditions. These diseases can be differentiated by various diagnostic tests. Diseases that cause coughing include:

  • Sinusitis, which is sinus inflammation usually occurring after infection, or rhinitis, inflammation of the mucus membrane of the nose, with postnasal drainage

  • Pharyngeal (throat) or tonsil inflammation

  • Upper airway obstruction with mucous, food or fluid

  • Redundant (elongated) soft palate

  • Pharyngeal polyp, which is a mass or growth protruding from the back of the throat

  • Laryngeal disease, disease of the larynx or voice box which is the entrance into the windpipe

  • Respiratory or breathing problems

  • Tracheal collapse or obstruction – the trachea is the air passage from the larynx to the main bronchi or the windpipe

  • Mediastinal mass, which is a mass in the space between the right and left halves of the lung, with compression of the trachea

  • Esophageal diseases leading to inhalation of food from the esophagus (the tube extending from the mouth to the stomach) or dilatation (stretching) of the esophagus causing compression of the trachea

  • Hilar lymphadenopathy, which is a disease of the lymph nodes, usually tumor or fungal, that may result in enlargement of the node and compression of adjacent bronchi within the lungs

  • Parasitic infection such as Osleri, which is a type of nematode or parasite

  • Tracheitis or infection or inflammation of the trachea

  • Tumor of the trachea or bronchus

  • Left atrial enlargement, which is enlargement of the left atrium, or entrance chamber, of the heart, leading to bronchial compression

  • Collapse of a major bronchus

  • Bronchial obstruction, irritation or inflammation due to bronchitis (inflammation of one or more of the bronchi)

  • Lungworms (Filaroides) or migrating nematodes, usually occurring in young animals

  • Environmental irritants

  • Bronchiectasis, which is stretching and infection of the bronchi as a result of chronic bronchitis        

  • Bronchial foreign body

  • Pulmonary edema (fluid accumulation in the lungs) secondary to heart failure or other causes

  • Heartworm disease (Dirofilariasis)

  • Infectious or aspiration pneumonia caused by inhalation of matter into the lungs

  • Pulmonary granuloma, a tumor-like mass or nodule in the lung

  • Immunologic disease of the lung, including "allergic" pneumonitis, or inflammation of lung tissue, caused by allergie, and pulmonary infiltrates of eosinophils, a type of cell in the blood

  • Pulmonary neoplasm, a tumor of the lung

  • Pulmonary emboli, blood clots in the lungs

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