Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. It could be a heart related problem or a respiratory issue. You should have him checked over by your vet sooner rather than later.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

What causes cats to cough? In cats, coughing is most often a sign of an inflammatory problem affecting the lower respiratory tract, especially some form of bronchitis. This inflammation is often due to an infection, particularly with viruses such as feline viral rhinotracheitis, or bacteria such as Bordetella.
Your Cat Keeps Coughing

If your cat`s cough is persistent, continues for more than a few days, or begins to worsen, take them to the vet. A cough that persists may be an indication of a respiratory infection or asthma.

When inhaled, irritants of any sort can lead to coughing. More persistent cat coughing may be caused by long-term exposure to irritants such as secondhand smoke. Other common causes of coughs in cats include: Respiratory infections: Bacterial and viral respiratory infections are common causes of coughing in cats.
An occasional cough can be normal for a cat, actually helping clear the airway. If your cat`s coughing is mild and there are no other symptoms such as nasal discharge or lethargy, monitoring him/her for the next couple of days may be all that is needed.
Coughing and gagging may be caused by many other conditions besides hairball. Some of these condions include asthma, allergies, worms, respiratory infection, foreign bodies in the respiratory or gasterointestinal tract, and other gasterointestinal or respiratory problems.
Older cats hunt less, spend less time outside, are generally less active and sleep for longer periods. They can have a reduced or fussy appetite, be less keen to play or groom and be more vocal. They also tend to become more insecure and therefore potentially more dependent on you.
Signs can include coughing, heavy breathing, wheezing, sneezing, poor appetite or anorexia, weight loss, fever, enlarged lymph nodes, and ocular or nasal discharge. “Signs may be more pronounced in kittens due to their immature immune system.”
Cats suffering from asthma may show signs of difficulty breathing, wheezing, rapid breathing, coughing or hacking, open-mouthed breathing, or vomiting. These signs can vary in intensity, ranging from acute respiratory crises to chronic, low-grade coughing, elevated respiratory rate, or increased respiratory effort.
Coughing without hairballs

It`s common for cats to pass one or two hairballs a month, which is usually accompanied by a dry cough. However, if they`re coughing like this more frequently than that, and especially if they don`t pass a hairball during the coughing, it could be a sign of a bigger problem.

It could be a sign that the hairball has moved from their stomach to their intestine. This is a serious condition that should be addressed by a vet immediately. You should take your cat to the vets if they have any of these cat hairball symptoms: Prolonged gagging, vomiting, retching without producing a hairball.
Cats cough for several reasons, ranging from allergies and asthma to more serious illnesses, including infections and heartworm. Treatment for coughing in cats depends on their diagnosis. If you`re worried about your cat`s cough, it`s always best to consult a vet who can diagnose and treat any underlying illnesses.
Coughing in cats is abnormal, so I do recommend that your cat be seen by a veterinarian soon. Some of the causes of a dry, non-productive cough in cats include feline asthma, heartworm disease, lungworms, or foreign bodies. Feline asthma is also known as chronic bronchitis, bronchial asthma or allergic bronchitis.
Choking in cats is usually caused by a foreign object such as a bit of toy, bone or a hairball getting stuck in the throat. However, it can also be down to objects getting wrapped tightly around the neck. Symptoms of cat choking include extreme distress, pawing at the mouth and drooling.
Feline upper respiratory tract infections are a frequent cause of sneezing in cats; often with goopy, green or blood-tinged snot and watery eyes. The cat may sound congested and cough or gag. An infected cat may have thick discharge from its eyes and have difficulty holding its eyes open.
The average lifespan for a pet cat is probably around 13 to 14 years. However, although their lifespan varies, a well cared for cat may commonly live to 15 or beyond, some make it to 18 or 20 and a few extraordinary felines even pass 25 or 30 years of age.
Lungworm is a parasite that infects your cat`s lungs. There are several types of parasites that cause infection, but the most common is Aelurostrongylus abstrusus. Others include Eucoleus aerophilus, also called Capillaria aerophila, and Troglostrongylus brevoir.
In healthy cats, the most common symptom of a hairball is a `cough-gag-retch` sound – so-called, because it is tricky even for vets to work out if a cat is coughing (clearing the airways by pushing air out of the lungs), gagging (making throat movements to clear an object that´s become stuck) or retching (a noise …
Presentation. Most infections occur in children and most are asymptomatic. Patients may present with immunologically-mediated symptoms including cough, dyspnoea and wheeze which may present as asthma or bronchitis. Presenting signs may include hepatomegaly, splenomegaly and ocular lesions.
Eucoleus aerophilus in cats has a direct cycle, with infective eggs being consumed along with food or water. Signs of lungworm infection range from moderate coughing with slightly increased breathing rates to severe, persistent coughing, labored breathing, and respiratory distress or failure.
What Is The Life Expectancy Of Cats With Asthma? Unfortunately, there is no `cure` for asthma; it is a lifelong condition. However, cats living with asthma can lead normal and active lives, provided they get proper treatment and their asthma is well managed.
Symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections include clear or colored discharge from the eyes or nose, coughing, sneezing, swelling of the mucous membranes around the eyes (conjunctivitis, see Figure 2), ulcers in the mouth, lethargy, and anorexia. In rare cases, cats may have trouble breathing.
One way to tell the difference is to note your kitty`s body posture, says The Spruce Pets. During an asthma attack, your cat will be hunched lower to the ground than she is when she`s coughing up a hairball, with her head and neck fully extended in an attempt to take in more air.
Although this symptom is not nearly as common as the others listed here, some cats may have a fever when they are dealing with a serious blockage as a result of hairballs. If your cat is vomiting hairballs and has a fever at the same time, you need to take them to the vet or emergency vet right away.
If a blockage is detected, surgery may be required in order to remove the hairball. More often, however, therapy will center on protecting the intestines through several days of clinical care that includes the use of a laxative to move the hairball through the digestive tract.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. Why do cats meow?
ANSWER : A. Cat parents often wish they could better understand what their favorite feline friends want or desire. A cat’s meow can be interpreted in many different ways and can indicate an array of feelings and needs. Here are some of the most common reasons for your cat’s vocalizations:

1. Greeting- Many cats will meow as a greeting when you enter your home or walk into a room. Cats will also meow at another cat or animal in the household to extend a hello and acknowledge the other animal’s presence.

2. Attention – An exuberant meow followed by leg rubbing or another attention seeking behavior may indicate your cat is looking for some quality time spent together. Some petting or rubbing behind the ears may be in order.

3. Hunger – A meowing cat is often a hungry cat. This is one of the most common reasons for a cat to vocalize to their owners. A cat will meow to get your attention at feeding times or even when they want extra food.

4. Sickness – A sick or hurt cat may begin to meow excessively, warranting a visit to the veterinarian. There are numerous reasons for a cat in distress to meow—whether it is related to an upset stomach, an injured leg or a urinary blockage. These meows should be carefully investigated.

5. Entering or leaving – Most cats will vocalize when they want to be let in or out of a room. You may notice when you are in the bathroom or behind the closed door of a room that your cat begins to meow, scratches at the door, and often reaches its paw under the door. This is a clear indication that the cat wants to be where you are.

6. Angry – An agitated cat may meow to warn their owner or another household pet that they are upset and would like to be left alone. This angry meow may increase in sound volume as the cat becomes more stressed or agitated. Often a cat will exhibit this type of meow at the veterinary office when they are unhappy with their examination or restraint.

Each feline is different and so are their vocalizations. Learn to understand the variety of meows your cat uses on a daily basis. This will help you develop a better relationship with your cat and help them live a more trusting and happier life.

Q. My cat continues to scratch on furniture and carpets. He has plenty of scratching posts around the house. Please help!
ANSWER : A. Scratching is a natural behavior in cats that can be frequently frustrating for pet owners who want to keep their furniture from being shredded on a constant basis. The texture of furniture and carpet is very appealing to cats and this why they frequently choose to spend their time on this activity as opposed to playing with their own cat toys. Here are some suggestions to help curb this unwanted behavior:

1. Purchase a cat scratching post or cat tree that is covered in carpeted or textured material. Place it in an appealing spot that your cat would be inclined to spend time (eg. in the sun). You can also place catnip on the scratching post or cat tree to make your cat even more interested in the new object.

2. You can utilize double sided tape on the ends of the furniture because you cat will not like the sticky feeling and will learn to not scratch in that region. Use the tape that has a lighter adhesive in order to prevent any permanent damage. Other materials, such as aluminum foil or bubble wrap can also be placed on the furniture to discourage the scratching.

3. Keep nails trimmed short by either learning to do this on your own at home or using a veterinary technician, or groomer. Nails can usually be trimmed every 6-8 weeks.

4. Redirect the unwanted behavior. If your cat begins scratching, use a favorite or new toy to distract the cat from the scratching. Give your cat positive praise for not scratching.

5. As a last resort you can use a spray bottle full of water to spritz your cat when he or she is scratching inappropriately at your furniture. Generally, cats do not like water and this will discourage them from continuing the behavior.

Have patience with your cat because it can takes time to understand this is an unwanted behavior and that furniture is not another toy for them to use. You can always consult your veterinary or veterinary behaviorist to help with ideas or further solutions to this problem.

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Q. My cat is pooping outside of the litter bix. He is 2 1/2. He did this as a kitten. It stopped then started about 3 months ago. Litterbox is clean.
ANSWER : A. Inappropriate elimination or house soiling can be a frustrating problem but with a bit of detective work on your part, there is hope. First, before deciding that this is a behavioral issue, any medical problems (diarrhea, constipation, fecal incontinence, pain on defecation, etc.) need to be ruled out and/or treated. If your cat receives a clean bill of health from your vet but is still eliminating outside the litterbox, then we need to consider that something about the box itself might be aversive to your cat. Cats can be quite finicky about their litterbox and toileting habits. Below I have listed common recommendations and cat preferences for litterbox use. Review the list and make any changes that could account for your cat’s aversion to defecating in the litterbox:
* Soft, fine-grained clumping litter (vs, coarse-grained, non-clumping litter)
* Unscented
* 1 – 1 1/2 inch depth (especially older cats or cats with hip problems)
* Larger pans (especially for large cats) – want to get whole body inside – poop just outside the box might mean the box is too small
* Open, non-hooded
* At least one shallow side to get in and out easily
* Easy to get to – not hidden away, preferably in areas they spend time in or near – and not near appliances that make scary, unpredictable noises (washers, dryers, refrigerators)
* Scoop minimum 1X/day – preferably 2
* Clean the litterbox with soap and water and put in fresh scoopable litter at least once/month (instead of just continuously adding)
* Some cats prefer to urinate in one box and defecate in a separate box, so you may need 2 boxes even if you just have 1 cat. Multi-cat households should have 1 box/cat plus 1 extra.

Q. My cats nose is stopped up on antibiotics. She has a loss of appetite, acting normal though. Is 3 ounces of can food enough in 24h? 9 pound cat
ANSWER : A. Cats with stopped up noses tend to eat much less, as you’ve noted, because they can’t smell their food as well. And the smell of food is pretty important to a cat’s appetite. You can start by warming up the food in a microwave – not too hot, test it yourself by putting your finger right in the center, as the temperature of microwave food can vary – as this will intensify the smell and hopefully make your cat more interested.

Saline nose drops, like those that are used on little kids, are safe to use on a cat to clean the discharge that is dried around and in the nose. There’s a brand called Little Noses that’s available in the U.S. That I like. You can put it on a q-tip and try to remove the debris. Humidifying the air with a humidifier can help as well, or you can put the cat in the bathroom and run the shower enough to generate steam. Don’t use “real” nose drops like Neo-synephrine or anything else like that – cats quickly build up resistance to them.

A 3 oz can of food is an OK amount in 24 hours, but do try the techniques above to help your cat get more interested in food. You might also try some baby food – no garlic or onions in the ingredients – as cats usually really like the taste of it.

Q. How should I interpret my cat’s tail movements?
ANSWER : A. Our feline friends express themselves in many different ways, including through the use of their tails. Most pet owners pay close attention to a happy or excited dog, but they are sometimes less attentive to the posture and movement of their cat. Here are some of the most common cat tail behaviors, and the underlying emotion behind each action:

A flicking tail: Many anxious, nervous or stressed cats will hold their tail in a low position and flick it quickly back and forth. This is often referred to as angry tail, and a pet owner or veterinarian should be on guard for any possible aggressive or defensive activity. If a cat is moving their tail slowly, and not exhibiting the flicking motion, then this cat is at a much calmer state.

Vertical position: Most of the time when a cat is holding their tail in a straight, vertical position this is indicating curiosity and a playful mood. A cat chasing after a laser pointer or playing toys will often have their tails in a vertical position showing their enjoyment. This position also helps with balanced movements. In contrast, if the tail is in the vertical position and the cat’s back is arched with pinned back ears then this could demonstrate a feeling of being threatened and thus result in defensive or aggressive behaviors.

The Tucked Tail: Similar to a dog, a tucked tail often indicates submission or fear. Your cat is conveying upset feelings and should most likely be left alone. This tucked tail appearance can also make a cat look smaller and less threatening to an aggressive cat.

The Tail Twine: Cats will often hook their tail around another cat’s tail, owner’s legs or other objects to show a friendly and affectionate nature. They are also trying to indicate whether they want to receive affection from their owners, be fed or have playtime.

The next time you are home with your feline companion take note on how they express themselves through their tail movements, their ears, body posture and vocalization. You can start to better understand their needs and wants, in addition to what makes them uncomfortable or happy. Cats will surprise you with their array of emotions and varied expressions they can express.

Q. My cat is having coughing episodes like hes trying to get up a fur ball and his chest is heaving with every breath he takes between coughing episodes
ANSWER : A. I’m pretty concerning about your cat. While coughing can be the sign of mild respiratory infection, the fact that his chest is heaving between coughing episodes suggests more serious disease. Coughing is from the respiratory tract and bringing up a hairball is a GI thing (vomiting). Sorry not trying to state the obvious but lots of people think their cat is vomiting when it’s actually trying to cough.

It sounds like from your description that your cat is in respiratory distress. This could be due to a number of problems that can be quite serious – asthma or heart disease, as a couple of examples. I think it’s important that you get him assessed by a vet ASAP in order to determine what’s going on.

Q. Want a pet cat companion for my dog Lucky, who is 5. The problem is that I’m somewhat alergic to cats. So, not sure what to do!
ANSWER : A. Dogs can make friends with lots of species, including cats! If you are heart-set on a cat, allergenic breeds are available such as hairless or lesser haired Sphinx and Devon-Rexes. However these breeds can be rare and hard to find at times. A short-haired cat that is brushed regularly may also cause less allergies. Many people with allergies are also able to take medications such as a daily allergy medication or spray like Nasocrom which can make living with a cat much easier.

If your dog is very friendly with other dogs, then getting him a dog friend may be an option! That would keep you from needing to get a cat and having an allergic reaction. Looking at your local animal shelter may help you to find a dog for adoption that is similar in personality and play style to your current dog. Many shelters will also let you introduce your dog to the one you are interested in adopting to see if they will be a good fit! If you can’t get another pet at this time, taking your dog to a local dog park or dog meetup can help him to get more social interaction and get out extra energy without the need for caring for another pet.

Q. I have a cat with that virur (aids) could u tell me about her disposition and care
ANSWER : A. Thanks for your question.

Unfortunately the discussion about what you asked has no straightforward answers and can be quite complex.

First thing that I would double check, considering that your cat is very young, is whether she is really infected. It is important to remember that kittens born to FIV-infected queens will receive antibodies from the queen via the milk, and so will test positive early in life though they may not be infected. Kittens with a positive test result should always be retested when they are 5-6 months of age.

Many FIV infected cats are able to live happily with the virus for a long period of time, and indeed the virus will not necessarily ever cause clinical disease.

Different factors will influence the onset of disease in your cat including:

– The ”subtype” of FIV your cat is infected with,

– Her immune response

– The presence or absence of other infectious agents.

To maintain a good quality of life for your cat, I will give you these general guidelines, but you will then find certainly helpful to speak with your veterinarian for specific cases.

– Some antiviral medications used in human patients with HIV infection have also been shown to help some cats with FIV infection. Interferons may have anti-viral effects and modify immune responses. A recombinant feline interferon (feline interferon omega) is available in some countries. Down side is the cost usually.

– Keep your cat away from other cats and possible source of infections;

– Maintain good quality nutrition;

– Keep your cat indoor if possible regularly checked by your veterinarian;

– Keep your cat away from non-infected cats.