Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. If she is coughing there must be something wrong with her, possibly a viral infection, but it could be a foreign body such as a grass blade. I would recommend that you have her checked over.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

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

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.
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.
They are typically trying to cough up a hairball when they make this noise. When a cat is gagging, they will often crane their neck and start swallowing. They will also widen their mouth, and gagging is often correlated with vomiting. As a general rule, hairballs are the most common cause of cat gagging.
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.
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.
If your cat is coughing but no hairball is produced, it is important to pay attention to other symptoms your cat is showing. Infrequent, but regular coughing (a few times a week or consistently every few weeks) can be a sign of asthma.
A dry cough sounds like a “honk” or “wheeze” and your cat does not swallow afterward. A wet cough sounds like water or something caught in the back of your cat`s throat—perhaps like crackles.
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.

Cats with oral dysphagia often eat in an altered way, such as tilting the head to one side or throwing the head backward while eating. Food packed in the cheek folds of the mouth without saliva are also typical signs of oral dysphagia.
Cats may cough if they have hairballs, asthma, or heartworm disease. If your cat is coughing, you should have it checked out by your veterinarian. Choking, on the other hand, is a dire situation for which you should seek immediate veterinary care. “Cats that are truly choking have difficulty inhaling,” Simpson says.
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.
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. Listen for any wheezing, coughing or sneezing.
Cat asthma affects males and females equally and can occur in kitties of all ages – although most are diagnosed between 2 and 8 years of age.
Add a hairball gel or paste to your cat`s food, or put a dollop on their paws. They will lick enough to lubricate their digestion system, allowing the hairball to pass. Petroleum jelly is another choice and also works as a mild laxative.
Parasites. Heartworms, tapeworms or lungworms are common in cats and have been known to cause coughing. A parasitic infection that causes coughing is due to the parasite traveling through the blood stream and colonizing in and around the lungs.
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.
Living and Management. An infection with lungworms does not typically last long. The cat often eliminates the worms by coughing them up or excreting them through the feces. Then, as long as the prescribed medication is given and the cat does not develop a secondary lung disease such as pneumonia, the prognosis is good.
Coughing is usually a hoarse/hacking sound with the head and neck extended and often “snaking” side to side. The cat may swallow once or a couple of times. Often nothing is produced. Occasionally the cat may end the cough with a gagging sound and some foamy white liquid.
The most common indication of kennel cough in cats and dogs is an unpleasant-sounding cough – dry hacking or honking noises sometimes followed by retching. Other symptoms may include a runny nose, sneezing, listlessness, and, in more severe cases, lost appetite, depression, and a low fever.
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.
Cat allergy symptoms may include: Sneezing or a runny or stuffy nose. Facial pain (from nasal congestion) Coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and wheezing.
The most common clinical signs of heartworm infection include: intermittent vomiting (sometimes of blood as well as of food); diarrhea; rapid and difficult breathing, coughing and gagging, all of which may be confused with feline asthma or some other bronchial disease; loss of appetite; lethargy and weight loss.

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.

Read Full Q/A … : I found Pickle on

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. 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.

Q. I want to know from a veterinarian that has owned indoor cats if they agree with declawing? Also, is the whole digit still removed?
ANSWER : A. I am not a veterinarian, but a certified dog trainer. I have studied cat behavior as well, so I have some knowledge in that area. Cats need their claws in my opinion. When a cat is declawed, it can sometimes cause serious anxiety and frustration in the declawed cat. This is because the cat can not de-stress by digging at a scratching post, and a cat feels defenceless without its nails. It is a sad sight to see when a cat who is declawed is dealing with anxiety. I’ve met declawed cats who seem very unstable. It’s difficult to tell whether or not the cats would be so unstable had they not been declawed, but I’ve never seen a cat who has all of its nails act the way a declawed cat acts.

That’s just my two cents.

Read Full Q/A … : snopes.com: Declawing cats

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. Our cat of six years has on two separate occasions has defecated on the living room rug and recently pee’d on the skirt of the Christmas tree.
ANSWER : A. Inappropriate elimination in cats is often a behavioral problem rather than a medical problem, so the first step is to have him seen by your vet to eliminate any kind of illness or condition as a cause for his eliminating outside the box.

If medical issues are ruled out, take a look at other reasons. Has there been a lot of unusual activity? Has you cat been left at home or boarded? Is the litterbox in a busy area? Has anything happened recently in this area to make him reluctant to use it again? Is there another cat, pet or person that is preventing him from getting to the box? Have you changed it from a hooded to an open box, or vice versa? Is it big enough? Have you changed the type or brand of litter? Is there something attractive about the spot he uses? Cats dislike disturbances to their routine and may act out to express their dissatisfaction.

The general rule is one litter box per cat in the household, plus one. That way each cat can have a place of their own to go in case the box is occupied or another cat has claimed it as territory. They should be scooped daily, if not more often and changed completely weekly, washed with soap and water only. You can offer one kind of litter in one box and another kind in another to see if there is a preference. I don’t recommend the crystals, it makes a hissing sound when wet that startles some cats and make them reluctant to use it again. The litter boxes should be located in a quiet, low-traffic area so that the cat can use them in peace. Make sure any other pets or people aren’t giving them a hard time around or in the litter box. It may take some investigation and experimentation to find your cat’s preference and accommodate him so that everyone is satisfied with the situation. And, when cleaning up pet accidents, don’t use any cleaner containing ammonia. This leaves behind a scent similar to urine.

Q. Would a male cat be affectionate to another male cat or would a female be more affectionate
ANSWER : A. The sex of the cats is less important than the personality of each cat. If the cat you have at home is already a strong-willed cat, another cat like that will lead to a lot of confrontations as they both try to be in charge and an older cat shouldn’t be matched with a rambunctious younger cat. If you keep in mind what your cat’s basic nature is, you’ll find a good match. I’ve always had multiple cats and rarely have a problem integrating a newcomer.