Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. It sounds like perhaps your kitten has an upper respiratory infection, however the signs you’re describing could be several different things. Kittens are especially prone to respiratory infections when they’re very young, and I’m concerned that this one might be serious. Typically they just involve the nasal area and throat (and possibly the eyes) but the wheezing makes me concerned that she could be developing bronchitis or even pneumonia. I recommend getting her in to see a vet today.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

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

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.
Causes of Swallowing Difficulties in Cats

Jaw or tongue paralysis. Muscle swelling. Mouth trauma. Dental disease or infection.

Your cat gagging can often be attributed to having hairballs, especially if your cat is an avid groomer. Gagging could also signify a situation requiring a trip to the emergency vet. Your cat may be gagging because they have a blockage in their throat or rear.
If your cat inhales something or swallows something that gets lodged in her nasal passages or throat, she will wheeze as she tries to breathe. This situation can become fatal very quickly, so you should take your cat to the emergency vet without waiting if you suspect this is the cause of her wheezing.
Oral dysphagia can be caused by dental disease, tongue paralysis, paralysis of the jaw, swelling or wasting away of the chewing muscles, or by an inability to open the mouth. 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.
Extreme dry mouth, known as xerostomia, may result in frequent lip licking. Underlying health conditions may be the cause, such as fever, dehydration, kidney or liver problems, endocrine disorders, side effects from certain medications, and more. Cats may also experience dry mouth when very nervous or fearful.
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.
If your cat is gagging and doesn`t seem to be spitting up any hairballs, you should check her airways for ingested foreign objects. If you do see something, don`t try to remove it on your own, but instead contact the emergency vet. You may do more harm than good by trying to remove an ingested foreign object.

Your cat or kitten will often make wheezing, retching, or gagging noises as well until the hairball is finally expelled. If you notice your cat keeps wheezing and no hairball is being produced, it could be a sign of a more serious issue, including a respiratory issue like asthma.

While in some cases a wheezing cat isn`t cause for concern, it`s often indicative of an underlying health issue. “When a cat is wheezing, it can be a sign of stress, discomfort, or due to more severe concerns, such as respiratory or cardiovascular issues,” explains Dr.
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.
An asthmatic cat will squat with its shoulders hunched up and neck extended, while coughing, gagging up foamy, mucus-like material, and then swallowing hard. This often appears as if the cat is trying to “cough up a hairball”, but nothing comes up.
Panting or open-mouth breathing may be a sign that your cat has asthma or is experiencing some sort of respiratory distress. If you notice these symptoms consistently or a respiratory rate of over 50 breaths/minute, call your vet or make a trip to the emergency clinic.
Panting is usually a sign that something isn`t right with your cat. Cats only breathe hard with their mouths open when they are very stressed, extremely hot, or a disease process is occurring. Some degree of `normal` panting can be seen in cats, but context is important if you suddenly notice panting.
Feline asthma — Just like in people, some cats` lower airways can become inflamed when triggered by allergens, resulting in wheezing and difficulty breathing. Laryngitis — Infectious processes, trauma, and even tumors can cause inflammation in the back of the throat, resulting in breathing changes.
Cats can experience trouble breathing (known as dyspnea) for a variety of reasons, from a foreign object getting stuck in the windpipe to respiratory infections or allergies. Depending on what is causing the issue and how severe it is, breathing problems can be a life-threatening situation.
If your cat is wheezing, it could mean that there is a medical issue that should be investigated. Wheezing can be described as a whistling sound when your cat is breathing, and in some cases it may seem like your pet is having an asthma attack.
In general, non-surgical treatment for urinary blockage in a cat that does not re-obstruct when the catheter is removed will cost between $750 and $1,500. However, in the case of a cat that obstructs multiple times or requires surgery as part of its therapy, the cost can exceed more than $3,000.
The most common sign of what veterinarians call a “blocked cat” is going to the litter box to urinate, getting into position and having nothing come out. Your cat may also seem uncomfortable or yowl when trying to urinate.
If you are worried about your gagging cat, say (1) if it happens frequently; (2) if you think that they ingested something toxic; (3) if there`s a foreign object in their throat; (4) and generally if your cat seems in distress, it is best to take the side of caution by consulting and bringing your cat to the vet.
Look inside her mouth while you`re checking for an object to avoid pushing anything farther down her throat, says Cat-World Australia, and gently pull her tongue forward to check the back of her throat. If you don`t see anything in her mouth or cannot conduct a safe sweep, move on to the Heimlich maneuver.
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.
Cats who are hacking without producing any material may mistakenly be thought to have hairballs, but could actually have a cough and underlying respiratory disease, like feline asthma. Families should seek veterinary care if their cat is experiencing unproductive hacking.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. I recently added a new 2 month old female kitten to my house and my male 5 month the old kitten has turned aggressive and chases the kitten down..
ANSWER : A. It is possible it could be play behavior but without seeing it in person, hard to say. Is the male kitten neutered? You may want to consider doing so. Also, try re-introducing the kittens slowly by creating a safe space for the new kitten behind a closed door in a room. Keep her there for at least a week so she is protected but your male is still able to smell her. After a week or 2, you can then graduate to using a baby gate so they can then not only smell each other but safely see each other as well. If that is going okay, after another few days you can bring the gate down. Also, be sure to have feeding bowls in separate locations and at least 2 litter boxes.

Read Full Q/A … : Ragdoll Cats

Q. My kitten is eight weeks old and keeps hard swallowing weezing and randomly gagging hard.
ANSWER : A. It sounds like perhaps your kitten has an upper respiratory infection, however the signs you’re describing could be several different things. Kittens are especially prone to respiratory infections when they’re very young, and I’m concerned that this one might be serious. Typically they just involve the nasal area and throat (and possibly the eyes) but the wheezing makes me concerned that she could be developing bronchitis or even pneumonia. I recommend getting her in to see a vet today.

Q. I have a 1yr old male 38 lb Labradoodle and my gf just brought a month old kitten home. Can they interact? If not, for how long?
ANSWER : A. Interactions whenever a new pet is brought into the house should start off slow, then can be increased in time. The best steps when introducing a new cat is to allow your cat or kitten to have a room in the house all to him or herself. Allow your dog to sniff under the door to get used to the kitten’s scent, and even show your dog articles such as bedding the cat has slept on. After a few days, an introduction with your dog on leash, or a barrier such as a gate where both pets can look at each other but not see each other is best. This will allow each to get used to seeing the other without the ability to jump, bite or scratch the other. Once the two are used to this, then a face to face interaction can begin. If at any time a fight or scuffle breaks out, separate the two pets and try again at a later time. The amount of time this introduction takes can vary depending on how the two react to each other.

Until your kitten is older, or you are sure both are fine together, do not leave the two pets together unattended. Even a well-meaning and playful dog can accidentally break a leg of a kitten or worse without meaning to! A safe room for your kitten to be in while you are away, or a barrier to allow your kitten to escape to safety if needed will help until both are big enough to play alone safely.

Read Full Q/A … : Dogs and Jealousy

Q. i believe my cat is pregnant but showing signs of being in heat
ANSWER : A. Cats are induced ovulators, meaning they will continue to go into heat until they are bred, or spayed (reproductive organs removed). If your cat is showing signs of being in heat (excessive yowling, presenting her rear to you for inspection, attempting to get out or other cats hanging near your house) and you don’t want kittens, it is best to have her spayed. Most cats are also semi-seasonal in their heat cycle meaning they will more likely be in heat through Spring-Summer than in Fall-Winter.

Pregnancy in cats lasts about 60 days. Signs of pregnancy may include weight gain, increased appetite, nipples that become pronounced or “leak” and seeking nesting areas to deliver kittens. If you saw that your cat was in heat, or had her mated, you can use the date she was bred to determine when she may be due for kittens. Your local vet can help determine if she is indeed pregnant and can also take an X-ray to determine the number of kittens present if your cat is nearing her due date. Be sure to feed mom a kitten formula in the last few weeks of her pregnancy and during nursing as it will help provide extra beneficial nutrients for both mom and babies.

If you do not want kittens, some very early term pregnancies can be aborted with spaying, otherwise spaying mom is usually done when kittens are weaned from their mom.

Q. We brought 2 new kittens home. One of them is sneezing. We have a Sr cat and an adult who is now coughing. What to do?
ANSWER : A. Commonly respiratory infections (viral -Herpesvirus and Calicivirus- and possibly bacterial) can cause sneezing episodes in kitten especially if not vaccinated yet. If your kitten is affected by respiratory infection could develop or have more signs such as discharge from eyes, more discharge from nose, coughing, being lethargic, depressed and inappetent.

The coughing episodes of the adult cat could be completely unrelated to the cause of sneezing of your new kitten, especially if your adult cat is already vaccinated.

The cause of cough in adult cats are not necessarily related to respiratory problems, heart problems could cause that as well.

Keep the nose and the eyes of your kitten free from discharge, keep your kitten warm and take both of them to your veterinarian as soon as possible to identify the cause and the relationship of the two problems and treat appropriately.

Q. I have two 3 week old kittens that I am bottle feeding. The kittens both have diareaa and there buts are red. Is there anything I can do ?
ANSWER : A. Diarrhea in kittens can be caused by many things, including intestinal parasites (very common in kittens), wrong formula, recent changes in diet (from queen’s milk to formula or from one formula to another), and other gastrointestinal upsets. Their bottoms are likely red and irritated from the diarrhea soiling the fur and skin, trapping moisture against the skin and serving as a breeding ground for bacteria. First, stop feeding the formula. Second, collect a fecal sample to be analyzed by your veterinarian for intestinal parasites. Third, call your vet and make an appointment as soon as possible, ideally the same day. Diarrhea in kittens is serious business and can lead to death from dehydration and loss of nutrients. Finally, in place of formula give an electrolyte replacement solution (like Pedialyte for infants/children) – plain, no flavors, no colors – for at least the next 1-2 feedings. This is not the same as a sports drink. After the 1st or 2nd feeding of straight electrolyte replacement solution, start to add formula back into diet at 1/4 strength ( 1 part formula to 3 parts water), The following feeding mix 2 parts formula to 2 parts water. Then, 3 parts formula to 1 part water. Finally, offer full-strength formula. If the diarrhea continues or worsens with increasing amounts of formula, go back to just electrolyte solution and repeat the process.

Q. What is the recommended feeding schedule for kittens?
ANSWER : A. It depends on their age. Up to 4 weeks they should be on their mothers milk (or a suitable cat milk substitute if you are hand rearing, Royal Canin do a very good one).

Then from 4-6 weeks they should start to be weaned onto kitten food (again I like Royal Canin kitten food) the biscuits may need to be watered down a little to start with. By 8 weeks they should be totally off mothers milk & onto kitten food. Depending on their age the amounts and frequency they should be eating are on the packets of the milk and food.

Q. My new kitten who is 8 weeks old has a lot of gas. I have bee feeding her kitten chow & fancy feast wet food,
ANSWER : A. Try to give her boiled chicken or buy good quality food for kittens. You should start a new diet gradually by mixing it with old food ( 1/4 new : 3/4 old for couple of days, 1/2:1/2….) You can add to food some probiotic for cats. You can also give her some symeticon for babies to relief the symptoms. See your vet if it won’t help or you will notice vomiting or diarrhoea.

Read Full Q/A … : Kitten Food