September 2010 Issue

Why Is Your Cat Coughing?

If the cough lasts more than a couple of days, there is likely to be a potentially serious underlying cause.

A wide variety of irritants, from minor and transient to severe and indicative of a major health problem, can affect any portion of the feline respiratory system, whose purpose is to warm and humidify inhaled air, deliver oxygen to the lungs and expel carbon dioxide and other waste gases. According to Richard Goldstein, DVM, an associate professor of small-animal medicine at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, frequent coughing is rare in cats. And when they do cough, they normally do so only briefly.

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