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My cat has been "hacking" several times a day, sometimes wakes him up from sleeping.... Is this normal?
Already Tried: Not much other than make a Vet appt.... he seems fine but after a little post scratching and out of the blue "hacking" he goes to his normal self.
Thank you for your question concerning Felix. The hacking definitely isn't normal, so it is good you have made a veterinary appointment for him. How long has this been going on for? Has his attitude or appetite changed any? Any other changes you can think of?JACUSTOMER-k35bywf7- :Its been going on for approx a month now.... He eats normally, plays, and sleeps.... last night he slept with me and in the middle of the night he started his hacking...just can't think of anything outside the norm....Dr. John :Does he struggle to breath at all while this is going on? Is the hack productive?JACUSTOMER-k35bywf7- :Not sure if it is a struggle, he crouches down as IF he is going to hack up a hairball but no ball.... he does seem to swallow something, perhaps saliva or I can only say.... like flegm... Right now he just hacked and now he is eating after a quick hello rub with the other cat... ( both have been together for over 8 years)Dr. John :Okay - is he indoor/outdoor or inside only?JACUSTOMER-k35bywf7- :Mostly indoors however he does go outside from time to time for about an equivalent to an hour..... unless I am outside, and he'll be there as long as I am.... yesterday we were out most of the day. Today its raining so he only went out once for about a half hour.Dr. John :What part of the US do you live in?JACUSTOMER-k35bywf7- :Washington State... on the Peninsula about 60 miles from SeattleDr. John :Okay, I'm not too familiar with the northwest - are heartworms discussed out there?JACUSTOMER-k35bywf7- :They are....Dr. John :Okay, is he on any preventative?JACUSTOMER-k35bywf7- :Nothing right now.... other than his regular vaccines....Dr. John :Okay, so heartworms aren't super common in cats, but that is 1 possibility of what could be going on hereJACUSTOMER-k35bywf7- :Hmmm, okay.... would it be okay to dose him with this product... Revelution?Dr. John :You can, but that wouldn't help if he already got the heartworms (although it is a great preventative for cats)Other possibilities would include heart disease, asthma, bronchitis, and cancerThere are still others of course, but these things would be the most commonAny new air fresheners or anything in the house? Does anyone smoke in the house?JACUSTOMER-k35bywf7- :Is there a way I can know for sure if its heartworm or do tests need to be done via Vet.Dr. John :Unfortunately no - there aren't even any highly accurate blood tests for cats like we have for dogsJACUSTOMER-k35bywf7- :OH... you hit a point.... there are new air fresheners in the house.... those timed spray kinddd...Dr. John :Most commonly we try a blood test first, and if that is negative and chest x-rays are still suggestive, we will have an ultrasound done to look for worms in the pulmonary arteryYes things like that can possibly induce an allergic type asthmaJACUSTOMER-k35bywf7- :I hope its the case... I will remove them for now and see if the hacking stops.... Thanks DocDr. John :This is an asthma attack video
It is certainly not definitively it, if what he is doing looks like this, but it would be more likelyJACUSTOMER-k35bywf7- :Oh wow... I just watched.... while this cat did not crouch down as much, Felix exhibits very similar behavior .... Can Asthma start up at this stage of his life?Dr. John :Yes, if there is something new in the home or environment that his lungs could be reacting tooIt isn't real common at this age to develop, but if you have new fresheners in the home, I would try eliminating those to see if there is any improvementBut as far as diagnostics are concerned, chest x-rays are certainly your next step to see what is going on (and if you pursue these, I highly recommend a radiologist review of the films as well as these different disease processes can be very hard to differentiate between by a non-specialist)JACUSTOMER-k35bywf7- :That's what I will do.... I just removed the one from the living room....Dr. John :Okay great