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helperDVM, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 52
Experience:  I am a small animal and exotics veterinarian.
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I have a very old cat that has a bad cough. I think it could

Customer Question

I have a very old cat that has a bad cough. I think it could be respiratory. He is an outside
cat. I have had him 17 years & he does not like coming inside. His appetite is good & he seems in good condition, except the cough. Is there medication I could give him?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  helperDVM replied 2 years ago.
Hi! I'm sorry your old kitty is coughing. There could be a few things going on but only one or two you can help with at home. Cats can develop allergies which can certainly cause them to start coughing you can give 2mg/kg of benadryl (depending on the cat that is usually around 1/2 of an adult benadryl) twice a day to help with allergic bronchitis. The other medication is Guaifenesin. This is found in human cough medications like robitussin which can be found in any store. It is very important that you get a medication that ONLY has Guaifenesin and not any other medications added to it. An average kitty is about 10-15 pounds so you could give 13 milligrams by mouth 2-3 times a day to help with the cough if it is just congestion.Now the things that you will not be able to help with: I'd be very concerned that your older cat has suddenly started coughing as this can be the first signs of serious conditions such as heart failure or pneumonia. I don't see very much pneumonia in cats but we do see heart failure very commonly. The heart failure causes fluid to back up into the lungs which is what causes those cats to cough. I'd only medicate for a few days at home to see if you make a difference (especially if your kitty is still feeling good!) but if the the cough does not improve or go away within a week I'd suggest getting X-rays of the chest done so that you know what you are dealing with. If you need help with the dosing I would need the weight of your cat and the concentration (usually in a % or mg/mL) on the bottle to do that math for you! Let me know how it's going.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. It could be allergies as I don't recall the cough during the winter months. When he coughs, liquid comes out his
nose at times. I will certainly try the medication. He has lost weight & I think he is about 10 lbs? He's just an ole guy & I fear
it could be heart problems. We'll see how the medication does & then go from there.
Expert:  helperDVM replied 2 years ago.
Most guaifenasen is 100mg/ml so you can give 0.3cc by mouth every 6-8 hours as needed. Do try the tablets of Benadryl if you give children's Benadryl you have to give a lot!! With any liquid human medications make sure it does not contain Xylitol as it is poisonous to pet! If the bottle says "sugar free" it's like not ok! Best of luck to you and your kitty! Let me know how things go. Please accept or rate the response to let me know that you are satisfied :)
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
You have been very helpful. Thanks.
Expert:  helperDVM replied 2 years ago.
No problem!
Expert:  helperDVM replied 2 years ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?