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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20610
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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Every 10-20minutes, my cat seems to do a cough then continue

Customer Question

Every 10-20minutes, my cat seems to do a cough then continue to purr really loud. Shes never had this cough. Should i be worried? Shes getting old and the vet said she seems to be okay but it just doesn't seem right.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
Is it a hard or soft cough?
Does she seem to be clearing her throat?
Are her gums pink or pale/white?
Can you take a breathing rate for me (just count her breaths for 10 seconds + multiply that by 6)?
Any access to plants that she could have chewed or eaten?
Any sneezing or nasal/eye discharge?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Its a soft cough.she could be clearing her throat but shes never done it before. Mind you shes 14 and a half years old.her gums are pink (not sure if thats good or bad)It was 8 so that multiplied by 6 is 48. Is that normal? Good or bad?Nah she doesnt go near the garden unless its her business. shes partially blind (just recent as shes getting older)No eye discharge and only sneezes every once in a while.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you,
Now in regards ***** ***** parameters you checked for me, I assure you that pink gums are good. We would be quite worried if they had been pale/whit, since that is a sign of severe anemia (low red blood cell levels), poor oxygen uptake, or possible heart issues. That said, I am concerned to see that she is breathing as quickly as she is. This is because a resting breathing rate for out cats tends to be ~20-30 bpm. So, as you can see 48 is quite elevated and we'd have to be concerned that she may be in the early stages of one of those aforementioned issues and is having to breath quicker to keep her gums pink and her oxygen levels up.
With this finding and the signs you have reported, it will be diseases of the heart or lungs that would top our list of concerns. These can include heart disease related to age but also pneumonia, lungworm/heartworm, bronchitis, lung tumors, and asthma. Issues affecting either of these organs can potentially cause a soft throat clearing type cough and both could cause the breathing changes we have seen. Just to note, upper respiratory infections could also potentially play a role, but she doesn't sound to have any other signs suggesting these as a cause.
Therefore, with all this in mind, I do feel that if she has not seen her vet for these signs specifically, that it would be advisable to do so. It is not an emergency at this stage but something we'd want to have seen sooner. Her vet can listen to her heart/lungs +/- xray to see what is triggering her signs. Depending on which issue is found, they can advise you on medical management to help her breathe better and reduce her cough.
Please take care,
Dr. B.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Sheena. How is everything going?
Dr. B.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry for the late reply. Havent had time to check my emails. i will have her booked in to see the vet asap. But also at the same time, i am terrified of what they will tell me as she has been apart of my life since i was 7. I'm now 22. She still acts like a kitten thats high on life and goes crazy chasing her tail and so forth. But then again if sheena were a human being, i would react straight away. That is what i will do. I'm also unsure if i checked her resting rate properly. If the vet diagnoses her with the list above, is it treatable?Also, what foods should i be giving her daily? My parents always buy whiskers sachets and mixes it in woth biscuits. She has cats milk every now and again and also a bowl of water. Is it possible for animals to get colds like us humans?Neta
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello again,
That is always a worry, but it is better to know what we are facing sooner then later. That way if it is treatable (like the infectious causes I noted), you have the best chance of clearing it. And if it was something more serious (ie heart disease, cancer, asthma), then you would be able to start treatment to keep her comfortable and slow its progression. So, it is important not to leave this and do what we'd want done for us if we were in Sheena's situation.
Otherwise, in regards ***** ***** the golden rule with cats is feeding what they will happily eat. So, if she likes what your family feeds, I would not argue with that. If she needs tempting, you could try kitten food (more nutrition per bite) or offer boiled chicken, white fish, or a bit of scrambled egg to encourage her. A bit of milk is fine, as long as she doesn't get diarrhea afterwards.
Finally, colds are possible and they can cause coughing. But if left they can become pneumonia and could affect her breathing as we are seeing.
All the best, *****
If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. -**Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need, as this is how I am credited for helping you. ** Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Well good thing is, she loves her food. Occasionally i will give her a scrambled egg, i give her the cats red meat every 2nd day. Today she seemed to have gotten better. The soft coughs have almost completely stopped. its only every couple of hours she will cough. But its always better to be safe than sorry. Sheena is like my own daughter. Shes booked in for sunday morning as that is my only day off and there aren't many vets nearby where I live. I will keep you updated on how sheena is.Neta
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hi again Neta,
I am glad to hear that she is coughing less and eating well. Still, I agree it is always best to have a check, especially cats can be so quiet about when they are unwell until things are out of hand. So, hopefully there is will be nothing sinister found but always best to be safe.
All the best to Sheena,
Dr. B.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hoping for the best for my sheena. Is it normal for cats to purr very loudly? Like really loud? Its funny cause sheena wont sleep anywhere in the house unless its in my room or wherever i am. She waits outside my bedroom door sleeping until i get home then she jumps up to my bed and goes right back to sleep. Is that normal for a cat haha
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hi again,
There is no set purring volume or diseases associated with that. So, that isn't something we'd be worried about. And it isn't surprising that she likes the same place to nap, since she likely thinks that is actually her room that she shares with you.
All the best,
Dr. B.
If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. ***Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today.*** Thank you! : )