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Terri, Feline Healthcare Expert
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 32665
Experience:  Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
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Cat Coughing - with no hairball coming up.

Customer Question

My cat has been making the typical convulsing sounds he always has, like he's going to cough up a hairball. Although he's been making these sounds for a couple weeks now and no hairballs are coming up. His coughing sounds are a little raspy.

What should I do? Someone told me to give him butter, to help take this down. I've also tried petroleum jelly, which temporarily stops him from coughing. He does this about 5 times a night.
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Lori replied 11 years ago.

Coughing in cats can be quite concerning and can be quite serious in some instances. Your cat really needs to see the vet as coughing for this length of time could be from bronchitis, heartworm, heart conditions or feline bordatella. A hairball issue wouldn't continue for this long.

Please take him in today or tomorrow and let me know what the vet says!

Expert:  Terri replied 11 years ago.

Dear friend,

your cats actions indicate he has ingested a non food item that is causing a blockage in his intestine,. He is desperately trying to bring this item up but he cannot. It can be tin foil paper, string, twist tie, etc.

THIS IS VERY SERIOUS!!!! If the item causes an infection - blood poisoning and septicemia can result. It can also twist the intesine and cause an intusseption. It can also cause a complete blockage eventually.

PLEASE get your cat xrayed before he developes a life threatening issue.

In the meantime - give him a half teaspoon of mineral oil and as much canned cat food with cooked white rice as you can get him to eat.Make sure he is not coughing when you give the oil because he can aspirate it into his lungs if he is.

Please let me know what was found on the xray and what is being done.

f you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask.

Very sincerely,


Expert:  Terri replied 11 years ago.

Dear friend,

Did you read the answer?

Do you have any more questions?
Are you having your boy looked at?

Please let me know as I am very concerned about him.



Terri, Feline Healthcare Expert
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 32665
Experience: Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
Terri and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Terri Riba's Post: Yes, I'm taking Jake to the vet tomorrow morning. I'll let you know what happens. Somone else responded that he may have asthma. Do you think this is a possibility as well?

I'm so worried about my baby - but I'm sure he'll enjoy eating wet food this evening as you suggested. I usually don't give that to him, as he wakes me up in the middle of the night for it when he knows it's in the house.

Thanks again, and I'll keep you posted.
Expert:  Terri replied 11 years ago.

Dear friend,

I really do not think it is asthma because that does not come on suddenly.Ayt Jakes age it is very unlikely. I am concerned because you told me he chews non food items like foil. That really worries me because such a thing can acually tear a hole iin his intestine or stomach.

Give him as much canned as he will eat.But slowly so he does not vomit.

PLEASE get in touch with me as sooon as you return from your vet. I will be waiting to hear that jake is OK.Here is my email so you can get me in a minute [email protected]

Best of luck tomorrow.

very sincerely,


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