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Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21387
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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I recently moved and my cat got scared and ran away. She was

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I recently moved and my cat got scared and ran away. She was missing for 3 months. I put up signs, went to shelter regularly, let neighbor's know, etc. Low and behold, my neighbors just "noticed" her in their garage. She is 15 years old. She was very thin, crusty nose, and coughing. I took her to the vet and she examined her and put her on liquid antibiotics. Crusty nose is gone but she has a really raspy cough. She is eating a lot. The cough seems to be getting more frequent and it sounds awful. I think she survived on scraps of dry dog food while in the neighbor's garage. Poor ol' kitty.
Any idea's on what is causing this terrible cough?
Thanks for your help!

Hello, Terry and welcome!

My name is XXXXX XXXXX it will be my pleasure to assist you and Sister Kitty today.

Do you know if she was in the neighbor's garage the whole time she was missing or was she out, roaming about?

Thanks for your additional detail.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I do not know if she was roaming or not. I'm going to guess no. She was very scared when she ran away. A friend of mine brought her dog over and scared Sister Kitty. There are a lot of dog's in the neighborhood and I think she was hiding in the neighbor's garage as they said that they thought they saw her in there then run off when she initially went missing. They have 2 loud dogs so I really think she was just terrified out of her mind and hid in there. She has never been a wanderer before.



Hi again, Terry and thanks for your helpful reply.

The cough could be due to inhaling stale air and fumes from any chemicals/toxins inside the garage if she was in there for a while, and of course, chewing on dog food scraps could have scratched her throat or esophagus, causing the cough. If she was wandering outside for a while, she was exposed to the elements and could have developed bronchitis, pneumonia or even asthma. Discuss with your vet if it would be a good idea for her to have a chest x-ray at this time to determine the cause of the cough; as it is of concern. Coughing in an older cat may also indicate heartworm disease or another cardiac or respiratory issue.

I'm very glad to hear that her nose has cleared up and her appetite is good. She needs to put back on the weight she lost!

She's a trouper!! At her age, she went through a lot and it sounds like the antibiotics are helping and all the food, water, and TLC is, too.

I do feel a a chest x-ray is a good next step to see what's happening to cause the cough. She might have developed internal parasites as well, which could be related.

I hope Sister Kitty will be fine, once the cause of the cough is diagnosed and treated. For the moment, you can run a humidfier in the rooms she spends the most time in and the moisturized air will help with any congestion.

If you're able, please keep me updated about Sister Kitty as I am concerned for her.

If you need any additional information or clarification, simply 'Reply' back before rating and I will be happy to help with any follow up questions.

If my response has satisfied all your concerns, a positive rating and positive feedback on the survey would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Laughing

If you would like to request me to answer any new, future questions, please begin your post with "For Cher" and I will respond as soon as possible.

Thank you for entrusting your important question to Just Answer!

Warmest regards,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Is there any type of antibiotic you would recommend before I take her back to the vet? They are really expensive and I am not in the financial position to have lots of tests run.

Thanks for understanding!


Hi again, Terry and you're most welcome!

Thanks for your reply.

I understand your financial bind and will give you some places to try for help, below. I'm going to assume she was put on Clavamox as the liquid antibiotic. This is a broad spectrum antibiotic which is frequently prescribed for upper respiratory infections and should help her cough too, if it is caused by a bacterial infection. However, if the cough has a viral basis, she may need a different type of anti-viral medication. If she's not on Clavamox, please tell me the antibiotic you were prescribed for her.

If you need help paying for her vet fees try Care Credit which is accepted by most vet offices. It will enable you to pay out the fees in smaller monthly installments, if you qualify. Just go to the website to find out more and to apply.

You can also try to get financial assistance from one of the organizations listed here:

You can also contact your local cat rescue organizations, ASPCA, and Humane Society to ask if they use any low-cost vets and/or know of one who will see her free of charge, based on your extenuating circumstances.

I hope my suggestions are helpful and your sweet kitty is feeling much better very soon!

Best regards,

Cher and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Cher,

You are right on. That is the medication she was prescribed. It did take care of the nose, just not the cough. I will refer to your recommendations for lower cost veterinarians. I want to take care of her, work is just soooo slow right now I'm worried about paying for basics like utilities, etc. on.

Sister Kitty has been with me a long time and through a heck of a lot...divorce, kids and moving. She has been a trooper and a great Kitty. I want to do as much as I can for her in her old age.


Thanks for your help!

Best Regards,


Hi again, Terry and you're more than welcome!

It's my pleasure to be of help to you and Sister Kitty and I understand how much she means to you and how she's always been there for you through good times and rough times. My cat was the same way!

You are a wonderful cat-parent and I know you're going to do whatever it takes to get her well!

Contact some of the places I recommended and hopefully, you will get some help in paying for additional tests, vet visits and medication.

My best thoughts and prayers are with you and Sister Kitty!

Warmest regards,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank You Cher.

I really appreciate your advice, recommendations and compassion.

Your service is outstanding!

I will research the links you provided and hopefully get the old gal back

to feeling good again.

Warm wishes to you as well-


You're most welcome, Terry.

I'm so glad I could be of help to you and your sweet, furry girl!

Thank you for your kind words and your positive rating; they are truly appreciated.

Just click "Reply" to let me know how she's coming along. Thanks!


PS: this needs to be sent as a 'request for information', but no additional information is needed at this time; it is simply a 'thank you'! : )