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Ask Cher Your Own Question
Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21334
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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My name is ***** ***** and I came across this website while

Customer Question

Customer: Hello, my name is ***** ***** and I came across this website while looking for information about some symptoms my cat has been experiencing the last two days.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: Well about 2-3 days ago he started sneezing a lot, but we had opened the windows so I wasn't too concerned at that point because he does that sometimes following exposure to the outdoors. Then yesterday he emitted a strange sound and his tongue was sticking out for about 5 seconds or so. At first I thought he was growling because it happened right after I gave him a treat, but then I watched him and realized there was something wrong. After looking at some youtube videos I think he may have been coughing. It didn't happen again last night, but today it has happened several times and the episodes are increasing in duration. The most recent one was roughly 20 seconds. All day he's been lethargic and hasn't been eating, and earlier I noticed something strange. He's been licking his lips and then immediately after swallowing his whole body will lurch forward, almost like he's going to vomit but he doesn't. I would say it looks like I would expect a hiccup to look in cats, but it's always preceded by him swallowing and these episodes do not last long in duration either. The first time I noticed it it lasted roughly 3-4 minutes and the second time it happened it probably only lasted 1-2 minutes that I noticed.
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Cher replied 1 year ago.

Hello, and welcome.

I'm sorry you're worried about your boy's strange symptoms.

From your description, it sounds like he may be starting an upper respiratory infection, he may have a painful, swollen throat, as in tonsillitis or something related to a kitty cold, or he might be experiencing a respiratory problem. When a cat stretches his neck out the way you describe, it usually means he's not taking in enough oxygen. He could have pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma or the strange sound you heard could be a 'reverse sneeze.'

The licking of his lips and swallowing hard are signs of nausea. He may have excess stomach acid or acid reflux, and stomach acid is coming up into his throat and burning it.

Because he hasn't been eating and is lethargic since these symptoms began, it would be advisable to have him evaluated in person by his vet, asap. Because it's late now, and a weekend, you might have to bring him to the nearest ER vet center, to get a definite diagnosis and treatment, so he's feeling more comfortable.

For the moment, if he's able to swallow a pill and/or drink water, you can give him 1/4 of a 10mg. Pepcid AC (Famotidine) tablet. It's coated and very small. It is an acid controller and should help with nausea. Here is more information:

If you can't get the pill down his throat, use a dropper to feed it to him in water. Crush the 1/4 of a pill with the back of a metal spoon and add it to water in the dropper, then feed it to him gradually, from the side of his mouth a little bit at a time. Wait for a swallow. You can rub his throat to encourage the swallow reflex. This might be difficult if his throat is bothering him, so instead of water, you can crush the pill and put it in a small amount of plain, jarred baby food chicken, containing NO onion or garlic. Beechnut Stage 1 chicken and chicken broth is a good one; then follow that with some more plain baby food. You can also water down the baby food and feed it with the dropper or a medicine syringe.

You can also run a humidifier in the rooms where he spends the most time, to help soothe his throat, until you can get him to the vet. I h ope you can get him seen very soon and all will be well with your furry boy!

Please let me know how he's doing and what the vet tells you. Thanks!

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