My cat started to display some coughing behaviour. I have seen him cough just once in the last year but last week, he coughed three times, and all coughing sessions take like twenty seconds. There might be some more fits, as he usually spends a little more than half the time with me and the rest outside.

I video taped one of them here.

Is this coughing behaviour or gagging behaviour? Does this require an emergency vet visit? He is supposed to visit a vet in the beginning of March so is it possible to wait for that long? If it is okay to wait, is there a sign that I should look for to know that it turns into an emergency?


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    Wow. That's not a hairball. A cat "coughing" is always some stage of a hairball.. But that video is a cat with breathing problems. – Owen Reynolds Jan 27 at 0:48
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    It sounds a bit like the cough of chain-smokers - it might be the case that your cat is secretly smoking huge amount of cigarettes. Please look for suspicious signs, like the smell of cat's breath; yellow teeth; frequent "walks" from which your cat comes back after just a few minutes later; search the cat's room for hidden cigarettes and packages. Also, please check out who is your cat hanging out with - has he recently made some new "friends"? Maybe Sonny fell into the bad crowd and they have a bad influence on him, he might have started smoking to fit in and be "cool". – lila Jan 27 at 3:04
  • I am sorry for silly comment, but I couldn't help it making it :D I don't intend to disregard your concerns about Sonny's health :( I hope he gets well soon! – lila Jan 27 at 3:04
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    @lila I myself thought the same thing, It is remarkably like cigarette smokers :) – C.Koca Jan 27 at 8:57

That video is very informative. It's clearly coughing and not gagging. What almost sounds like sneezing is his coughing and the squeaky sound is the air being pressed through his windpipe.

I don't think he requires an emergency vet visit, but you should reschedule your vet appointment to as soon as possible (within a week at most. Don't drag this out). It becomes an emergency if he gets trouble breathing and pants. Behavior changes like unusual hiding away or listlessness also indicate a medical emergency.

I suggest keeping him inside until he got examined by a vet. If he has a contagious infection you should try stopping the spread. Since face masks are no option for your cat, you should go with social distancing ;)

Coughing in cats can also be caused by airborne irritants like air refresheners, essential oils and volatile cleaning products.

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    His coughing fits started to become daily and he has a vet appointment for tomorrow. Thank you very much :) – C.Koca Jan 30 at 16:19

Importantly do, see the vet. Can you do online vet consultations? Book it in pronto. It could be anything. An obstructions from something he swallowed...In Australia during hazardous bush fires the air all living creatures breath can do damage to the lungs, heart. Many humans and wild life died as a result of smoke inhalation. Anything. Later, consider getting an air purifier and cleaning with natural home made cleaning products. Lots of receipes online. God speed and Godbless you and your cats...

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