How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. B. Your Own Question
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 22467
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
Type Your Vet Question Here...
Dr. B. is online now

my cat was a stray and old femail she eats and drinks normaly

This answer was rated:

my cat was a stray and old femail she eats and drinks normaly but dry cough on and off all day it is distressing and her

& welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Approximately how old do you think your lass is (ie under or over 10 years of age)?

How long has she had this cough?

Is it harsh or soft?

Does she retch or vomit after coughing?

Does she bring anything up?

Any sneezing or runny eyes/nose?

Does she sound congested, stuffy, or wheezy?

Any snoring or change to her voice?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

she is 15 aprox she has no sneeze vomiting dry eyes she snores her cough is every half hour today yesterday she did not cough

Thank you,

Has she always snored or is this a new sign as well?

Since this has just started and is so frequent, can you confirm if she has access to or might have eaten any bones, bits of plant (ie grass, etc), or any other items that could have traumatized her throat or gotten caught in the back of her throat?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

she has allways snored she has not eaten any thing that could be in her throat she has had this cough on and off but very bad today

Thank you again,

First, I am glad that throat irritation and foreign body obstructions can be ruled out here lass. Now I would note that if she has always snored, this could be due to a polyp or upper respiratory scaring from an earlier bout of cat flu in her younger years. It is possible that these are not related to her current signs, but I do have to note that if she does have a lurking polyp in her throat or upper airway that is growing, then these signs could be linked to one another.

Now coughing in elderly cats can arise number of reasons. When we have a cat with intermittent coughing, we have to consider conditions of the upper respiratory tract, the lungs, and the heart.

Coughs associated with the upper respiratory tract usually arise when there is something affecting the airflow through the trachea and down towards to the lungs. This can be due to inflammation if your cat has a flare up herpes virus (as it can cause a tracheitis), our polyp concerns, or if there is a more sinister cancerous mass growing there. To determine if her cough is upper airway based, the vet would be able listen to her throat region respiratory noise. If this is heard, then they usually will xray region to see if there is a mass or swelling present. Alternatively, if inflammation and a tracheitis is suspected, then feline friendly anti-inflammatories can be trialled.

Coughing that arises from disease of the lung can include chronic bacterial or viral pneumonias (which mild ones can be otherwise be quite subclinical), cancer of the lungs (either primary or spread from another organ), parasitic infections of the lungs, feline asthma and general inflammation of the airway arising from irritation. We can sometimes see it also associated with secondary pulmonary effusion (fluid in the lungs) which can arise with heart issues. Now heart conditions of people and dogs are often associated with a soft cough, this is less the case with cats. So, while it would worth having a vet have a listen to her chest (lungs and heart) to make sure there is no murmur, this wouldn't necessarily cause a cough.

Ideally, since she is an older lass you do want a vet to have a listen to her upper airway, lungs and heart (if she is due booster, this would be the perfect opportunity). This will help isolate where the problem may be, and will help rule out at least 2/3rd of our aforementioned issues. Otherwise, we would be treating/managing your wee lass in the dark. If this is cardiac, then there are treatments to support the heart. If the cough is arising from the chest, then she may require antibiotic therapy (or steroids if this is the start of asthma). And if this is upper airway inflammation, then we'd want to have her on a low dose of an cat safe anti-inflammatory (ie Metacam) to settle this.

That said, is she is only just struggling with her cough today, you can try to soothe her throat at this stage. To do so, you can consider trying her on a mild cough suppressant like glycerin/honey cough syrup (with no drugs in it) or even plain honey. Both can be very soothing to the irritated and tickly throat. Typically we will give a 0.5-1 milliliter (~1/8-1/4 teaspoon) as needed. Alternatively, you can try Robitussin DM or Benylin Tickly Cough. I would just say to make sure to use this preparation and avoid any similar syrups that may contain other medications like Paracetamol, Acetaminophen, Pseudoephedrine, Phenylephrine or caffeine (since these can be toxic). If it also contains Guaifenesin that is okay. Dose-wise, we tend to give this as 0.25-1 mg/pound of their body weight by mouth every 8 hours. This can help reduce the irritation in her throat and soothe her cough as you monitor her.

Overall, based on her signs and how long they have been lurking, these would be our concerns . Therefore, to help soothe this sudden worsening, you can try a mild could suppressant. That said, with how long she has had this, it would be worth having the vet have a wee listen so that we know exactly what is going on and can treat it the most effectively.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

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. Thank you! : )

Dr. B. and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you