Cats with hairballs are often heard coughing and making retching sounds as they try to regurgitate the tangled mass of hairs in the stomach. However, there are instances when these are not triggered by hairballs. Here are some conditions that are often mistaken for hairballs by pet owners:
Wheezing, coughing, and retching can be exhibited by cats with asthma. This should be suspected if the cat has been undergoing frequent or prolonged coughing. These symptoms can also be present in other types of respiratory problems.
- Heartworm disease
Bouts of coughing can be triggered by the presence of adult heartworms in the blood vessels of the lungs. Immature heartworms in the smaller blood vessels of the lungs can also cause irritation and inflammation which can also lead to respiratory signs.
- Foreign bodies
Inhalation of foreign bodies, such as a blade of grass or grass awn, can trigger a persistent cough.
- Irritating chemicals
Inhalation of chemicals in the form of powders, sprays, propellants, etc. can trigger sudden bouts of coughing.
For more information, Contact your local vet clinic.