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Coughing or a hairball? Now I'm nervous.

ancientgirl
September 11th, 2007, 09:37 AM
So for about 2 weeks every so often Oksana will start to get these coughing fits. I think she's either coughing or possibly trying to get out a hairball. I don't know about the hairball part since my only experience with cats before now was back in high school and I sadly didn't have my cats long enough to learn much about the dynamics of owning a cat.

This morning Oksana began to cough again. These fits don't last long and its not happening every day. I watch her and it also looks like she's trying to hack something out, but I just can't be sure.

To top it off my friend told me her mom had a little dog once that also coughed a lot and it wound up being a heart condition.

Now I'm super scared. Oksana was the smallest of her litter, and I know "runts" are usually weaker than the others in the litter. She's eating well, going to the bathroom well and she's full of energy. I've been giving her less than half a teaspoon a day of the extra virgin organic coconut oil, in the hopes if she does have a hairball this will help her get rid of it.

I've also made an appointment with the vet, in the hopes she can rule out a heart condition. But I don't know what kind of test she can do for that other than listening to her heart. I just pray that I'm worrying for nothing.

Love4himies
September 11th, 2007, 10:15 AM
Not sure of the signs of a heart condition :shrug: but this sounds like she is getting a furball, but it is not quite ready to come up yet. One of these mornings you'll get up and feel something wet and squishy under your feet:D. Welcome to the cat world!

ancientgirl
September 11th, 2007, 10:35 AM
See, I just have never experienced this. So when they have a hairball, it can take them a long time to get it to where it comes out? She started this coughing about 2 weeks ago. Can it take that long? Also, she's still only 6 months, so a kitty. Maybe she just doesn't know what to do?

Mind you, rather than it be anything serious, I would relish that squishy feeling right now.

sugarcatmom
September 11th, 2007, 10:47 AM
Hopefully it is just a hairball, although honestly, I've never had a cat that took a long time like that to work it out. Do you have any "cat grass" you can offer her? Maybe pick some up at a pet store if you don't, I find it always helps expediate the whole hairball process.

If that's not it, rather than a heart issue, I'd be more inclined to worry about asthma. There's a video here: http://www.fritzthebrave.com/asthma/symptoms.html showing a cat having an asthma attack. Does Oksana's "episodes" look anything like that?

ancientgirl
September 11th, 2007, 10:56 AM
I don't have cat grass, and have no money right now, I'll have to wait until Friday. But I watched that video, and that's what she looks like the few times I've seen her coughing. Sometimes I wonder if she's choking.

I've already made an appointment with the vet and I'm going to ask her if it could be asthma. I imagine that's something she will be able to determine during the appointment.

Love4himies
September 11th, 2007, 11:11 AM
Do you think you will have enough time to take a video of Oksana coughing to show your vet?

I have had my cats take quite a while to get a hair ball out and normally it starts with dry heaves (which at first I thought my cat was choking and was going to rush him off to the vet).

Cat grass does assist cats to get rid of their hairballs, during the winter I always try to keep some on hand, in the summer they are walked outside and they chew on grass.

Here in Canada you can purchase cat grass in the floral dept in the grocery store, not sure about Florida.

ancientgirl
September 11th, 2007, 11:18 AM
I'll have to keep my camera handy, just in case. I was able to get an appointment for her tomorrow, so I may just ask my boss if I can leave early and take her. If it is asthma, I don't want to wait until Saturday, because what if she has another attack? The first time it happened was about 2 weeks ago, then this weekend, and now this morning. They really don't last long, just like maybe 15 to 20 seconds, so maybe that's a good sign.

I can't buy cat grass because I'm broke right now, so I'd have to wait until Friday. At least at the vet I can write a check.

I'm so worried about my little baby right now, I feel like crying.

mummummum
September 11th, 2007, 11:38 AM
Remind me Ancientgirl ~ the ol' memory is sliding. I know you've started coconut oil. Did you not use a non-organic extra-virgin at first? I seem to recall reading that the lesser types can cause a catch in the back of the throat and coughing. Could this be it?

sugarcatmom
September 11th, 2007, 11:38 AM
Awww, sweetie, I'm sure it's nothing. Especially if the coughing/hacking/whatever-it-is is only lasting such a short time. Good idea to do the vet thing just to be sure, but try not to worry (yaaaaa, right!).

Good luck!

ancientgirl
September 11th, 2007, 11:50 AM
Remind me Ancientgirl ~ the ol' memory is sliding. I know you've started coconut oil. Did you not use a non-organic extra-virgin at first? I seem to recall reading that the lesser types can cause a catch in the back of the throat and coughing. Could this be it?

I did start with an organic brand, but it wasn't extra virgin, but I only gave that to them once. What I have now is 100% organic extra virgin and I've been giving that to them since about Friday. I'm not sure if this has anything to do with it.

ancientgirl
September 11th, 2007, 11:51 AM
Awww, sweetie, I'm sure it's nothing. Especially if the coughing/hacking/whatever-it-is is only lasting such a short time. Good idea to do the vet thing just to be sure, but try not to worry (yaaaaa, right!).

Good luck!

I hope you're right. I just get very nervous when she starts coughing like that. I did manage to get an appointment for tomorrow, and maybe I'll just play hooky from work to take her.

mummummum
September 11th, 2007, 12:07 PM
I did start with an organic brand, but it wasn't extra virgin, but I only gave that to them once. What I have now is 100% organic extra virgin and I've been giving that to them since about Friday. I'm not sure if this has anything to do with it.

Not likely the oil if it started two weeks ago.

Is there anything that has changed in your environment in the last two weeks? Used a different cleaning product? Got a new rug? Did some painting or varnishing? Steam-cleaned the furniture/rug or got some new furniture/rug? Are you using different water in their waterbowls?

ancientgirl
September 11th, 2007, 12:19 PM
Not likely the oil if it started two weeks ago.

Is there anything that has changed in your environment in the last two weeks? Used a different cleaning product? Got a new rug? Did some painting or varnishing? Steam-cleaned the furniture/rug or got some new furniture/rug? Are you using different water in their waterbowls?

I can't think of anything that's changed. I give them bottled water, I always have. It could be the floor cleaning solution. I use that swiffer jet. I did that this weekend. I'm trying to think if I used the same thing the week if first started. I should look for something safer now that I think of it. My whole bottom floor is tiled, and when I clean, they step on the floor sometimes when its wet. I'll change the air conditioning filter when I get home, that might help also. I'll vacuum the rugs upstairs too.

I also use those glade scented candles, but I've used those before this so those might not be the problem, but I'll look for something unscented that will keep odors down, just in case.

ancientgirl
September 11th, 2007, 01:37 PM
Awww, sweetie, I'm sure it's nothing. Especially if the coughing/hacking/whatever-it-is is only lasting such a short time. Good idea to do the vet thing just to be sure, but try not to worry (yaaaaa, right!).

Good luck!

I'm hoping that its just these short intermittent incidents and its nothing to worry about. I did just read something on a feline asthma site that sometimes food plays a factor in these allergy type conditions. Mainly it stated fish. Here's what it said: In addition, some cats may have asthma attacks in response to food allergies, particularly fish-based foods that may be higher in natural histamines.

I've been feeding them canned for about 3 weeks now, and I've been feeding them more fish than I used to. I'm wondering if that might be part of what's happening to her. When I get home I'll put aside any canned fish flavor I have and just feed them poultry or beef canned. Vlad will have to deal with it, no more fish flavor for him since they eat next to each other and often take bites of each others food. If this is part of her problem, I can't risk her having an attack because of her food if I can easily prevent it by just not feeding her that particular kind.

loopoo
September 11th, 2007, 02:08 PM
hope all is okay with your kitty as far as switching over from the swiffer, good idea. there are a dozen reports on the web about dogs and cats reacting badly from the chemicals in that. i pretty much use water, vinegar etc on my floor now, have both a cat and a dog with issues, so try to keep the toxic chemicals away as much as possible.:thumbs up

ancientgirl
September 11th, 2007, 03:04 PM
Really? I didn't know that, now that makes me think I need to change my cleaning solutions.

I was doing a bit more research, and I'm beginning to think what my Little Miss might have is a food allergy.

She's been very itchy lately, mainly around her neck area. I just read on one site where that's one of the symptoms. When I took the Dynamic Duo in a couple of weeks ago to have their ears checked, I told the vet that Oksana had been very itchy lately around her neck and ear area.

More and more I'm wondering if its the seafood canned food I've been giving her. I changed my appointment from tomorrow to Thursday, since that's when their vet, the one that sees them regularly, is there. In the meantime I'll keep her away from seafood and any kind of fish.

krdahmer
September 12th, 2007, 01:02 AM
:pray: Hope its just a nasty furball. And I would definitely stop using swiffers etc, I have heard nothing good about them and pets/kids. I know my smaller girls seem to have a tough time hacking out their furballs, so be sure to watch the floor you never know when or where they will pop up.

ancientgirl
September 12th, 2007, 09:18 AM
:pray: Hope its just a nasty furball. And I would definitely stop using swiffers etc, I have heard nothing good about them and pets/kids. I know my smaller girls seem to have a tough time hacking out their furballs, so be sure to watch the floor you never know when or where they will pop up.

I hadn't heard anything about swiffers, but since you said you have then I'm certainly going to look into some other method to clean the floors. I'll look online or maybe there's something at the pet store I can get.

I hope its a furball too, but should it be taking her so long to get it out? That's why now I'm leaning to perhaps it might be some allergy she has to food, mainly seafood since that's what she's been eating most, and when I had them on dry and began introducing them to wet, I'd just get beef or chicken and she never had a problem.

krdahmer
September 12th, 2007, 12:39 PM
The seafood could definitely do it, and any cleaning products that aren't natural are a potential hazard to pets and people alike. I have all faux hardwood and tile and use nothing more than a small capfull of vinegar in a bucket of hot water... you have to scrub the dirty spots a little more but it comes clean just the same. The reason why swiffer and those products are dangerous is that pets dont know not to walk on the floors then lick their paws, its just what they do, and thus can make themselves sick. I really would like to get one of those steam mops that look like a vacuum for xmas... I like that idea. No cleaning products needed at all. :thumbs up

want4rain
September 12th, 2007, 03:50 PM
those vacuums look soooooo cool!! i couldnt use them in my kitchen because its crummy pergo but lemme tell you its top on my list when we replace the flooring!!

ive been very satisfied with vinegar, it leaves no residue. you can even modify your swiffer to clean. just take a cotton dish cloth hook it in, on top of that put a thin polyester cloth so it slides around well. works wonders here!! :cloud9:

if you take a cup of vinegar, 1/2 a cup of lemon juice and 3 cups of water, nice and clean!!! AND it smells good AND its ok to eat!! (although you dont want to, im sure your tummy would hurt a bit)

-ashley

ancientgirl
September 12th, 2007, 03:54 PM
I'll take that little recipe down. I don't want to use that cleaning solution the swiffer comes with anymore so this seems to be the best alternative.

want4rain
September 12th, 2007, 04:00 PM
also, Hunter use to have a horrible coughing issue... after about a month of raw, no more issues. was way easier than trying to find out exactly what it was... we just say it ISNT this stuff you know?

-ashley