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Cat coughs when purring

April 30th, 2008, 08:26 AM
Hi everybody,

My male cat of 14 years old coughs when he starts to pur. It's been like this for a few years, but it's gotten worse the last few months. He now ALWAYS coughs when he starts to pur. And when he purs, he purs through his mouth. It doesn't seem to be very serious. He doesn't choke or give up any snot/slime or anything. I just feel so bad for him because he will pur even when I'm just in the kitchen and he's there too, thinking I'm going to give him food. And then he starts coughing almost instantly :(
He has renal insufficiency and is on benazepril. He doesn't get any special food because he won't eat it. He's a bit too fat (he is just over 12 pounds) and doesn't go outside. Overall he's just a big goof. Not the brightest cat I've ever seen and I think he's developing some kind of dementia because at night he will scream in the hallway like he's going to die, but when you go to him, there's nothing wrong. Also he's getting pretty deaf.
Anyway, my question is if this is something I should visit a vet for or is it just harmless? Are there more people here with this problem? I've searched the forum for messages and came across one topic about a purring cat that coughed, but it wasn't quite the same as my cat and it was an old topic and I didn't feel like bumping it.

PS: excuse me for any mistakes I made, I'm from the Netherlands, so forgive me :angel:

Jim Hall
April 30th, 2008, 08:41 AM
Hi welcome to the board A few questions for you

Have you seen a vet in the last year or so i assune you have since he is renal problems
whats the kitty's name BTW?

Screaming at night can be a number of things maybe he wants some company or is gtting anxious cause he cant hear to well .

IF he is coughung more than normal i wouddefinitly say a vet visit is in order
esp with an older cat

April 30th, 2008, 08:58 AM
His name is Tommie.

Yes I've seen a vet in the last year. Because of his renal problems he sometimes gets a what we refer to as "renal dip". He then vomits almost continuously and has diarrhoea. We then go to the vet to get him some "water shots" to clear his blood.
I never mentioned this because I didn't think of it as a problem and I saw it as one of his goofy characteristics. But now that he's always coughing when he's purring I'm beginning to find it suspicious. But then again, he doesn't seem to be bothered by it...
He has had plastic surgery as well. I'm not kidding :laughing: A long time ago he had this weird inflammation on his lower lip. It was al swollen and red. When the inflammation was over and the swelling was gone, he had this thing hanging from his lip. Just as if someone had punctured it and deflated it. It looked like a deflated ball or something. So the vet restored it as much as he could because it looked hideous.
But that's not what the thread was about, was it :laughing:

April 30th, 2008, 09:06 AM
Coughing in cats can be a sign of asthma (I'm not saying that's what Tommie has, just something to consider). Here's a couple links to check out:

As far as diet for kidney cats, the most important thing is wet food. What does Tommie eat now?

April 30th, 2008, 11:37 AM
Is he swallowing a lot? Does he have a trace of a heart murmer? My cat Jake had the same thing - here's the thread I started:

Turns out he had a Feline Herpes outbreak that was misdiagnosed. Usually asthma doesn't develop in older cats, but it can't be completely ruled out..

Has Tommie been in a slightly stressful situation lately? Many cats have FHV but it's dormant until they experience something stressful - a move, a new cat, a new family member, that sort of thing..

You can't cure it, but you can treat it. I had Jake on some Clavamox and some L-Lysine, and he was better after a short while.

Good luck and keep us posted! :fingerscr

April 30th, 2008, 02:07 PM
Hey phoozles,

Yes, it was your topic I saw.
Tommie does swallow a lot, especially when he's purring. He swallows a few times and then coughs. Just as if the purring irritates his throat.
I don't think it's herpes though, because my cats never go outside (we live in an apartment building) and are never in touch with other cats. And feline herpes is very contagious, and our other 2 cats don't have any problems. And he doesn't sneeze or anything and it seems to be chronic.
And no, nothing stressfull happened lately. Although he's a bit of a stress-cat by nature.
Maybe I should film it or something :laughing:

April 30th, 2008, 02:14 PM
I know it's contagious, but it manifests in the cats in different ways. For example, Jake was coughing, etc., but Alley was perfectly fine for quite a while - except for a little sneezing here and there. :shrug:

The swallowing could be because of a build up of mucus - he's trying to swallow it down just like a human would. Jake didn't sneeze either - the cough was his only symptom.

Is Tommie still eating normally?

It wouldn't hurt to add a little L-Lysine to his food. You can get it in any health food store. Also, you might want to get an xray of his chest to see if there is a build up there.

This sounds like a puzzle - good luck! :fingerscr

April 30th, 2008, 02:17 PM
I wanted to add that he may have bronchitis, or some other type of breathing infliction - so an xray of his lungs would probably be a good step..

I know how heart breaking it is to see the poor thing coughing when he's supposed to be at his happiest (when he's purring). It got to the point where I didn't want to do anything to make him purr because it was so sad when he started having a fit..

April 30th, 2008, 02:23 PM
When was the last full geriatric blood panel done? Was his T4 checked?

Crying at night can be a symptom of Hyperthyroidism among other things such as deafness etc