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Old April 30th, 2008, 08:26 AM
emmawitteveen emmawitteveen is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Posts: 3
Cat coughs when purring

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
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Old April 30th, 2008, 08:41 AM
Jim Hall Jim Hall is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: paterson new jersey
Posts: 4,788
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
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Old April 30th, 2008, 08:58 AM
emmawitteveen emmawitteveen is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Posts: 3
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 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
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Old April 30th, 2008, 09:06 AM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Calgary, AB
Posts: 5,357
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: http://www.felineasthma.org/moore.htm

As far as diet for kidney cats, the most important thing is wet food. What does Tommie eat now?
"To close your eyes will not ease another's pain." ~ Chinese Proverb

“We must not refuse to see with our eyes what they must endure with their bodies.” ~ Gretchen Wyler
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Old April 30th, 2008, 11:37 AM
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phoozles phoozles is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Southwestern Ontario
Posts: 1,420
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: http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=46076

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!
Taken over by:

Jake - grey DSH (Aug '98) Alley - spazzy grey tabby (Aug '07)
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Old April 30th, 2008, 02:07 PM
emmawitteveen emmawitteveen is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Posts: 3
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
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