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Coughing Cats and the Invisible Hairball


Did you know that asthma is a common problem in cats? We don’t know what causes it in every cat, but we do know that secondhand cigarette smoke can set it off or make it worse, just like in kids.

Sometimes cat owners don’t realize their cat is coughing because it looks so different from a person coughing. The best way to describe it is “a hairball without the hairball”. The cat crouches down, sticks out his neck, and makes a noise like he’s gagging or trying to bring up a hairball…but nothing comes up. If your cat does this, he may have asthma.

You can read about feline asthma at, a useful website with lots of good information. One great new development for cats with asthma is an inhaler for medication. Yup, an inhaler for cats (don’t worry, they don’t have to purposely inhale, the medicine is puffed into a little mask that is placed briefly over their face). This is a wonderful invention because the steroid medicines that lots of cats with asthma are given as pills or shots can cause diabetes and other problems. Putting medicine straight into the lungs by inhaling it means the whole body isn’t getting medicine it doesn’t need. You can take a look at the inhaler by going to, and clicking on animal health. You can read about how the medicine is used by going to and clicking on Dr. Phillip Padrid’s protocol.

And please don’t smoke around your pets! This can cause not only asthma but also cancer and other problems.


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Thanks for the useful post on asthma in pets. I do have a dog which shows symptoms of asthma sometimes and this article is very helpful.

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