Playtime is a wonderful way to develop the bond between you and your cat. It is also a good form of exercise in your pet’s otherwise relatively sedentary lifestyle. When your cat is having the time of her life running after the little red dot but then suddenly goes into a fit of coughing, then what should have been a joyful pastime between the two of you is now a cause of anxiety.
Cats seldom cough. Occasional coughing is normal and this may be due to something transiently irritating the throat, windpipe (also known as the trachea) or lungs. When the coughing occurs more often, a visit to the veterinarian is a must. Coughing that is frequently noticed during or after a cat engages in vigorous activity like running may be due to something wrong in the cat’s windpipe or the heart and lungs.
One condition that may cause this is called Tracheal Collapse, wherein the passageway of air in the windpipe becomes narrowed causing the animal to cough and sometimes exhibit difficulty breathing. This condition may be inborn or acquired. Although Tracheal Collapse is a rare occurence in cats, cats of any age and gender may be affected.
Another condition which may cause a cat to go into fits of coughing after running are Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Diseases. These are a group of disease conditions involving the heart and the lungs. These conditions may also be inborn or acquired. In the simplest terms, when the heart is diseased, it is not able to do properly its function to pump blood to the other parts of the body. Consequently, some blood pools in the heart which may backflow and pool in the lungs which later on causes fluids to accumulate in the lungs. This fluid irritates and interferes with the proper functioning of the lungs. The heart may also become enlarged when it tries to compensate for its loss of function and this increase in size of the heart may compress on the airways in the lungs.
Clearly, recurrent coughing after running is a condition that merits an appointment with your veterinarian’s office. Your veterinarian can do a thorough history taking and physical examination of your pet, request additional tests and be able to explain to you much further the condition that may be affecting your beloved furbaby.
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