Cat Coughing With Tongue Out: Reasons and Solutions

cat coughing with tongue out

Cats are generally very good at hiding their discomfort or illnesses. If you are a cat owner, you have to observe your cat closely to notice any signs of distress. Cat coughing with tongue out is one of the easiest signs to notice. This can be a cause of concern and may require veterinary attention. In this blog post, we will discuss the causes of a cat coughing and how to help your pet.


Why Cats Cough With Their Tongue Out And Solutions

  • Hairballs

Cats groom themselves by licking their fur, which results in them ingesting a significant amount of hair. This hair can accumulate in their digestive system and form a hairball, causing irritation and discomfort. When a cat coughs with its tongue out, it may be trying to expel a hairball.

To help prevent hairballs and your cat from coughing because of it, you should brush your cat’s fur regularly. This will help remove any loose hair before your cat ingests it. Additionally, there are hairball remedies available that can help your cat pass hairballs more easily. These remedies usually come in the form of treats or lubricants.

  • Asthma

Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that can also affect cats. This condition causes inflammation in the airways, making it difficult for cats to breathe. When cats with asthma experience an asthma attack, they may cough, wheeze, and have difficulty breathing. In severe cases, they may even collapse.

If your cat has been diagnosed with asthma, your veterinarian may prescribe medications such as bronchodilators or corticosteroids. These medications can help reduce inflammation in the airways, making breathing easier for your cat. Avoiding triggers such as cigarette smoke, dust, or allergens can also help prevent asthma attacks.

  • Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)

Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is a viral disease that affects cats. It is caused by a coronavirus that attacks the white blood cells, leading to inflammation of various organs, including the lungs. When cats with FIP cough, they may do so with their tongue out.

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for FIP. However, there are treatments available that can help manage the symptoms and improve your cat’s quality of life. Your veterinarian may prescribe medications such as antibiotics or corticosteroids to help reduce inflammation and control the infection.

  • Heartworms

Heartworms in cats may also cause coughing and other respiratory symptoms. Heartworms travel through the bloodstream to the lungs and heart. As they do, most of these worms die, then release toxins into the cat’s bloodstream. As a response, the cat may show strong inflammatory responses, such as difficulty breathing, coughing, and increased respiratory rate. 

Unfortunately, the condition is already severe once the cat has shown respiratory symptoms. However, if detected early, the symptoms can be managed with medicines. Adult heartworms may also be removed surgically, but it’s extremely risky for cats. 

  • Respiratory infections

Cats can also develop respiratory infections caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi. These infections can affect the nose, throat, or lungs and cause coughing with the tongue out.

Treatment for respiratory infections will depend on the cause of the condition. If bacteria cause it, antibiotics may be prescribed. If a virus causes it, antiviral medications may be prescribed. Supportive care such as fluids and rest may also be recommended to help your cat recover.


What To Do?

Cat Coughing With Tongue Out: Reasons and Solutions

  1. Monitor your cat’s coughing: Pay attention to how often and how severe your cat’s coughing is. If it’s a one-time thing, it may not be a big concern. However, if your cat frequently coughs and is accompanied by other symptoms like lethargy or lack of appetite, it’s time to take her to the vet.
  2. Check for any obstructions: Your cat may be coughing due to an obstruction in their airway. Check their mouth and throat for foreign objects that may be causing the coughing. If you see something, try to remove it carefully. If you can’t remove it, take your cat to the vet.
  3. Keep your cat calm: Stress can make coughing worse. Make sure your cat has a comfortable and quiet place to rest. Avoid loud noises or sudden movements that may startle your cat.
  4. Offer plenty of water: Keeping your cat hydrated is essential. Offer fresh water frequently, and consider adding a little tuna juice or chicken broth to encourage your cat to drink more.
  5. Consider a humidifier: A humidifier can help relieve coughing by adding moisture to the air. If your cat is frequently coughing, consider using a humidifier in the room where your cat spends most of their time.
  6. Take your cat to the vet: If your cat’s coughing persists or if you notice other symptoms like lethargy, lack of appetite, or difficulty breathing, it’s time to take your cat to the vet. Your vet can diagnose the problem and recommend the appropriate treatment.



In conclusion, it’s crucial to take action if you notice your cat coughing with their tongue out. Monitor their coughing, check for obstructions, keep them calm, offer plenty of water, consider a humidifier, and take them to the vet if their coughing persists. In worse cases, coughing with the tongue out may be one of the symptoms of a more serious condition, such as hairballs, asthma, FIP, heart disease, or respiratory infections. The abovementioned steps can help your cat feel better and return to their happy, healthy self.

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