Jeff Feinman VMD, CVH  — Weston, Connecticut  — Call: 203.222.7979

Kitten throat spasms or coughing?

Link to this post 26 Dec 11

Question: My recently adopted kitten has exhibited the following worrisome behavior. This has happened a total of 4 times since I adopted him on 11/1. He seems to be having almost an asthmatic spasm, which lasts for about 45 seconds. When I got him he was recovering from a URI, which has completely gone. He is alert, eats well, is VERY lively, and his eyes and coat are in excellent condition. He does have a (what I perceived as) nervous habit of giving a little sneeze sometimes when he is petted on the head. When he has these 'attacks' it starts out as that and then becomes a wheezing. Initially I thought it might have been a furball, but that usually is more of a 'throat' oriented noise.

He's tested negative for the usual things; I have a scheduled appt on 1/10 to take him to be altered.

Any suggestions on what it could be? As I mentioned before he is completely healthy otherwise. No eye or nose discharge, and fine once he recovers from these little
spasms.

Sex: Male

username: cammy@prodigy.com

Pet: Feline

Breed: DMH

Link to this post 26 Dec 11

No need to worry. Cats are prone to a peculiar form of laryngeal spasm which can be distressing to watch, but is not dangerous. Sometimes the inciting cause is a hairball, or dust particle in the back of the throat which induces spasming of the larynx and the resulting typical signs: crouching down with his head out, neck extended and non-productive retching/coughing in a spasmodic fashion. Occasionally this can also be seen with allergy, and feline asthma.

The only "treatment" I have found to be effective is gently massaging the larynx (throat area) talking to him in a soothing tone, and *not* panicking.

 
 

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