Why Does My Cat Cough After Drinking Water: Possible Causes and Solutions

Author: Umi

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Time to read 6 min

Why Does My Cat Cough After Drinking Water


Cats are known for their unique behavior, and their drinking habits are no exception. While some cats prefer to drink from a running faucet, others are content with drinking from a bowl. However, if you notice your cat coughing after drinking water, it may be a cause for concern. In this article, we will explore the possible reasons why your cat may be coughing after drinking water and what you can do to help.

Normal Drinking Behavior in Cats Before diving into the possible causes of coughing after drinking water, it's important to understand what normal drinking behavior looks like in cats. Cats typically drink water by lapping it up with their tongue, which forms a scoop-like shape to capture the water. After drinking, cats may lick their lips or clean their paws. It's also important to note that cats may not drink water as frequently as dogs or other animals, as they are able to get some of their hydration from their food.

Possible Causes of Coughing After Drinking Water There are several reasons why your cat may be coughing after drinking water. One possible cause is hairballs, which can form when a cat ingests hair while grooming. Another possible cause is a respiratory infection or allergies, which can cause irritation in the throat and lead to coughing. Additionally, some cats may have an underlying medical condition, such as heart disease or asthma, which can cause coughing after drinking water.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding normal drinking behavior in cats is important when assessing their health.
  • Hairballs, respiratory infections/allergies, and underlying medical conditions are possible causes of coughing after drinking water.
  • Preventive measures such as grooming and providing clean water can help reduce the likelihood of coughing after drinking water.

Normal Drinking Behavior in Cats


Cats are known for their peculiar drinking behavior. Unlike dogs, who tend to drink water in large quantities, cats prefer to take small sips of water throughout the day. This behavior is more typical of cats in the wild, who often drink from streams or other natural sources.

Typical Behavior


When a cat drinks water, they will often lap it up with their tongue. They will extend their tongue and curl it backwards, creating a scoop-like shape that allows them to capture the water. They will then quickly retract their tongue and swallow the water. This behavior is normal and should not cause any issues.

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Swallowing Without Issues


Cats are able to swallow water without any issues due to their unique anatomy. Their throat is narrow and lined with tiny spines that face backward. These spines help to guide the water towards the esophagus and prevent it from entering the lungs. Additionally, the epiglottis, a flap of tissue located at the base of the tongue, closes over the trachea when the cat swallows, further preventing water from entering the lungs.

Abnormal Coughing


If a cat coughs after drinking water, it may be a sign of an underlying health issue. Some possible causes of coughing after drinking water in cats include:

  • Respiratory infections
  • Asthma
  • Heart disease
  • Allergies
  • Foreign objects in the respiratory tract

If a cat is coughing after drinking water, it is important to take them to a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

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Possible Causes of Coughing After Drinking Water


Coughing after drinking water is a common issue among cats. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including hairballs, allergies, and respiratory infections.

Hairballs


Hairballs are a common cause of coughing in cats. When cats groom themselves, they ingest hair, which can accumulate in their stomachs and form hairballs. These hairballs can cause irritation in the throat, leading to coughing after drinking water.

To prevent hairballs, it is important to brush your cat regularly and provide them with a proper diet that includes fiber. If your cat is prone to hairballs, you may also consider using a hairball remedy.

Allergies


Cats can also develop allergies, which can cause coughing after drinking water. Allergies can be caused by a variety of factors, including pollen, dust, and certain foods. If your cat is coughing after drinking water and exhibits other allergy symptoms, such as sneezing or itching, it may be suffering from an allergic reaction.

To manage allergies, it is important to identify the allergen and remove it from your cat's environment. You may also consider giving your cat allergy medication or allergy shots.

Respiratory Infections


Respiratory infections, such as feline upper respiratory infection (URI), can also cause coughing after drinking water. These infections are typically caused by viruses or bacteria and can lead to symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and nasal discharge.

If your cat is coughing after drinking water and exhibits other respiratory infection symptoms, such as sneezing or nasal discharge, it may be suffering from a respiratory infection. It is important to take your cat to the vet for diagnosis and treatment.

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Preventive Measures and Home Remedies


If your cat is coughing after drinking water, there are several preventive measures and home remedies that can help alleviate the issue. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Prevention Tips


Prevention is always better than cure. One way to prevent your cat from coughing after drinking water is to make sure they are hydrated throughout the day. Ensure that your cat has access to fresh and clean water at all times. You can also try adding a few drops of tuna juice or chicken broth to their water to encourage them to drink more.

Grooming to Reduce Hairballs


Hairballs are a common cause of coughing in cats. Regular grooming can help reduce the amount of hair your cat ingests while grooming themselves. Brushing your cat's coat regularly can also help remove loose hair and prevent it from accumulating in their stomach.

Using Filtered Water


Filtered water can help remove impurities and minerals that can irritate your cat's throat. Consider investing in a high-quality water filter or a cat water fountain that has a built-in filter.

Dietary Moisture


A diet that is high in moisture can also help prevent coughing in cats. Wet food is an excellent source of moisture and can help keep your cat hydrated. You can also add a small amount of water to your cat's dry food to increase their moisture intake.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What could be causing my cat to cough after hydrating?


Coughing after drinking water could be due to a variety of reasons. It may be a temporary reaction to the water going down the wrong way or a result of an underlying health issue. It is best to monitor your cat's behavior and consult with a veterinarian if the coughing persists.

Is it normal for a cat to make coughing sounds post-water intake?


Occasional coughing after drinking water may be normal, especially if your cat drinks too quickly or gulps air while drinking. However, if the coughing is persistent or accompanied by other symptoms, it is best to seek veterinary advice.

How should I react if my cat exhibits coughing or wheezing following water consumption?


If your cat coughs or wheezes after drinking water, observe their behavior and monitor their breathing. If the coughing persists or worsens, it is advisable to seek veterinary attention. In the meantime, ensure that your cat has access to fresh water and try to encourage them to drink slowly.

Could a cough be indicative of a health issue in cats after they drink?


Coughing after drinking water could be a sign of an underlying health issue, such as respiratory infections, heart disease, or allergies. If your cat exhibits persistent coughing or other concerning symptoms, it is important to consult with a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

What are the possible complications if my cat sneezes or coughs when drinking?


Sneezing or coughing when drinking could lead to inhalation of water or food, which could cause aspiration pneumonia. It is important to monitor your cat's behavior and seek veterinary attention if you notice any persistent coughing or sneezing.

What does a dry cough signify in feline health, and could it be related to drinking habits?


A dry cough in cats could be a sign of various health issues, such as respiratory infections, allergies, or asthma. It is important to consult with a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment. While drinking habits may be a contributing factor, it is not always the sole cause of a dry cough in cats.


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