Although the name suggests otherwise, ringworm isn’t caused by a worm at all-but a fungus that can infect the skin, hair and nails. Not uncommon in cats, this highly contagious disease can lead to patchy, circular areas of hair loss with central red rings. Also known as dermatophytosis, ringworm often spreads to other pets in the household-and to humans, too.
If you notice your pet coughing, take him to the vet. Asthma can worsen quickly, and he might not be able to breathe at all.
Other Causes of Coughing
Allergies. The causes and symptoms are similar to those of asthma. Your vet can figure out which is to blame.
Fungal lung infection. Your kitty could pick up a fungus from the soil. Each part of the country has a different type, but coughing is a common symptom.
Heartworms. This disease is spread by mosquitos. If you live in an area with these bugs, your cat is more at risk. You can get preventative medicine from your vet. The symptoms resemble asthma, so your pet could be misdiagnosed. Your vet can test him to make sure.
Lung cancer. Some tumors can be controlled with medication. If not, surgery may be an option.
System diseases. Coughing can be a sign of pneumonia or congestive heart failure. An ultrasound, X-ray, MRI, or electrocardiogram can confirm.
Tight collars. Pressure on your cat’s windpipe can cause damage and lead to a cough.
Worms. These are common in felines. It’s one reason your pet gets regular blood and fecal tests at the vet.
How to Help Your Vet
Give her detailed information about the cough:
Its quality: Does it sound wet or dry?
Timing: When it happens at night, that's often a sign of fluid in the lungs or heart failure.
Triggers: If your cat coughs after exercise, he might have heart disease. If it happens after a meal, it could mean problems with his larynx or esophagus.
Knowing this can help your vet pinpoint the most likely causes, choose tests to confirm a diagnosis, and prescribe the best treatment.