Ask the Vet


Dear Dr. Schelling,

Our three year old Siamese cat, Sam, has developed a noisy cough in the past month. My family first noticed Sam coughing on a Sunday afternoon when we were all gathered around the fireplace watching the football game. Since then it seems he coughs more on the weekends and when we are all gathered together during our Sunday afternoon family time. Our neighbor was over and thinks Sam is trying to cough up a hairball but I find that hard to believe since he hardly has any hair at all! What do you think we should do?

–Coughing Cat
Dear Coughing Cat,

It sounds like Sam may be experiencing airway disease. Siamese are more likely than other breeds to be affected by airway irritants. Smoke from the fireplace may be contributing to Sam’s cough. I am also wondering if there are other irritants used in the household more frequently on weekends (such as aerosol sprays, air fresheners, household cleaners) which might explain his pattern of cough. Feline airway disease (also known as feline asthma) is the most common reason for coughing in the cat and is often confused with signs of a hairball. Read the full article on Feline Asthma and Airway Disease to learn more about what triggers this condition and what treatments are available. Either way, your next step should be to have Sam evaluated by your family veterinarian.

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My husband and I are expecting our first baby. I’m worried about how our two cats are going to react. They have never been around children before. Please advise!

–Worried in Washington, DC.

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Dear Worried,

Congratulations on your new human and try not to worry. We felines are creatures of habit. We’re more likely to mind the change in routine or disturbed sleeping perches than the baby itself. As long as we still get our daily snuggles, things should be fine. Until your small human goes mobile, that is. That’s when things could get, um—hairy!

Click here to learn more about cats and kids.


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Almost 10% of a cat's bones are in its tail.
Cats come and go without ever leaving -Martha Curtis
Super Happy Catnip Undercover Mouse