Cat Coughs after Drinking Water

Research states that coughing is a common problem in cats and dogs but a little less frequent in cats. There are many hidden causes for coughing which include dust, irritation in the throat, flu, and lungs sensitivity. Only a thorough medical history and complete physical examination help the vet in deciding the underlying causes of cough. It makes them decide which diagnostic tests and therapies should be recommended and which will be most effective. If your cat coughs after drinking water, there could be various explanations for this. Let’s explore some of the reasons:

cat coughs after drinking water

Reasons Why Your Cat Cough Is Induced By Drinking Water

1. Drinking water too fast or in excess – The most obvious one!

Sometimes, a cat gets into continuous coughing if it drinks too fast. It is because their stomachs aren’t much able to acquire liquid quantity more than the natural standard. It makes them sipping water too quickly which results in gapping or breathing problems.

One of the most similar kinds of problem is the intake of excess water. The water will keep returning back and it won’t be able to hold more water in the stomach. It leads to severe urinary tract diseases, renal failure, diabetes, etc.

Why does it happen?

These include:

  • Consumption of excessive Sodium
  • High and alternate body temperature
  • Anxiety & Stress

All of the above-mentioned factors can make your cat excessively thirsty and results in choking or constant coughing.

2. Allergic to particular Scent or Taste

Cats have a very sharp sense of taste. It has been observed several times, that cats can easily guess the presence of chlorine in water i.e., hard water. If it is being observed randomly, it’s an indication that you should choose a different source of water i.e., maybe bottled water or from a water purifier.

All of these factors lead to a fact that cats are super sensitive and can develop allergies at any age or time. It results in different ways like constant coughing, sneezing, flu, excessive scratching or irritation, etc.

To make sure it’s due to an allergy that if your cat coughs after drinking water then always check the cat’s skin. Sometimes it’s not always due to water but also due to plastic, any particular fabric, any air freshener, specific environmental factors, etc.

Remember to find out your cats particular allergy is not an easy job, you would go wrong multiple times but would crack it eventually. Once you find it out, just remove that particular exposure.

How does it happen?

There’s a nerve called ‘vagus’. It is responsible to detect whether a cat likes or dislikes a particular smell or taste. It sends messages to the brain whether to cough or gag at that particular instance.

3.    Presence of External Objects in Water

There’s a major reason for it if your cat coughs after drinking water i.e., the presence of something in the water bowl. Check it thoroughly, maybe you would find something floating in the water.

If you don’t find something in the water, maybe it would have swollen it. It would worsen the existing condition, so just make it cough and open the cat’s mouth thoroughly for ultimate satisfaction. For this purpose, you may take advice from a vet too because if it slips into the intestines, would cause further damage only.

The most common External Objects to be found is:

Undigested Food Sometimes your cat fails to swallow its meal completely due to weaker teeth or any other factors. The undigested food includes bones, dry food, etc. and it gets stuck somewhere in the cat’s throat which results in coughing.

If it repeats constantly try giving it wet or moist food that is most common for old cats, as it can be swallowed easily without any blockage. Similarly, to prevent your cat while dealing with the bones, make sure it is deboned already. It’s because already-cooked bones are soft and can easily clump the throat while raw bones are easy to pluck out.

4.    The too cold temperature of the water

Cats prefer to have water at room temperature. Ice cold water seems to be refreshing but cats get difficulty swallowing it. It would result in choking or constant coughing.

To deal with this kind of problem, it’s better to give ice separately to your cat for playing. It may lick ice nicely or play with it.

5.    The stomach could be full or empty

Sometimes cat doesn’t recognize on its own whether its stomach is full or half empty. If the cat’s stomach is full, the water would always get rejected automatically. And likewise, a hungry cat will choke

What to do for this purpose?

The best way to deal with this kind of problem is to give food and water to the cat in different bowls. It should be managed separately. It creates a breakage in its eating pattern and the cat doesn’t become confused. You may also break its eating order into three or four servings and it can have the necessary nutrition it wants from a single complete meal. The digestion system of the cat will become stronger, it wouldn’t have to starve all day long, and would burn more calories.

6.    The existing barriers in the throat

Sometimes we tend to check almost everything which is present and nothing is found and we usually forget one thing. That is maybe there’s already an existing barrier in the cat’s throat that prevents anything to make its way into its body. So, whenever the water reaches that barrier it gets expelled again. You may use a torch to check or get help from an expert vet. There could be different possible treatments for it depending on the density of blockage.

One of the most common barriers in a cat’s throat is:

Hairballs – It is usually a longhair breed commonly known as hairballs which occurs in a cat while grooming. If it’s not shed timely, it easily goes into the cat’s mouth being trapped in its throat causing a barrier.

What to do for this purpose?

  • Groom your cat at least once a day to minimize this from happening. If clumps will be removed timely there won’t be much hair left to swallow or causing a barrier.
  • Moreover, you may also use 1 Tbsp of fish oil to treat this problem. It would reduce the density of hairball’s effects and lubricate the cat’s throat making the entire process easier.

Other Prominent Factors if – Cat coughs after drinking water

  • Wearing Tight Collars – If you have tied a tight collar to your cat, make sure the fitting is enough for its easy breathing. Otherwise, unnecessarily tight collars would result in choking or any other injury.
  • Tumors – Many times occurrence of tumors especially in the nose, ears, or mouth is one of the major reasons to make it difficult for the cat to swallow something.
  • Heart diseases – In most heart diseases, abnormal muscle growth occurs around a cat’s heart which makes it difficult for the blood to pump around the body. Naturally, it also affects the entire process of swallowing food. In this regard, it is best to take a consultation from an expert vet.
  • Feline Herpesvirus (FHV) – It’s a respiratory infection causing a cat to be lethargic, sneezing, and coughing all day. The symptoms are quite similar to that of humans and result in choking or constant coughing in cats after it drinks water. Fish Mox may be used for respiratory infection but do consult your vet.

Final Words

In the above article, we have already discussed all the possible reasons causing a situation where a cat coughs after drinking water. In this regard, always take assistance from an experienced vet. Try using filtered water always and stay away from the high-sodium diet. If your cat is free of coughing after drinking water you may add water to dry cat food.

If you follow the steps mentioned-above it will eventually make its way into a suitable routine.


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