Why Does My Cat Cough When Purring?

Disclaimer: The information presented below is for general informational & educational purposes only. Always consult with animal professionals in case of specific concerns.

In today’s blog post, we’ll delve into the fascinating world of feline coughing when purring, exploring the possible causes, when you should be worried, and what steps you can take to help your furry companion find relief. 

Welcome to our blog! If you’re a cat owner, you’ve likely experienced the sheer joy of hearing your furry friend purr. It’s a comforting sound that instantly puts us at ease and makes us feel connected to our beloved pets. However, what happens when that purr is accompanied by a concerning cough? Don’t panic just yet! In today’s blog post, we’ll explore the puzzling phenomenon of cats coughing when purring. We’ll delve into the various reasons why this might occur and provide you with some useful tips on how to address this issue. So, let’s dig deeper and find out why our feline friends sometimes produce this unusual combination of sounds.

Why Does My Cat Cough When Purring?

Cats may cough during purring due to various reasons:

  • Hairballs: Cats groom themselves often, and in the process, they swallow fur which can accumulate in their stomachs, forming hairballs. When they try to expel these hairballs, it can result in coughing.
  • Respiratory Infections: Cats, like humans, can contract respiratory infections. Coughing during purring could be a symptom of an underlying respiratory issue.
  • Asthma: Cats can also suffer from asthma, and the deep, rhythmic breathing during purring may trigger an asthmatic episode leading to coughing.
  • Heart Disease: Certain forms of heart disease in cats can cause fluid to build up in the lungs, leading to coughing. 

Remember, persistent coughing in your cat during purring could indicate a serious health problem, and it is advisable to seek professional veterinary advice.

Is Coughing During Purring Normal For Cats?

Occasional coughing can be normal, especially if your cat has just eaten or drank too quickly. However, frequent and persistent coughing is not normal and should be checked by a vet. Cat coughs can be a signal of some serious health problems.

When Should I Take My Cat To The Vet For Coughing While Purring?

You should consider taking your cat to the vet for coughing while purring in the following circumstances:

Persistent Coughing: If the coughing is persistent and your cat is unable to stop, it’s a sign that you should get your pet examined by a vet. 

Difficulty in Breathing: If your cat is showing signs of difficulty while breathing, like gasping for air or breathing through the mouth, it’s time to consult the vet.

Changes in Behavior: A change in your cat’s behavior such as cat walking slowly, only eating a little bit, or unusual aggression can be a sign of discomfort related to the coughing.

Physical Symptoms: If there are other physical symptoms accompanying the cough such as blue gums, weight loss, or lethargy, it’s recommended to take your cat to the vet for a check-up.

Frequent Hairballs: If your cat is frequently producing hairballs and coughing during purring, it might be worth a visit to the vet to rule out any gastrointestinal issues.

Change in Purring Sound: If you notice a change in the sound of your cat’s purr, particularly if it becomes more wheezy or raspy, it could be a sign of a respiratory problem and should be checked by a vet.

Is There Any Way To Prevent My Cat From Coughing While Purring?

In an effort to prevent your cat from coughing while purring, there are several preventive measures you can take:

  • Regular Vet Check-ups: Regular vet visits for routine check-ups are vital in detecting any potential health issues early. 
  • Indoor Environment: Limiting your cat’s outdoors time reduces the chance of them contracting parasites or viruses that could lead to coughing. 
  • Diet Control: Provide a balanced and digestible diet to reduce the possibility of hairballs. Cat food that specifically designed to control hairballs can be part of this diet.
  • Weight Management: Helping your cat maintain a healthy weight can reduce the risk of heart disease, which can cause coughing.
  • Hydration: Encourage your cat to drink water. More fluid can help decrease the frequency of hairballs and the associated coughing.
  • Grooming: Regular grooming helps control the amount of hair your cat ingests, reducing the likelihood of hairball formation.
  • Avoid Smoke and Other Irritants: Smoke, perfumes, and certain kinds of plants can irritate your cat’s lungs. Keeping these away from your cat can help prevent coughing episodes.
  • Proper Vaccinations: Ensure your cat’s vaccinations are up-to-date to prevent respiratory infections.

Related: How Much Do Cat Vaccines Cost?


In conclusion, there are a few different reasons why your cat cough while purring. It could be a simple case of hairballs or allergies, but it’s important to pay attention and monitor your cat’s health if the coughing continues. In some cases, it could be a sign of a more serious respiratory issue such as asthma or bronchitis. It’s always best to consult with your veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment plan. Remember, our feline companions can’t tell us when they’re feeling unwell, so it’s up to us to stay informed and observe any changes in their behavior or habits. As responsible pet owners, it’s our duty to provide the best care possible for our cats and ensure their well-being. So if you notice any unusual coughing during purring or any other symptoms that concern you, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.