My Cat Sounds Congested When Breathing

We have covered all you need to know in this post. My cat sounds congested when breathing – why and what to do? Why does my cat’s breathing sound clog? What Should I Do If My Cat’s Breathing Appearance Is Congested?

A cough, sneeze, sniffle, or sneezing are common signs of a cold and should not be ignored. These may be signs of allergies, upper respiratory tract infections, asthma, pneumonia, or other ailments. Paying attention to your cat’s breathing is important as it can indicate what’s wrong.

Cats have a very distinctive set of noises they make when they breathe, which is often a sign that something is wrong. We can help you identify the different types of noises your cat is making and the things that can be causing them.

My Cat Sounds Congested When Breathing

To ensure your pet’s breath will be the best it can be, you should first look at the airway, the nostrils, and the trachea (throat). These parts of the respiratory system get blocked due to respiratory tract infections, allergies, colds, and several other conditions.

Next, you need to understand how the pet is breathing. Is it living with its mouth open or closed? You also want to ensure that it is not snoring or gasping for air.

What is Noisy Breathing

Noisy breathing is the opposite of quiet breathing. Cats produce noises (or make noise) with each breath they take in and out. The noises aren’t loud, but you can still hear them if you are close enough to the cat to listen.

You could hear two forms of loud breathing, distinguished by whether they occur on the in or out-breath.

  • Noisy Inhalation:
  • When it comes to snoring, many different types can be classified based on the frequency and duration of each sound. While some may sound like they have a distinct tone, many overlapping types exist.

When someone snores, the noise comes from their nose and mouth. The most frequent type of snoring occurs when air is pushed through narrow nasal passages during sleep.

  • Noisy Exhalation:

Stridor is a harsh, high-pitched wheezing sound that occurs during an attack, typically caused by air trapped in the windpipe due to inflammation. It can be heard during a seizure and may be present at rest. It’s usually a loud and irritating sound, but not always.

In both circumstances, the air your cat is breathing is trying to pass through the airways. The neck, nasal passages, larynx, or windpipe obstructions and constrictions indicate that air encounters resistance.

Cat Sounds Congested When PurringCat Sounds Congested When Purring

I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard of kittens with a raspy voice. However, this one looks like it’s just purring! How weird is that?

A family cat has had some medical issues that required surgery. The surgery went fine, but the vet later discovered an infection in a tooth that had grown around one of the incisors.

The family is concerned that the cat is not eating, is lethargic, and is not moving well. How do you assess what is normal for a cat recovering from surgery?

She doesn’t make this sound whenever she isn’t purring and seems perfectly healthy in other respects.

I want to ensure that he doesn’t have any respiratory illness.

So now I’m awake again. He’s asleep in my arms, his head resting on my chest. He’s occasionally making soft purring noises through his nose.

Why Does My Cat Sound Congested When Breathing?Why Does My Cat Sound Congested When Breathing

My cat sounds congested when breathing; now that we know what noisy breathing is, we can look more closely at what causes those airway blockages.

Congested breathing is associated with a variety of medical disorders. Read through each one to see if your cat has a medical problem, and then contact your vet.

Tracheal Foreign Bodies

One of the major reasons your cat sounds congested while breathing is that a foreign item is restricting its airways. Cats are naturally curious creatures. They will often get themselves into situations that they might regret later.

This was the case with one of my cats, who was curious about some plastic wrap on the kitchen floor. She inhaled it, and it became lodged in her trachea. She couldn’t breathe properly for three months.

This is one of the most common problems we see at the clinic. Cats inhale particles like hairballs or feathers into their lungs, often coughing or wheezing. Fortunately, it is usually not a serious problem, but the consequences could be serious if the object is very big.


Asthma is the term used to describe a set of symptoms in cats such as wheezing or rapid breathing, coughing, and general difficulty with breathing. The condition can be brought on by many factors, including pollen, dust, inhaled allergens, or exposure to irritants. Nearly half of all cats are affected by some form of chronic disease.

This leads them to constrict, making breathing more difficult and loud. If your cat has asthma, you may help them get more air into their lungs by breathing through their lips.

Inhaled irritants in the air usually trigger asthma in cats, and many veterinarians believe that irritants are at least partially responsible for asthma in cats.

Pollen, dust mites, cigarette smoke, artificial perfumes, and even cats may be irritants! Therefore, one way to comfortable your cat is by trying to reduce the number of allergens in your house.

Some suggestions for cats with asthma are listed below:

Cat Litter

If your cat has asthma, it may be best to try a litter that’s free of those things that can irritate his lungs.

A traditional clay cat litter is a great place to start because it has a natural, organic smell.

Air humidifiers

Cats can develop respiratory problems when they get dry air. Therefore, you can buy an air humidifier if your cat has asthma.

The best thing that can be done to reduce asthma in cats is to clean their homes frequently. In addition, you should also limit or eliminate the use of fragrances and other chemicals that can harm your cat’s health.

Upper Respiratory Infections

Upper respiratory infections in cats include symptoms like sneezing, coughing, runny noses, congestion, and congested breathing. These infections are quite prevalent and similar to humans’ common cold.

Viruses and bacteria are responsible for their spread, including feline herpesvirus, feline calicivirus, and feline coronavirus. The infection is spread via sneezing or coughing from one cat to another.

If your cat has a disease, the body will react by launching an immune reaction. This causes inflammation of the upper airways and an increase in mucus production, further obstructing the channels. The symptoms of this are coughing, sneezing, and nasal discharge.

Aside from cats breathing loudly, some of the more prevalent symptoms are as follows:

  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Discharge from the nose and eyes
  • Ulcers in the mouth and nose
  • Sinus congestion or a runny nose

Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome

Unless something is wrong, most cats will not make an audible sound when breathing. Because of physical abnormalities in the airways, brachycephalic cats tend to be noisier breathers. Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome is the name for these problems (BOAS).

In brachycephalic breeds like Persians, Exotic Shorthairs, and Himalayans, there are a variety of anomalies that can occur. Pinched and narrow nostrils, sometimes called stenotic nares, are one of these disorders. A soft palate that reaches into the throat is also present.

Airway resistance occurs in each case because the airways are congested by either additional tissue or a reduced diameter. This means your cat will be suffocating and breathing loudly. BOAS causes cats to live with their mouths open regularly.

If your cat seems to be breathing fine but is unhappy with the state of its face, call your vet. The symptoms and possible causes of BOAS will be investigated. A physical examination will help rule out other issues. If BOAS is the cause of the physical abnormalities, your veterinarian may prescribe medication or propose surgery to rectify it.

Fluid Build-Up

Pulmonary edema is a fluid build-up in the lungs that can make cats sound congested when breathing. This may happen when fluid collects inside the alveoli of the lungs, which is known as pulmonary edema, and when fluid collects surrounding the lungs, which is known as pleural effusion.

Cats are a species that needs the right amount of water to function. The most common cause of dehydration in cats is not providing them with enough water to drink. The fluid that accumulates in the lungs can make breathing very hard. In these cases, it’s best to call your vet right away.

You can search for a variety of symptoms of fluid collection in the lungs, such as:

  • Excessive and fast breathing
  • Open-mouth breathing
  • Dry cough and wheezing
  • Extreme sluggishness and weakness
  • Appetite loss
  • Blue discoloration of mucus membranes
  •  Stomach bloating

Heavy and rapid breathing. She was breathing with an open mouth. Wheezing and a dry cough. Excessive tiredness and weakness. A change in a person’s appetite. Blue discoloration of their mucous membranes.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease that affects over 40 million individuals in the United States alone. COPD causes breathing issues, as the name indicates, but all phases of the disease have one thing in common: they impede airflow into and out of the lungs. When your cat breathes, they sound suffocated!

Furthermore, older cats are more likely to get the disease than younger cats. COPD is a progressive disease; thus, your cat should be treated as soon as possible.

My cat sounds congested when breathing; as a result, keep an eye out for wheezing, coughing, sneezing, and raspy breathing, all indicators of breathing problems. Make an appointment to see your veterinarian if you notice any of these symptoms.


Hyperthyroidism can induce the same symptoms in cats. However, it is a less likely reason. Some of the more common symptoms of this illness include the following:

  • Increased appetite, thirst, and urination
  • Increased restlessness
  • More aggressive behavior
  • Weight loss
  • Increased resting heart rate

Obesity is seen in this condition. It’s been related to feline hyperthyroidism, a disease in which the body’s thyroid hormone production increases. The thyroid gland is at the base of the animal’s neck, hence why obese cats look like they’re carrying a small bag of sand on their heads.

The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system, releasing hormones that regulate several bodily functions. It is located at the base of your neck and above your trachea, esophagus, and larynx. When there is an issue with the thyroid gland, it can cause breathing issues, including difficulty in breathing and feeling breathless.

A thyroid problem is diagnosed when a cat has many red spots on its skin and a lump in the throat. These symptoms could indicate a thyroid problem. It can create major health concerns if not handled.

Tumors and Cancers

Tumors may develop in various locations throughout the body, including the lungs. When this happens, the tumors can clog the airways and produce respiratory system congestion.

Most types of tumors in cats do not affect their airways. It is important to know that they are extremely rare and can be found in many different places.

Different people will respond differently to these disorders. However, there could be airway obstruction and other life-threatening problems in the most extreme cases. The most serious issue is the possibility of aspiration of lung secretions.

Lung cancer is one of the worst kinds of cancer. In the early stages, it presents with nonspecific, usually subtle symptoms. However, when tumors form in the lungs, symptoms such as a loss of appetite, weight loss, and fatigue become more prevalent.

Fluid accumulates around the lungs, resulting in pleural effusion. Although the fluid is linked to lung cancer, it does not necessarily indicate the disease.

What Should I Do If My Cat’s Breathing Sounds Congested?What Should I Do If My Cat's Breathing Sounds Congested

Cats and dogs may be wonderful companions, but even the most wonderful pet isn’t always fully healthy. It’s often not easy to tell if your cat is healthy or not.

And that’s where your vet is useful. The vet can tell if your feline is experiencing health problems by examining its mouth, heart, lungs, stomach, and ears.

My cat sounds congested when breathing; I will head to the vet. This is often a good idea because the vet may recommend further testing and procedures to treat the problem. They may also be able to identify the cause of your cat’s noisy breathing.

They will identify the reason and suggest treatment options based on their findings. Medication, surgery, or a combination of the two are commonly used. Once you’ve returned home, you’ll need to stick to the treatment plan to assist your cat is recovering from its sickness.

If cats are not adequately hydrated, they might develop congestion. This is something that can happen throughout the winter.

Try to prevent this by ensuring that your cat gets plenty of water. If they have an underlying health problem, consult your vet.


So why My cat sounds congested when breathing, This might be the first time your cat has had an episode of congestion, but if you’ve been noticing it for several days, it may be time to take action.

Your cat could have a bacterial or viral infection that will require treatment with antibiotics or antiviral medications. Your cat could also have an underlying medical condition that requires further evaluation.

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