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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Cat question 
14th-Jun-2012 08:36 am
This is day two of Victoria seeming like she's going to hairball but not following through. Like, off and on all day. She's doing the "hhkkk" sounds, and sometimes it looks like she'll get a hairball out, but no dice.

Internet search says maybe asthma, but no, she's not wheezing. Or maybe respiratory illness, but the internet seems certain that other cats in the house would be symptomatic as well, and they're not.

She's otherwise acting totally normally, including purring.

14th-Jun-2012 12:42 pm (UTC)
How's her eating, and is she keeping it down? Could be a really big hairball or stuck somewhere weird. She could have eaten something else that's stuck in her throat.

Do you have hairball medicine? Would she eat food covered in olive oil? Giving her something that would get stuff to move would help eliminate a set of possibilities.

Asthma in humans does not necessarily require wheezing (in 12 years of having it, I've only wheezed once). Dunno if the same is true for cats.

Also, check the internet for enlarged esophagus, or however you spell it. A friend's dog just had it, which produced similar symptoms, but I don't know if it can happen in cats.
14th-Jun-2012 01:11 pm (UTC)
Several of my cats have that going on too. Hilfy in particular can cough so hard that she will make herself hork.

With them, it wasn'd any kind of bacterial infection, because anti-b's didn't touch it, but strangely the herpes virus can sometimes act like a persistent rhinovirus in cats. I've begun giving all of mine l-lysine supplements, and it seems to be helping. A vet can tell for sure with a blood test though.
14th-Jun-2012 01:52 pm (UTC)
My cat does that regularly. It seems as though she's actually swallowing the hairball instead of letting it come out. Ew. Might want to try asking your vet for some of that hairball lubricant to help her get whatever it is out.
14th-Jun-2012 01:55 pm (UTC)
Mischief used to do that. It usually resulted in a truly EPIC hairball being deposited somewhere unfortunate at 3 a.m. A spoonful of olive oil would help the process along. He would lap it straight off a spoon, but he was a weird cat.
14th-Jun-2012 02:17 pm (UTC)
Watch and see how she's eating, and if she's losing any weight. If she's eating well and keeping weight on, she's likely fine; just passing a big hairball.
14th-Jun-2012 03:20 pm (UTC)
We had the cat cold run thru our house not long ago. Took a week before the third one caught it. If they start sneezing with the cough, then its definitely a cold. Soft food & plenty of water does the cure in 7 days
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14th-Jun-2012 03:56 pm (UTC)
I've witnessed her eating without trouble... I will definitely keep a close eye on her.

I have no idea how I'm going to manage to dose her with olive oil by myself! >.
14th-Jun-2012 04:30 pm (UTC)
Our cats have always given us several "false alarms" when they're working on a hairball. As others have said, so long as she's eating and going to the litterbox it's probably nothing worse. If you can't get her to take olive oil, there are hairball-treating treats available which the kittles tend to be more cooperative about taking.
20th-Jun-2012 08:34 pm (UTC)
Also, if it's a hairball thing- many cats quite like squash and pumpkin, and it's got lots of good fiber. You can also soak oat bran in water overnight and mix a bit in with the gushyfudz, if she gets gushyfudz.
15th-Jun-2012 12:07 pm (UTC)
Definitely sounds like athsma -- they don't need to be wheezing. Take her into the vet and they can xray her. We recently had to do this with our own cat who was exhibiting the exact same symptoms.
20th-Jun-2012 08:33 pm (UTC)
I'd guess asthma. That was exactly what one of our previous cats did, and the vet didn't hear anything in his lungs when he was there- but he'd hork as if for a hairball several times a day, especially after exerting himself, and it turned out it WAS asthma anyway, and he died of it (mixed with bronchitis).

Nobody's fault, but really sad- he was only 8.

He NEVER wheezed, by the way; I think that was why we and the vet missed it early on.
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