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Home Blog Pet Health

Why Does My Cat Cough After Drinking Water? 8 Potential Reasons

Mar 13, 2023

Author:Lisa Martinez

Sometimes, you may notice your cat coughing after drinking water. Let’s investigate the reasons why your cat coughs after drinking water. We'll discuss ways how you can help calm this disrupting behavior.

Why Does My Cat Cough After Drinking Water?

There are several reasons why your cat might cough after drinking water. These reasons range from relatively benign to downright serious. Knowing the cause of your cat's coughing can help you decide on an effective treatment plan when necessary.

Let's take a look at reasons why your cat coughs after drinking water.

Reason 1: They are drinking too quickly

Cats have small stomachs and they generally sip water instead of gulping it. If your cat drinks a large amount of water too quickly, this can cause coughing because they simply aren’t used to drinking this much amount of water in one sitting.

cat drinks water quickly

Reason 2: They are drinking too much

Drinking too much at one time can cause your cat to cough. Your feline friend might be excessively thirsty if they've a health problem such as diabetes, kidney disease, or Cushing’s disease. These health problems can cause your kitty to drink large amounts of water and then start coughing.

cat drinks water too much

Reason 3: Their collar is too tight

If your cat’s collar is too tight, it might make it difficult for them to swallow water. Adjusting your kitty’s collar will fix the problem. Ideally, you must be able to slip two fingers between your kitty’s skin and collar.

Reason 4: They may have a disease or infection

If your cat comes into regular contact with other animals, there is a chance that your cat could contract a disease that causes coughing.

Certain respiratory infections can irritate the throat and cause symptoms like coughing and difficulty breathing. Inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract may make your cat dry gag or cough shortly after drinking. Lower airway disease can cause a cat to cough after drinking water.

Reason 5: The water tastes bad

Cats are sensitive to tastes, temperatures, and smells. You might notice your kitty is a bit picky about their food or water. Exposure to certain textures and flavors of food early in life can shape your kitty’s dietary preferences later on. The material of your cat’s water dish can also affect the taste of their water. So, if you notice your kitty isn’t drinking enough, you might want to offer them a new dish to see what they like best.

 water tasts bad

Reason 6: Your cat may swallow a foreign object when drinking

Cats can cough after drinking water when a foreign object is swallowed and inadvertently stuck in their mouth. When this occurs, your cat may be in great distress, coughing, and pawing at their mouths. 

Reason 7: Your cat suffers from allergies

Your cat may suffer from allergies to pollen, dust, mold, cleaning supplies, and deodorants. Swelling of a cat's throat can occur due to an allergic reaction. If your cat has seasonal allergies, they may start coughing and wheezing when the allergens become more widespread outdoors. 

cat allergies

Reason 8: Your cat has a hairball

As part of the regular grooming, cats often catch hair in their tongues over time. You may hear your cat coughing after drinking water when the hairball makes its way up to the esophagus. 

A hairball might be causing your cat to cough and retch. Your cat may start coughing to expel the hairball. 

How to Prevent Your Cat from Choking on Water?

Choking is a life-threatening emergency in cats caused by an obstruction that keeps air from entering their lungs.

Preventing cats from choking on water in the first place is a key way to keep your kitty safe. There are several steps you can take to help prevent your cat from choking on water. Some of which are listed below:

1. Refresh your cat's water frequently

Your feline companions need to have access to clean, fresh water at all times. Your cat’s water needs to be always fresh, please make sure to change it at least once a day.

2. Get a water fountain 

Cats usually prefer drinking running water. A cat water fountain is a great solution to your kitty's reluctance to drink from a water dish and to prevent choking. If your cat’s only issue is that she drinks too fast, it’s time to get a water fountain. WOpet cat water fountain may helps!

wopet cat water fountain

The fountain comes with double filtration system so that it can always offer fresh and flowing water for your cat! And its glowing blue lights of the fountain are designed to encourage your cat to drink water at night. Don't worry, the WOpet water fountain is also easy to clean.

3. Ensure your cat collar fits properly

Cats can choke by having an obstruction around their neck. This is sometimes caused by your cat’s collar getting snagged or an object and getting wound around their neck.

Collars that are too tight pose a choking hazard to both cats and dogs. It’s best to make sure your kitty’s collar is never too tight. Always ensure that the collar you use for cats is a quick-release collar. They have a mechanism that opens the cat's collar when extreme pressure or force is exerted. This can help to prevent your kitty from coughing or serious injury.

4. Visit your vet regularly

Stay on top of your cat’s health. Regular vet checkups are the best way to ensure any underlying medical conditions will be detected as soon as possible. If you notice your cat seems to have cough or difficulty breathing, it’s always a great idea to consult your vet.

If cat choking after drinking water is something that just started in your kitty or is something that is getting worse or causing distress, be sure to see your vet for a proper diagnosis.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1. What to do if my cat is choking?

    Your cat might be choking due to a hairball that she can't expel. However, accidents are more often the result of an object lodged in their throat. Choking is an emergency that needs to be managed immediately. You can also learn the Heimlich maneuver to help your choking cat.

  • 2. Why does my cat throw up after drinking water?

    There are various reasons why cats throw up after drinking water. Your cat may be throwing up after drinking water because she may be drinking a great deal of water in a short period. They might be trying to cough up a hairball. If your cat has an empty stomach and drinks a lot of water, the stomach acid will build up rapidly and it causes nausea and vomiting. 

  • 3. Why is my cat wheezing?

    Conditions such as cat asthma and heart problems can cause cat wheezing. So, if your cat is wheezing, it's a good idea to get this symptom checked out by a vet.

  • 4. Why does my cat keep sneezing?

    Your cat may be sneezing for various reasons. One reason your cat keep sneezing is because there is some dust up their nose. Another reason could be a response to certain air fresheners or cleaning products. Some viruses and bacteria can cause upper respiratory infections in cats that may cause sneezing.