Why Is My Cat Wheezing? – Kitten Huffing Gagging Sound & Breathing Hard

Hearing a cat’s wheezing sound for the first time can put most cat owners in stressful conditions. If you have recently noticed that your cat is wheezing or breathing heavily every time, then you must consult any nearby veterinary doctor as soon as possible. It’s a critical health concern that you shouldn’t ignore. Otherwise, it may further cause complications. This article will address the most common health conditions associated with cat wheezing when breathing.

What Does Wheezing or Cat Huffing Sound Feel Like? 

Well, it’s one of the most challenging jobs, especially when it comes to diagnosis the right problem in cats. Remember, the wheezing sound in cats is quite similar to humans as it usually resembles huffing or whistling sounds during breathing. Moreover, trouble breathing or heavy breathing in cats can also be noticed, along with wheezing.

The root cause of wheezing and heavy breathing in cats is due to narrow airways of the lungs that produce these types of sounds. Due to the inflammation, it can also be accompanied by a sudden cough or increased breathing rate. If you have seen any of these signs in your cat, you must get immediate veterinary attention.

What Causes Wheezing in Cats?

There are wide ranges of causes when it comes to wheezing, such as allergies, infections, or any obstructions. However, we are going to list down some of the most common causes of wheezing in cats.


Just like in humans, asthma is also a prevalent medical condition in animals, including cats or kittens. If you have observed prolong wheezing in your cat, then it could be an asthma attack. However, it’s a less common cause of sudden or infrequent wheezing in cats, but still, it’s your responsibility to rule out everything.


In cats, the hairs are not just limited to skin, as they can also reach the stomach or esophagus in some cases. The wheezing sound can also be due to the hairball in the stomach or esophagus. However, the wheezing sound caused by hairballs usually stops once the hairball is successfully expelled. Remember, instead of assuming about diagnoses by yourself, you must consult any nearby veterinary doctor because it could be any other serious condition as well.


Just like we humans suffer from different types of allergies due to dust, pollen, mold, smoke, etc… cats can also suffer from these allergic conditions, which cause wheezing sounds. This wheezing sound in cats indicates that the airways of the lungs are irritated due to any allergy. Your nearby veterinary doctor can guide you best to limit the exposure of your cat to these allergens.


Stress is a widespread problem in both cats and humans. The long-term stress in cats can cause breathing problems such as wheezing, heavy breathing, and many other similar symptoms. There could be many causes of stress, such as interaction with random people, places, or annoying loud noises. If everything looks normal in the tests, but still your cat is making wheezing sounds, it could be due to the stress response. It’s your job to handle the situation best by avoiding the stress triggers that we have discussed earlier.


Animals such as cats and kittens can also experience flu, cold, and chest infections, just like humans. Several types of infections, including both viral and bacterial, can cause wheezing and heavy breathing in cats. If an infection causes the wheezing of your cat, a simple antibiotic therapy will be effective to cure the problem. Remember, a small number of COVID-19 cases are reported in cats recently, and they can also cause some similar respiratory signs and symptoms. However, there is no need to isolate your cat because cat-to-human transmission of coronavirus is not yet reported.

Foreign Objects

If any foreign object is stuck in your cat’s throat, it can also restrict the airflow that results in wheezing sounds. Ensure that there isn’t any blockage in the esophagus of your cat due to any foreign object. If you have any doubt or suspicion, you must take your cat to the nearby veterinary doctor.

Treatments for Cat Wheezing Sound

The treatment plan for a wheezing cat depends on the actual cause. It’s crucial to first determine the condition properly through any certified veterinary doctor before starting any treatment. During the diagnosis, the doctor will be likely to ask you about the complete medical history of your cat to rule out certain conditions such as allergies, foreign objects, hairballs, asthma, and many others. However, we have listed a few main treatment options for wheezing cats for your convenience.

  • Asthma inhalers in case of asthma.
  • Anti-allergy medications.
  • Surgical intervention for blockages.
  • Antibiotics for infections.

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When Should You Be Concerned?

Even though the infrequent cat and kitten wheezing are pretty normal, however; you should be concerned if you have noticed any of these signs in your cat.

  • Cat sticking tongue out and wheezing.
  • Cat coughs and wheezes.
  • Coughing or choking sounds.
  • Tiredness.
  • Loss of appetite.

Wrap Up: My Cat is Wheezing and Gagging

We hope our detailed article on cats wheezing will be helpful for you in diagnoses the problem in your cat.  We have collected this information after consulting many certified veterinary experts. However, it’s not medical advice because your local veterinary doctor is the most suitable person to treat your cat. Remember, breathing sounds in cats are often normal, while some cats also have habits of making these types of sounds. If you have noticed any change in the breathing pattern of your cat recently, then you must immediately consult your local veterinary doctor.

About Maria A. Davis

Hi, I am Maria A. Davis and I am a loving mother and a dedicated reviewer for Homeheavenz.com. I tried and tested a number of air purifiers and humidifiers on the market to improve indoor air quality. I created this guide from my knowledge and personal experience so you can improve the air quality in your home and office.

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