Cat making loud rattling, rasping sounds

by Dennis
(Seattle, WA)

Do you know what might cause a cat to make loud rattling, rasping sounds even when not asleep? The behavior is intermittent but the cat does not seem to be in distress, eating, sleeping, eliminating, etc. as before.

What procedures would a veterinary be likely to do and how much would they cost?

I brought my cat in for an office visit but they were unable to come up with anything as my cat was not making the loud rasping, rattling sounds during that visit. An antibiotic for any infection of the airways helped initially but then lost its efficacy. (MY cat had an URI when I adopted her as a kitten).


This sounds like Feline Herpes Virus. One of my cats has it and it remains dormant for years at a time but during high stress times like holiday fireworks, she has an outbreak.

My vet prescribes Azithromycin and in 7-10 days it is dormant again. During these outbreaks it is important to keep contact with other cats in the household at a minimum since it is contagious.

Making sure they drink lots of water and get a nutritional diet is also important during these outbreaks. My cat is now 12 years old and has had only 4 outbreaks so it can be managed reasonably well.

Most of the time you have no indication that she has FHV. The flair-up is usually when she makes the rattling noises both when asleep and awake. It is the mucous build up like with a head cold.

Your vet may have missed knowing what it was if no blood test was taken since when it is dormant there is little indication it exists.

I hope this helps you. Now you can discuss it with your vet and see if he confirms it with blood test results.

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