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Young Adult Cats

Lower airway disease is common in young adult cats.27 Coughing is a typical sign of feline bronchial disease; however, the veterinarian must consider the role of heartworm-associated respiratory disease (HARD), transtracheal migration of roundworm (Toxocara cati ), and lungworm. Asking specific questions regarding the presence of coughing is helpful for early diagnosis and treatment. Coughing is not typically a hallmark of cardiac disease in cats, in contrast to canine patients, nor is it caused by hairballs. Young adult cats developing cardiac conditions such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are often asymptomatic or may display changes in activity level or exercise tolerance.

Asking specific questions concerning whether vomiting, vomiting hairballs, or diarrhea is occurring, and the frequency of each, is recommended as some clients may consider vomiting or vomiting hairballs to be normal for their cat. Additionally, discuss the importance of monitoring weight, and ask about any chronic enteropathy or gastrointestinal (GI) signs that could indicate early stages of disease.

Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc., CareCredit, Dechra Veterinary Products, IDEXX Laboratories, Inc., Merck Animal Health, and Zoetis Petcare supported the development of the 2021 AAHA/AAFP Feline Life Stage Guidelines and resources through an educational grant to AAHA.

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