Why Does My Cat Meow When I Cough?

Your cats’ behavior is always one of your top priorities.

You’re here to be your partner and caregiver, so you play an active role in their health and safety. If your cats are acting differently than usual, you should examine your behavior.

Perhaps your cats are trying to tell you something. So, why does my cat meow when I cough?

Cats have excellent hearing and sense of smell. If you cough or sneeze, the sounds are clearly heard and registered as a danger signal by the cats.

Cats can easily recognize those sounds and react by meowing to alert you that something outside your safety zone has to be avoided.

Why Does My Cat Meow When I Cough?

When I cough, the cats meow to warn me of something dangerous outside my safety zoneIn times of illness, cats try to find the comfort from their owners before seeking medical attention.

The majority of coughs are simply triggered by irritants or allergens that irritate the airways, like dust or pollen, and you will be able to treat this with a cough suppressant or antihistamine.

A cat’s response might range anywhere from an attempt to go outside to hiding or staying away from its owner.

Because not all cats react in exactly the same way to the same thing, it is hard to pinpoint the exact reason for their reaction.

Other cats in the cattery may respond differently to that noise.

If their cat is not in the room, they assume something is wrong with your cat and will run to comfort the cat and praise it for doing such a job in protecting you.

Something Might Be Very Wrong

While cats may not always pay heed to their owner’s warnings, their reactions are still important as it gives them peace of mind and allows them to know that the owner is aware of their presence and cares.

Cats can sense the adverse changes in their owner’s body and instantly react to it. My kitty is sleeping on my lap when I start to cough and he starts to respond by meowing loudly.

Even if your cats do not feel scared or anxious, their reaction is still important as it allows them to feel more relaxed and reassured.

They Don’t Understand What’s Going on and Need Assistance

When you cough, you’re likely to contort your face into all sorts of positions — and completely forget to cover your mouth.

In certain circumstances, that item is critical, such as when a dog is fighting for breath with his paws and his mouth.

If your cat notices you hacking and gasping, it may run to you for comfort or it may try to wake you up and show you what to do.

They Are Jealous

When you cough, you may be concerned if your cat witnesses that; of course, coughing up mucus is never fun for anyone.

Cats have been spotted meowing anytime they witness a human coughing or sneezing and these cat sounds are not random at all.

If they discover that it isn’t them and that you are suffering from a common cold or flu, they could grow jealous and they may react by meowing more often and with even more annoyance than usual.

They’re Advising You on How to Live Your Life

My cat came up and slept across my chest when I got sick.

I thought that was adorable at first, but after a while I realized that it was something more than affection.

They Are Overjoyed to See You

Many people have heard that a purring cat is the sound that cats make when they are content or happy.

True, however cats use purring to convey more than contentment or happiness; cats are also vocalizing when they’re nervous, in pain or in need of attention.

They’re Attempting to Solve a Problem

It’s a reflex response if your cat sees you choking.

It might also just suggest that your cat is upset about the taste of your spit when you’re trying to swallow a pill or drink a glass of water.

They Want Attention

Your cat needs your attention, and if you’re sick, you’re likely not giving it to them.

When you’re feeling under the weather, it’s more likely to happen that you will “forget” to give your cat the affection and cuddles that it needs.

Your cat will enjoy all of your attention, and though it may take some getting used to, when paired with some extra attention, your cat will learn that petting you while you have a cold or the flu is an acceptable form of affection.

They’re Terrified

When I cough, one of cats will run over and try to get as close as they can to me.

There’s no mistake about it; she simply doesn’t like the sound and it’s the most surefire way I know to calm her down.

As much as I want to console her and assure her that everything’s OK, the simple truth is that she can’t fathom why I’m making that weird sound.

It doesn’t last long, however, and after I’ve taken a few normal breaths she wanders back to whatever she was doing before she came to find me.

Also Read: Why Does Your Cat Kitten Meow While Eating?


My cat meows when I cough because she wants to stay close to me, and if she can’t see me she’s going to check and make sure that I’m OK.

While there are a variety of reasons why your cat may meow when you cough or sneeze, there are none that should alarm you or cause you to think you have a serious problem.

Don’t panic if your kitty does this; she simply wants reassurance and a little bit of attention when she hears something that doesn’t make much sense to her.

Consult a veterinarian to see whether there are any physical problems that might be causing or exacerbating your coughing or sneezing, but odds are good that you’ll find that your cat has no cause for alarm.