Asthma is one of the most common causes of coughing, a sign which is often confused with the noise made when trying to bring up a hairball.  Asthma can cause serious symptoms such as laboured or open mouth breathing (panting is not normal in cats and is a sign of illness or severe stress). Respiratory distress is a life-threatening emergency so if you see these signs, ring your vet immediately. Smoking is one of the biggest triggers so if your cat is diagnosed with asthma, it’s time to put out those cigarettes for good!