Hi, my female cat is almost 16 and is now a house cat. Last week she got into a huge mess on the litter tray and the only way we could clean her was to half bath her, after which she groomed herself profusely to dry off (despite our best efforts to dry her ourselves) A few days ago she brought up a hairball but last night I heard her making a strange noise. She's had about 4-5 bouts of it during the night and this morning. It's like she's coughing but it's a real hacking cough with no production of a hairball. Normally when she has a hairball she is quiet and there isn't much much noise but this is noisy. Obviously I want to avoid an expensive vet visit if its unnecessary, and any stress to her (she gets very anxious when we take her, at the same time I'm worried about her. Does anyone know what this can be? Thanks in advance.