Cat asthma is a condition that is very similar to human asthma. It is a chronic inflammation of the airways in a cat’s lungs.
When a cat has an asthma attack, it becomes difficult to breathe. Some studies have estimated that almost five percent of all cats have asthma.
If you are seeing symptoms in your cat, then You need to consult your veterinarian immediately so they can diagnose and treat the problem. Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of asthma in cats.
Symptoms of asthma in cats
Symptoms of asthma in cats are mostly related to breathing problems that you may notice in your cat.
Some of the most common symptoms are:
- Rapid breathing
- Gasp for air
- Much cough
- Make a whistling sound when you breathe
- Squat with rapid breathing
- Lips and gums turn blue
- Appear generally more tired after physical exertion
Causes of Asthma in Cats
Cat asthma is usually attributed to what is known as allergic bronchitis, which can occur when a cat’s lungs become inflamed after inhaling an allergen. When the cat’s immune system reacts to the allergen, it may cause swelling or irritation of the airways.
Some of the factors that can trigger an asthma attack in a cat include:
- Cigarette smoke
- Pollen and grass
- A pre-existing heart condition
- Household hard chemicals
Treatments for asthma in cats
If you take your cat to a veterinarian for asthma, the veterinarian will examine your cat’s breathing and may order a chest x-ray as well.
If the veterinarian concludes that your cat has asthma, one of the main treatment options is to use corticosteroids, a drug that reduces inflammation in the cat’s airways. This can be given either orally, by injection, or with an inhaler just like a human inhaler.
Aside from medication, it is advisable to make some changes to your cat’s environment to reduce the likelihood of an allergic exacerbation. Some general suggestions are:
- Conversion to dust-free litter
- Keep a clean and smoke-free household
- Make sure the rooms are well ventilated
- Avoid using perfumes or aerosols in the home
Have you ever looked after a cat with asthma? What tips do you have for other pet parents with asthmatic cats? Let us know in the comments section below!