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Feline Asthma: Causes Symptoms Treatment and Prevention

Can Cats Have Asthma? As pet owners, we want our furry friends to be healthy and happy all the time.

However, just like humans, cats can suffer from chronic diseases that can affect their quality of life. Feline asthma, a chronic allergic bronchitis, is one such disease that can affect our precious feline friends.

In this article, we will explore the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of feline asthma to help you spot the signs and provide appropriate care to your cat.

Causes of Feline Asthma

Feline asthma is a respiratory condition that can be triggered by various irritants. These irritants cause the immune system to overreact, leading to inflammation in the airways.

Some of the primary triggers of feline asthma include dust, cigarette smoke, mold, plants, parasites, cat litter, and household chemicals. Exposure to these irritants can lead to chronic bronchitis, which can become severe over time if left untreated.

Symptoms of Feline Asthma

Feline asthma can manifest with different types of symptoms, and their severity can vary between cats. Some common symptoms of feline asthma are:

Chronic Symptoms:

– Coughing

– Noise while breathing

– Increased rate of breathing

– Decreased activity

– Change in behavior

Acute Symptoms:

– Audible breathing noises

– Lack of activity and appetite

– Increased rate of breathing

– Open mouth breathing

If your cat is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is essential to seek veterinary care promptly.

Diagnosis of Feline Asthma

To diagnose feline asthma, your veterinarian will perform several diagnostic tests to rule out other medical conditions that can mimic asthma symptoms. These tests may include X-rays, feces test, bloodwork, bronchoalveolar lavage, and echocardiogram.

In some cases, your veterinarian may also perform an echocardiogram to rule out heart disease, as some symptoms of heart failure can mimic asthma symptoms. The primary differences between feline asthma and heart failure are the symptoms and the echocardiogram results.

Treatment of Feline Asthma

If your cat has been diagnosed with feline asthma, there are various treatment options available. Emergency treatment may be necessary if your cat is experiencing an acute attack.

This may include providing oxygen and fast-acting medications to alleviate the symptoms. In the long-term, oral steroids, inhaled steroids, bronchodilators, and immunosuppressants can help alleviate the symptoms and improve your cat’s quality of life.

Prevention of Feline Asthma

Prevention is always the best approach to any medical condition, and feline asthma is no exception. To avoid feline asthma, you can take the following steps:

– Keep your home clean and free of dust and mold.

– Do not smoke around your cat. – Address mold immediately.

– Test for parasites regularly. – Use low-dust litter.

Can Siamese Cats Develop Feline Asthma? Siamese cats are more predisposed to developing feline asthma compared to other breeds.

This may be due to their genetics and the fact that they are often kept indoors. Indoor cats are more prone to feline asthma because they are exposed to irritants such as mold, dust, and smoke.

In conclusion, feline asthma is a respiratory disease that can affect cats of any breed or age. If your cat is displaying any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is essential to seek veterinary care promptly.

With the correct diagnosis and treatment, your cat can live a happy, healthy life free of asthma symptoms. By taking preventative measures such as keeping your home clean and smoke-free and testing for parasites, you can help reduce the risk of your cat developing feline asthma.

Cat Asthma Symptoms

Just like humans, cats can develop chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma. Cats with asthma may exhibit a variety of symptoms, which can impact their quality of life.

Knowing the symptoms can help pet owners identify the problem early, which is beneficial to their pet’s wellbeing. In this article, we’ll be discussing the different symptoms of feline asthma, both chronic and acute, as well as how to take action during a cat asthma attack.

Chronic Symptoms

Asthma often causes chronic symptoms that can resemble a cold. An early warning sign of this respiratory illness is dry or moist coughing that sounds like hacking or gagging.

If your cat coughs frequently and experiences laryngeal spasm, which is the constriction of the larynx, it can be an indication of asthma. When your cat breathes, you may also hear a wheezing sound or a noise that resembles the sound of the air passing through a hair dryer.

This noise is due to the tightening of the airways. Cats with asthma may also have difficulty breathing and experience a higher respiratory rate above 30 breaths per minute.

This can lead to decreased activity and even a change in behavior.

Acute Symptoms

If feline asthma is not treated or contained, it can lead to acute symptoms that can be life-threatening. These symptoms can include an increased respiratory rate of more than 50 breaths per minute, a lack of appetite, and lethargy.

If you observe your cat’s breathing, you may see an open mouth and notice a bluish tinge on the gums and tongue. This is an indication of a lack of oxygen and signifies that it’s time to take your cat to the veterinarian immediately.

Another acute symptom is audible sounds that your cat makes while breathing. This unusual breathing pattern often sounds like gagging or wheezing, and the cat may be making it in an effort to cough up a hairball.

Action During Asthma Attack

During a feline asthma attack, its crucial to act quickly and take appropriate measures to help your cat. If your cat begins to exhibit the symptoms mentioned above, call your veterinarian immediately.

Remember, any delay in treatment can be fatal for your cat. Keep your cat calm and reduce any stress during the attack as it may worsen their condition.

If an attack occurs after-hours, bring the cat to an emergency hospital.

Medications to Treat Cat Asthma

Feline asthma can be managed effectively with medications. The type of medication your veterinarian prescribes will depend on your cat’s medical history, severity of the asthma attack, and age.

Four main types of medications are commonly prescribed for cats with asthma. 1.

Oral Steroids

Prednisolone is an oral steroid that plays a vital role in reducing inflammation in your cat’s airways. It works by inhibiting the immune system’s inflammatory response, which can help to alleviate bronchospasm temporarily.

However, the long-term use of oral steroids can cause many side effects such as weight gain, excessive thirst, skin irritation, and vomiting. 2.

Inhaled Steroids

Fluticasone propionate is a common inhaled steroid used to treat feline asthma. It is administered via an inhaler, which delivers the medication directly into the lungs, where it reduces inflammation.

Compared to oral steroids, inhaled steroids have fewer side effects, making them a better option for long-term use. However, they can still cause side effects if given incorrectly.

Make sure you follow the veterinarian’s instructions on how to use the inhaler. 3.


Terbutaline is a bronchodilator that helps to relax the muscles surrounding the airways, making it easier for your cat to breathe. Administered as an injection or tablet, bronchodilators often cause side effects like trembling or restlessness.

However, if used correctly, they can provide significant relief to your cat when experiencing asthma. 4.


Cyclosporine is an immunosuppressant that sometimes is prescribed for cats with severe or unresponsive asthma. It works by reducing inflammation and preventing the immune system from attacking healthy cells.

Immunosuppressants are normally administered orally and have potential side effects like vomiting, decreased appetite, and diarrhea. Ensure to see your veterinarian if your cat exhibits any additional symptoms after taking this medication.

In conclusion, feline asthma is a respiratory disease that can affect your cat’s quality of life. It is imperative to recognize the symptoms and take necessary action during an attack.

Medications like oral steroids, inhaled steroids, bronchodilators, and immunosuppressants can help alleviate the symptoms. Work closely with your veterinarian when choosing a treatment plan for your cat, and always follow the instructions carefully to maximize the chances of a successful outcome.

General Cost to Treat Asthma in Cats

Feline asthma can be both a chronic and life-threatening condition, and managing it requires a comprehensive treatment plan. The cost of diagnosis and managing the condition depends on the severity of the asthma and the treatment prescribed by the veterinarian.

In this article, we’ll explore the cost of diagnosing and treating feline asthma.

Cost of Diagnosis and Treatment

The cost of diagnosing and treating feline asthma varies widely based on the severity of the disease and the method used for diagnosis. The vet may recommend chest X-rays to detect inflammation and the narrowing of air passages.

Blood tests or bronchoalveolar lavage may also be required to rule out other health complications. In the most severe cases of feline asthma, emergency care may be necessary, and the cost can range from $300 to $600.

Long-term medical treatment is necessary in most cases to manage the condition and prevent relapses. Medications such as inhalers, corticosteroids, and bronchodilators can help control the symptoms.

Treatment costs can range from $800 to $1,500 per year depending on whether the cat requires ongoing medication administration and checkups.

Cost Range

The cost of treating feline asthma can vary depending on whether you have pet insurance and which veterinary clinic you visit. Pet insurance can help defray treatment costs, but it’s essential to check to see if your policies cover asthma-related care.

The range can vary from $1,000 (with pet insurance) or over $1,500 (without pet insurance).

Home Remedies for Cat Asthma

While prescription medication is critical in managing feline asthma, there are home remedies that can complement the treatment. Holistic therapy is an excellent option for pet owners who prefer to supplement Western medicine with natural remedies.

Supplementation to Western Medicine

Holistic medicine involves using natural remedies to manage your cat’s asthma. Holistic therapy can assist by treating the entire cat rather than only treating symptoms.

It involves examining a cat’s lifestyle, diet, and factors that could trigger an asthma attack. A holistic veterinarian can help assess and prescribe an individualized treatment plan that works in conjunction with your veterinarian’s treatment plan.

Examples of Home Remedies

A high-quality and specific diet can help maintain the cat’s weight and improve their overall health. Make sure the diet is high in protein, which will promote a healthy respiratory system.

Omega-3 supplements can also help reduce inflammation in the respiratory system. Acupuncture is another home remedy commonly used in treating a cat’s asthma; it helps to relax the respiratory system and promote a calm environment.

Herbal therapies that can be beneficial include chamomile and ginger, which help reduce inflammation and encourage a healthy respiratory system.

Complexity of Herbal Therapy

While herbal remedies are often seen as natural and safe, it’s essential to seek help from a holistic veterinarian when prescribing them for your cat. Some herbs can interact with medications prescribed by your veterinarian, harm the cat’s fragile body, or worsen their condition.

An experienced holistic veterinarian can examine your cat’s medical history, prescribe safe herbal therapy, and accurately perform a treatment that works with other treatments. In conclusion, feline asthma can be treated with a variety of protocols, including Western medicine and holistic therapy.

Care is necessary in diagnosing and treating feline asthma, and if you think your cat is experiencing asthma symptoms, see your veterinarian immediately. The cost of treatment can vary, and incorporating home remedies such as acupuncture, herbal therapy, and a high-quality diet can complement Western medicine.

Always consult with a holistic veterinarian when considering any holistic treatments to ensure the safety of the cat’s health. Feline Asthma is a serious respiratory disease that can affect cats of any breed or age.

Early recognition of symptoms such as coughing, difficulty breathing, and increased respiratory rate is crucial in managing this condition. The cost of diagnosing and treating feline asthma can vary based on the severity of the asthma attack and the treatment prescribed by the veterinarian, making it essential to seek immediate veterinary care if you notice any changes in your pet’s breathing.

Complementing Western medicine with natural remedies such as acupuncture, herbal therapy, and diet changes can aid in the treatment of asthma. Remember to always consult a veterinary professional and follow their treatment plan to ensure the safe management of feline asthma.

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