Yes, unfortunately, cats can get asthma just like humans can. Feline asthma involves chronic inflammation of the lungs. While asthma isn’t curable, it is manageable. Treatment can allow your kitty to have many healthy, happy years ahead.
Causes of Feline Asthma
It’s thought that feline asthma develops in response to an allergic reaction. When a cat inhales an allergen, the body creates antibodies that target that allergen. Each subsequent time the cat inhales the allergen, the antibodies trigger a cascade of reactions, including inflammation in the airway. This causes the airway to become narrow and accumulate mucus, which causes difficulty breathing.
Signs of Feline Asthma
A cat with asthma can display alarming symptoms. You may notice the following signs that your cat is having difficulty breathing:
A cat having an acute asthma attack will generally hunch low to the ground with the neck extended forward. At this point, you may notice the open-mouthed breathing.
Medical Treatments for Feline Asthma
Two medications are available to treat feline asthma. Typically, vets prescribe corticosteroids, which are anti-inflammatories. Sometimes, bronchodilators are prescribed as well. These can help increase the diameter of the airway.
Lifestyle Changes for Cats with Asthma
While medications are typically necessary to treat asthma, there are a few other things you cando to mitigate your cat’s symptoms. You can try the following:
Avoid the use of room fresheners, aerosol cleaners, carpet deodorizers, and perfumes around the cat.
Use a zero-dust cat litter, and avoid scented litters.
Maintain a comfortable humidity level in your home.
Help your cat lose weight if he or she is obese.
Never allow anyone to smoke near your cat or in your home. Remember that cigarette smoke forms residue on objects that can be impossible to clean off, and cigarette residue can be just as harmful as the smoke.
You will find comprehensive medical care for your favorite furry friend at Horizon Animal Hospital. Our veterinarians and support staff treat every patient like family. Call our location in Scottsdale at (480) 800-4559 to request an appointment.