Managing Feline Asthma

image of cat at vet.

Humans are not the only ones who can suffer from asthma. It is a condition that can also afflict cats. Feline asthma is similar to human asthma, in that it is a chronic inflammation of the airways inside the lungs. During an asthma attack, these airways become constricted, and the lungs create mucus and release it into the airways. This makes it difficult for the cat to breathe.

Asthma Symptoms

Cats suffering from feline asthma can experience labored breathing in many forms. Some endure wheezing, rapid breathing, open mouth breathing, or gasping for breath. Others manifest a persistent cough and may gag up mucus while coughing. This can leave a cat with a pronounced lack of energy and put them in a weakened state; cats can die from an asthma attack.

Asthma Causes

Most cases of feline asthma can be traced to an allergic reaction that occurs when a cat breathes in any substance that stimulates their immune system. The lungs suffer inflammation resulting from an over-reaction by their immune system to the foreign substance in their bodies.

Several common factors can trigger asthma attacks in cats. These include exposure to allergens like pollen, mold, dust, and cigarette smoke. It can be a result of ingesting foods to which the cat is allergic. Other health problems sometimes play a role. Heart problems, obesity, or infection with parasites can exacerbate asthma signs. Stress can also induce asthma attacks in felines.

Asthma typically develops in cats who are two years and older. Female cats have been found to develop asthma in higher numbers than male cats.

Preventing Asthma

There is no cure for feline asthma, but there are ways to reduce symptoms in your cat. Medication prescribed by a veterinarian is one tool cat owners can use to help their pets manage asthma attacks. Veterinarians can prescribe oral medications, or even have you use an inhaler on your cat.
Cat owners can also make things easier on their pet by reducing their exposure to chemicals and allergens that serve as asthma triggers. Keeping your cat fit through exercise and a healthy diet will also reduce the risk of suffering asthma attacks. Finally, reducing stress for your cat can be helpful as stress tends to worsen asthma symptoms when an attack occurs.

Asthma does not need to lessen your cat's quality of life. Recognizing the symptoms and doing your part to prevent and treat asthma attacks will help keep this condition from threatening their life.

Source:

"Asthma," ASPCA.

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  • "We have a new 8 week Boston Terrier that we took to Springfield Vet yesterday for the first time. Absolutely pleased with the service, attitudes and genuine care shown to our little boy. The whole team was so professional, but took time to talk to you and explain everything. Dr Cynthia Wiseman is so wonderful, she sat in the floor did Logan's exam and played with him. What bedside manners. I will continue to use them, I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a caring and professional vet."
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    Our boy, Samson, is a Rottie (and quite the problem child). We are usually in the clinic almost every other month for something and they are always so helpful and show great care and love for our pup! We are very picky/protective puppy parents, so we were very grateful to have found both Dr. Cynthia and Dr. Heath shortly after getting Samson.

    We have definitely found our "home" in the vet world, and would highly recommend to anyone who is currently looking!"
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  • "We decided to start taking our new kitty here this past fall and we love it! He was not on his best behavior (to say the least) for his first appointment, and the staff was so patient and was still able to safely run his bloodwork and give him his vaccinations. Every service has been reasonably priced, and they did everything they possibly could to make sure that our little guy was off to a healthy start after we adopted him. What I love is that they really seem to focus on the small details, too, like trimming our cat's nails after remembering that I had expressed interest in doing so at a previous appointment, or supplementing his flea treatment with something to safely speed up the process. We will definitely keep coming here as long as we live in Springfield!"
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  • "I have been taking my dog to SVC since 2012 and when I adopted my cat in 2015. I have never had a bad experience. We have seen Drs. Heath & Cynthia Wiseman and I love them both. Always professional, always take their time when looking my pets over, asking questions, and answering mine."
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  • "We’ve been taking our Moose there for a few years now. After swallowing a toy when he was a puppy, getting fixed, having surgery on his eyelids a couple times, and most recently having a breed specific illness; I can I say I would recommend everyone to go here. They’ve taken the best care of our boy time and time again and went above and beyond."
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  • "We’ve been taking our Moose there for a few years now. After swallowing a toy when he was a puppy, getting fixed, having surgery on his eyelids a couple times, and most recently having a breed specific illness; I can I say I would recommend everyone to go here. They’ve taken the best care of our boy time and time again and went above and beyond."
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  • "Pleasant staff.,very informative. Great environment for your pets, including own room for cats to play so as they aren't stressed out."
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