Asthma In Cats
By: Zara Willmott
Asthma in Cats: Asthma is not only a human disorder but is also found in some cats. Asthma can sound like a scary diagnosis, but with proper care, it’s completely manageable. Why don’t we examine what asthma is and how to help our asthmatic fur babies?
Feline asthma is a disease characterized by symptoms ranging from infrequent, hairball-like coughing, to sudden onsets of respiratory distress. Veterinarians call this “acute dyspnea”.
Episodes are usually triggered by an allergen or stress. Oftentimes an episode can be accompanied by vomiting, sneezing, or even wheezing. During an episode and often for a while afterward, Respiratory signs may be slow and deliberate (Belly Breathing) or too fast and labored.
Because asthma can mimic other feline diseases (bronchitis, heart disease, pneumonia), a veterinary diagnosis is essential. Diagnosis is normally done with an x-ray. Feline asthma is very similar to human asthma. Our understanding of the causes of feline asthma continues to grow as do treatment options
The treatment of asthma usually includes the use of corticosteroids (such as prednisone), and bronchodilators (such as terbutaline or aminophylline). Essentially a pill or inhaler is given daily or twice daily depending on symptoms. While severe “episodes” can occur, the long-term prognosis for this disease is generally excellent.
Therefore keeping up with treatment and regular checkups is essential. When diagnosed early, any structural changes to the lungs and airways are usually reversible, and damage can be minimized. When left untreated Asthma can lead to several problems including pneumonia and heart problems.
So your kitty has asthma now what do you do? Your Vet will help you work out a treatment plan that works for Kitty. As we all know some cats just don’t like meds, luckily they have alternatives to help with this like regular steroid injections.
You are probably asking yourself “What else can I do?”. Small changes to the home can go a long way in making it healthier for your fur baby (and you too). First removing allergens from the environment could possibly help to relieve symptoms. Using an air purifier and dust-free and unscented litter is a great place to start.
There are some amazing air purifiers on the market today. As an allergy and asthma sufferer myself I personally like the brand Honeywell, they have a variety of sizes and shapes that will fit into any room. Currently, in my home we are using Arm and Hammer Cloud Control litter to help eliminate dust, the cats seem fine with the littler and it definitely produces less dust.
Dr. Elsey’s is a litter company that produces a variety of litter products. Specifically, they have a litter that is designed for Respiratory Relief. I have not personally tried this product, but I have heard great reviews
Asthma can be a scary diagnosis but with proper care and support your fur baby can live a normal “cat” life full of naps and snuggles.
*the products recommended in this blog are in no way affiliated with Cat Sitter Toronto Inc.