The Feline Lover’s Guide to Cat Asthma
Our cats can sometimes be our best friends, and when they are not feeling their best, it can be very distressing. At New Haven Pet Hospital, we do everything in our power to support good cat health and educate our clients about signs of problems.
One fairly common kitty condition that we find helpful for pet owners to know about is cat asthma. When their owners catch on that something is wrong early in the process, our feline patients tend to do quite well even in the face of chronic disease.
All About Cat Asthma
Cat asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that affects the lower airways. It is estimated that between one and five percent of cats are affected by this disease, and so it is one that our veterinary staff diagnoses on a fairly frequent basis.
Cat asthma is thought to be induced by an allergic response in the respiratory tract to inhaled allergens. This response can result in swelling, spasming, and irritation of the airways. Mucous can also accumulate.
These effects result in a variety of symptoms, including:
- Difficulty breathing
- Rapid respirations
- Open-mouth breathing/panting
- Extending the neck to help get a breath
Once diagnostic testing confirms that feline asthma is the likely cause, steroids are typically used to reduce the inflammation within the lungs. Typically oral, injectable, or inhaled steroids are needed at some ongoing dose.
While there is no cure for cat asthma, most affected cats can go on to live happy, full lives when treated appropriately.
Cat Health Support
We don’t know why cat asthma affects some feline friends and not others. While it is not preventable entirely, providing good cat health support and taking some extra measures to avoid irritating the airways can help an asthmatic kitty cope.
Be sure to:
- Avoid smoking around your cat
- Not spray perfumes or other scented aerosols in your home
- Use unscented, low dust kitty litter
- Consider a home air filter
- Minimize dust in the home
- Move your cat to a different location when cleaning a room
- Help your cat maintain a healthy body weight
- Call us right away if your cat is having any kind of breathing trouble
Routine pet wellness exams are essential for us to detect small changes and discuss concerns that you may have.
Don’t forget that you are your pet’s best advocate, and you know them better than anyone else. If you think that something isn’t right, make an appointment to see us. Most conditions, cat asthma included, are best treated when diagnosed early.