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Asthma in Cats

Asthma in cats can be tricky as it is not commonly diagnosed, and treatment might seem daunting. In this post, our Rancho Cucamonga vets share the asthma symptoms in cats, how to manage this condition, and the prognosis. 

Signs & Symptoms of Asthma in Cats

Asthma in cats usually comes with some obvious symptoms. Coughing and wheezing are often the first signs that your cat struggles to breathe and may have an asthma attack.

During a full-blown asthma attack, you should be able to see your cat's sides heaving in and out dramatically and mucus escaping their mouth or nose. Needless to say, an attack can cause great stress for you and your kitty.

Other common signs of an asthma attack in cats are:

  • Wheezing
  • Rapid breathing
  • Difficulty breathing or increased effort to breathe
  • Open mouth breathing
  • Persistent coughing or gagging
  • Increased swallowing
  • Frothy mucus while coughing
  • Overall weakness
  • Body hunched close to the ground with neck extended forward
  • Gurgling sounds from the throat
  • Blue lips and gums

 If you notice that your cat is having difficulties breathing, it's time to call your vet!

If your cat is snoring or breathing loudly when resting, it doesn't necessarily mean they are suffering from asthma. However, if you are concerned about your cat's breathing, it is always best to err on the side of caution and contact your vet for further advice.

What causes asthma in cats?

An allergy or stress often brings on an asthma attack. Some of the most common allergens to trigger asthma attacks in cats include:

  • Dust mites
  • Pollen
  • Grass
  • Mold
  • Home cleaning products
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Cat litter dust
  • Pet food

Several underlying conditions may also contribute to the severity of your cat's asthma attack, including obesity, parasites, a pre-existing heart condition, genetic predisposition, or pneumonia. 

What can I give my cat for asthma?

If your cat is diagnosed with asthma, treatment may include medications. But what is in asthma medicine for cats? These medications contain corticosteroids designed to reduce inflammation in your cat's lungs and possibly a bronchodilator to help dilate your cat's airways. These drugs may be prescribed in the form of an injectable, oral medication or as an inhaler. While your vet may prescribe a corticosteroid medication only as treatment for your cat's asthma, bronchodilators are not generally used on their own since they do not treat the inflammation that causes the asthma attacks.

What is the life expectancy of a cat with asthma?

Unfortunately, if your cat has asthma, it won't go away. Asthma in cats is an incurable and often progressive condition, meaning that cats with asthma are likely to experience occasional flare-ups that can vary in intensity from mild to life-threatening.

That said, the condition is manageable with the right care and medication. By carefully monitoring your cat's respiratory effort, watching for coughing, and intervening with medication, you can help asthmatic cats live a happy life for years.

What should I feed my cat with asthma?

If you're concerned about your cat's food triggering asthma attacks, consult your veterinarian on appropriate things to feed them. Your cat's feeding schedule and the height of their bowl can also be important factors in helping your asthmatic kitty.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding people or pets. Always follow your doctor's advice regarding asthma or other allergy symptoms. 

If you suspect your cat has asthma or is having trouble breathing, contact our Rancho Cucamonga vets for an appointment.

New Patients Welcome

Rancho Regional Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Rancho Cucamonga companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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