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Asthma in Cats

Asthma is a difficult-to-diagnose condition in cats. The symptoms often resemble those of other respiratory illnesses. In this post, our Crystal Lake vets share the asthma symptoms in cats, how this condition can be treated and managed, and the prognosis. 

Signs & Symptoms of Asthma in Cats

Asthma in cats usually results in 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, asthma attacks can be very stressful for your feline friend.

Some of the other common signs of asthma in cats include:

  • 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 your cat is in respiratory distress, contact our emergency vets in Crystal Lake. We are available 24/7. We can help address asthma or any other condition that your cat may be experiencing.

Snoring or loud breathing while resting does not necessarily indicate 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 are the causes of asthma in cats?

Asthma attacks are often triggered by allergies or stress. 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, which are designed to reduce inflammation in your cat's lungs, and possibly a bronchodilator to help dilate (open) 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 for cats 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?

Your vet can offer a wealth of knowledge and recommendations if you are concerned about what to feed your cat to help manage their asthma. You may want to focus on the height of the bowl and the time you are feeding your cat, as these can also affect their condition.

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 your cat is experiencing breathing difficulties, contact our emergency veterinary hospital in Crystal Lake right away.

New Patients Welcome

Companion Animal Specialty and Emergency Hospital is accepting new patients! Our specialists and experienced emergency veterinarians are passionate about restoring good health to animal companions in Crystal Lake.

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Contact (815) 479-9119