ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Can My Cat Have Asthma? What You Should Know About Feline Asthma

Updated on January 10, 2017

Does Your Cat Have Asthma?

The Signs Of Feline Asthma

Cats with asthma are more common than you might think. Feline Asthma is a chronic lung disease involving your cat's lower airway, including bronchi and bronchi-oles. It is commonly mistaken that the disease is hairballs. Cats with feline asthma may have an acute episode of difficulty breathing, which can be life-threatening for your cat. Your cat could also have a nonproductive chronic cough, which is left untreated can shorten your cat's life significantly.

The most common name is known to be asthma, the scientific name goes by Feline Bronchial Disease Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Cats of all ages are susceptible to feline asthma. Rarely does your cat show signs of feline asthma. They may exhibit a normal temperature and will continue to eat normally. However the most significant sign is that your cat may have fits of deep, moist-sounding coughing.

For best results, a physical exam and x-rays can further diagnose if your cat has been affected by feline asthma. Blood tests are the quickest and easiest way, and will detect infection, which in many cases accompanies asthmatic bronchitis. The veterinarian can detect macrophages, eosinophils, neutrophils, and mast cells, which are types of blood cells that help constitute your cat's immune system. And blood work is also very useful in eliminating other diseases with the same symptoms.

Asthma is thought to be an allergic or immune-mediated reaction in the airways caused by inhaled irritants. The airways become thickened, and there is an increase in mucus production, which makes it more difficult for your cat to breathe properly. Although a specific cause cannot always be found, many asthmatic cats also live in a household with people who smoke.

Getting A Diagnosis

About one percent of cats develop feline asthma, but the condition is quickly becoming more common because of an increase of exposure to environmental pollutants. Sadly, the Siamese cat population ranges up to about 5 percent.

Side Effects And Symptoms

Chronic coughing, acute onset of difficulty breathing, open-mouth breathing, and exercise intolerance can be symptoms. Some other symptoms to watch for may include wheezing, gagging, lethargy, lips & gums that are bluish, and an elevated respiratory rate.

Some causes are inhaled irritants and allergens such as cigarette smoke, dust, perfume, mold, mildew, dust, dust mites, food,stress, candles and many household products. Areas most affected are your cat's lungs, and lower airway. It is extremely important to reduce inhaled irritants in your cats home. A household with heavy smokers may want to take extra cautions if you have a severely asthmatic cats. This could cause serious discomfort and asthmatic attacks for your cat.

Cats having a severe asthma attack will be in the praying position trying to recover the air they need to breath, these breaths will be deep and labored and come from the abdomen. It is not unusual for vomiting to occur during this attack.

Only a complete and through physical examination with chest x-rays will diagnose if your cat has been affected by feline asthma. Again, blood tests are the quickest and easiest way to detect feline asthma.


Things To Watch Out For

  • If you suspect your cat may have feline asthma It's a good idea to use plain, natural, unscented kitty litter and to stay away from deodorizers you add to the litter box. Some people use recycled newspaper or organic litter in the the cat box instead. There are several organic brands out on the market to use in place of your regular top brand kitty litters.
  • If you are using cleaning products, dusting, or sweeping in the presence of your cat, it might be a good idea to put your cat in a separate room until you're done, to avoid the cat from inhaling the chemicals and particles.
  • Your cat should be removed from any home with construction or painting until the project is completed. Incense, scented candles and perfumes should be kept to a minimum, as this could trigger an episode for your cat if it is sensitive to smells or any type of fragrance.

If your cat has been diagnosed with feline asthma, unfortunately there is no cure. The good news is a veterinarian can discuss a successful treatment plan with you. If your cat is healthy, treatment may start with oral corticosteroids, which will help decrease the inflammation in the airway, making it easier for your cat to breath. If your cat is responding well to the oral steroids, an inhaled steroid, such as fluticasone can be started for long-term management. Inhaled steroids help prevent long-term inflammation and chronic airway changes without the systemic side effects of oral steroids.

Beware Of The Signs...

If your cat is gasping, falling to its side with its mouth open and its tongue appearing bluish, contact your veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately. Your cat may need oxygen and rapid-acting broncho dilator medications to stay alive. Veterinarians suggest owners keep special medications at home in case of the above described emergency.

© 2008 Boo McCourt

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • crazybeanrider profile imageAUTHOR

      Boo McCourt 

      6 years ago from Washington MI

      Carol I am so happy she recovered. Treatments can get expensive, but well worth your pets life in my opinion. My Ethel had slight Asthma, she would lie by the heat vents and get attacks. I tried to keep her in a little bed on the sofa away from the vents, because the dust wasn't good for her either. She passed 4 months ago of kidney failure at 18. Take good care, and love your precious one.

    • Carol Petretti profile image

      Carol Petretti 

      6 years ago from California

      Thank you very much for writing this. My cat does have Asthma, and I'm writing about it on Hub pages. I find the more I learn about this illness, the better I am at caring for her. Turning on the heater seems to have triggered the most recent attack. Sadly, I didn't even think that it would be a problem, as we had run the air all summer. I'm learning. Thankfully, she recovered.

    • crazybeanrider profile imageAUTHOR

      Boo McCourt 

      6 years ago from Washington MI

      Hi Dawn, Thank you for the great advice dawn, I believe the cats need a clean fresh environment just as us humans do to breath clean fresh air.

    • profile image

      dawn 

      6 years ago

      my cat has asthma and i give her 1 predistone every 4 days, I have invested in a really powerful vacumn cleaner and that has made a great difference .W hen i first had her nearly two years ago she was having a tablet every other day.In the winter i use humidifires on the radiators keeping them topped up with water.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)