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Can cats have asthma

Can cats have asthma

It may come as a surprise to learn that like people, cats can suffer from asthma, and for many of the same reasons. Check out the symptoms below to learn whether your cat may be having an asthma attack, and what you should do if your cat has asthma.

What do cat asthma attacks look like?

The initial indications of asthma in cats include coughing and wheezing. During an asthma attack, you might observe your cat assuming a hunched position close to the ground, with their neck extended forward as if attempting to expel a hairball. In more severe asthma attacks, you may notice your cat's sides moving in and out as they struggle to breathe, and they may even cough up mucus or drool.

Can my cat have an asthma attack while sleeping?

Cats suffering from asthma might encounter breathing difficulties even during sleep. Normally, a healthy cat takes around 24 to 30 breaths per minute while at rest.

If you observe your kitty taking more than 40 breaths per minute, it is crucial to promptly contact your vet for assistance or take your pet to the nearest animal emergency hospital for urgent care. However, it's important to note that snoring or breathing loudly while resting doesn't necessarily indicate an asthma attack in your cat.

How can I tell if my cat is having an asthma attack?

If your kitty is displaying any of the following symptoms they may be experiencing an asthma attack.

  • Difficulty breathing (open-mouth breathing)
  • Hunched body with neck extended
  • Drooling
  • Persistent coughing or gagging
  • Overall weakness
  • Gurgling sounds from throat
  • Increased effort to breathe
  • Wheezing
  • Rapid breathing
  • Blue gums and lips
  • Frothy mucus while coughing
  • Increased swallowing

What causes cats to have asthma attacks?

As with people, asthma in cats can be triggered by the inhalation of allergins. Allergens that can lead to asthma attacks in cats include pollen, grass, dust mites, mold, household cleaning products, cigarette smoke, cat litter dust, and various foods. Underlying conditions such as pneumonia, stress, obesity, parasites, genetic predispositions, or pre-existing heart conditions may lead to breathing difficulties in cats.  

What are the most common cat asthma treatments?

If your cat is having trouble breathing, it is important to determine the underlying cause. Several serious health conditions could be responsible for your cat's asthma. Once diagnosed with asthma, your cat's treatment may involve the use of corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and bronchodilators to help open up their airways.

Medications for treating asthma in cats can be prescribed as injections, oral medications, or inhalers with a specially designed mask for use with cats.

What is the life expectancy for cats with asthma?

Asthma in cats is often a progressive condition, meaning that even with treatment cats with asthma are likely to experience periodic flare-ups varying intensity from mild to life-threatening. That said, asthma is manageable in cats with appropriate medications and a little extra care from pet parents. By monitoring your kitty's respiratory effort, watching for asthma symptoms, and intervening with medication when needed, you can help your cat to live a happy and comfortable life for many years to come.

Can changing my cat's diet help prevent asthma?

If you believe that your cat's asthma attacks may be due to a food allergy, contact your vet for advice on the best food for your pet and to arrange for allergy testing to help pinpoint your cat's food sensitivities.

Helping your cat to maintain a healthy weight, while ensuring that all of their nutritional needs are met, is certainly an effective way for pet parents to help their pet feel their very best. Your vet can help you to calculate your cat's caloric requirements in order to know exactly how much you should feed your cat each day.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your cat having difficulty breathing? Contact our vets right away!

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