Asthma is a condition that affects your cat’s upper respiratory tract. Females and cats between two and eight years old are usually affected. Like humans who suffer from asthma, cats too will start coughing and wheezing.

Causes

Chronic inflammation of lung tissue occurs due to asthma. The tissues in the lungs can also become inflamed if your cat is exposed to various allergens. Some of these include sprays, dust, and smoke. Also, different infections and viruses can cause problems with asthma.

Symptoms

The most common signs of feline asthma include wheezing and coughing. Some cats only cough and wheeze occasionally, while others experience frequent episodes. It is common for owners to mistake these episodes as trying to cough up a hairball since it looks similar. Some cats start to breath with their mouths open during an episode.

Diagnosis

Feline asthma can be diagnosed based on x-rays of the chest, symptoms, and the medical history. The vet will need to ensure that other conditions like parasitic or bacterial infections aren’t causing the coughing. A definitive diagnosis can be made if your cat responds to asthma medication.

Treatment

Cats that are exposed to specific allergens will need to be kept away from them. Cats who experience symptoms frequently can also be treated with an inhaler to deliver medications. These medications can also be given orally or via injection.

Prevention

The best thing that you can do to prevent episodes of feline asthma is to limit your cat’s exposure to problematic allergens. Common problems include cigarette smoke, perfume, and dust from the litter box. An air cleaner may also be a good investment for your home.

Author: Darrin Swain