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Common Conditions - Articles of Interest - Feline Asthma

Feline Asthma

Family pets, especially our feline friends are often blamed for allergies and breathing problems in people. Did you know, that our household environment can trigger allergies in cats? Research has shown that cigarette smoke, human dandruff, household dust and even some cat litters can cause asthma attacks and inflammation of the airways in our feline friends.

What is feline asthma?

Feline asthma is described as a chronic inflammation of the small passageways of the lungs. These passageways thicken and collapse when a cat inhales making it difficult for them to breath freely. 
There are varying degrees of asthma in cats. At first glance you may think that your cat is attempting to cough up a hairball, however the body posture of a cat suffering an asthma attack is somewhat different. The cat’s body may be hunched over in a prayer position, their neck will be low to the ground and extended in an effort to clear the airway. Coughing, wheezing or laboured breathing can be symptomatic of an asthma attack also.   

What can cause as asthma attack?

Asthma can be triggered in our cats by a number of various allergens in the air including tree pollens, cigarette smoke, dust, perfumes or aerosols and even human dandruff. Overexertion can also trigger an attack in our felines. 
Asthma-like symptoms in cats can also be associated with other diseases, including heartworm, parasites, obesity or even a heart condition so being able to identify the symptoms is important. 

What are the symptoms of asthma in my cat?

  • Coughing and wheezing
  • Laboured breathing
  • Gasping for breath
  • Lethargy 


What should I do if I suspect my cat suffers from asthma?

Contact your local Greencross Vets pet care team, they will be able to determine if it is in fact asthma that your cat suffers from or perhaps another respiratory disorder. A series of diagnostics tests may be required to determine or eliminate other conditions. The diagnostics tests may include but are not limited to; blood tests and/or chest X-ray in conjunction with a physical examination. 
Once the condition has been determined, your veterinarian will discuss what treatment plan is best suited to your feline friend and the environment of which they live. 

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