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Cat Asthma: What You Should Know

Cat asthma can be a serious condition. In case a cat does come down with asthma, it's important to know the causes of asthma and potential irritants that could trigger an attack. Here is some information about cat asthma.

Inhaler: Image by Maggiejumps, FlickrInhaler: Image by Maggiejumps, Flickr

Feline Asthma Symptoms 

Asthma in cats is very similar to asthma in humans. It's caused by chronic inflammation within small passages in the cats lungs. If your cat has asthma or experiences an asthma attack, you might keep an eye out for these symptoms:

  • Coughing and wheezing, sometimes persistent.
  • Gagging up a foamy mucus.
  • Blue lips and/or gums.
  • Labored breathing, particularly after exertion
  • Breathing with mouth open.
  • Weakness and lethargy.
  • Squatting with neck extended and shoulders hunched. 
Symptoms of cat asthma can be triggered by exposure to things like pollen, dust, perfume, grass, cigarette smoke, flea solutions, chemical vapors, deodorizors, hair sprays, deodorizers, carpet fresheners, air fresheners, and more.

Causes Of Cat Asthma

Though there are a number of factors that could potentially contribute to the development of asthma, it's thought to be the result of allergic bronchitis. This typically comes to the surface when an inhaled allergen or substance causes the cat's lungs to inflame. Because allergies and asthma are so closely related, it's important to keep allergens like pollutants and pollen away from the cat. Symptoms similar to asthma can also be associated with heartworms, respiratory parasites, obesity, and stress. 

Cute Cat: Image by Per Ola Wiberg ~ Powi, FlickrCute Cat: Image by Per Ola Wiberg ~ Powi, Flickr

What To Do During An Asthma Attack

Any cat suffering from asthma should receive immediate veterinary attention. Once you take your cat to the vet, they'll perform physical examinations and may need to perform diagnostic tests. If the cat is experiencing an attack at the time, the cat may need oxygen therapy as well as a bronchodilator. Once the cat is diagnosed with asthma, there are several asthma medications for cats available that the vet can prescribe to ease symptoms.

Ways To Prevent Asthma Attacks

Aside from medication, one of the best ways to prevent an attack is by pinpointing the irritant which often triggers the attacks. Once the irritant is found, it's possible to prevent the cat's exposure to it. Until then, attacks can be prevented by limiting the cats exposure to things like pollen, hair sprays, carpet cleaners, and similar chemical or potentially irritating products. A good dust-free litter like Precious Cat Ultra Premium Litter

Be careful with a cat that has asthma, and be sure not to do anything which could cause stress. Stress can worsen asthma attacks and is best to be avoided. 

Cat asthma sources: For Your CatWebMDFeline Asthma

Also Read: Cat Escaping: 5 Tips to Keep Your Cat Indoors

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