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Asthma in Cats

May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month—were you aware that our feline friends are susceptible to asthma attacks just like us? Learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment for this disorder here from a Temecula veterinarian.

Causes

The most common cause of feline asthma is allergic bronchitis. This is when an airway in your cat’s lungs becomes inflamed due to an allergen, such as pollen. Asthma in cats can also be caused or exacerbated by stress, obesity, parasites, and pre-existing heart and lung conditions. Your veterinarian will be able to tell you what’s contributing to your pet’s asthma.

Symptoms

If your cat is having an asthma attack, you’ll witness labored breath, coughing, wheezing, panting, gagging, and general weakness. Many cats hunch forward, extending their heads, and gasp for breath. In severe cases, you may witness pale blue gums and lips due to lack of oxygen.

Treatment

If your cat isn’t already diagnosed with asthma and you witness these symptoms, rush your pet to the vet’s office immediately. Your vet will rule out other medical reasons for the symptoms before settling on a diagnosis of feline asthma. Although asthma can’t be cured, it can be managed with inhalers, just like us!

Preventing Asthma Attacks

Always keep your cat’s inhaler nearby and make sure it’s full. This way, when an attack does occur, you’ll be ready for quick action to return your cat’s breathing to normal. Also take steps to reduce stress in your cat’s environment—keep noise and commotion to a minimum. Feed your cat a quality diet and make sure she gets plenty of exercise, since obesity can exacerbate asthma as well.

Reduce the allergens in your home by using dust-free cat litters, using air filter devices in any rooms your cat spends time in, and avoiding allergy-causing perfumes, cleaning products, air fresheners, and other sprays.

Talk to your Temecula veterinary professional about other great ways to prevent feline asthma and keep your cat as healthy as possible.

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