What is feline asthma and how can it be treated?

Filed Under: Cats, Diseases

Feline asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that affects one percent of all adult cats. It is characterized by recurrent and sudden attacks of dyspnea (difficult breathing), and is caused by a spasmodic contraction of the bronchi.

Symptoms you may notice include wheezing, labored breathing, coughing, and frantic attempts to obtain air. Cat coughing sounds more like a hairball being passed than a human cough. The disease can be caused by allergies, smoke, inhalation of small particles, or bacterial infections. Feline asthma is also a common side affect of heartworms.

Asthma can be controlled by the use of steroids, bronchodilators, and antibiotics, taken either orally or in conjuction with inhalation therapy. In these cases prevention is aimed at avoiding the cause of the asthma.

There is unfortunately no treatment for heartworm disease in the cat. Heartworm positive cats should be put on a heartworm preventative to stymie the accumulation of further adult heartworms.

Topics: allergies, chronic conditions, heartworms, prevention

Symptoms: difficulty breathing, wheezing

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