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Have you ever wondered whether there are natural remedies for asthma in cats? Have you tried all the prescription drugs, but they haven’t helped him?
Asthma is a common but chronic disease that affects the airways and lungs. It causes the passages in the lungs to tighten, making it difficult for your cat to breathe.
Cats are at particular risk because their breathing can be affected by external factors such as fur, dust, cigarette smoke, and other allergens.
Asthma in cats can be very difficult to deal with at times. Your cat might suddenly have an attack, which could mean a trip to the emergency room.
It’s not something most people even think about until it happens to them.
Asthma is one of the most common ailments in cats and dogs. A recent study found that 1 in 5 cats have asthma, which means there’s a good chance your cat will show symptoms at some stage.
Asthma in cats can be very serious, treatments do not always work, and often, owners of asthmatic cats are left feeling frustrated and helpless.
Luckily many natural remedies can help.
There are many approaches pet owners take to treat their furry friends, but one of the most common is to use home remedies.
Home remedies for cats can be a quick, effective way to treat a variety of everyday ailments.
Whether you’re looking for effective treatments or inexpensive ones, it’s pretty easy to find natural treatments for asthma in cats.
Here, you’ll learn about more cat asthma natural remedies including foods to avoid, supplements, home remedies, essential oils, and more.
Even though home remedies for feline asthma are not as popular as they once were, there are still options that could save you and your cat from unnecessary medication.
What Causes Asthma in Cats?
Cat asthma affects an average of 1% of the total population of cats.
Asthma causes bronchoconstriction, which is narrowing of the airways, which causes your cat to wheeze.
The most rampant cause of feline asthma attacks is an allergic reaction to inhaled allergens that irritate the cat’s immune defense system and cause airway inflammation.
Allergens include pollen, kitty litter, dust mites, grass, mold, cigarette smoke, and household cleaning agents among others.
Cats are most susceptible between the ages of 2-8 years and females have a higher prevalence. Certain cat species may also have a genetic predisposition to asthma.
Cats with asthma life expectancy are between 4 to 5 years.
It’s not gender-selective, although some studies have shown that Siamese cats may be predisposed to asthma, this has not been definitively proven.
Human beings are easy to diagnose with asthma because they can speak.
What happens when your cat has asthma and you are too busy with life to even notice?
Can cats get asthma attacks?
Absolutely! Cats can get an asthmatic attack and you must be ready to handle any episode.
However, here are simple hacks to prevent an asthmatic attack in your cat:
- Avoid smoking around your feline friend. This may cause her to cough and result in a full-blown feline asthma attack.
- Invest in the best litter for odor control.
- Avoid using perfumes or air fresheners, carpet deodorizers, and aerosol products.
- Invest in a dust-free litter for asthma-prone cats.
- Eliminate stressors in her environment as they may aggravate the condition.
- Offer her a healthy balanced diet plus exercise to avoid obesity.
- Have her tested for any internal parasites regularly.
- Invest in a humidifier especially during winter since dry air can trigger an attack.
Signs and Symptoms of Feline Asthma
Classical feline asthma symptoms and signs to look out for include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Cat coughing or gagging
- Rapid breathing
- Open-mouthed breathing
- Neck strained upwards and gasping for breath
- Overall weakness and lethargy
- Audible throat gurgling
These signs vary in intensity, happen spontaneously, and may not happen all at once.
Once you notice any of these signs, book a visit to your vet immediately.
If you notice that your cat has hunched her shoulders or is lying with her chest to the floor with her mouth open, she may be having difficulty breathing.
Treat this as a medical emergency and take her to your veterinary.
Feline asthma triggers:
A feline asthma attack can be triggered or aggravated by exposure to:
- Cigarette smoke
- Litter dust
- Flea sprays
- Dust mites
- Hair sprays
- Cleaning sprays
- Carpet/air fresheners
Second-hand smoke and feline obesity are the two greatest complicators of feline asthma. Minimizing your cats’ exposure to allergens is extremely helpful.
Feline asthma diagnosis occurs by examination of the chest using a stethoscope. A history of the signs and symptoms you will provide the vet with is considered in the making of the complete diagnosis.
A chest X-ray depends on the severity of the condition during examination by the vet.
Differential diagnosis is important as it will ensure that your cat isn’t suffering from:
- Lung cancer
Cat wheezing treatment
Feline asthma is a chronic condition that has no cure. This means that you can only manage this lifelong condition.
Early detection and aggressive management are key to having your cat live a full life.
Some cats will only need management when seasonal allergens trigger their asthma while others need medication throughout their lives.
To control asthma attacks in cats, use a bronchodilator.
For long-term feline asthma management, combine a bronchodilator with an anti-inflammatory drug, usually a steroid.
These medications are administered most effectively using an inhaler.
Specially designed feline inhalers will do the trick.
You can also teach your cat to calmly accept an inhaler mask.
Avoiding the known irritants is crucial in ensuring that your cat doesn’t get an attack.
How much does it cost to treat cat asthma?
You need to contact a veterinary officer, who will run various diagnostic tests such as chest X-rays, blood tests, and mucus sampling.
Based on the diagnosis, he will then recommend anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce airway inflammation and bronchodilators which help to expand the felines’ airways in case of an attack. Steroids may be added too.
A bronchodilator inhaler is recommended too.
Your vet should explain in detail the dosages, side effects, time of administration based on the specific medication recommended, and how to monitor for progress in your feline friend.
At this point, your vet should give you a quote of how much that costs and any future cost projections.
Home remedies for cat asthma:
1. Anti-inflammatory diet:
Your cat’s diet should lower inflammation and reduce your cat’s asthma symptoms. An oily fish diet contains anti-inflammatory properties.
2. Stress reduction:
Aim to lower your cat’s stress levels to avoid triggering an attack. Use a synthetic pheromone like Feliway to calm your cat. Eliminate environmental stressors too.
3. Eliminate environmental triggers and irritants:
Get rid of irritants in the house such as air sprays, perfumes, and hair sprays which may trigger an asthmatic attack in your cat.
4. Manage her weight:
Feline obesity complicates cat asthma greatly. Aim to engage your cat in regular exercise and work on portion control with the right protein diet.
5. Reduce any airborne triggers:
Ensure that the air indoors is fresh and free from irritants such as cigarette smoke and pollen.
You can introduce air filters and purifiers to keep the air pure and fresh throughout the day and night time.
6. Keep the house clean:
Maintain proper house hygiene by regular cleaning to eliminate any settled dust, dust mites, and dirt. The aim is to eliminate allergens that may trigger any cat asthma symptoms.
With the help of your vet, you can consider using some supplements that have anti-inflammatory properties such as CBD oil, hemp oil, and fish oil.
8. Avoid dusty litter:
Get rid of dusty traditional clumping clay litters. Introduce a litter that is naturally derived, dust-free, and hypoallergenic.
9. Recognize and avoid allergens:
Strive to identify specific allergens that affect your cat and aim to eliminate or avoid them completely.
How to treat cat asthma at home
Prepare a warm room with a home vaporizer and place your cat that has mild asthma in this room. The warm steam will loosen the mucus secretions. Wipe your cat’s nose, mouth, and eyes using moist cotton balls. A steamy bathroom will have a similar effect too.
Will a humidifier help my cat’s asthma?
A room humidifier helps alleviate respiratory tract issues. This is because dry air can trigger an asthma attack and a humidifier ensures that the moisture levels in the room are right for your pet.
This is critical especially in the winter season since the air is drier.
The moisture levels in the room should be regulated to avoid reaching beyond sub-optimal levels as this leads to mold and bacterial growth. This can make it worse for an asthmatic cat due to a compromised immune system.
Respiratory distress in severe cases can also occur.
How to help a cat with an asthma attack
Acute asthma is extremely scary for your cat and it elevates her stress levels. I know, it’s scary for you too!
As unfortunate as this is, it can happen at the least expected time and you need to be equipped to handle this as an emergency.
You should have the medication your vet prescribed in a readily accessible area.
If you experience a cat asthma attack at night, keep calm and administer the medication as instructed by your vet.
Ensure he is in a well-ventilated, quiet area.
If this doesn’t provide any relief to him, immediate veterinary care is needed.
Use minimal restraint on your way to one of the veterinary hospitals, to avoid elevating her stress levels further. Stress plus an asthma attack is a lethal combination.
A bronchodilator will be administered along with oxygen therapy.
Home DIY Remedies
These are effective cat asthma natural remedies to implement:
- Reducing the number of dietary carbohydrates given to the cat, as they can trigger an asthma attack.
- Use a humidifier, especially in the winter season.
- Frequent cleaning and vacuuming of the house.
Best food for cats with asthma
The best food for cats with asthma is those that relieve asthma symptoms and lower inflammation.
An anti-inflammatory diet for cats includes:
Oily fish like salmon and sardines are rich in omega 3.
Discuss with your vet concerning your cat’s diet and identify all the dietary allergens that can cause inflammation. Eliminate these foods from your kitty’s diet.
Keep a keen eye on food labels to identify any ingredients that can cause inflammation.
Eliminate foods that contain grains from your cat’s diet. A grain-free diet will lower the risk of triggering an asthma attack.
Eliminate carbohydrates such as rice, corn, and wheat.
Add some seaweed to boost your cat’s immune system and it contains anti-inflammatory properties as well.
Can Cats with Asthma Have Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil is a favorite when it comes to us humans to use from cooking to body application.
Coconut oil in cats’ benefits include:
- Reduce allergies hence reducing the likelihood of an asthmatic attack.
- Boost overall coat health.
- It may also improve the immune system
- Improve bad breath
- Reduce arthritis inflammation
- Improve gut health
- Give small quantities of coconut oil with food.
- Introduce it slowly and observe the reaction.
- Start with as little as 1/8th of a teaspoon daily, and work up the dosage over time as you monitor.
- This can turn out to be one of the best food for cats with asthma.
- If you notice that your cat is having diarrhea, you can withdraw the oil since the cat might be sensitive to the oil.
- Due to the high level of calories in coconut oil, watch the quantities administered to avoid unwanted weight gain.
Can Cat Litter Cause Cat Asthma?
Traditional clay-based litters are notorious for silica dust and can easily irritate a cat’s respiratory system. Prolonged exposure to silica dust can cause silicosis, which is a fatal lung condition. This will worsen asthma in cats.
The cat’s airway system contracts and dilates during breathing and the aerosolized dust in traditional clay litter when inhaled can trigger a reaction. Some of these litters are toxic too.
This results in sneezing and also coughing as soon as they use the litter box.
While the litter may not cause respiratory problems, they sure do aggravate them.
If your cat has been diagnosed with feline asthma by the veterinarian, you need to remove this type of litter and introduce one that is dust-free gradually.
A gradual change of the litter is key to ensure that your cat doesn’t reject the litter they were used to and end up eliminating on your favorite flower pot!
Which Litter Type is best for Asthmatic Cats?
Clay-based litters are a no-go zone for cats with respiratory problems.
This is because the dust from the clay can irritate the air passages and trigger an asthma attack.
Substituting with a litter that is naturally derived, dust-free, and hypoallergenic is beneficial for your cats with asthma.
A detailed breakdown of the best litter to use for cats with asthma can be found here.
We hope that you enjoyed this article on cat asthma natural remedies and found the information useful.
Based on your specific situation, you will get a good idea as to which solution will work best for your cat.
While it’s not a cure, the good news is that there are some things that you can do now to reduce asthma symptoms in your kitty, so that she can enjoy breathing freely again.
These solutions work well to eliminate all your cat’s coughs and help clear up her lungs and sinuses.
Asthma in cats is a serious condition that can impact the quality of life of your cat.
It is always good to be armed with knowledge about your pet’s health, so that should anything go wrong, you are fully prepared with the necessary information to take appropriate; action.