Understanding Feline Asthma and DIY Remedies

How can I help my cat with asthma

If your cat is asthmatic, the wheezing and coughing coupled with the difficulty in breathing can cause you extreme discomfort and worry over your beloved pet.

Asthma is a chronic condition characterized by the inflammation of the small airways in the lungs.

A cat’s airway contains mucus which traps smoke, dust, and bacteria so as to ensure that only filtered air reaches the lungs.

I would ensure I provide relief and manage asthma symptoms of feline asthma as quickly as possible, and I know you would too, so let’s dive in!

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Can Feline Asthma Go Away?

Although incurable, feline asthma can be managed with the right care, attention, and medication to enable him to lead a normal, happy and vibrant life.

What Causes Asthma In Cats?

The most rampant cause of 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.

The average age of cats diagnosed with asthma is 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?

Signs and Symptoms of Feline Asthma

Classical signs to look out for in your cat includes:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Cat coughing or gagging
  • Rapid breathing
  • Open-mouthed breathing
  • Vomiting
  • 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. If you detect these signs, contact your veterinarian.

Home DIY Remedies

  • Reducing the amount of dietary carbohydrates given to the cat, as they can trigger an asthma attack.
  • Using a humidifier, especially in the winter season.
  • Frequent cleaning and vacuuming of the house.

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 worsen the cat’s asthma due to a compromise in the immune system.

Respiratory distress in severe cases can also occur.

Cat Licking Water

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 reduce 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

Administration:   

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.

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 should be recommended too.

Your vet should explain in detail what 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.

Can cats get asthma attacks?

Absolutely! Cats can get an asthmatic attack and it is important that you are ready to handle any episode.

However, here are simple hacks to prevent an asthmatic attack:

1.     Avoid smoking around your feline friend. This may cause coughing and result in a full-blown attack.

2. Invest in the best litter for odor control.

3.     Avoid using perfumes or air fresheners, carpet deodorizers and aerosol products.

4.     Invest in a dust-free litter for asthma prone cats.

5.     Eliminate stressors in his environment as they may aggravate the condition.

6.     Offer him a healthy balanced diet plus exercise to avoid obesity.

7.     Have him tested for any internal parasites regularly.

8.     Invest in a humidifier especially during winter since dry air can trigger an attack.

 What should you do in case your cat gets an asthmatic attack?

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. Once the asthmatic attack happens, 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, contact your vet immediately.

 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.

Can Cat Litter Cause Cat Asthma?

Traditional clay-based litters are notorious with 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!

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