Asthma is a condition that affects your cat’s upper respiratory tract. It normally affects felines between two and eight years old, with females developing the condition more often than their male counterparts. Like humans who suffer from asthma, cats too will start coughing and wheezing.
Feline asthma occurs due to chronic inflammation of tissues in the lungs. These tissues can become inflamed because of exposure to various allergens, smoke, sprays, and dust. Also, different infections and viruses can cause problems with asthma.
As mentioned earlier, the most common signs of asthma in cats are coughing and wheezing. Some cats only cough and wheeze occasionally, while others experience frequent episodes. It is common for owners to mistake these episodes as trying to cough up a hairball since it looks similar. Some cats start to breath with their mouths open during an episode.
Feline asthma can be diagnosed based on x-rays of the chest, symptoms, and the medical history. The vet will need to ensure that other conditions like parasitic or bacterial infections aren’t causing the coughing. Asthma medication will also be administered, and if your cat responds, a definitive diagnosis can be made.
If your cat only suffers from a mild case of asthma, you will need to limit his exposure to allergens that can make the situation worse. Cats who experience symptoms frequently can also be treated with an inhaler to deliver medications. These medications can also be given orally or via injection.
The best thing that you can do to prevent episodes of feline asthma is to limit your cat’s exposure to problematic allergens. These include dust from the litter box, cigarette smoke, perfume, and other chemicals. It’s also a good idea to operate an air cleaner in your home and replace the filter regularly.