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My Cat Is Having An Asthma Attack, What Must I Do?

Between 1% and 5%1 of cats suffer from asthma, and the majority are diagnosed between the ages of 4 and 5 years. If your cat is one of the unfortunate ones with asthma, you may be wondering what to do if they get an episode. You don't want to find yourself unprepared in the thick of an emergency, so it's important to educate yourself well in advance.

Asthma episodes may occasionally be managed at home with the proper medicine, but if the attack is severe enough, you may need to take your cat to the veterinarian for oxygen.

Continue reading "My Cat Is Having an Asthma Attack, What Must I Do?" by BestForPets (bestforpets.org) to discover everything there is to know about feline asthma.

What Are the Common Symptoms of Asthma?

If you are uncertain whether or not your cat has asthma, the easiest approach to determine this is to contact your veterinarian. However, while you wait for your next consultation, you may read about the symptoms of feline asthma listed below.

Asthma is frequently characterized by labored and fast respiration. Cats without asthma will breathe between 25 and 30 times per minute. When at rest, if your cat takes more than forty breaths per minute, he may have asthma. Visiting the nearest emergency veterinarian is necessary if this breathing rate is abnormal for your pet. This ailment causes cats to frequently breathe through their lips or pant.

Fatigue is another typical asthma symptom. Does your cat’s breathing become more labored after they have stopped playing?

What Are More Common Symptoms of Asthma?

Your cat may assume a stance with his neck stretched upwards and his body positioned low to the ground. This is his endeavour to breathe in as much air as possible.

If oxygen cannot reach the lungs, your cat’s red blood cells will not carry oxygen to the rest of the body. This frequently causes blue lips and gums.

Similar to humans, wheezing is one of the most typical symptoms of an asthma episode in cats. Your cat may begin wheezing if they have difficulty breathing. The wheeze will sound like rattling or whistling. When your cat begins to make this sound, it indicates that his airways are swollen.

In addition, your cat may begin coughing or hacking as though attempting to pass a hairball.

It is crucial to remember that your cat need not exhibit all of these symptoms to be experiencing an asthma episode. Any of these symptoms should prompt a visit to the veterinarian.

If your pet’s tongue or gums begin to turn blue, he is not obtaining sufficient oxygen. This is an urgent medical situation, and you must get to a veterinary facility immediately.

What Triggers Feline Asthma?

As with humans, some environmental triggers might induce your cat to attack. Familiarizing yourself with potential triggers in your house might help lessen the frequency and number of attacks your cat experiences.

Among the most frequent triggers are:

  • Grass
  • Dust mites
  • Cat litter dust
  • Pollen Cleaning Materials
  • Smoke (from cigarettes, fires, candles)
  • Mold
  • Insects
  • Hairspray
  • Scented laundry detergent
  • Certain foods

What Should I Do When My Cat Starts Having an Attack?

Now that you are aware of what to watch for, you must learn what pet owners should do in the case of an asthma attack.

1. Remain Calm

First things first: maintain maximum composure. Your cat may get more agitated and anxious if it senses your anxiety and tension.

2. Administer Pharmaceuticals

If your veterinarian determines that your cat has feline asthma, they may prescribe bronchodilators. A bronchodilator helps by widening restricted airways and is a lifesaver during asthma attacks. A bronchodilator should only be used as a rescue drug because it does not address the underlying inflammation that triggers the episode.

Your veterinarian may also recommend a corticosteroid. This is the most usually given asthma medicine for cats. It reduces inflammation in your cat’s airways and is available in oral, inhalation, and injectable formulations.

3. Take Your Pet Somewhere Cool

After administering the medicine, relocate your cat to a cool, well-ventilated environment. If the assault was induced by an environmental trigger, transferring him to a different location of your home will remove him from the trigger.

4. Know When to Go to the Vet

If your cat develops asthma, you must be prepared to visit the veterinarian immediately. If their lips or gums are going blue, they are not receiving enough oxygen and should be sent to a veterinarian immediately.

If it is hot outdoors, turn on the air conditioner in your car and phone your veterinarian when you arrive. When they anticipate your arrival, they can be prepared to deliver oxygen as soon as you arrive.

How Can I Avoid Asthma Attacks in the Future?

Asthma in cats is incurable, although it may be controlled such that attacks occur less frequently. Here are some suggestions for reducing the frequency of your cat’s asthma attacks.

1. Have Medication Available

If your cat begins having asthma attacks, medication will be its best friend. Discuss with your veterinarian the drugs you should keep on hand in case of future attacks. As stated above, your veterinarian will likely prescribe bronchodilators or corticosteroids.

2. Know Their Triggers

You should make every effort to avoid recognized triggers. If you can identify the allergen that triggers your cat’s allergic reaction, you will be able to lessen the frequency of his asthma attacks. For the benefit of your cat’s health, you may need to make some lifestyle adjustments, but it will be worthwhile in the long term.

3. Maintain Their Health

Overweight cats are not just at danger for diabetes and liver disease. Overweight cats experience increased strain on their heart and lungs, as well as increased inflammation throughout their bodies. This inflammation might exacerbate your cat’s asthma.

Final Thoughts

Asthma in cats may be a frightening illness for both you and your cat. We believe that with “My Cat Is Having an Asthma Attack, What Must I Do?” by BestForPets (bestforpets.org) and some further care and medication, you will be able to manage this incurable and frequently deteriorating condition.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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