Asthma Symptoms in Cats (cont.)

What Should I Do If I Think My Cat Has Asthma?

Visit your veterinarian immediately if you think your cat has asthma. He or she will perform a physical examination and most likely recommend diagnostic tests to find out what's causing the problem.

How Is Asthma in Cats Diagnosed?

Since symptoms of asthma can be similar to those seen with other diseases-heartworm, pneumonia and congestive heart failure, for example-it is important for your veterinarian to determine the cause of the attacks. There are no specific tests that prove asthma, but typically radiographs, blood work, evaluation of bronchial secretions and parasite tests will be performed to rule out other causes.

How Can My Cat's Asthma Be Treated?

While there is no true cure for asthma, there are a number of methods for successfully managing it. Effective therapy may include medications that will open up breathing passages and reduce airway inflammation or modify the body's immune response. Like in human asthma, medication is sometimes administered through a specially adapted inhaler.

How Can I Prevent My Cat From Having an Asthma Attack?

  • Have your cat tested routinely for internal parasites.
  • Reduce stress in your pet's environment, as it tends to worsen allergy and asthma symptoms.
  • Do not use perfumes, room fresheners, carpet deodorizers, hairspray, aerosol cleaners, etc., around your cat.
  • Avoid using cat litters that create a lot of dust, scented litters or litter additives.
  • Dry air encourages asthma attacks, so keep a good humidifier going-especially during the winter months.
  • Keep your kitty's weight down and her body active!
  • And please remember, no cat should be exposed to cigarette smoke-but if your cat has asthma, cigarette smoke is an absolute no-no.