Cat asthma is a very serious ailment that can result in death if left untreated by a vet or with the help of natural remedies. Just like us, cats can get asthma too. Asthma is caused by an allergy to something. That allergen causes your body to react negatively. Feline asthma is one of the most common ailments in cats, and it’s typically caused by something the owner is doing.
Stress, cigarette smoke, perfume, and mold in a home can create a perfect storm for your asthmatic cat. Other similar irritants are no safer; it’s probably best to stay away from air fresheners, scented candles, and hair sprays as well. Because asthma is a respiratory disease, there are not many home remedies to alleviate the sickness. However, an owner can make several procedures and changes to their cat’s immediate environment that will greatly reduce the risk of asthma irritation or an attack.
What is Cat Asthma?
Feline asthma is a serious ailment that, in extreme cases, may lead to death. Much like humans, cats can have an allergic reaction that triggers inflammation. This happens when your cat inhales an allergen. Allergens are different for each cat and range from pollen and dust mites to perfume or air freshener. When your cat has an asthma attack, the airways in their throat constrict, making it hard to breathe. This can lead to respiratory distress, which is lethal. Cats with minor asthma may experience a cough accompanied by discharge from the lungs that causes wheezing. Feline asthma is the most commonly diagnosed respiratory disease in cats and is often mistaken with hairballs due to coughing.
Some cat breeds are more likely to suffer from chronic respiratory infections like a feline asthma attack, making the need for natural remedies a must. For example, Siamese and Himalayan cats are susceptible to asthma.
Allergens affect cats differently. An allergic reaction is when your immune system detects something as a threat that is harmless. The first time this allergen is introduced to your immune system creates antibodies. When the immune system encounters that allergen, it will try to attack it from that point on. In the case of asthma, the body causes inflammation in an attempt to destroy the allergen. The result is the constriction of the windpipes, which may lead to suffocation.
What Causes Cat Asthma?
An allergic reaction causes feline asthma. While researchers believe several causes may contribute to feline asthma, PetMD states that most cases develop as a result of allergic bronchitis. Allergens may include cigarette smoke, dust, cat litter, mold, pollen, perfume, air fresheners, food, parasites, and incense. Obesity, stress, pre-existing heart conditions, and other medical ailments may also cause asthma.
Symptoms of Cat Asthma
Certain natural remedies may help your cat if they’re dealing with asthma, have difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, hacking, labored open mouth breathing, vomiting, and accelerated breathing. Cats will typically get into a crouched position and extend their neck if they have an asthma attack. This stretches the throat as they attempt to counteract the constriction of their airpipes. Symptoms may fade in and out or be constant. The symptoms of asthma in cats may include:
- Persistent coughing
- Blue lips and gums
- Gagging up mucous
- Sitting in a crouched position with neck extended
- Trouble breathing
- Reduce stamina
Cat Asthma Natural Remedies
Many of the home remedies for feline asthma are based on cleaning or changing the environment. There is something in the environment messing with your cat’s ability to breathe. This allergen needs to be removed from the air. If your cat is coughing and wheezing excessively, crouched over with its neck out trying to breathe, turning blue in the face, lips, or gums, or acting overly lethargic, please see a vet immediately.
If you are a smoker, try smoking outdoors or in rooms, you know your cat does not frequent. Smoke can dry the lungs, making breathing more difficult even if smoke isn’t the allergen. We know it will be hard if you have an outdoor cat, but try to limit exposure to pollen. Clean for dust and mold in the home thoroughly. The fumes from paint, cleaners, new furniture, and new carpeting are irritants that can trigger an asthmatic cat.
Trial and Error
Take certain things out of the environment for two weeks to see if anything seems to be helping your cat. Try to avoid scented candles, air fresheners, cologne, or perfume. Check the air purifier in your home and make sure it is clean. Stray away from cleaning products and detergents that are not all-natural.
Stress on your cat can also be a trigger for asthma. Cats may become stressed when a new human moves in, a new cat joins the home, the environment has changed, loud children enter the area, heavy noises are constant, or they feel like a predator is threatening them. Try to take stressors out of the environment or add something that makes your cat feel comfortable.
Your cat’s diet is also important when dealing with allergies. Cats with feline asthma should try to avoid dry food. Cats are carnivores that do not need to be ingesting lots of grain. Owners should start a grain-free diet — cats are not meant to eat grains. Canned foods are great, while wet food and raw food are better for your furry friend.
Preventing Cat Asthma Naturally
Unfortunately, you cannot prevent asthmatic cats. There are vaccine allergy shots for cats, but your cat would already need to develop an allergy, so it’s more like a remedy. Genetics and the environment play a big role in whether or not your cat gets allergies. There is not much you can do to stop your furry friend from getting allergies, but you can do things to make the ailment easier for them.
Here is brief rewind on the key things to avoid when trying to stall cat asthma in your cat:
- NEVER smoke cigarettes in the same room as your cat.
- Reduce stress in the environment. Make sure not to blast your music indoors and try to smoke outdoors. Reducing stress may do wonders to help your point avoid having an asthma attack.
- Avoid using perfumes around your cat. Remove air fresheners, carpet deodorizers, cleaners, hairsprays, cooking sprays, and similar items.
- Cut those grains out of your pet’s diet and opt for wet foods. Overly dry air can also irritate cats with asthma.
- Very damp air isn’t ideal either; it can create a good breeding ground for mold or other allergens. Keep a good dehumidifier in the home to create a balance.
- Owners should stay away from cat litters that kick up lots of dust or are heavily scented. Surprisingly enough, many scented litter additives can trigger asthma issues.
- If your cat has difficulty breathing, is turning blue around the lips and gums, or is coughing and wheezing excessively, please take it to the vet immediately.
Final Thoughts – Cat Asthma Natural Remedies
We know your furry friend’s health is of utmost importance to you, or you wouldn’t be here in the first place. Feline asthma attacks are not something to play with and can be a very serious condition. If your cat struggles with breathing, take them to the vet to see if they have asthma. If so, begin to remove all irritants from your home or use them in a room or area the cat does not frequent.
It is also important that you clean your cat’s bedding and your home regularly to remove dust, mold, and debris that aggravate asthma. Switching from dry foods to wet foods or raw foods will also do wonders for your cat. With due diligence, careful cleaning, and proper procedure, you can make your home an ideal environment for your asthmatic cat. Remember, if you believe your cat is having an asthma attack, please take them straight to the vet.