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Feline Asthma… Yep! It’s real, and here’s what should know about it!

You might have heard your cat coughing and you assumed it’s just another one of those gross furballs, and when you weren’t left with that pleasant little treat, you might have even disregarded the whole episode until this little routine begins to become more frequent in which case you probably began to wonder…

“Does my cat have the flu?  Or is he or she allergic to something?”

Which is…

A good start because now at least you recognize that something might be wrong which is always the start of fixing the problem.  And in the case of feline asthma, fixing the problem is important becomes sometimes feline asthma can be deadly!

This is why…

We wanted to take a moment and discuss exactly what feline asthma is so that if you think you cat might be suffering from this or if you’ve recently learned that your cat does have asthma, you’ll be better prepared as to what to expect.

You see…

When it comes to treating a cat that is suffering from asthma, probably the biggest obstacle that you’re likely going to encounter is that a lot of times cats will be “misdiagnosed”.  Folks will simply have a tendency to assume that the “wheezing” and coughing is simply related to “furballs” when in fact your cat may really be suffering from feline asthma.


Without treatment asthma attacks can prove to be fatal, so without the correct diagnosis, your furry friend could potentially suffocate to death!

Feline Asthma defined

Feline Asthma is a respiratory disease that affects how your cat breathes by making them wheeze, cough, or cut off their breathing completely.  This occurs when the lining of the lungs’ and air passages become inflamed and can close up completely because of an allergic reaction or for no cause at all.

The problem is…

Some cats can be extremely affected by airway diseases like feline asthma and have severe constriction of their airways because of airway inflammation leading to acute respiratory distress and potentially death.  While other cats could just simply look like they are coughing up a hairball once in a while.  This is what makes feline asthma so difficult to diagnose and treat.

Now you may be wondering…

“What causes feline asthma?”


There really isn’t any one definitive causes for feline asthma. Some scientists seem to believe that there is a “genetic origin” while others believe that the ultimate cause is due to some type of environmental factor.  But, as for now, the verdict is still out on the true cause, probably because it’s most likely a little bit of both!

This is why…

It is so hard to prevent asthma in your felines because there is no real cause.


Some triggers for an asthma attack include:

  • Smoke,
  • Dusty or heavily scented cat litter,
  • Very aeromatic household cleaners,
  • Pollen,
  • Mold.


“What does asthma in my cat look like?”

Well, depending on the severity of your furry friend’s asthma, they can have any of the following symptoms:

  • Coughing,
  • Wheezing,
  • Difficulty breathing,
  • Looks like they can’t take in enough air,
  • Short small breaths,
  • Not wanting to play or exercise,
  • Look like they are coughing up a furball but nothing ever comes out,
  • Hacking,
  • Lack of energy or lethargy,
  • Etc, etc…


Most cases of feline asthma only result in mild coughing, this is why it’s important to take not of the little things so that on your next vet visit, you can let your vet know what you’re observing at home.

Which reminds us…

One thing that we always like to make clear in all of our articles about pet illnesses is that we here at IndulgeYourPet are not doctors, veterinarians or medical professionals.  All we are is a bunch of folks who are really passionate about animals and only wants what’s best for this is why if you do feel like your cat may be suffering from asthma (or any other health issue for that matter) be sure to have him or her checked out ASAP!


Like “human” asthma, there really are no know “cures” for feline asthma. The good news is there are ways to minimize the symptoms that your cat experiences and help him or her manage their condition.  This is typically done by first trying to minimize the “triggers” which could be causing your cat to experience an asthmatic attack along with the use of certain drugs used to reduce the mount of inflammation in the airways that is caused by an asthmatic attack.

The most inexpensive and effective…

Drugs veterinarians prescribe are anti-inflammatory corticosteroids like prednisone that work extremely well to decrease the inflammation in your pet.  This is also a common drug used to treat asthma in humans!


There is a drawback with such a simple treatment.

The issue is that…

Corticosteroids are a very long-term drug and therefore have many awful side effects like:

  • Vomiting,
  • Dizziness,
  • Increased susceptibility to infections,
  • Loss of energy,
  • Coupled with an increase in thirst and hunger.

Which is why…

Anti-Inflammatory drugs that can be taken with an inhaler are starting to be more widely used with cats.  Although they are very difficult to administer if your loved one is a little bit fussy with things around their face.  These more expensive treatments like bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids do present less side effects which is why you may find that your vet will offer these as an alternative form of treatment as well.

The issue with these treatments are …

Depending on the severity of your pet’s condition, treatments can be extremely expensive and amount to over $3,000 dollars over the course of a year.


If your pet has a very minor case the cost could be close to $20 dollars a month, which is much more manageable that what could be about $250 dollars a month for a very asthmatic cats.

Needless to say…

If your four-legged family member turns out to have a more severe case, the treatments can become very expensive very quickly.  This is why here at IndulgeYourPet we always recommend checking out Pet Insurance to see if it is right for you.


If you are considering adding a new furry member to your family, you should look into Pet Insurance because you never know what conditions they may have and it is much better to be safe than sorry.

Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “Best” pet insurance policies in the industry, feel free to check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article.

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