Asthma is a chronic and progressive respiratory condition that affects many animals.
Asthma in cats is known as feline asthma, and is thought to affect at least one in every hundred cats all over the world. This is quite a serious condition, and in some cases it can even be fatal. Usually however, asthma can be easily managed, and if you are careful and take all the necessary precautions, your cat need not suffer and can in fact have a long and reasonably healthy life.
Cat Asthma Symptoms
It is important to recognize cat asthma symptoms, so that you can take the necessary measures to get the condition under control. Your cat will not be able to communicate its discomfort to you, so it is up to you to observe and recognize the symptoms. The most obvious symptom of asthma is difficulty in breathing –a cat suffering from asthma will typically wheeze and breathe with an open mouth.
It may also cough and gasp, and in some cases the mucus membranes in the mouth may develop a bluish tinge. These symptoms are not constant, but come and go in what are known as asthma attacks. Asthma is usually related to allergies, and therefore exposure to certain substances is often the trigger for an asthma attack. Common substances that trigger cat asthma attacks include dust and smoke. Tobacco smoke is a major irritant, and if you smoke, this is one more reason for you to quit. In addition to endangering your own health, tobacco smoke endangers the health of your cat, and at the very least, you should avoid smoking indoors or anywhere around your cat. However, note that the smoke particles cling to your hair, skin, and clothes, and therefore this is usually not enough.
In addition, it may help to avoid using products such as perfumes, deodorants, air fresheners, and bug sprays for preventing cat asthma. Even other strong scents that you may think are harmless, such as flowers and strong scented oils may be bad for your cat. Sometimes even cat litter or litter additives contain substances that can trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks. You should also remember that dry air makes your cat more susceptible to an attack, which is one reason why attacks may be more frequent in winter. An important part of cat asthma treatment may therefore be using a humidifier in your house to maintain a certain level of moisture in the air.