Just like us, our pet friends–especially cats and horses–are also susceptible to asthma.
In fact, asthma in cats and human asthma are so similar that vets refer to it as simply feline asthma. It’s also well-documented that cats are far more prone to asthma than dogs. Nonetheless, this should be a huge wake-up call to all pet owners.
What is Asthma in Cats?
Also called allergic bronchitis, feline asthma is an inflammation of the lower airways of the lungs, and is known to affect between 1% and 5 % of cats. It’s far more common in kitties and mid-age cats than adults.
Feline asthma is characterized by narrowed (or constricted) airways or bronchi due to an accumulation of mucus. Eventually, the muscles of the airways spasm, making it difficult for the cat to breathe. Technically, this comes about when cat’s immune system hyper-reacts to the presence of allergens, leading to inflammation and swell-up of surrounding lung tissue.
Symptoms of Asthma in Cats
Cats with asthma often have an uphill task drawing a deep breath, but that isn’t always obvious. Usually, the cat may develop a dry hack that sounds somewhat like retching or gagging. It may also assume a distinctive crouched posture and extend the neck and head frontward while coughing and wheezing dramatically. Exercise intolerance and labored breathing are other sure-fire signs.
Causes of Asthma
The causes of feline asthma vary. As you might expect, the primary culprits include an array of both indoor and outdoor inhalants. While asthma may or may not be an inherited genetic disorder, main triggers include mold, mildew, cigarette smoke, cat litter dust, mist or vapors from certain aerosol sprays and everyday cleaning products, dust mites, certain food, pollen, and candle smoke to name a few.
Tips for Preventing Feline Asthma
Invest In The Best Vacuum For Cat Hair
Did you know that most asthmatic cats have also been diagnosed with hairballs? Getting rid of shed hair from cat’s surrounding can do wonders for his or her respiratory health. Whether an upright, canister or handheld, the best vacuum for cat hair will come in handy when keeping cat’s asthma at bay.
Keep Your Cat’s Daily Routine Consistent
Cats especially kitties don’t do well with alterations in their surroundings. Any small change or stress can become a huge asthma trigger.
Change HVAC Filters Regularly and Invest in an Air Purifier
Air purifying systems in tandem with the best vacuum for cat hair can help you get rid of potential allergens.
These are just but a few tips. You may also want to quit smoking, reduce the use aerosolized products, and use unscented, low-dust cat litter.