Are Siamese cats prone to asthma? It seems that they might be according to an authoritative book I have on genetic diseases in purebred cats, which tells me that Siamese cats are over-represented as a breed in a ‘recent study’ of feline bronchial disease. The book was published in 1992 and therefore the study must go back to around that date.
Bronchial disease is an abnormality of the lower airways excluding disease primarily of the alveoli, interstitium, vasculature and pleura.
Bronchial disease includes bronchial asthma and allergic bronchitis and acute and chronic bronchitis. Clinical signs are coughing, sneezing, wheezing, vomiting and dyspnoea. Some Siamese cat owners report that the signs are more common or re-occur during a particular season.
In the study, half the cats got better on their own and half required medication with bronchodilators, antibiotics or corticosteroids. The clinical signs are more likely to recur in Siamese cats.
As you can see it is rather technical. However, it is interesting to note that bronchial disease is apparently more common in Siamese cats according to this 1992 study.
A website, biology-online.org says that people can trigger asthma attacks in cats and feline asthma is not that uncommon. They say that it is on the rise as more house cats become indoor cats. This is perhaps a reference to house dust mites and cigarette smoke etc. and other products such as scents which have the potential to provoke an asthma attack in cats.
Reference: The book that I’m referring to is Medical, Genetic and Behavioural Aspects of Purebred Cats edited by Ross D Clark DVM and published by Forum Publications Inc, St Simons Island, Georgia Fairway, Kansas, USA.