What can be done to help an asthmatic cat to breathe?

I’m going to answer this question even though I’m not a veterinarian because I can refer to a very well-known book in my possession. No doubt, you will understand that you need to seek immediate veterinary attention if your cat is suffering from respiratory distress or a bronchial spasm.

Feline asthma inhaler

Feline asthma inhaler

Epinephrine can be used in an emergency. Bronchodilators such as terbutaline and cortisone are also effective during an acute attack. Two medications which should not be used are antihistamines and cough suppressants because they interfere with the ability to clear secretions.

An asthmatic cat may have to be hospitalised for sedation and to remove them from an environment which contains an allergen or allergens which caused the asthmatic attack. Vets may provide supplemental oxygen in an oxygen cage in acute cases.

Being a recurrent condition it needs to be controlled with maintenance medicine such as oral corticosteroids. It’s given every other day to avoid dependency. Some cats respond well when the drug is tapered off while others suffer an immediate relapse. These cats require lifelong medication.

Sometimes cats respond to certain pollens at certain times of the year and therefore need medication at those times.

Many asthmatic cats are treated with inhalers such as Aerokat. Prescribed medicines are administered by the cat breathing through the inhaler mask. The most commonly used inhalant drugs are fluticasone and a bronchodilator called Albuterol.

If the cat has a bacterial infection as well then antibiotics will be needed. Preventative action is sensible, obviously, and can be achieved by minimising exposure to the allergens that cause the asthma. Cat owners can install a HEPA filtered air purifier in the house which may prove useful.

The source of this information comes from the well-known book Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook, pages 305-306. Obviously what I written here is simply information which may prove somewhat useful. I’m doing it because I need to keep producing pages to support the website. However, I passionately support the need to go to a good veterinarian when required and this is one of those cases.

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About Michael Broad

Michael is retired! He retired at age 57 and at Aug 2018 is approaching 70. He worked in many jobs. The last job he did was as a solicitor practicing general law. He loves animals and is passionate about animal welfare. He also loves photography and nature. He hates animal abuse. He has owned and managed this site since 2007. There are around 13k pages so please use the custom search facility!


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