Asthma is unfortunately an incurable respiratory disease, but with the proper treatment and preventative care, a cat can have a relatively peaceful and undisturbed life. If your cat is showing symptoms of asthma, or your vet believes the animal’s bronchial infection is getting severe, take the necessary steps to create a home environment that is soothing for your cat. If the animal needs further attention, there are also medications that can help to moderate the frequency of asthma attacks and respiratory strain.
Since asthma is exacerbated by environmental elements, the first step one can make in the home is to remove anything that could prompt an attack. Limit the feline’s exposure to particles that could cause inflammation to his lungs, and enable him to have access to cleaner air and a less stressful atmosphere. These are some of the most severe respiratory inflammation triggers:
- Dust and dust mites
- Plant pollen
- Cat litter
- House cleaning chemicals
- Mold and mildew
- Poor ventilation or dry, heated air
Other contributing factors: Humans also tend to perfume their houses with air fresheners, aromatic candles, essential oils, and furniture or carpet deodorizers. They also use aerosol sprays (which include anything from Febreze to hairspray cans), scented kitty litter, or house cleaning sprays which send chemicals into the air. In the wintertime, many regions require the heat to be on constantly, which causes the air to be drier and more difficult to breath.
Prevention tips: Get rid of any heavily perfumed items in your home. Clean the space with natural products like vinegar, and throw out any scented kitty litter. Instead opt for a “natural litter” such as those made of paper, instead of clay-based products, as they tend to create a dust cloud when the cat walks or digs in the litter. Make sure the home is properly ventilated, and wiped clean of mold and mildews that might be lurking in dark corners under the sink or in the bathrooms. For dry-air seasons, keep a humidifier plugged in for a few hours a day to maintain moisture in the air. If these measures do not seem to help, consider getting an air purifier that will combat allergens, pollens, and germs. Another important aspect of avoiding asthma attacks is to provide your pet with well-balanced nutrition. Many kinds of mainstream pet foods actually cause irritation and allergic reactions because of the low-quality and additives in the ingredients. Avoid exacerbating your pet’s respiratory problems issues by feeding him quality natural foods.
In the past, many veterinarians would prescribe oral or injectable medications to limit the frequency of asthma attacks. One such treatment option was a corticosteroid drug which opens air passageways and relieves bronchial inflammation. However, such medications have been linked to disease of the pancreas as well as diabetes, and are therefore often exchanged in favor of recently developed inhalable medications. The feline inhaler is placed as a mask over the cat’s face, so that the flucticasone proprionate, the bronchodilator and albuterol are able to be inhaled for a few moments directly into the lungs.
This kind of medical treatment has proved very effective for felines struggling with asthma. But concerned pet owners can also help their cats by reducing any stress in the home (such triggers might be: loud music, large groups of people coming over, shouting, or having unfamiliar animals visit, etc.) Obesity also contributes to labored breathing, which can cause asthma attacks. So taking care to provide your cat a healthy mix of supplements, vitamins, high-quality pet food, while watching the portion control can help the pet slim down. Both stress and obesity can make breathing a strenuous task, so eliminating these elements will prove to have a positive effect on your pet’s health.