Click here to learn more.
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
A. Yes, cats can have asthma. The symptoms are very similar to those seen in humans — difficulty breathing, first and foremost. Cats with asthma also “wheeze” and may exhibit a cough that sometimes sounds like gagging. In severe cases, cats may sit with their necks extended, inhaling and exhaling rapidly with their mouths open.
The signs of feline asthma can come on quite suddenly and can be very serious — and frightening to observe. An asthmatic person may panic when he feels as if he can’t breathe, and the same may be true for your cat. Do all you can to minimize stress when your cat is having a hard time breathing. The best way to do so is by not creating stress; now is not the time to be chasing your pet and forcing him into a carrier. Let him calm down first. However, if your cat is open-mouth panting, using excessive abdominal force to breathe, or if his tongue, gums or lips are turning bluish, this is a medical emergency. Call your veterinarian for advice immediately.
If your cat experiences another such incident, get him as calm as you can and take him to your veterinarian or to an emergency clinic (if it happens after normal business hours or on a weekend or holiday). Call ahead so that the clinic can be prepared for your arrival, and be prepared for a stressful wait while the staff searches for an answer as to what’s causing your cat’s breathing difficulties.
Cats having difficulty breathing are quite fragile, and too much handling can worsen their condition to the point where they may even die. As much as you and your veterinarian want to know the cause of the problem and begin treating it immediately, often the best thing for your veterinarian to do is to quickly rule out any obvious problems, such as obstruction of the airway or air or fluid around the lungs, and avoid significant handling while giving medications and time a chance to work. In more serious cases, cats may need to be given additional oxygen by face mask or oxygen cage until they are more stable and better able to tolerate further treatment or diagnostics.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank you for subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
Two men who were out fishing on an
Alabama river were shocked to discover
two kittens swimming toward their boat.
After more than 30 years as a practicing
veterinarian, Dr. Marty Becker names the
breeds likely to live lengthy…
Nervous about going back to class?
Boo, Corgnelius and even Grumpy Cat
share how to do back-to-school right.
When your cat reaches senior status, you
may notice changes in her behavior,
health, appetite and activity level.
Sloppy grooming, a higher-pitched meow and more wakefulness at night could mean it’s time to see the veterinarian.
Known for his excellent rat-hunting
abilities, the Li Hua is an intelligent and
agile breed who hails from China.
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.