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Are Cats Susceptable To Asthma/Bronchitis? A Couple Of Questions

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
A couple of days ago, I bought my babies (cats) one of those laser pointers that I've heard were so much fun for cats to play with. Needless to say, they had a blast! (and so did we!) But then, Geronimo (one of the babies), suddenly started panting, and then had a gagging/coughing fit. We thought that maybe he had just gotten over-heated or over-exerted or something, and that he would be alright after he cooled off. But he continued to gag & cough (and coughed up some phlemgy stuff twice), and after several times of this, I called the vet. He has had several of these coughing fits in the past, but not so severe. The vet diagnosed him the last few times as having upper respitory, and put him on antibiotics, and he's been alright since. Anyways, when I called the vet yesterday, he told me I could bring Geronimo in if I wanted to, but since I had some extra antibiotics left at home, I could just start Geronimo on those, and if he wasn't any better this morning I should bring him in. Thankfully, he seems alright today, and is eating, drinking, and running around like the looney he is again. But needless to say, I was pretty worried over what happened, b/c Geronimo has never coughed up phlegm like he did yesterday, and his prior attacks were never as severe, either. He scared the you-know-what out of me.. The only reason I decided not to run him to the vet right away is b/c he's gone thru this before, and I knew what to do, and thankfully, I had the antibiotics available to give to him. And, we already owe the vet $$$ for previous visits for our other babies. I didn't want to add anymore onto the vet bill if I could avoid it. Times are tough right now financially..

Anyways, I think I read somewhere that cats are susceptable to getting asthma/bronchitis, and I'm thinking that Geronimo (and Winchester, too -- he still has coughing fits too, usually every few days - but not anywhere near as bad as what Geronimo had yesterday) might possibly have either/or. I think that maybe the "attack" was possibly set off by him over-exerting himself, and is what caused the panting & coughing. Can cats have asthma/bronchitis?? And is what happened common when they over-exert themselves??

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

post #2 of 9
Yes, cats can have asthma. Not sure of bronchitis. Our boy kitty, Tumper has had coughing fits in the past (no pleghem sp though). Same advice as for humans/sinus allergies/asthma - keep the house as clean as you can - vaccum, dust, etc..., some people use hepa filters, too. He has had one asthma attack - very different from just coughing. He actually had a wheezing cough. No other symptoms. Vet gave him prednisone (while I like and prefer holistic methods, I'm not going to fool around w/breathing issues!) and that fixed it. Never has had it happen again.

We did get a new A/C and furnace last spring that is much more efficient than the old one was, so I think that has helped alot, along w/him having a better quality diet than before (he is soley on Natures Variety canned now, and I am slipping in raw). He used to get Fancy Feast as a treat, but I am being a strict mommy now. (Although I have recently found that he loves canned sardine - in water only. No upset tummy either!)

The vet had a new partner that wanted to put him on a kitty inhaler type thing (aero-cat), but I said no - that was the only time he had such a severe coughing fit, and since he had howled the whole way to the vet and while we were there, he definitely wasn't having breathing issues, and his heart and lungs sounded good. $17.00 and a couple weeks on pred was good enough for him. Of course this is our experience, but every kitty is different.

If it is Asthma, it could be food allergies, pollen, environmental, dust, etc.... Tump also used to get seasonal "snot" allergies - stuffy nose and sinus drainage (he would snuffle, like a little human...cats can't blow their noses!), and would cough a little (not the wheezy cough, and not in fits), and would even have sneezing fits (not drastic). Haven't seen that at all since we got the new A/C and furnace and changed his diet. (I think its more to do with the A/C and furnace). Don't get pushed into something drastic by your vet - do research and even get 2nd opinions if you feel the need. Unless it is a critical situation, of course.

Best regards,
cejhome, Puddin & Tumper
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your advice/input, Cejhome. I really appreciate it! I'm thinking that both Geronimo & Winchester do have some kind of respitory problems, and I will continue to do research till I get to the bottom of things.

Does anyone else have any advice/suggestions?

post #4 of 9
There is an interesting article here on feline asthma - hope its of help

post #5 of 9
My Harvey has asthma. He's now on inhaled medications to control it. He gets Flovent twice a day and has an albuterol rescue inhaler that we give him when he has an attack.

Here's another web site with a wealth of information on feline asthma: http://www.fritzthebrave.com/
post #6 of 9
Cats can have asthma-Uno has been plagued with asthma since he was 6 months old, (he is now almost 2). I was treating aggressivly with 2 types of inhalers as well as the occasional oral steroid for really bad flare ups, or temper tantrums with the inhaler. I finally came to the realization that he was allergic to his food-he is allergic to chicken. By switching foods his asthma has not flared up at all recently untill Iams changed their main ingredients and added chicken back in as their main meat base. He is back under control now and doing great! I would talk with your vet about the many allergy causes in pets-inhalant as well as food and see if you can maybe pinpoint what is the cause of your kitties asthma problems. I am a vet tech and there is also talk going around that heartworms in cats is becoming more of a problem and that maybe we are misdiagnosing kitties with asthma when they may actually have heartworms-I am not sure I believe this theory but I have not seen proof otherwise suggesting it is not true-so I am still up in the air on this one. Good luck to you and your kitty -may a breath of fresh air come your way soon Geronimo!
post #7 of 9
My cat Sarah has asthma.....when she has an attack she gets on the floor and sort of hunches, you can hear her wheezing when she is having an attack then she coughs a few times and then its over. After she has a episode she get a crackly voice for a little while, her asthma is set off but too much dust in the house. I heard that asthma can be common in some breeds of cats like the Siamese but I'm not sure if thats true...my cat Sarah is a Siamese cross.
post #8 of 9
I have two asthmatic cats - Luvbug and Kuce. They both take Theophylline (sp) for it daily. Our vet isn't big on the inhalers yet but we have asked her about it. They seem to be allergic to the enviromental issues - like dust. Luvbug also is prone to hayfever. At least we have ruled out the food part.

Good luck with your babies.
post #9 of 9
My cat, Bubba, has bronchitis. They did an x-ray of his chest and the vet showed me the little nodules on the lungs. He coughs for about 2-3 minutes when he first wakes up, or when he hunches over to bathe. OTher than that, he's fine. We have to give him aminophylline (sp) daily. He's a good pill-taker, so it's not so bad.
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