-- Feline Asthma --
Asthma is something that we often associate with human health, and many of us have growth up asthma having developed it in childhood.
However, asthma can also affect animals, and cat asthma – whilst not hugely common – affects at least 1 percent of adult cats around the world.
For cats that spend a lot of time outdoors the risk of developing asthma is higher, and this is because these cats are out and about exploring different places and areas. This can put them at increased risk of being exposed to various pollutants, which can play a big part in the development of asthma. In fact, it is believed that this form of asthma could become increasingly common as a result of increased pollution.
One thing that you need to bear in mind is that asthma in cats can be potentially life threatening, and therefore if your cat displays any of the common symptoms of this disease you need to make sure that you get him looked at by a veterinary surgeon.
Some of the common symptoms associated with feline asthma include coughing, laboured breathing, wheezing, and bronchoconstriction, which can prove to be fatal. Cats that contract the disease tend to cough several times a day, and this can sound as though they are trying to cough something up like a hairball, when in fact it is a cough that is caused by their asthma.
When you take your cat to the vet with suspected asthma the vet will have to rule out the chances of it being another health problem and will need to confirm that it is indeed asthma. The vet will make a diagnosis based on symptoms, test results, and the response of the illness to steroids.
If it is confirmed that your cat does have asthma an ongoing treatment plan will have to be devised to allow your cat to live as normal a life as possible. The asthma cannot be cured, but there are treatments available for both mild and severe cases of asthma in cats, including bronchodilators and glucocortisteroids. The type of treatment used will depend on a number of factors, including your cat's tolerance to certain medications and the severity of the asthma.
Most cats love going out, jumping around, exploring, and being active, but being diagnosed with asthma, especially severe cases of feline asthma, can have a big impact on the way your cat lives its life. You may have to keep the cat in far more so he doesn't over-exert himself, and in colder weather it will be difficult to let him out because of the health effects.
However, to avoid seeing a very frustrated and bored cat ripping your house apart you can invest in things that will allow him to get some exercise and have some fun within the home, where he will be warm, is unlikely to over-exert himself, and will have you there to keep an eye on him.
In order to give your cat a better quality of life indoors you can buy things such as cat towers, cat perches, activity centres, and more. All of these will give your cat the opportunity to explore, jump, get some exercise, and enjoy their own space – which is what they would do outside. It will also minimise the risk over over-straining, which could happen if your cat is outdoors climbing up high trees, jumping fences, and racing around.