Feline asthma is a respiratory disease that is said to affect 1 to 5% of cats, which represents more than 140 000 cats in France. Any cats may suffer from asthma, regardless of age, gender, or breed.
Feline asthma may be caused by inhalation of allergens or irritants present in the cat’s environment, such as pollen, cigarette smoke, perfumes, dust from litter, etc… Other factors might cause asthma, but their roles need further study.
Symptoms of feline asthma are numerous, and they vary in types and severity. The most common symptoms include coughing and sneezing, wheezing, nasal discharge, dyspnea (difficulty to breath), exercise intolerance, respiratory distress (crisis), and tachypnea (faster breathing).
Feline asthma can be subdivided into three main categories :
If your cat has any symptoms, you should consult a veterinarian. Indeed, if asthma of any grade is not treated, it can lead to airway remodelling, making the disease chronic and worsening the symptoms.
If your cat is diagnosed with asthma, the first step in asthma treatment is to identify the irritants or allergens in the cat’s environment that are likely to cause the disease, and then to remove or at least reduce as much as possible their presence.
Feline asthma treatments are available in inhaled formulation, which has great advantages. For intermittent asthma, they allow to give medication to the cat only when a crisis occurs, whereas oral drugs have to be administered daily because their action is slower. For asthma of any grade, compares to orally administered drugs, inhaled drugs have a faster action (a few minutes by inhalation vs a few hours) and increase the proportion of drugs getting to the area to treat (a large proportion of orally administered drugs is absorbed by organs other than the lungs). For this reason, the amount of drugs to administer is smaller by inhalation than by oral administration.
To administer inhaled drugs, a valved holding chamber like AnimHal® Cat has to be used, which optimizes pulmonary drug deposition.