Asthma is one of the most common causes of coughing, a sign which is often confused with the noise made when trying to bring up a hairball. Asthma can cause serious symptoms such as laboured or open mouth breathing (panting is not normal in cats and is a sign of illness or severe stress). Respiratory distress is a life-threatening emergency so if you see these signs, ring your vet immediately. Smoking is one of the biggest triggers so if your cat is diagnosed with asthma, it’s time to put out those cigarettes for good!
- International Cat Carewww.icatcare.org/advice/cat-health/asthma-cats — a good fact sheet on the disease, as well as information on how to use an inhaler.
- Fitz the Bravewww.fritzthebrave.com — written by Kathryn and James who are not vets but very knowledgeable cat owners who have devoted significant time and effort to the subject! They also run a support group for owners of cats with the disease.
- BreathEazywww.breatheazy.co.uk/owners-introduction/respiratory-disease-in-cats — a website made by the manufacturers of a product that makes it possible for cats to use inhalers.
- Cornell University Feline Health Centerwww.vet.cornell.edu/FHC/health_resources/topics.cfm — a good fact sheet on the disease (see ‘respiratory issues’).
- Cats Protectionwww.cats.org.uk/cat-care/care-leaflets/veterinary-guides — along with guides for general cat care, they also do a series of veterinary guides for many different diseases.