Natural Remedies For Feline Asthma: Managing Your Cat’s Condition At Home
This article is part of our Cat Asthma series. Download the full Guide To Cat Asthma here.
Just like humans with asthma, asthmatic cats need effective treatments to help manage their symptoms and provide relief in the event of an asthma attack. These treatments involve medication, management strategies, and other home remedies—but medication should always be the first line of treatment for managing feline asthma.
Treatment Options For Managing Cat Asthma
There are two types of medications used to treat cat asthma: corticosteroids and bronchodilators. Corticosteroids are used daily to manage asthma. These medications help improve symptoms and prevent asthma attacks by reducing the inflammation in the lungs.
If your cat is in distress (such as having an asthma attack), bronchodilators help open the airways so they can breathe. Bronchodilators are often referred to as rescue medications because they provide quick relief and are only used when needed.
Both of these medications are most effective when administered by an inhaler and a spacer device rather than taken orally or by injection. Inhaled medications directly target the lungs and significantly reduce the risk of side effects because they don’t affect other organs in the body.
Over-the-counter medications may be indicated under the direction of your vet, such as antihistamines, but are not to be used in place of corticosteroids and bronchodilators.
There are several natural remedies for feline asthma you can implement at home that may help manage your cat’s condition and could reduce asthma attack triggers.
Cat Asthma: Natural Remedies
Stress can be a trigger for cat asthma flare-ups.1 Causes of stress in cats can range from changes in routine to sharing resources or lack of attention from owners.
You can help manage your cat’s stress by sticking to a daily routine as much as possible. This includes feeding them and playing with them at the same time each day. If your cat is used to being pet and held, make sure you provide them with the attention they need.
Big changes like introducing new people or new pets in the home can also have a negative impact on stress. Plan ahead, be patient, and allow your cat to come around at their own pace instead of forcing new relationships.
Reduce Airborne Triggers
Allergens and irritants in the air can trigger symptoms or an asthma attack in your cat. These irritants include dust, aerosols, chemicals, smoke, and pollen. To help reduce the risk of a flare-up, there are a few precautions you can take, including:
- Using a low dust, fragrance-free cat litter
- Not using perfumes or heavily scented products around your cat
- Changing your air filters on a regular basis
- Not using aerosols, sprays, or harsh chemicals around your cat
- Keeping your home clean to avoid dust build-up
- Not smoking around your cat
Ensure Your Cat’s Environment Has Good Airflow
Make sure your cat’s environment is well ventilated to allow circulation of air. Dry air can also be a trigger for asthma attacks. To help keep your cat’s environment comfortable, use a humidifier.
Modify Your Cat’s Diet
Ensure your cat is fed a well-balanced diet. A complete, wholesome diet gives your cat the nutrition they need to keep their immune system as healthy as possible.
A low-allergen diet may help reduce inflammation and reduce instances of asthma attacks. Ask your vet for recommendations before switching your cat’s food.2
Manage Your Cat’s Weight
If your cat is overweight or obese, respiratory function can be compromised.3 For a cat with asthma, this is especially problematic.
Helping your cat achieve a healthy weight is important for respiratory health and to lower the risk of asthma attacks. Ask your vet for suggestions for managing your cat’s weight. Some strategies your vet suggests may include:
- Feeding your cat a smaller amount of food
- Feeding your cat a specially formulated food to promote weight loss
- Setting aside time for dedicated play (such as laser pointers, feather toys, etc.) to encourage exercise4
A supplement for immune support may be warranted to help optimize your cat’s health.5 Several nutritional supplements may be beneficial for reducing inflammation and improving overall wellbeing, especially if your cat is a picky eater.
Always consult with your veterinarian before purchasing and administering any supplements to your cat.
Help Manage Your Cat’s Condition
Although there are several home remedies for cat asthma, medication is still the most important part of your cat’s asthma treatment. These natural remedies should be used to help manage your cat’s condition but should not be used as standalone treatment.
If you are concerned with side effects of medication, talk to your vet about using inhaled medications in conjunction with the AeroKat* Chamber to keep your cat safe.