Respiratory diseases in cats: which are there?

Respiratory diseases in cats: which are there?

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If your cat wheezes, snores, and coughs, respiratory problems can be the cause. The cause is often unclear or difficult to find. Almost all diseases of the respiratory tract can be treated.

If the room tiger snores softly while dozing on the sofa, it can be pretty darn cute. However, as soon as the cute snore turns into coughing, wheezing, and wheezing, your cat is likely to have respiratory problems. Although the causes are not always clear, most respiratory diseases are treatable. Without medical care, some of these diseases can be fatal; in any case, they limit the quality of life of your favorite.

Upper respiratory tract disease

If cats have breathing problems, the lungs themselves are rarely affected. The organs of the upper respiratory tract such as the nose, mouth and throat are much more common. The most common reason is the cat sniffing and its consequential damage.

Examples of typical respiratory diseases in cats are:

● nasal infections
● polyps
● Narrowing of the back of the nose
● Inflammation of the respiratory tract

Sometimes cleaning or, in worse cases, antibiotics can help with infections and inflammation. With polyps or narrowing, surgery can make breathing easier.

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Lung disorders: bronchitis

Cats can develop bronchitis or bronchiolitis for reasons that are not yet clear. Excessive mucus is formed in the bronchi, which the animal tries to cough up. This mucus hinders breathing and is an excellent breeding ground for germs, so that it promotes the development of other diseases. The disease usually heals within a few weeks if adequately treated. Sometimes it turns into chronic bronchitis. It is one of the most common chronic respiratory diseases in cats. The veterinarian uses anti-inflammatory and bronchodilator drugs for treatment. Depending on the severity of the bronchitis, expectorants and antibiotics may also be necessary.

Lung disorders: Feline asthma

Cats are also the only animals that can develop asthma. Feline asthma is - like human asthma - an allergic reaction. When they come into contact with the allergen, the bronchi become tight and very tough mucus is formed. Heavy breathing, coughing, gagging and wheezing noises indicate an attack. A severe asthma attack can be fatal to cats. This respiratory disease should not be taken lightly; especially since cats - unlike humans - cannot even take a train out of the inhaler, but are dependent on the help of their owners. A blood test and long-term observation can find out what the cat is allergic to. Afterwards, contact with the substances in question should be avoided if possible. In addition, regular inhalation with a special device and the use of cortisone are suitable therapeutic measures.


Problems with the pleura can also be the cause of breathing difficulties. In the typical, moist form of feline infectious pleurisy (FIP), for example, fluid collects in the chest and thus impedes breathing. The trigger is the Feline Coronavirus. The infectious disease is usually fatal.

Lung disorders: pulmonary fibrosis

In the case of pulmonary fibrosis, the cat's body converts the elastic tissue of the lungs into inelastic connective tissue. The lack of mobility of the respiratory tract makes it increasingly difficult for the animal to breathe. The cause of this respiratory disease is not yet clear.

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Diagnostic methods for respiratory diseases

Depending on the symptoms, the veterinarian uses various diagnostic methods for breathing problems to see whether they are really respiratory diseases or whether the causes of the problems lie on another level:

● blood tests
● X-ray
● Chest ultrasound
● Chest puncture
● endoscopy
● Computer tomography
● Breath test
● Check for worms

Prevent breathing problems

Some pedigree cats, such as Main Coon, tend to have breathing problems and the spontaneous, groundless occurrence of diseases cannot be prevented. There are still a few things you can do to prevent respiratory problems in your velvet paw:

● Vaccinate against cat cold.
● Ensure well-ventilated, not too warm, not too dry rooms.
● Don't smoke.
● Avoid room fragrances.

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