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Is Your Cat Suffering From Asthma or Bronchitis? Signs, Causes, and Treatment

Feline asthma and bronchitis are often compared to one another and mixed up between the two because of their similarities. Both ailments are accompanied by coughing and wheezing, but they are essentially different diseases of the same syndrome. It's important for cat owners to be able to spot the differences and tell them apart so they can treat their cat’s issues effectively!


Feline Asthma

Asthma in cats is relatively common. In technical terms, it refers to an inflammation of their airways that affects their breathing. 


  • Causes: The cause of feline asthma is currently unknown, but it is most likely a genetic factor that causes it, with other external factors that can affect it further. It is related to their immune system and is considered a defect. Cats that are overweight and unhealthy are more susceptible to feline asthma. It can also be triggered through external stimuli like dust, pollen, etc. 
  • Symptoms: Common symptoms of feline asthma include difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, and coughing.


Feline Bronchitis

Feline bronchitis is also an inflammation of the airways, which makes it difficult for your cat to get the oxygen it needs. It can be acute (lasting a short period) or chronic (many weeks to months). Feline bronchitis is often called feline asthma, though that is a common misconception. It differs in that asthma in cats is reversible. At the same time, chronic bronchitis can have irreversible damage and mucus obstruction of the cat's airways.



  • Causes: Bronchitis in cats can be caused by many things. A viral infection, parasites, chronic inhalation of harmful substances, and even allergies can cause feline bronchitis.
  • Symptoms: Feline bronchitis is accompanied by coughing, difficulty breathing, wheezing, and an overall challenge to getting oxygen.




If your cat is suffering from feline asthma or bronchitis, the best action is to take them to the vet. From there, your local vet will assess the severity of their illness and treat it appropriately. Your vet can prescribe anti-inflammatory and steroidal medicine to free up their airways and allow them to breathe correctly again. Also, bronchodilators, commonly referred to as inhalers, will help your cat breathe. In general, exercise and removing allergens from their home will also help lessen the severity of the disease.



Treat Feline Asthma and Bronchitis at Northwood Animal Hospital

Northwood Animal Hospital strives to be above and beyond what most veterinarians can offer. Our facility caters to all your pet’s needs conveniently under one roof to save you precious time and money. Our pride is our staff of close-knit, trained, and compassionate animal aficionados who will give your pet the best care possible. Contact us and schedule an appointment to get your cat breathing right!


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General Hours

Mon - Fri: 7:00am - 6:00pm
Sat & Sun: Closed

General Hours

Mon - Fri: 7:00am - 6:00pm
Sat & Sun: Closed