The Causes of Feline Difficulty Breathing and How to Avoid It in the Future 

Are you worried that your beloved feline is having difficulty breathing? You’re not alone! Difficulty breathing in cats is common and can be attributed to various factors. In this listicle, we’ll explore the most common causes of cat difficulty breathing and strategies for prevention. 

Heart Disease 

Heart disease is one of the most prevalent triggers of cats’ difficulty in breathing. This occurs when your cat’s heart struggles to pump blood effectively throughout its body, which can result in fluid accumulation in the lungs and thoracic cavities. Signs that your cat may have heart disease include coughing, fatigue, labored breathing, and weight loss. To prevent heart disease in cats, ensure they are currently on their vaccinations and receive regular check-ups from the veterinarian. Additionally, it’s essential to feed your cat a balanced diet and keep them active with playtime and exercise. 



Pneumonia is another condition that can cause difficulty breathing in cats. This occurs when your cat’s lungs become inflamed due to infection or irritation from allergies or toxins in the air they live. Symptoms of pneumonia include coughing, wheezing, fever, lethargy, and labored breathing. To avoid pneumonia in cats, ensure their environment is clean and free from harmful substances like cigarette smoke or mold spores. Additionally, it’s essential to vaccinate your cat against common respiratory illnesses and keep them away from other cats who may be infected with contagious diseases like feline herpes virus or calicivirus. 



Asthma is yet another condition that can cause difficulty breathing in cats. This occurs when airways are inflammation due to allergies or an underlying respiratory infection such as bronchitis or pneumonia. Asthma symptoms include wheezing or coughing during inhalation and exhalation, as well as labored breathing or shortness of breath. To avoid asthma attacks in cats, avoiding exposure to allergens such as dust mites and pollen is essential to keeping their environment clean with frequent vacuuming and dusting. Additionally, feeding your cat a high-quality diet can help maintain its immune system strength, making them less prone to respiratory infections that may trigger an asthma attack. 


Obstructive Airway Disease 

Obstructive airway disease (OAD) is yet another condition that can cause difficulty breathing in cats. This occurs when there is a blockage within their airways due to mucus buildup or foreign objects like grass blades lodged within the throat. Symptoms of OAD include rapid shallow breaths, open-mouth breathing, labored breaths, gagging, retching, coughing, sneezing, snorting, wheezing, or excessive drooling. To prevent OAD in cats, avoiding exposure to secondhand smoke or other environmental irritants is essential. Additionally, providing plenty of toys for stimulation helps prevent boredom-induced behaviors (like eating grass ), which could lead to obstruction within their airways.  



Anemia is one last condition that can cause difficulty breathing in cats. This occurs when there isn’t enough oxygen being carried by red blood cells throughout their bodies leading to fatigue and shortness of breath. Common symptoms associated with anemia are pale gums, lethargy, loss of appetite, labored breaths during exertion (like jumping ), and increased heart rate/pulse rate associated with oxygen deprivation. To prevent anemia, it’s essential for kittens/cats who go outdoors regularly to be dewormed frequently using a product recommended by your veterinarian. Additionally, they must receive regular check-ups/blood tests to detect any deficiencies early on before they become severe enough to cause difficulty breathing.  



As you can see, there are numerous possibilities for causes for feline difficulty breathing ranging from minor issues such as allergies up to more severe conditions such as heart disease & anemia. However, taking proper precautions, including keeping their environment clean & allergen -free (if applicable ), feeding them a balanced diet & providing plenty of toys/stimulation helps reduce risk factors associated with these conditions & ultimately helps promote healthy respiration for our furry friends!

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