cat in grass

Feline asthma is a respiratory condition that involves inflammation and excess mucous build-up in the airways. Muscles spasms cause constriction of the airway, resulting in respiratory distress. Feline asthma shares some characteristics with asthma in humans, including symptoms.

Signs of feline asthma may be as mild as an occasional soft cough and/or a wheeze. At times it may seem as though your cat is trying unsuccessfully to bring up a hairball. In extreme and chronic cases, one might notice a persistent cough along with labored, open-mouth, harsh breathing. At this point, an asthma ‘attack’ could culminate in a life-threatening crisis.

Conventional medical treatment

Conventional medical treatment of feline asthma is based upon two main drug types: corticosteroids and bronchodilators.

Oral prednisone or prednisolone, and/or inhaled forms of corticosteroids are used to reduce the inflammation in the airways. Side effects of corticosteroids can include increased thirst and urination, increased appetite, weight gain, diabetes, lowered resistance to infection, and even behavioral changes.

Bronchodilators help open up the airways. Both oral and inhaled forms of bronchodilators are used. Side effects are generally minimal with bronchodilators, but these drugs should never be used alone, as that can actually worsen the condition. Several other drugs, such as antihistamines and anti-leukotrienes, are also used by some veterinarians.

Holistic therapies

Holistic therapies can help ease the symptoms of asthma. Success of these therapies will depend on the severity of the condition. Always consult with your cat’s veterinarian before starting any therapy. Not all veterinarians will be familiar with holistic approaches to treating asthma. You can you locate a holistic vet in your area through the American Holistic Veterinary Association.

  • Reduce stress. Studies have shown that stress can trigger asthma symptoms in humans, and there’s no reason to believe that this is any different in cats.
  • Reduce environmental triggers. Asthma can be aggravated by respiratory irritants such as smoke, scents from air fresheners and cleaning products, as well as molds and pollens. Use chemical-free, unscented cleaning products to minimize irritation, and don’t use any products containing essential oils around cats.
  • If you are a smoker, quit! When I still worked in veterinary hospitals, we had several clients who were smokers until their cats were diagnosed with asthma. While they wouldn’t stop smoking for their own health’s sake, they gave up cigarettes for their cats.
  • Acupuncture can help by strengthening the immune system and lungs.
  • Individually prescribed homeopathic remedies can help reduce asthma symptoms and strengthen the immune system. Work with a veterinarian who is experienced in homeopathy to find the correct remedy for your cat.
  • Supplements that boost the immune system may be beneficial.
  • Reiki can help boost the immune system and reduce stress.
  • Flower essences may provide gentle support. Spirit Essences’ Easy-Breather formula is recommended for chronic upper respiratory infections, bronchitis and asthma. Its purpose is to balance the immune system, decrease stress and allow healing.

If you suspect that your cat has asthma, always obtain a proper diagnosis from your veterinarian.

Has your cat been coughing or wheezing? This is an excellent video of what an asthma attack looks like:



115 Comments on Natural Remedies for Feline Asthma

  1. My cat is 5 years old. He sometimes sneezes and sometimes coughs or wheezes, so at his recent vet appointment for a checkup they did an x-ray of lungs and also did a heart worm panel. There was indication of possible mucus (?) in lungs; the panel came back negative. Meanwhile I was logging when sneezed vs coughed. Since the weeks log indicated sneezing more than coughing, the vet recommended having him take Chlorpheniramine. But if he starts coughing more than sneezing, then vet recommends steroids (Prednisolone). I don’t like using either especially after researching both options.
    I saw this article when searching for holistic treatments.
    I would like to know your thoughts about Jackson Galaxy Solutions Easy Breather versus the article recommendation of Spirit Essences’ Easy-Breather.

  2. I’m working on some of these remedies, thank you Ingrid, very much for sharing…. Also i’m going to take my kitty to doctor this week.

    One more question… do you think living with 2 cats in a small 60sqm condo… that makes the air pretty terrible? and could be the cause of my baby having asthma. My other baby doesnt seem to have tho, also what about myself, could be bad air for myself too i’m assuming?

    • You’ll need to consult with your pediatrician about what might be causing your baby’s asthma, but at a minimum, I would consider investing in a good quality air purifier for your apartment.

      • Thank you so much for your quick reply. The actual reason i’m searching about this, is because she seems to have gotten a lil bit worse (today maybe the worst i’ve ever seen her)

        I do have an air purifier that i havent used in years, gonna clean all my fans, air purifier, aircons etc today….. and waiting to see if she has another “episode” and i’m going to take her doctor asap

        My 2 girls are from the streets of Bangkok, I found them homeless about 10yrs ago. We have been attached at the hip since hehe.

  3. HELP!
    My 9 year old cat, Caleb has asthma. I cant afford the inhaler (about $ 135/month). Doctor says if he takes prednisone he will get diabetes eventually. I cant afford to pull up carpet either. The only thing that seems to help is I hold the vics vapor rub under his nose for his breathing is bad and within 10 minutes he starts coughing up junk. But he still struggles and it is breaking my heart. Any suggestions appreciated.

    • We bought an aeramax 290 from Costco. The difference in my cat is amazing. He is still on prednisone but the attacks and vomiting have stopped. I was shocked to learn that air inside our homes is ten times more toxic than outside. The Aeramax is endorsed by the asthma association which is why we chose it.

      • My cat is so resistant to the AeroKat mask. Any other suggestions on how to use the inhaler or how you got your kitty used to it? Flovent was what my vet prescribed. $250??? OMG.

        • I have used the AeroKat with the little mask that fits around his nose and mouth. We puff him twice a day, and immediately after each dose he gets his breakfast/dinner so it’s like a treat after the puffing. Thankfully he never gave us a lot of trouble with it, but I’m sure it helped that he gets his food “treat” right afterwards. It’s now at the point where he often walks to us and lifts his nose to be puffed. He is sweet.

          I have two suggestions on how to give the puffer, which have worked for us. Get him or her backed up into a corner somewhere so they can’t backup. We do it on the kitchen counter, so the corner might be the back wall and the coffee maker, for instance. Then hold the puffer with your right hand and stroke his head with your left (or use your left to help hold up his head at the right angle). You could also try doing it on the kitchen counter in front of a window so he has something to look at to distract him. Get him in sitting position, slide his butt against your body, and hold him in place with your left hand while you puff him with your right. My vet told me she sits cross-legged on the floor and holds the cat against her with one hand, and puffs with another. Hopefully some of these ideas will work for you.

          After about a half dozen visits to the vet for asthma attacks over the span of one year (including oxygen at almost each visit), we just celebrated 11 months with no asthma attacks!! We do puff him twice a day which is costly. However someone spoke of indoor toxics which I fully agree with. After doing a lot of research, we replaced our old Oreck vacuum cleaner with a Shark Navigator which is completely sealed so the allergens you vacuum up don’t shoot out the back. I also have eliminated all candles, essential oils, and have limited other sprays around the house, since we just don’t know what has caused the problem. Additionally we keep our windows closed all the time. It’s not ideal, but we love him and will do what it takes, and we are thrilled that he has gone this long without an attack. Maybe some of these things will be helpful for your situation too. Good luck!

          • Thanks Suzanne! Love the back him up into the corner idea! He is slowly letting me leave the mask on him. Patience is a virtue!

        • Has anyone ever used a nebulizer on a cat? My cat was diagnosed with asthma. I’m not sure that’s solely his problem, but that’s another story. She Rx a child’s nebulizer with Albuterol, & instructed I place him in his transport cage(which of course he hates & fights me as hard as possible to avoid) then turn it on blowing towards him, with a blanket placed over the he’s a bloody parrot. The thing is loud & terrifies him..naturally it makes his breathing more labored. I tried to desensitize him to the noise by periodically turning it on without the medicine when he doesn’t need it. No progress so far, & it’s been 2 months.
          So really just curious if anyone uses a nebulizer on their cat or used to, & how did it end up for you personally

    • Hi, I purchase all of my inhalers from North West Pharmacy in Canada.
      They are about $40.00 for 120 puffs!!!
      My Inhaler chamber is from Areocat

    • get you medicine from Canada. Northwestern pharmacy. My cat’s medicine is $240 here but $40 from there. Do not use Vicks. You can use a small amount of Robituson.

    • GABA (nutrabio brand) powder.
      Can add a scoopful (small comes inside product) in his water. Also, small amount of Manuka honey every few days (1/4 tsp).

  4. I was searching for a little more info on feline asthma and found this thread.
    My 2&1/2 year old cat was diagnosed with ‘mild’ asthma about 8 months ago. (He apparently has seasonal allergies and that’s when it’s the worst.) The vet told me if he got any worse, he’s likely need medication.
    Today was very windy and now his breathing can be heard- when he’s sleeping he sounds like he’s snoring and/or like he has a stuffy nose.
    Does anyone have any success stories for natural remedies? He’s not quite to the point of needing meds but needs occasional help.
    Any thoughts on antihistamines such as benadryl?
    I appreciate the help

    • My vet. Gives my kitty to start prednizones along with hydroxyzine 10 mg daily for sneezing allergies she has asthma and allergies. Had xray done check for asthma. And viral infection s good antibiotics got that taken care of and slowly lowering dose daily to lower dosage and times given to every other day 1/2 tablet until gone. The hydroxyzinr just sometime give half tab rice daily instead 2 tablets twice daily depend how she feeling. Noe gonna go to my vet get acupuncture helps with asthma Anf allergies people and animal’s. Along with homeopathy remedies .but make Sure ur vet familiar with it first or find one through American holistic veterinary associates . Reki help also .stress can trigger supplement s that boost immune system. Find me Dear Jade.. Or Jade Mosher.. Hope this helps..

    • Hi my cat has asthma and I have been using pet alive Amazapet pills and spray and can say it is the best homopathic method that works. I wipe him down with the pet wipes because most asthma is is from allergies. I changed his food just stopped the fish stuff and give him chicken and turkey and amazing enough he is doing great.

    • Just a follow up from a year ago with my cat who has asthmatic symptoms. It took us about 8 months (and the very smart and helpful vets at UCDavis) to figure it out, but my cat has some extreme allergies. They weren’t even seasonal allergies like I thought. Turns out he was allergic to fleas, dust mites, storage mites and all poultry products. Since I no longer feed him any poultry, and have done my best to limit his exposure to the other allergens, his asthma has stopped. Every now and then he will softly snore at night, but not another asthma attack.
      I don’t know if that info will help anyone else, but it made all the difference for us!

      • Can you share how you identified your cat’s allergies? We have a 1.5 year old cat who has had an asthma attack about every 2 months since we got him.

        • First off, the Dr recommended we do a food trial. It’s takes a looooong time but it’s worth it. The Dr put him on a prescription diet of rabbit (which he’d never had before). After I believe 2 months on the diet, he was doing much better. Dr said to re-introduce old foods to see if there was any reaction. Stop immediately if there is. We started feeding him chicken and duck (which he LOVED before) and within 48 hours he was very itchy and biting at his skin. We then went through each food he’d eaten in the past: tuna, etc… and ruled them out. Then the Dr did a blood allergy test to discover the allergies to mites and fleas.
          Keep in mind, my cat had a lot of different allergies at once overwhelming his system, and I don’t know if that caused the breathing problems, but I sure think so.
          On top of the breathing issues, he had also had severely itchy skin to the point of picking out hair and bleeding.
          I hope this helps.

          • Thank you! We are willing to try anything. Our cat does not have itching, although he does sneeze frequently. But every month to two he has an allergy attack which often ends with him at the vet. We will definitely look into the allergy testing.

          • You’re welcome! I know how stressful it can be watching your furbaby go through all that and feeling helpless 🙁
            My regular vet didn’t do the allergy testing, believe it or not, they had to send us to an animal allergist at UCDavis. I hope your testing works out and turns in some results. Let me know and good luck!

    • Definitely get a true hepa air purifier. One for every room according to size is best. It has done wonders for my cat’s asthma. Make sure to keep the windows down during pollen season. Real, organic food also will make a huge difference (Cornucopia pet food). Your cat will love you for it.

      • We have a true hepa filter for the bedroom and living room and it helps a lot. I’d love to try the cornucopia foods but he has a poultry allergy and all their products have some sort of poultry. Although, he’s already on a grain free, organic diet with some of the best ingredients. I’ve recently been adding about a half teaspoon of coconut oil to their (both cat’s) diets per day.
        For me it really was finding out his allergies and then avoiding them. We vacuum and dust incessantly now that we’ve discovered his mite allergies. The flea allergies are the toughest to counter…one bite can send them into a reaction that lasts for weeks 🙁
        But it’s been about a year since his last asthma attack, so that makes me happy.

        Thanks for your input!

        • Good on the purifier and coconut oil. My vet tried to tell me that mine was suffering from food allergies but come to find out it was the “mainstream” pet food causing the issues. As soon as I got them off regular pet food and fed them Cornucopia, they haven’t had a problem since. As for the asthma, look up Dr. Will Falconer. He explains how vaccines cause asthma as well as a host of other health issues. Rabies vaccine in particular causes nervous system sensitivity. Also causes immune system over sensitivities such as food allergies, fleas, etc. It can be corrected but will take time, as much as a year or two depending on how long your cat has had problems. But only homeopathic medicine will work. He explains all that. Go to his facebook page as well. Mine also suffer from fears and I recently started giving her Pulsatilla 30c and it has been amazing. He will tell you that vaccines are the root of the problem. He specifically talks about fleas. Research apple cider vinegar and coconut oil as flea repellents for cats. Good luck and always keep looking for answers…your furry friends look up to you for everything!

  5. I just came across this site and genuinely appreciate it. I was researching cat asthma due to my cat’s recent diagnosis. One winter night, one of the strays I feed was sickly (too long to write). I allowed her to stay in one of my bathrooms for the night. The next day, I realized she had fleas. In my desperation, I bleached the floors of my entire apartment with pure Clorox and I was a chain smoker at the time. A short while later, my cat began what I now know is coughing and was diagnosed with asthma. Question–did I cause the illness with the pure bleach, chain smoking, & not protecting my 9 year old cat? Thank you.

    • Second hand smoke is just as damaging to cats as it is to humans, Elizabeth, so it is possible that your smoking may have caused your asthma. In my years working at veterinary hospitals, we had quite a few clients who had tried unsuccessfully to quit smoking for years, but when they realized that their habit might harm their cats, they quit immediately. Try not to be too hard on yourself. You can’t undo what happened, but you can make better choices going forward. All my best to both of you.

    • Our dogs have always eaten a raw diet. Sibling rivalry was starting between dog and cat and our cat suddenly decided he wanted to try the dogs raw food. I put some in his bowl thinking. He wont touch it. Now 7 months later he wont eat anything but the raw food. Kibble is a thing of the past for him. He has not had one asthma attack since

      • I hope you are feeding your cat a raw diet that is especially formulated for cats now, since cats need taurine and calcium in their food (among other things).. Not getting enough taurine and calcium can have disastrous effects.
        Great to hear that the switch to raw helped with his asthma though!

        • Francia – normally you just add supplements. I’ve been using the mixed powder from I have a chicken ground up and add water, the supplement powder and some cod liver oil. I also add in some colloidal silver and L-lysene to battle this asthma issue but I usually put those in before serving.

  6. I have not personally tried this yet; you can read the website, reviews etc, and decide if this is something you may want to try. It is more expensive than most homeopathic/natural remedies, however this Company also offers a 90 day money back guarantee. I hope it works for you, the link is:

    My understanding is the lung-gold for cat is the best one for asthma. Best of luck. If you do try it, please come back and post your experience/results.

    Best wishes for you & kitty

    • Lisa, thank you for that suggestion. I considered trying it, but decided to forgo it. I now have Nicki off the Prednisolone and onto Flovent twice a day via the Aerokat mask and chamber. It was almost 5 weeks (33 days) of practice, not the mere 2-3 weeks I’d seen in so many YouTube videos, it was frustrating beyond words, I wanted to scream, tear my hair out and give up every single day…but I’m so proud of Nicki that we’re doing it. He still resists the mask, but he does it. And of course he gets rewarded with copious quantities of treats. He had his 14th dose this morning and I hope that I see good results with it. I know it can take up to two weeks to reach full effect.

      BTW, Flovent at Costco (my pharmacy) in Canada is about a half to a third the cost of Flovent in the U.S. — probably the only thing that’s cheaper in Canada than in the U.S.!

      Peace and happy holidays to all, no matter what you celebrate.


  7. Hi, my one year old cat has been dealing with asmtha since i adopted him 6 months ago. When i first got him I noticed his breathing was alittle odd so when i brought him to vet i brought it up and they said it was nothing to worry about. 4 months later i witnessed my first cat asmtha attack with my boyfriend. Miles (my cat) was coughing, you could tell by his stomach he couldnt catch his breathe and wouldnt let you touch him. At around 2am we brought him to 2 vet ER’s, the first said it was asthma but the xray machine was down so i had to bring him to the next one. Visited the next vet and they said they saw nothing wrong with him, so 4am and $200 later i got nothing. He continued to breathe this was for 2 more days. Brought him to his original vet and got all the xrays done, he is on the steroid and bronchodilator. I have done everything i can for him, change litter, bought humidifier, and he just started a canned grain free diet. We are going to an internal specialist on wednesday to see if there is an infection we are missing. I am open to all suggestions and help from anyone! Can i mention i am 24yra old, and live on my own in NJ. Unfortunately i dont know how much more i can afford for him!!

    • Hello there I just read your article. I hv a 18 year old black cat, he’s always had a breathing problem but never thought any thing about it, ttl now it gotten worse , I til him to the vet, the first thing she wanted to do was put him down. Oh that pisses me off. they put him on steroid and valium. Did they for a week watching him walking into the walls. So I talked to my family doctor, and he told me to used my inhaler, and I’ve been using it for three days now, and it’s helped. No more pills I didn’t like that. I tend to him 24/7, I massage him, stay with his normal routine. But I Hv to help him to the bath room. I must admit I can stress out over all this but I line him so much, I’ll do what ever it takes. He’ll be 19 this year. I pray that he’ll be ok. Well see. I hope your kitty is ok… best of luck

      • I’m glad this worked for your kitty, Cynthia, but I can’t stress enough that human medications should never be used for a cat without a veterinarian’s recommendation. Even though your inhaler seems to be helping your cat, I urge you to contact your veterinarian to let them know that you’re doing this and exactly what medication is in the inhaler. There’s a chance that it may be harmful to cats, something your family doctor might not be aware of. All my best to your cat!

      • hello i was goingthru the same thing with my kitty ,thenmy vet wrote a script for flovent and i get it in canada they just fax it to my vet then i put her on anihistimine by the doctor. needless to say so much cheaperand also aroe cat is great too.

      • Amy, I’ve had Nicki on inhaled Flovent now for almost a year. Please do not let your cat go untreated. If she or he has mild asthma, natural options might help. HOWEVER, if your cat has moderate to severe asthma, my experience is that only a steroid to control the inflammation will do it, long term. There is GREAT info on the Feline Asthma Inhaled Medication group (FAIM). Good luck to you. And FYI, if I can train Nicki to accept the Aerokat, anyone can! Took 5 – 6 weeks, though, and I wanted to give up every. single. day. He’s still fussed sometimes, but overall is a good boy about it. He does get a bit of kibble for his treat afterward, though. Oh, and if you go the Flovent route, just know that quite often cats need more than the minimum dose of 110mcg twice a day. Nicki is on the max dose possible, which is 2 puffs of 250 mcg (Canadian dose) twice a day, total of 1000 mcg daily — that’s 880 mcg US, I believe.

        Good luck to you both!


        • Hi Kim,
          My 13 year-old girl, Bella, has just been diagnosed with asthma (after being diagnosed with hyperthyroidism several months ago). Her vet recommended generic for
          Flovent but I cannot afford well over $200 per you know a more affordable source?

          • My vet put my cat on Ventolin and it helps. But not the generic.
            You will of course need theAreoKat. Good luck.

        • Go to the FAIM Group on Yahoo! there. You will find the information for ordering Flovent at a MUCH, MUCH cheaper cost. Ventolin, as well.

      • My cat got diagnosed with asthma last March 2015. I changed his cat litter from clay to corn. Purchased a home air filter. Plus I give him all natural “AmazaPet” by PetAlive. I mix it into his wet food. He can go for months without an episode of coughing. Only just recently he’s been having about one cough a night for 2 nights. We are under a high pollen count right now so that might be the cause. He doesn’t go outside so I try to keep the windows shut and the air filter running. But the “Amazapet” has really helped. You can get it at Amazon or Vitacost. I hope this helps 🙂

        • I’ve given Amazapet, Sinu-Rite and Respo-K, all by Pet Alive (purchase directly from their website, quite often buy 2/get 1 free) for almost 4 years for my asthmatic cat. He’s done very well thus far. I put 1 each of the 3 little pills in a NOW brand #3 fillable gelatin capsule and use a pet pillar purchased on Amazon to administer them to him 2 x’s per day when I feed him. (can give them up to 5-x’s per day if needed) I also give him bee pollen from our area. I stuff bee pollen granules in the empty capsules & give him 3-2x’s a day, two capsules I’ve filled with Y.S. ECO Bee Farms Triple Bee Complex that I purchase in larger capsules and fill the #3 capsules with, along with Life Extension’s vitamin C w/dihydroquercetin tablets I put in the blender to pulverize them to powder & give 2-2 x’s in capsules as well. I do have the Aerokat mask & Flovent in case he has a bad attack…I’ve used that about 15 x’s over the years. I had taken him to 4 different vets & to the state university animal hospital & all came up with the same diagnosis of asthma & same recommendation to put him on Prednisolone, which he was on for a short period of time. That’s so hard on their organs, especially the liver, I opted to ween him off & attempt to find other remedies. Now with the pollen count so high this time of year, it’s a little more challenge, I’ve been giving him the 3 little Pet Alive pills about 4 A.M. the past few nights, but thus far, he’s doing pretty good and haven’t had to put him on the stronger meds. I have a litter robot for him & use the green jug of litter from Costco, it’s quite dust free & have 3 air purifiers which I’m sure helps. It’s been a challenge, but he’s an awesome kitty & worth it all!

    • I use a combo of Flovent (purchased from a Canadian pharmacy ) and various natural remedies. Currently they include: Standard Process Allerplex, Homo Pet nose relief, Newton Homopathics Cough-Asthma and currently added Vibactra by Amber Technology because she’s having a flare up. I also use an Austin Air Filter. I’m considering a humidifier since the dry winter air seems to irritate her lungs. I also have a rescue inhaler from when she was first diagnosed and before I fell in love with holistic medicine. Hope that helps.

  8. Thank you Ingrid…no more Fabreze badness!
    So maybe it’s the constant dusting and vacuuming and shaking all the linens and pounding the pillows….
    Or the move to a new state with different pollens…?

  9. Hi Fuzzy tails,
    Two of our kitties have asthma and with one the reaction to prednisolone has been the same as your cat’s.
    I won’t go into the months and thousands we’ve spent trying to give the boy a good happy life and we’re still not there.
    As with your kitty, he was coughing in his sleep, and I started shaking out the bed linens and cat beds and all soft surfaces on an every other daily basis to rid them of as much dust as possible, and then spraying all the soft surfaces (carpets beds chairs you name it) with a product ‘fabreze’ makes.
    Really a HUGE anti Fabreze person but I saw it and thought I would give it a try and it has really helped.
    It’s The un-scented fabric ‘refresher’ allergen reducer that boasts blocking 95% of allergens in ‘soft’ surfaces.
    There’s not much more sleep coughing so maybe it’s working.
    I also vacuum (even though we don’t have carpeting) and dust very often.
    Needless to say kitty is not on prednisolone anymore because of how sick it makes him, and he’s doing well.
    God luck…I know how heart breaking it is to see them go through this!

    • That’s amazing to me that this product worked for you, Finch! I checked the MSDS, and one of the ingredients is benzisothiazolinone, which is a known immune system toxin, and another is quaternary ammonium chloride, which has numerous adverse health effects, including contact dermatitis.The rest of the ingredients seem fairly innocuous.I guess sometimes there’s just no telling what will work!

  10. Ingrid, thanks for the reply–I didn’t expect one–and for the web site to Dr. Loops. Much appreciated.

    I’ll check re: Dr. Elsey’s litter — the PetValu chain does carry it, but whether our local store stocks it is another matter. Fingers crossed!

    All the best,

      • Thanks; I called our local PetValu and they do carry it. Don’t sell a lot of it, but they have a few customers who do buy it. I’ll pick up a bag to try on the weekend or before. My thanks! I hope it works for him (he’s messy in the litter box and I do have another cat as well).

        I did see that carries it, though doesn’t at this time.

        All the best,

  11. I have a cat with asthma-like symptoms, who has had a cough similar to the cat in the video since he was adopted at 6 months of age. He’s now 7.5 years old.

    In February 2014 he had a chest x-ray done because his cough this past winter had gone from very occasional to frequent, and the x-ray apparently showed inflammation around some of his airways, the “halos.” I couldn’t actually see what the vet was pointing out, though.

    However, I started my cat (Nicki) on a short course of Prednisolone, and a handful of days afterward he got SO sick with a virus–open-mouthed breathing, etc. I’ve seen the occasional flare up of the standard “kitty cold” but nothing like that. (He’s been on daily Lysine for years, btw, as a preventative). I weaned him off the Pred, thinking it had lowered his immune system and that he picked up a bug at the vet clinic or that being on the Pred triggered a latent virus. Then the virus progressed into an infection, and he had 10 days of antibiotics.

    After that I started’s AmazaPet and RespoK, both supposedly highly recommended for asthma and bronchial issues.

    Unfortunately, in spite of the terrific reviews, neither product has made any difference whatsoever to Nicki (the RespoK makes him worse), and he’s back to coughing almost every day now. I have one more product from their site on order, to try, before having to give up and go back to the Prednisolone, which I am loathe to do, as I’m fully well aware of both the short term and long term side effects.

    However, I’m in a small city in eastern Canada and there is no such thing as a homeopathic vet anywhere.

    I’ve had my furnace ducts cleaned (in early March), I don’t use a lot of household cleansers (mostly half-water and half-hydrogen peroxide to clean), my lower level is laminate (old carpet upstairs), I vacuum twice weekly, no scented oils or perfumes or candles and I don’t smoke. (I lost my ability to smell some years ago, probably because I’m allergic to cats!) The only thing I’ve not really looked at is the litter, which currently is a scented clumping litter, because after trying several brands, this one seemed to work the best.

    So I need to revisit that.

    But other than the litter, I’m at a loss to think of anything else. He’s on a 90% canned, grain-free diet that includes a low-end brand, a mid-quality brand and a high-end brand. He gets 1 TBSP x 2 of kibble a day as as treat (with rice, free of corn, soy and wheat). He’s pretty fussy re: the wet food, and won’t touch human food (except deli ham). I can leave any kind of meat or poultry out on the counter and he doesn’t get into it, isn’t interested. The couple of times I’ve tried raw have been a failure, he’s not recognized it as “food.”

    I realize this is an old post I’m responding to, but if anyone has suggestions, feel free.

    What I notice is that most of his coughing occurs when he’s sleeping–often when he’s sleeping on my bed at night, or sleeping in one of his spots downstairs.

    Otherwise, he’s still zooming around like a younger cat, getting into his usual mischief and being his naughty self. 🙂


    • You sure have tried just about everything to help your boy. I’d definitely change the litter. I’ve found that Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat is the lowest dust litter available, and a good choice for asthmatic cats. I would not recommend any of the corn-based litters, even though the packaging suggests that they’re low dust and good for cats with asthma, that has not been my experience.

      Since you don’t have access to a homeopathic vet locally, you may want to consider working with one who treats remotely. I have not had personal experience with Dr. Loops, but he comes highly recommended:

  12. I’m a little confused on the part about not using bronchodilators by themselves or the asthma gets worse. Why would this be?

    My vet put my cat on an AeroKat regimen, but she doesn’t take any oral medication. Her asthma has not gotten better, (I’ve bought air purifiers, dust free litter, keep our home clean, and she eats grain free food).

    So she needs an oral medication as well as her inhaler?

    Thanks for the article, I’m having a terrible time trying to get her better. Such a helpless feeling to watch her struggle to breath 🙁

    • Since bronchodilators control symptoms, if used alone, asthma may progress and lead to irreversible lung damage. Bronchodilators do not reduce the inflammation in the lungs.

    • Hi Kara.
      I’m so sorry for your kitty, and I know what it’s like to devote yourself to doing everything to help her feel better…
      I have a cat with asthma as well.
      I wanted natural alternatives but nothing helped.
      We finally decided that it was about quality of life and now she’s on Prednisolone.
      A word about this…my father in law, a big man is on prednisolone. He’s on a regime of 15 mg every other day.
      Every vet we’ve seen (many!) as put our 8 lb kitty on 10 mg at first and then had them tapered to 5 mg or 2.5 mg every other day for the long term.
      It may be true that cats can handle it well, but I just can’t believe this dose is correct for the long term.
      I decided to taper to 1.25 mg every other day.
      She’s been on this for about a year now and is perfect.
      I know it’s a heavy duty drug…I hate that, but it’s the only thing that allows her to have a normal fun kitty life, and as I said in the beginning, we decided that’s what it has to be about for her.
      Here’s a link to an ‘Asthma weather ‘ site. They list allergy days as well.

      I still watch our girl closely on days that give warnings about asthma and or allergies, and once, I had to up her dose a bit because both were high and she was starting to have a little trouble.
      There are many sites about how regular old weather can effect asthma as well so they are worth checking out.
      Hope this helps a bit.
      Good luck, and take good care!

      • Finch, I realize I’m responding to an older comment you had made, but I wanted to thank you for mentioning the dose. That IS the dose that Nicki was given in February, 0.5 ml (5 mg) twice a day. He’s a 12-pound cat…put on a human adult dose. Yet two vets at the clinic insisted at the time that the dose was too low to suppress his immune system. (I disagree, and I think it’s why he got so sick with the virus afterward.)

        I “caved” and picked up more Prednisolone for him today, because I can’t let this go untreated while I do my research on options (he’s back to coughing 1 – 2 days), and again, the dose is supposed to start at 0.5 ml (5 mg) twice a day. I’m going to give him half that, 0.25 ml (2.5 mg) twice a day and taper down from that, if his coughing is under control.

        A long-winded way to say I appreciate someone else’s point of view, because often I sense the vets think I’m overly-concerned–and in this case, I definitely had the impression they thought I was way off base with the dose having any impact on Nicki’s immune system.


        • Fuzzy tails, you’re welcome.
          Some vets do say cats are far more tolerant of prednisolone than other creatures, and the dose is supposedly 1 mg per kitty pound, and we did start our asthmatic girl kitty on that high dose and it seemed fine, but when we tapered we really tapered so the maintenance dose was much lower than the vet said.
          Our other kitty who reacts horribly to pred as your kitty does, well, it’s a mystery and I can find nothing about cats with this reaction.
          I didn’t read your entire first post…have you thought about a nebulizer?
          I am 1000% for natural solutions but when they don’t work, I will try what I can to make life better for the creatures, and this was an option for our girl kitty.
          We’ve moved states and she’s been great and she’s off the pred, so yay! so we haven’t had to look into it so I can’t help you there but there is plenty of info on line and though some of the inhaled meds are steroids, some are not.
          Here’s a link on kitty inhalents.

          I wish I could somehow help…I know how scary and hard it is.

        • My Cat is 12 years old and has had trouble breathing from the start. She was on Prednisone for about 8 years, every 2 months needed a shot. She ended up with Cancer which needed to be taken out of her. Prednisone is not the answer…I am still looking for it.

  13. yes she really has no problem with anything i try…. i have a system for no smell and easy clean for the litter box… i have the top entry box…. i line it with a black garbage bag and put the top on… i put in 2 scoops of litter… every night i change it…. light weight easy disposal and no smell … kitty and i love the system… i never liked the fill to the top litter system…smelly and hard to clean and i hate scooping… my cat really only poops once a day and this way is great…. thanks for the reply!!!!

  14. is dr elsies precious cat litter better than the dust free fiber litter???? its like paper pellets… thank you…

    • It’s possible – it’s very dusty. I prefer Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat litte for cats wit asthma (or all cats, for that matter). It’s the lowest dust litter I’ve found.

      • I don’t think it was the dust but a chemical in pine that this woman says causes permanent respiratory illness in cats so I was worried. Clay litters have lots of dust. I heard mineral or newspapers maybe best.

      • i use for litter DUST FREE FIBER by HEALTHY PET…. it is light weight and just about dust free… i have to get it on line as no store in the area carries it… with shipping and handling i pay about 14 plus change for each bag… each bag lasts me about a month … i have a top entry cat box… i line the box with a plastic bag making sure to have the bag hang over the box so the top seals the bag in place… then i place 5 cups of litter in and cover the box… there is enough litter to absorb one day of use for one cat and enough for the cat to scratch around in… every night before bed i discard the bag (no scooping!!!) and place a new bag and new litter… results are an easy to clean litter box no smell and a happy cat….you can do this with any box really and whatever litter you use….

  15. oh she still is on raw diet plus some canned food – either wellness grain free or something with fish I have a natural brand. I was told by the first holistic doctor she is too “damp” and by a dif holistic vet she is too “yin” – I don’t know if to go back to either one of them (money is one issue = and the other is that the STRESS of the driving there worsens her attack – I see in dif posts that stress contributes to asthma – I haven’t found a holistic vet who comes to teh house. I do have a traditional vet who comes to the house and is exceptionally kind but can’t do xrays either and just prescribes antihistamines and prednizone…

  16. My cat has had something like allergies and mild asthma since she was about 1 and she is now almost 8 years old. It was never definitely diagnosed as the initial chest xray only showed something vague. How important is it that i get a real “work up” to ascertain if she has “asthma” – she doesn’t cough often unless it is bad. What I see is that with increased heat and humidity like in the summer (now) (I am in Vermont) – it gets worse. She also has symptoms of runny eyes and scratching her eyes. I tried to switch her to a raw diet last summer after seeing a holistic vet ($285 for a first visit – unreal) – but this wasn’t easy for me as I am a vegetarian and hate dealing with the raw food. She only likes one flavor and one brand (Aunt Jeni’s turkey) – and she begs and begs for kibble. I just got the wellness Core dry food sample and she loves it (but as I say she loves kibble) – She was exclusively on raw diet for about 4 months in the fall. But i was concerned that she lost weight rapidly, seemed ansxious when eating and wasn’t getting enough variety. Plus she started scooting on her butt and seems to get a very hard poop. Any suggestion? Thank you!

    • Based on everything you’re saying, there are multiple issues with your kitty, Gail. I would probably give the raw diet a chance, and I would also eliminate fish completely. The hard stools are most likely because of the raw food. Since more nutrients are absorbed when on a raw diet, stools get smaller and harder. The runny eyes and itchy eyes make me think there’s also an allergy component and/or viral issue you’re dealing with, which makes things more complicated. I completely agree that the stress of travel can aggravate any and all conditions, but unless you’re willing to go the conventional route and work with your housecall vet, my only recommendation would be to continue to work with one of the holistic vets. I’m sorry I have no better answers for you.

      • Thanks Ingrid – she is still on the raw – is the fish an allergen?

        the conventional vet has just given her antihistamines and prednizone – so I am not sure what else he could do except a work up with xrays to ascertain what is going on – maybe antibiotics… do you think she needs to have that sort of assessment?

        • Fish can be an allergy trigger for some cats. I don’t like fish based foods because of the potential for heavy metal contamination (mercury) and other pollutants. Here’s more detail:

          If she’s already gotten antihistamines and steroids, then the next step would probably be chest x-rays. If you haven’t already done this, a full blood panel may also provide some additional answers.

          Your other option would be to work with a homeopathic vet who works remotely. I have not personally worked with Dr. Loops, but he has a terrific reputation:

  17. Thank you for posting this video….based on the similarities, I think my Woodie may have asthma. A major problem since he needs to see a vet but he’s a bit nervous….I think I’d need to find a vet that can either come to the house or give me something to calm him down first. The last time I tried to take him in, he flipped and freaked out so badly he put Me in the hospital, poor boy was so scared. He’s a rescue and he tends to be fearful of loud…or almost any, noises, situations or new people, especially men.

    I see you mentioned grains… I had wanted to get him off grains anyway as I thought it might be behind his habit of licking his belly raw sometimes. I’ve seen evo in the store…would that be a good place to start? Not so sure about the wet food as he’s always thrown up any can food he’s been given…he’s not much for meat (cooked) either.

    • It definitely sounds like a housecall vet would be the best solution for Woodie.

      I would definitely get him off grains, and if you can get him off dry food, even better. EVO is a decent brand. I also like the Nature’s Variety Instinct line, and the Wellness line. Not all Wellness flavors are grain-free, so be sure to read the label. I usually recommend their CORE line. I love the Weruva line as well – it’s probably the closest you can come to feeding raw without actually feeding raw. If you look around the Feline Nutrition category on my site, you’ll find lots of information on all of this, including an article on how to wean hard core dry food addicts off dry food:

      • Thank you so much for the quick reply-I’m running out tonight to try the Nature’s variety and weluva-I’ll grab a little of the wet food as well…maybe there were ingredients in the can food I tried that didn’t agree with him.

        I’m hoping this will help with his skin issues and that a home vet visit will help with his ‘cough.
        Much appreciation to you and your ladies:)

        • Clandy, what you’ll often (though not always) see once you eliminate grain is that allergies start to clear up. Let me know how he likes his new food!

    • For a kitty who is frightened of one thing or another, I would recommend Homeopet products. They have several anxiety remedies, depending on the symptoms. And they have some specifically for cats. There are no side effects with these remedies. (Just for the record, I have no ties to Homeopet –I just have had good results with their formulations–plus I love cats! have rescued many and have several of my own.)
      If I can get any more info for you, let me know and I’ll try. Good luck with your kitty!

  18. Belle asthma’s has nearly completely disappeared. Her diet is now gluten free and organic. She is on Evo for dry food and Tiki Cat (ahi tuna) for wet. Our new house is all hardwoods and I think the lack of carpets made a big difference. And Ingrid’s reiki sessions have been a huge help as well.

    • I’m so thrilled that Belle is doing so well. Even though there is no scientific evidence that there is a connection between diet and asthma, my homeopathic vet has seen asthma symptoms resolve in several of her feline clients after they switched their cats to a grain-free canned or raw diet.

    • I deeply believe that going ‘grain free’ is good for all cats. They are. after all, carnivores.
      Our Turtle Littlepaw has asthma and the occurrences of an ‘attack’ have gone down about 80% since she’s been eating grain free. Corn and wheat are probably some big bads!
      And L-Lysine seems to help as well.

  19. Great post, Ingrid. I’d like to add: most pure essential oils aren’t triggers for asthma and can in fact be helpful but only under the guidance of qualified aromatherapist. There is much misinformation about using essential oils and pets (one of these days, I’m going have to write that one ;-). I love the German-made Venta humidifier/air purifier for keeping the air fresh.

  20. Thanks for this Ingrid, We have been living with asthma for two years now. We do everything you suggest except reika and acupuncture. I wish it was so simple to control it. When the winds pick up that is the worse time for us. Another suggestion is to make an asthmatic cat an indoor cat-there are too many triggers outdoors.

  21. Thanks for the great post. I did have asthma… I did a little of what that cat is doing in the video, but my main symptom was that I coughed louder than I had ever coughed before and very often. HH said I sounded like a seal barking. It was quite disturbing.

    Have a good day.

    pawhugs, Max

      • i saw on the PET ALIVE CO web site 2 homeopathic asthma remedies
        one is AMAZAPET to be given 3 times a day everyday and the other
        called RESPO-K to be given 3 times a day for 10 to 15 days… have you heard
        of these and are they worth the time and money they are about 34 dollars
        each… thanks so much clara

        • I’m not familiar with these remedies, Clara. I believe that it’s best to work with a veterinarian who is trained in hoemopathy when it comes to determining which homeopathic remedy to give.

          • thanks for the reply but around here there arent even good vets…. the vet i used
            charged and charged and resolved nothing….

        • I use AmazaPet for my cat. I don’t have a holistic vet [can’t get to one] and this one isn’t too interested in anything that isn’t conventional medicine. I saw the xrays of the awful inflammation my poor cat had…and much later on, after putting him on Amazapet he had more xrays…and no inflammation was showing at that time. I know it helps. It’s not a cure and may not work for your pet but the reviews are good. It can’t hurt to try it.

          • Didn’t do a thing for Nicki, either, and I used it for 2 solid months back in the spring.

            More recently I’ve tried their FCV Protect (granules) for flare-ups of Nicki’s sneezing, but it’s meant for cat flu, not allergies (or asthma). I use it once a day for a few days when he does start and I find it helps, but neither the AmazaPet nor the Respo-K have made any difference, and actually Respo-K made both cats worse last winter, when they had URIs.

            So you have to take it on a cat-by-cat basis, what will work for one won’t necessary work for another, unfortunately.

  22. This was some good information. I think I have a cat that might have asthma but she doesn’t sound like that in the video. That sounds like a cough. Little Bit sounds more like a sneeze. She doesn’t do it all the time, so something is definitely is triggering it. I can’t take her to vet right now cause we just don’t have the green papers.
    Great post. Take care.

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