Distinguishing between Cat Allergies Symptoms and Asthma

Cat allergies symptoms may often be similar to cat asthma. The distinction between these 2 conditions may be very subtle, as there is also a connection between these 2 conditions. Cats with asthma may develop allergies and allergies may trigger asthma attacks.

Cat Allergies Symptoms

Cat allergies symptoms will be triggered by various allergens including inhalant allergens (i.e. pollens or smoke), contact allergens (i.e. plastic or nickel) or food.

The most common cat allergy symptoms include sneezing, coughing, respiratory difficulties, itching, dermatitis, swelling of the eyes, face or limbs, runny nose and watery eyes.

Feline Asthma

Asthma is a respiratory problem and will be manifested through symptom such as coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing, exercise intolerance or shallow breathing. These symptoms may also be present in cats that are allergic to different irritants. When asthma symptoms occur, the respiratory ways will get swollen and constricted and this will lead to the asthma symptoms. There will also be a mucus secretion in excess and this will make the breathing difficult.

In some cases, the asthma attacks may be triggered by certain allergens such as chemicals, duct mites, mold, herbs or tree pollens and cigar smoke.

Just like allergies, asthma cannot be treated, but it may be controlled. The cat should avoid the factors that trigger the asthma attacks.

Distinguishing between Cat Allergies and Asthma

The main difference between cat allergies and asthma is the fact that the allergies are a response of the immune system. Asthma is a condition that occurs in the airways and the lungs.

Allergies are more frequent in felines, while the percentage of cats affected by asthma is less than 1%.

However, some cats that have asthma may easily develop allergies as well. Conversely, if the cat has allergies and is exposed to the allergen, may develop chronic asthma.

The symptoms of asthma are similar to the symptoms of allergies: the air passages will get swollen and irritated both in asthma and in the case of allergies; however, in allergies, the cat may also experience additional symptoms such as skin itchiness, dermatitis or nasal and ocular discharges; these symptoms will not be present in a cat that is affected by asthma.

Another connection between cat asthma and allergies is the fact that certain allergens may cause an asthma attack.

Treatment Options for Cat Allergies

The treatment may differ in cats with allergies and cats with asthma.

The treatment for allergies will include antihistamines, corticosteroids and allergy shots. Topical ointments may also be prescribed for the skin rashes. Homeopathic remedies that will strengthen the immunity may also be applied in cats with allergies.

Feline asthma cannot be treated by may be managed with bronchodilators (i.e. aminophylline or terbutaline), which will dilate the air passages, relax the muscles and will facilitate the breathing. The cat may also receive steroids or non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs.

In both conditions, it is important to reduce the cat’s exposure to the factors that trigger the allergies or the asthma attacks.