Feline Asthma Triggers

Feline asthma is also known as bronchial asthma, and it causes coughing in cats. Asthma is considered an allergic reaction and it is commonly triggered by several factors. These factors will activate the formation of inflammatory cells in the respiratory tract, causing coughing and difficulty breathing. To avoid outbreaks of asthma in your pet, it is important to know what could possibly cause an activation of the disease.


Pollens are among the most common agents that can trigger asthma. There are numerous types of pollens and they are mostly present during spring or autumn. If your pet's asthma is activated by pollens, it is important to restrict his access outdoors during pollen seasons and keep air purifiers in the house.

Dust Mites

Dust mites may also cause asthma attacks. The dust mites may be inhaled and they will cause the activation of inflammatory cells and a release of serotonin. Serotonin is a substance that causes muscle contraction in the respiratory tract and this will result in difficulty breathing and a dry cough.


Mold is another asthma trigger. Mold can be found in rooms that are moist or that lack sufficient ventilation. Mold can be treated with special solutions or vinegar, and the rooms should be properly ventilated to prevent the occurrence of mold.


There are a lot of chemicals that can cause asthma attacks in cats. While some chemicals such as paint or cleaners are obvious allergens, you should also be aware that the asthma can be triggered by other chemicals such as fragrance or air freshener. Even flea sprays or powders can cause an asthma attack.


Smoke (i.e., cigarette or fireplace smoke) is a common asthma trigger, as the smoke gravitates near the floor, at the level of the cat and the cat is very likely to inhale it. It is important not to expose the cat to secondhand smoke, as this can cause other respiratory problems and may even be associated with cancer.


Asthmatic cats can develop an attack immediately after being exposed to grass. Grass is a common asthma trigger that is difficult to avoid.

Cat Litter

Cat litter can be an asthma trigger, especially if the litter contains sand or silica. If you suspect that cat litter causes asthma attacks in your cat, you should switch to a different type of litter. Make sure the new litter doesn't contain the ingredients of the litter your cat had an allergic reaction to.


Food can also be an asthma trigger. It is difficult to detect the ingredient that will cause the release of serotonin, but food trials may be performed.

In some cases, the triggers of asthma are not identified. When an asthma attack occurs, administer corticosteroids to make the breathing possible. In a crisis, steroids with a rapid action (i.e., Prednisone or Dexamethasone) should be chosen, and these are more effective when administered intravenously. Bronchodilators can also be administered.