Natural Treatment Options for Feline Asthma

While there are plenty of conventional treatments available for feline asthma, there are also many natural treatments available that can improve your cat's symptoms without the use of steroids or antibiotics.

Conventional Treatment

Inhalers are available for cats. There are two types, corticosteroids and bronchodilators. They come with face masks and range from mild medications that take 10 days to take effect, to one-dose inhalers that work immediately. However, they can cause side effects such as twitching, anxiety and inability to sleep.

Antibiotics and steroids might also be recommended, depending on the suspected cause of the asthma. However, these treatments aren't always effective.

Environmental Changes

Asthma symptoms are often made worse by something in the environment such as pollen, chemicals or smoke. Consider installing an air filter to improve the quality of air your cat breathes, and keep him indoors where you can control the air quality.

If you smoke, it can be devastating to a cat with asthma. Your cat is much closer to the carpet and furniture where the chemicals and smell settle. Smoke outside away from your cat, and shampoo your carpet and other fabrics, such as furniture and curtains.

Have your house inspected for mold and mildew, and vacuum and dust more frequently to remove dust and dust mites. Reduce household chemicals by purchasing natural cleaning products and reducing use of plug-in air fresheners and potpourri. Look for natural, scent-free kitty litter that reduces the amount of chemicals released from the litter box. Remember to change litter gradually, since many cats are sensitive to change.

Herbal Treatments

There are some herbs known to improve respiratory function that have been effective in reducing asthma symptoms in cats. Inula helenium (elecampane)  and althea officinalis (marshmallow) are two herbs that have been used for centuries because of their respiratory calming properties.

Quercetin has anti-inflammatory properties that are known to be effective in treating asthma, and perilla seed is an ancient eastern treatment for human asthma that has had some positive results in cats.

Phosphorus relieves symptoms of asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, tight chest and lingering coughs.

Rather than letting your cat breathe through an inhaler, try allowing him to breathe eucalyptus vapor. This can be made by adding a few drops to boiling water, and using a towel to contain the air to a small area for your cat to breathe.

Supplementing food with vitamins B5 and B6 can strengthen the overall immune system. These vitamins have anti-inflammatory properties that have been known to improve asthma symptoms. Vitamins C and E are always effective treatments, because of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Remember to consult a homeopathic veterinarian when adding herbal treatment, since some herbs react negatively with certain types of medication.

If your cat is diagnosed with feline asthma, there are many treatment options available to you. You might opt for conventional treatment, but there are many natural options available, which can be used on their own or in conjunction with conventional treatment.