Why is My Cat Wheezing?
Published: September 15, 2020
cat wheezing

Why is your cat wheezing? If you notice your cat making a wheezing sound, it is important to visit your vet for proper diagnosis and treatment. The most common cause of wheezing in cats are allergies and asthma but there can also be other causes:-

allergy

Asthma/Allergies

Asthma and respiratory allergies are the most common cause of wheezing in cats. If your cat is found to be suffering from asthma; your vet may prescribe corticosteroids to reduce inflammation in the lungs. These can be prescribed with or without bronchodilators to open up the airways.

If your cat is found to be suffering from allergies; your vet may prescribe antihistamines which work best before your cat is exposed to the allergen. Supplements and shampoos exist to relieve itchy skin and help prevent skin infections.

cat nose

Cat Wheezing – Polyps

Wheezing can also occur when benign fleshy growths called polyps develop in the sinuses or throat. Surgery is the most common treatment for these.

cat nose

Foreign Bodies

Another cause of cat wheezing is when foreign bodies get lodged in the respiratory tract. Treatment may involve surgery but depends on whereabouts the foreign body is within the respiratory tract.

Parasites

Parasites such as lungworms can cause wheezing in cats along with other respiratory symptoms. Left untreated, it can lead to severe, life-threatening respiratory disease, especially in kittens, older cats and cats with weakened immune systems. If your vet diagnoses a lungworm infection, he/she will prescribe parasiticides to clear it. It is important to make sure your cat is regularly dewormed to help prevent lungworm infection.

Cancer

Cancer isn’t as common as it is in dogs but it tends to be more aggressive. Tumours in the lungs can cause wheezing in cats. As with humans, surgery and/or chemotherapy may be offered in this case.

Resources

https://www.purina.co.uk/cats/health-and-nutrition/symptoms-to-watch-out-for/lungworm-in-cats

https://www.mypetwarehouse.com.au/my-pet-blog/pet-care/cat/cat-lungworm-signs-treatment-and-prevention#:~:text=Symptoms%20are%20typically%20most%20severe,Wheezing%2C%20sneezing

https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/nasopharyngeal-polyps.

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