Does your cat suffer from frequent coughing and wheezing attacks? Perhaps you have seen your cat squatting with her neck extended, gasping for breath. These are the most common signs of feline asthma, which can also cause symptoms like blue lips, overall weakness, and gagging up foamy saliva. If you suspect your cat has asthma, your first step should be to contact your veterinarian for a diagnosis. He or she can work with you to create the ideal treatment protocol for your cat, which may include treatments such as:

Inhaled Medications

One of the first things your vet will likely do, once your cat is diagnosed with asthma, is prescribe an inhaled bronchiodilator medication. What this medication does is open the airways when your cat is having an asthma attack. It will come in a specialized type of inhaler with a little mask. When you find your cat having an asthma attack, you hold the mask over his or her face and press a button to release a dose of the medication. Hold the mask over your cat's face for the specified time (usually about 10 seconds), and he or she will inhale enough of the drug to have the desired effect.

Depending on the severity of your cat's asthma, your vet may also prescribe a corticosteroid medication for your cat to take on a daily basis. This often comes in pill form, and when taken regularly, it should reduce the number of asthma attacks that your cat has.


Acupuncture is often recommended as a supplemental treatment for feline asthma. In other words, it is used in addition to prescribed medications to further reduce the frequency and severity of attacks. Pet acupuncture services involve inserting very fine needles at specific points along your cat's body. According to the theory of acupuncture, the needles help redirect the flow of energy through your cat's body, alleviating symptoms of conditions like asthma. Many mainstream medical experts believe that the needles actually affect certain nerve impulses, which helps reduce inflammation—a big factor in asthma attacks. 

For best results, make sure you have your cat treated by a certified acupuncturist. Someone who practices as a licensed veterinarian and also performs acupuncture is likely your best bet since they can oversee your cat's entire treatment protocol in addition to performing the acupuncture treatments.

Specialized Diet

Some of the common ingredients in pet food may make asthma worse in cats. For instance, some cats are highly sensitive to grain, as it is not a natural part of a cat's diet. They experience more severe asthma attacks when they consume it. Switching to an all-natural, grain-free pet food may help further ease your cat's symptoms. Your vet can recommend a good brand. There are also kibbles made specifically for cats with respiratory issues; they're free of dust and contain more moisture to help soothe your cat's irritated throat.

Elimination of Irritants

Sometimes, there may be something in your cat's environment that is triggering the attacks. Your vet will work with you to determine what this may be and to help you find ways to eliminate the irritant. Common irritants include:

  • Cleaning products
  • Shampoos and soaps (that you use on your cat and on yourself)
  • Pollen (which can blow in through open windows)
  • Dust mites and mold spores (frequently seen in homes with moist basements)

Try switching to green cleaning products or using vinegar and water for most of your cleaning. You may also want to use an all-natural pet shampoo and all-natural body wash to see if these changes reduce the severity of your cat's asthma attacks. Keep the windows closed, and install a dehumidifier if moisture is an issue in your home.