I’ll admit it, when I found out my cat has asthma, I laughed. Disbelief mixed with relief mixed with hilarity. Not that I was laughing at the poor little guy’s problems, but really, giving a cat pills and puffers every day for the rest of his life is a pretty funny situation, in a ‘laugh so you don’t cry’ kinda way.Anyway, after my initial ‘WTF? My cat has asthma!’ I realised I would need to do some things to make our home less of a hazard for the wheezing one. There are a few simple things you can do to keep your asthma cat breathing easily.
My Cat Has Asthma. What Should I do?
- Don’t smoke – especially inside or around your cat. I don’t have to give you a health lesson here, we all know second-hand smoke is bad for everyone. If you want to quit and you like to read, Alan Carr’s Easy Way to Quit Smoking is fabulous and highly recommended.
- Stop using your fireplace – yes, an open fire is lovely for us human types, but smoke can be a major trigger for asthma. Fireplace smoke lingers close to the ground, around the same place your cat hangs out and breathes.
- Maintain a healthy weight – I’m talking about your cat, but hey, this is good advice for everyone. Obesity makes everything harder, including breathing. Feed a balanced diet, appropriate for keeping inflammation at bay. Avoid grains such as wheat, corn and rice, go for natural cat food (read the labels!) or consider switching to a raw food diet.
- Stick to a routine – cats like consistency in their lives, any changes to their normal can cause stress. Making life as predictable and calm as possible for your kitty will reduce the risk of a stress-related asthma attack.
- Reduce or eliminate household sprays – I’m talking air fresheners, insect sprays, hair sprays, deodorants, basically any kind of aerosol. If you can’t eliminate the use of these, at least make sure the asthmatic one is not in the room when you spray.
- Switch to green cleaning products – these may have less of an impact on your asthma cat (and the environment!) than their chemical counterparts.
- Get rid of scented things – incense, scented plug-ins, candles, heated potpourri, basically anything that gives off a strong smell. If you really can’t stand having an unscented home, opt for an all-natural soy wax candle with a light scent.
- Keep it clean – make friends with a good quality duster that traps dust rather than just pushing it around. Make friends with your vacuum cleaner, even if it scares the shit out of the kitty. Cats like to hide in the same places that dust collects: under the beds and couches, on top of shelves or cupboards where you don’t necessarily see it. It’s extra important to keep these hidey places as clean and dust free as possible.
Remember that all the little things you can do are just as important as keeping up with medications and vet visits. If you’re vigilant about eliminating potential asthma triggers from your home, you’ll give your little feline friend a much greater chance of breathing easy.
How do you make life easier for your asthma cat? Head to the comments below and tell us your tricks…