The Best Food For Cats With Asthma – a Basic Guide

Cat Food Cat - The Best Food For Cats

There’s a whole lot of conflicting information out there about feline diets, but not a great deal about the best food for cats with asthma. Why is this? Well, we’re special, us asthma cat parents – only about 1% of cats are asthmatic, so in the grand scheme of things there really aren’t that many of us.

I’ve done a fair bit of research and a bit of experimentation (sorry Sparrow) into the whole asthmatic cat food situation and I’ve found a few things that I agree with, quite a lot that I disagree with and a bit that I’m changing my mind about.

Confused Sparrow - Best Food For Cats With Asthma

Cat nutrition is a huge topic and there’s no way I can get into all of it with just one article, but I will lay out a few important facts that you should consider when choosing the best diet for your asthmatic cat. And yes, I will provide some resources if you’d like to delve deeper into the subject.

Please remember though, I am not a vet. I am not an animal nutritionist. I don’t know everything there is to know, but I know enough good sense and enough about what has worked for me that I feel confident in what I’m about to say.

Enough preamble. On with the show.


What do Cats Eat?

In the wild, your cat’s diet would consist mostly of small rodents and birds – the meat and organs of other animals. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that their systems are designed to get all of the nutrients and water they need from the animals that they would kill and eat.

Cats require a high protein diet rich in nutrients such as taurine, calcium, niacin, arginine and thiamine, plus a whole range of other vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants. Many of the nutrients cats need are found only in animals and if they are found in plant foods, the cat’s system is not equipped to process these into a form they can use.Cat Eating Bird - Best Cat Food For Cats

Our feline friends are not particularly thirsty creatures, but like every other animal, they require water in their diets. This low thirst drive makes it important for cats to eat a moisture-rich diet that fulfils all of their nutritional needs and keeps them well hydrated.

If you’re after more detailed and scientific-y information, check out this article on the basics of feline nutrition from the Feline Nutrition Foundation. Bottom line: cats eat other animals and that’s it.


What do Cats Not Eat?

We’ve been led to believe that cats eat a few things that they just don’t need. It’s common knowledge (I hope!) that a bowl of milk is not what your cat needs, as cats are mostly lactose intolerant. Puts a whole new spin on the old idiom of ‘the cat that got the cream’ doesn’t it?

Fish is also not a natural part of a good feline diet. While it’s ok as an occasional treat, fish is simply not something that cats need or would eat in the wild. It’s lacking in some vital nutrients that cats need, and there’s also the issue of those little bones that like to get stuck in harmful places like throats and digestive systems. More detailed information on safely feeding fish to your cat can be found here in this article fromNo Grains - Best Food For Cats With Allergies Pet-Happy.

Biggest on my personal hit-list of what cats don’t eat is grains. Why commercial cat food contains things like rice, corn and wheat is a mystery to many smart consumers, myself included. Can you imagine your kitty hoeing down on a plate of rice that they’ve cooked up for dinner? No. Cats are designed by nature to get all that they need from meat, not grains…and the same goes for vegetables. They’re just not required – a wild cat’s diet would consist of only about 5% carbohydrates, most of which would be from the contents of their prey’s stomach. It’s possible that these ‘filler’ ingredients are a large contributing factor in many common cat ailments, including obesity.


Do Cats Need Kibble?

The short answer is: no. If your cat eats nothing but dry food, it’s almost certain that kitty is not getting the nutrition he would from wet food. Many low-quality dry foods contain fillers and all are highly processed or heat treated in order to make the kibble bits into their shapes. This processing further destroys the nutrient content of the food.

Dry food is exactly that – dry. Remember, cats are designed to get the water they need from the food that they eat. Prey animals eaten in the wild can be up to 70% water, whereas dry foods average about 10% water.

The myth about kibble being good for cleaning a cat’s teeth is just that – a myth. Cats have teeth designedSparrow Teeth - Best Cat Food Indoor Cats for tearing through muscle and flesh, not for grinding kibble. Most of the time your cat will be swallowing these kibble bits whole or smashing them with their pointy teeth. Mix in a bit of saliva and you’ll find these bits of kibble getting stuck between your cat’s teeth, causing the plaque you’re trying to kill.

So how to solve this teeth cleaning dilemma? Try giving kitty a raw chicken neck to gnaw on. Chewing on natural bones is much better for a cat’s teeth than shattering fake food kibble.

If you’ve been reading my stuff for a while, you might remember that I reviewed Hill’s Science Diet dry food and I do feed this to my cat occasionally. Why? Because he eats it. Sparrow is tricky to feed and sometimes it’s all I can get him to eat. Will I be putting an end to this? Absolutely – but it’s going to be a very slow process to find something else that he will eat without fail. I’ve been trying. Stay tuned.


The Best Food For Cats With Asthma

Diet plays a very important part in the overall health of all cats and our asthmatic felines are even more sensitive than their easy-breathing brothers. Asthmatic cats are likely to be suffering from some immune system stress, so feeding a diet that discourages inflammation and mimics what your cat would eat in the wild is best.

But what is that? There’s not a great deal of specific information, but what I have discovered from my own research, experience and from talking to other asthma cat parents is this: grains are out, fish is out and natural is best.

Generally speaking, the best anti-inflammatory diet for cats with asthma eliminates dry foods, grains, fish and possibly poultry. Opt for organic food made with little processing and you should be laughing.

Cat and Mouse - Best Cat Food For Cats

Many asthma cat parents have seen a dramatic improvement in their kitty’s wheeziness just by switching foods, but please remember that you should not just stop the vet’s prescribed medication because things look like they’re getting better. I’m all for diet changes and natural remedies, but these things should be complimentary to what the doctor ordered, not a replacement.

Even if this kind of diet does not help with kitty’s asthma symptoms, it’s a solid foundation for good health no matter what and will give you a better chance of stopping other health problems in their tracks.

What do you feed your wheezy kitty? Has changing diet made any difference? Share your experiences with us in the comments below.

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  1. OMG I had no ideas cats could suffer from Asthma. Our Freddy has started wheezing. I had not made the connection. We will start with a mild switch of his food. We’ve always fed him nutro. I’ll check the older posts to see what you recommend. He’s scheduled for a check up soon. Hopefully its just a cold and not Asthma poor thing.

    Thank you very much

    1. Dale if that cat is wheezing I reckon you should bring his scheduled check up forward and find out what the deal is as soon as you can. You’ll have a much better chance of fixing the problem if you catch it early on. Thanks for saying hi!

      1. Hi Shirley,
        My cat Ella has asthma and she is on a low dose prednisone that doesn’t seems to be helping much. It’s pretty severe and I hate seeing her suffer.

        I’ve been feeding her only dry food, origin food which is probably the best dry food there is, but I’m thinking that maybe she need some kind of wet food component to that. What do you feed your cat? Also I’m not sure where you’re located geographically but I would love to find a specialist that I could either take her to or do a phone consultation, if you have one.

        Thank you very much.

        1. Hi Diane, thanks for your comment. I’m located in Melbourne, Australia – so I don’t know if any recommendations I could make for specialists would make any sense to you. Your best bet might be to chat with your vet and take Ella in for another check-up, there might be some different treatment they could recommend and I’m sure they’d be able to recommend a specialist as well.

          As for the food situation, I’d highly recommend getting Ella on to wet food. I’ve heard anecdotes from other readers that their asthma kitties do best without any fish in their diets as well, so that might be worth a try for you. From my research and what I’ve tried with Sparrow, I’ve learned taht a high-protein, moisture-rich diet is the easiest way to ensure a happy, healthy kitty.

          All the best,


          1. Diane, I saw your post and just wanted to tell you what I’m going through right now with my cats asthma. My kitty didn’t respond to the prednisone pills, so my vet started her on depo medrol injections every 6-8 wks. Worked like a charm for her moderate to several asthma attacks and I was relieved. However, after her 4th injection this last time she didn’t respond as well. She also lost 3 lbs in 5 mos (only 6 lbs now), which is a lot (She’s showing bones). I took her to a closer location of my vet’s for the 1st time and she was diagnosed with diabetes! I found out that this was CAUSED by the depo medrol. Which apparently is common after looking it up. Diabetes is very expensive to treat in cats (insulin, syringes, glucose meter, etc). I’m going to stop the depo shots since they’re not working (they stop bring effective for all cats at some point) and it’s messing south her blood sugar. So now I’m trying to look for foods that can combat asthma and take her off ALL meds, an idea I got off of a few sites. And yes, wet food is better, although I fought this concept for many years (strangely my cat prefers dry over wet food). My girl Molly is only 13 yo, so I should be able to get several more good years out of her.

            I hope my experience helps you. There is lots to consider for a cat that has asthma.

            Good luck.

  2. Love this article, AND the pics of Sparrow! Our cat Sandwich won’t eat kibble.. whenever we’ve tried to give it to him it just ends up on the floor :). We do live in the countryside as well so he does a lot of hunting.. infact it’s probably his favorite passtime!
    Really happy that I have found your site and will certainly be coming back to check for new content as its hard to find good advice these days. How many other cats to you have?

    1. Thanks Rich, I’m glad you like it! I just have the one Sparrow at the moment, he’s enough of a handful for me. Might get him a kitten sometime down the track, but I’m wary of upsetting his delicate little life. Sandwich is a great name for a cat, well done on that 🙂

    2. Did you find out any information on your post? I also have a cat which is only 8 yrs old but is on 2.5 chewy version of prednisilone for asthma and we recently took her to the vet because she was losing weight. The vet found she had high sugar in her urine and it may be diabetes. We tried the prescribed diabetic cat food for her but her asthma didn’t work so well with it. I think it has too many grains in it or something. She started coughing the day after she took it. I may have to start trying to train her on the aerokat inhaler…although flovent cost a ton of money. I hope your cat is doing better. Please contact me if you found anything that works.

  3. I enjoyed reading over your page.
    As a cat owner myself, I am concerned at to what my boys are eating.
    I found fascinating your article about what cats eat and don’t eat. I recently switched to Rachel Ray because the meat content is higher (my vet was skeptical) mostly because my boys were throwing up more than they should. I do feel this switch has helped.
    This article helped me to understand why we should be looking for food with higher meat and moisture content.
    Luckily my boys do not have asthma, but your website is a great resource for anyone that does have a kitty with this issue
    Great work

    1. Interesting, I didn’t know Rachel Ray made cat food, I might check it out. I wonder why your vet was sceptical, but I guess if your cats are doing better it’s all good. Thanks for the tip!

  4. I am with you on the grains thing. Blanche got to be a little carb queen over the years after my idiot vet told me to feed her “only” dry food. Every dry food has some kind of grain, period. And, as you point out aptly, cats in nature eat rodents and birds: ONLY. So, now, she just gets all-protein wet food. I’ve contemplated making her food or even trying to just throw in some raw stuff, but she’s so old that I think it would be tough to get her to change. Thanks for the great post!

    1. Oh wow. That seems like a really odd thing for a vet to say, but I’m discovering lately that a lot of vets don’t know or seem concerned about nutrition. I suppose sick pets is what keeps them in business (that’s a horrible thought, but I’m leaving it there anyway). It’s really amazing, the difference in Sparrow since I started feeding him a more natural, meat-based diet.
      Thanks for stopping by again Penny, it’s always nice to see you here.

  5. Yoooooo!!! Giving a cat kibble is second nature to me. I never even thought to think about it. I assumed that cat food was made to give them exactly what they are supposed to eat – I mean not 100% of it, sure, but I had no clue that it borderline doesn’t make sense to feed them that at all.

    I typically use wet food as a treat. If I were to stop using kibble (which thank you … I never use kibble, again), how much wet food does a cat get in a day? 3 cans? I mean, every cat I’ve had devours a can in one sitting. I can’t imagine that being enough.

    Also, thank you for including links to research this further.

    Aye!!! Shirley! Be sure to tell my boo Sparrow I said, “Hi,” with a two handed deep throat rub until he purrs.

    Thank you for putting me on!!!

    1. It’s not your fault Shonna, what happens is this: big business. Big-ass cat food companies get in our faces with their flashy campaigns and tell us that their stuff is good because of a bunch of big words that we hardly understand and we go “ok. Sounds like they know what they’re talking about”.

      So…the amount of wet food you feed your fluffballs depends on their weight, their activity level and the type of food. Most packaging will give you a little feeding guide so you should be right with that. Also if you’re going to change foods, do it gradually – maybe 3/4 of the old food and 1/4 of the new stuff for a week or so, then 50/50 for a week and so on until you’ve completely switched.

      Be careful with those links, my friend. They’re a bit of a rabbit hole, but well worth it if you want to go down there.

      Come back and let us know how your cats like their new food.

  6. Such a great article, Shirley, as always! I love how you breakdown the processed stuff that accompanies commercial dry foods for cats and how you explain what cat’s eat in the wild and their systems and how they are not meant to eat certain things while they are meant to eat others. I can tell Sparrow is well- looked after! How do cat’s get something as rare as asthma?

    1. Thanks Manika-Nia! It’s kinda scary what they put in pet food, isn’t it?

      To answer your question, I’m pretty sure Sparrow was born faulty. I remember seeing him hacking a couple of times when he was a baby, but it was so sporadic that I didn’t think anything of it until it became a big problem. That was a nightmare, but thankfully we got to the bottom of it quickly and he’s pretty stable with his twice-daily puffers now.

  7. Body is a machine & it needs fuel. We put quality fuel into our car so it runs well – Same thing with our bodies.

    The difference with pets is that they can’t give us too much feedback – If they like something, they eat it, if they don’t, they won’t. But will this info be enough?
    Nutrition is indeed a massive topic & there’s a huge ongoing energy war on daily basis.

    Getting high-quality nutrition for our pets is #1 priority in my opinion.

    I’m very tentative about commercial foods these days – Many folks aren’t even aware that major companies are known to shamelessly use such “filler” ingredients in their products that would scare the living hell out of them if they only knew – Hair, bones, dirt, other dead animals, pets, even the ones pulled from vets surgery tables with anesthetics still in their bodies..

    Yup, & it’s not even a fiction, it’s the reality we live in.

    Pets are easy targets too – They don’t talk back or complain “it tastes funny”, the only protection would be, if they won’t eat low quality food.. OR they have a smart master who takes care of them.
    So, the fact our pets sometimes won’t accept the particular meal we offer to them, doesn’t mean they’re spoiled. They’re actually wiser than we are not to touch some “deadly” stuff.

    That fact alone have made me think twice, to choose very carefully the nutrition I get.. & very often to seek out holistic-level quality foods for my pets.

    In my opinion, diet can be everything – It can be a huge contribution towards our pets overall health. Or am I too far off?

    1. You’re absolutely spot-on, Henry, and you make a good point. We don’t think twice about using the premium fuel for our cars, but we skimp on the quality of fuel we give to our pets and even ourselves. Kinda says a bit about the state of the world, hey?

      I gripe a bit about Sparrow being a picky eater, but without his fussiness, I’d have no idea what to feed him. He won’t eat cheap crap, at all. We lived in a house with another cat owner who would feed his cat the cheapest supermarket food. Sparrow wouldn’t go near it, but the other cat would be forever trying to steal Sparrow’s quality food. This other cat was Sparrow’s mother and I sometimes wonder if her diet had something to do with him coming out all faulty with asthma.

      I’m going to be delving into this food issue a little more in the future as I try out different things, so I hope you come back again and join the conversation some more. Thanks for sharing your opinions.

  8. Thank you for the information! I’ve just been researching a lot, because I so badly want to purchase a kitten companion for my apartment. I’ve always loved cats, but there is so much I don’t know! :O Let alone, I didn’t know about asthma in cats, I feel so lacking in knowledge on their diets. I’ve always known they love “fish” things, but I didn’t even think about the nutrition. Glad you have all this info on your website… happy to keep exploring it to keep learning before I buy my cat!

    1. Thank YOU for reading, Mei. I’m sure your future kitten will also thank you for all the love and good food you’re going to give her.

  9. Another great article! I would never in a million years thought to give my cat chicken neck and definitely fell into the gimmick of dry food cleaning their teeth. Now I feel bad for my cat, he is 9 years old and I’ve been so wrong about his care!! Thanks for the read!!

    1. Thanks Rob, I’m glad I could give you some useful information. Good luck with the switch to real cat food!

  10. Hi! Thanks for such an in-depth and informative article.

    Although my cat is not asthmatic, I do want him to have the best nutrition and struggle to get him to eat “the good stuff.” I have tried and tried to get him to eat the good quality organic canned food and even raw to no avail. He likes to eat crap! He’s a junk food junkie!

    I do limit him to canned food as I figure feeding him a not so great quality canned food is better than feeding him dry food.

    Any suggestions?

    P.S. You might want to check out Susan Thixton’s website Truth About Pet Food. She is a pet food advocate and has been battling the bogus pet food companies for years.

    1. Hi Barb, thanks for coming back again!

      I agree with you – canned food is better for your cat than dry food, even if it’s not the greatest quality. The moisture content alone makes it the winner in my eyes.

      I don’t know…maybe you could try mixing the junk food with the canned food, and very gradually reducing the amount of dry food. Then when your cat is ok and settled into the canned food, upgrade to something of a higher quality in the same way. I think you might have tried that already, judging by the smart things you say I guess you’ve already tried that. You might have to just keep playing around until you find something that your cat will eat. I can’t tell you haw many different kinds of food I’ve tried with Sparrow.

      Thanks for the recommendation, I’m about to get lost on Truth About Pet Food again. I’d forgotten all about that site!

  11. The best food I’ve found is Primal Raw which comes in both a frozen and dehydrated form. It’s available for both cats and dogs. I’ve tried a number of different foods over the years. Probably the best canned I’ve found is Weruva. However, both of my cats (one with asthma) do much better since they’ve been switched to a raw diet. They have more energy, their coats are shiny, and the wheezing has reduced. Nutritionally, the Primal is top notch, and they’ve added the additional supplements (omega etc). Personally, I would stay away from the vet recommended Hills Diet and Science Diet, as this is over priced garbage (with a lot of grain and other cheap filler). While the raw is a bit more expensive the results I’m seeing are worth it. There’s an excellent documentary called “Pet Fooled” which explains a lot about the pet food industry and why dry food was created. Hope this is helpful. It took me a long time and several mishaps to finally find the right food, and it’s made all the difference.

  12. Our Mac is asthmatic. At least the vets say he has cat asthma, bronchitis, and/or allergies–they said it is all the same in cats. Which seems very silly to me to clump all those together, but they are the doctors, I guess.

    I had no idea fish was no good. Our vet encouraged it to add omega’s to help with the inflammation of the asthma.

    So, if not fish or chicken. What protein are you feeding your cat?

    Thank you for your help and thoughtfulness.

  13. Often feral kittens end up being asthmatic. Woody my orange cat is now 8. Did steroids for several years before switching to the Space Kitty Inhaler. Was impossible to eliminate allergens but also dangerous to go untreated.

  14. Hi my 1 year old kitty has been dealing with coughing 1-3 times a week. I’ve taken her to the vet several times and they say she sounds fine to them but agreed to start her on a course of doxycycline to see if it helps with her symptoms. I have always fed her the brand “Nulo” mostly wet food supplemented with a little dry food and I have switched to a 99% dust free litter. She still seems to be having coughing fits and I am trying everything I can to address the issue but it really worries me. Do you have any recommendations for other good wet foods that may be better ? Nulo is supposed to be really good no grains and good ingredients but I’m open to trying anything at this point.

    1. Hi there, I’m on the other side of the world! I have never heard of Nulo so I can’t really comment on that or make any recommendations. Perhaps one of my friendly readers has a suggestion or some experience with Nulo, I really don’t know. Have you considered taking your kitty to a different vet? A second opinion might be able to give you some more clarity and insight. Good luck!

  15. Hi,

    I have had cats all of my life every kind from street cats to finicky pedigrees.I rescued a nine year old Burmese 5 years ago and just slowly over the last 2 years she has been having a cough off and on which I thought was maybe a slight allergy but couldn’t find the culprit. I threw out all of my candles, didn’t wear perfume or scented anything and was careful not to get harsh chemicals for cleaning. I use extremely good air filters and change them often.My sliding door is always left open for fresh air flow. So when she started wheezing and had a crackle sound in her breathing which seemed to come on fast I knew something was very wrong. In the past two weeks she has been at the vets several times and has been on a ‘puffer’ which didn’t seem to be helping. So off I went again to the vet and today they realized not only does she have asthma but also an infection which sometimes accompanies severe asthma. So they loaded her up with fluids, Baytril and Dexamethasone . I was assured that she this would stop the crackling and infection. I am taking her back for possibly more fluids tomorrow and a check as I did not want to leave her there overnight. Also I was told that leaving the windows or sliding door open was not good as there is pollen etc in the air right now and very bad for her…..who knew?!? We have been home just a few hours and her breathing is slightly better already and all of the fluid has gone into the rest of her body. Here’s hoping, she is such a sweet little critter and great companion.
    Hope that this helps someone.

    1. Oh I hope everything is sorted out now, it’s such a stress when our furry babies are sick, isn’t it? It sounds like you’re doing all the good things you can for your pet, thanks for stopping by 🙂

    2. I have just read a ton of reviews and Nulo seems to be a pretty top notch cat food. I just ordered my asthmatic cat some and hope he’s not too picky about it. I would definitely take your cat to another vet and get x-rays of her lungs. My cat has such severe asthma that he ended up in the hospital for 3 days and went into congestive heart failure. Luckily he was ok but that was a real eye opener for me. Before that I didn’t take his asthma as seriously as I should. Since then I’ve taken him off dry food (though he gets some VERY infrequently for a treat) and I make sure he gets his inhalers on schedule every day. An asthma attack can take a wrong turn in a matter of minutes so make sure you’re prepared and have a really good vet!

  16. Hi Miss Shirley. This is such a wonderful site! I found the information on asthmatic cats helpful but scary.

    Please allow me a side note to explain an illness prior to asthma.
    I understand the idea of programs that catch cats and kittens, spay or neuter them and then release them, I’ve been told they do this to feral populations. That they are aware of who they have previously caught by carving off the top of an animals left ear into a straight line along the top. Some I’ve seen rather low on the ear, too.

    This leads to the rescue of my ‘feral’, um, I disagree, VanGo.
    I am in a rural area and while they say they try to put a cat back into an area from which they were taken, I have never seen cats in this area. Nevertheless here came VanGo.

    Almost as soon as he arrived, we’ll say about a preteen, way too young, he developed urinary tract issues and his urethra became totally blocked. One right after another. After the 3rd catheterization in just over 9 months, Van was given a p/u.

    I think it was more painful for me as I was with him that same afternoon and he was apparently given an older version what they called a ‘football cut’.
    His wound was his entire bloody-backside.
    Still I was grateful. He has never has, knock on wood, never again blocked since but he is a nervous guy, something I’ve never dealt with before, he would off & on have blood in his urine. The poor boy dealing with it for a few years.
    The Vet says many cats have inflammatory bladder issues that they still never understand who gets it or why.
    Vannie has prednisone that for a certain length of time he’s given as necessary – each time.

    So FINALLY, I have a cat that has had a p/u that also through those years off and on would cough.
    Even though he is strictly indoors, I thought it was seasonal as it would go away after a week, 10 days the longest. (I also wondered if the prednisone helped.)
    But this winter 2017-2018 he coughed and it didn’t stop. He wheezed and it frightened me.
    I took him to an emergency hospital and xrays showed the circular areas on his lungs that he called asthma. His regular Vet agreed-with this.
    At the ER they gave an old medicine, terbutaline. His regular Vet said that prednisone was enough. Later I went back to the Vet not having to take VanGo and said it isn’t enough.
    He thought terbutaline was same as other human asthma meds and then realized it was older.
    He okayed for him to take it but I don’t think it’s doing its job either. He said other clients don’t like the way their animals behave on these medicines.
    He said this asthma medication still causes the heart to beat faster and that cats are also prone to gaining weight.
    Unfortunately VanGo is already overweight. Not drastically. But he’s pretty sedentary and the richness of an already rx vet food for urinary crystals (that is full of grain, mostly from corn) and now add in asthma and I don’t know where to go with Van’s dietary needs?

    Would a waterless vaporizer, just those small patch-like rectangles that go into a machine help? They smell like Vicks VapoRub or Lavender-something.

    Can you please help recommend food?

    I’m so nervous and want the best life this sweet boy can have.

    By the way, he has a younger sister, GiGi. The only ‘feral’ seen since these years later.
    She came in the winter and was extremely young. Her ear cut, curling backwards from scabbing and the ice.
    This was a winter people were taking their dogs out for potty-breaks and that quickly their paws would freeze to the sidewalks!

    If VanGo was feral, ha, she was 100-times less.
    I just wish I could help think of a better system. Especially when they put them in unknown places, in rural areas, with so many coyotes howling every night, in the middle of winter with a healing tummy and the possibility of losing an entire ear.

    Kind of makes me sick when people say, “they’re just cats they can take care of themselves.”

    They go to our barns to try to live, or dig in our trash looking for food, or get in our garages or under our houses looking for warmth.
    Not to mention they get on our car engines, under the hoods where they want warmth which may easily cause death when they get caught in a belt or something else hideous happens.
    They are around us and are still relying on us.

    I want people to see that cats, little kittens, are funny. They can feel guilty or some sort of embarrassment when you spy and catch them behaving silly, they feel happiness and joy, and feel fear and pain.

    And they can suffer horribly.

    How cavalier are humans because a cat may want some private time of their own…just like us.

    If you spend time with a cat, almost all will react in kind.
    They want love. Most are not aloof and proud or too independent.
    They are precious.

    Often I continue when my heart is still raw and aching in pain, maybe too soon after I have lost a sweet animal. But I want to give aid to another. Maybe that’s the only reason humans live longer, because we can help many.

    But I want to be fair and have enough attention for each one of these sweet critters.
    But they all deserve not to be treated cruelly.
    They ALL should have a good, safe, loving home.
    Maybe as close to heaven as we can give.

    Right now I’m trying to help VanGo.
    Can you lead me to help?
    What can I give him?
    Any help would be wonderful.
    Thanks so much to You and Love to Sparrow!

    1. Hi Annie, Were you able to get help with Vango? My cat who has asthma started using only terbutaline but is now using Flovent which is an inhaled steroid. It is safer than steroid shots or steroid pills because it only goes to the lungs. Terbutaline will help with symptoms but not with inflammation and the progression of asthma. Flovent can help stop the progression of asthma.

  17. Hi Miss Shirley,
    I had to bring my cat Buddy to the vet soon after new years. He had been coughing for a few weeks once in a while and thought he was trying to cough a fur ball. But a few days before I decided to bring him in, he started coughing pretty much everyday until one day I had enough and started to watch him closely and get my ear on his chest and listen. What I’ve heard didn’t sound normal and I could see his belly move in efforts when he was breathing, so I made a call to the vet and explained everything. They told me to drop him off the next morning

    The next day, the vet told me that he had pneumonia, probably cause by aspiration. Probably because I left him coughing too long without intervention…. Anyway. A few weeks later, after a total of about 5-6 days in the vet hospital, 2 different kinds of antibiotics, a bronchodilatator and prednisone, a few x-ray and blood work, the vet told me that my Buddy has asthma. She send me home with the bronchodilatator to give him everyday, telling me he’s most likely to be on it for the rest of his life and if he started coughing again, to give them a call.

    Sure enough, a few weeks after, he started coughing again. She gave me a treatment of prednisone for 2 weeks, it made him stopped coughing, but once the prednisone stopped, he didn’t stay cough free for long. Since then, it’s been a constant battle to get his coughing under control. But as soon as I stop the prednisone, the coughing start again and I have to go back to higher dose to get him to stop. But my vet is minded to get him off the prednisone and keeps trying to get me skip some days, which makes him cough again and so on.

    I’ve been reading a lot on asthma and cats since the beginning of this journey. Everywhere, I read that he should be on prednisone for the rest of his life and bronchodilatator when coughing, yet, I was given it the other way around. I have switch to dust free, perfume free litter. Got rid of all my candles and diffuser. Equipped myself with vaccum and mops that are easy to use every other day instead of those big old vaccum and mops you have to squeeze. Plus I am shopping for a robbot vaccum to help in cleaning the place to the max. I keep my windows close most of the time. I even switch his food to Nutrience Sub Zero. Which is high protein, grain free and mix with dry freeze raw food. I’m pretty much at the end of my rope here.

    Brought him to the vet today for a check up, which I was glad, since he started coughing again a lot since last night. I though that going to the vet would make me feel better. Instead, I left feeling heart broken and more confuse than ever. She basically told me that I feed him the wrong way and the wrong food. She tried to give me a lecture on how to feed my cat and that he should have corn in his food and that I should only feed him a diet made for cats with kidney disease since pednisone on long term can damage kidneys. Of course, all that because at the end, she wanted me to buy that Hill’s food that she carries and even tried to sell me canin royal for my kitten. When you go to a pet store and ask them to show you a good quality food, they actually tells you to stay away from royal canin and bring you to high protein food. Some even try to have you switch to raw food or dried freeze raw food. I think that when pet store are having the same discussion as I’ve seen on the internet, that speaks volumes. That vet is actually the only one who told me that I feed my cats the wrong food. The other one she was trying to sell me is also high in protein like mine, but she said it was a safe and high quality protein. But when I check online the list of ingredients, I still think that what I feed my cat is better.

    Other vets I have seen have actually told me that wet food is actually better for them then dry food. Asthma or not. Cats aren’t really thirsty, which means that they might not drink enough water. Since cats are known for urinary tracks infection and stones, a good way to help prevent this is to make sure they have enough water in their diet. You can’t force them to drink, so wet food is the best alternative.

    I must do something right after all. Each time he slept over at the vet and they were feeding him their food and keeping him hydrated on IV fluids, he came back home and his fur felt rough under my skin and very dull looking. After 24 hours of so back home on his regular diet, his fur was back soft and shiny.

    As for today, she upped the dose of prednisone from 1/4 of a pill to 1/2 of a pill. Plus an allergy pill. Told her about all the research I’ve done and how I’ve read that allergy is often the trigger to coughing and how I notice that he often get those coughing episodes the same time that the allergy index is moderate to high and that I am also struggling with my own allergy. So probably just to make me shut up, she prescribed it to him.

    All that to say that I’ve been on the internet for almost 6 hours straight now researching again. Read something about food allergy or food intolerance that might provoke a coughing episode, so started researching on food allergy and food and asthma. My conclusion….. after more than 6 months of frustration with not being able to get my poor Buddy’s asthma under control, Buddy have seen this vet for the last time. Since everybody I talk to, everything I read and discussion I’ve had with another vet are completely the opposite of what this one is saying. It’s impossible that everybody is wrong and she’s the only one who’s right…..

    So for all of you out there struggling with a newly diagnostic of asthmatic cat, brace yourself of patience. I constantly stress the moment I hear one cough. It bring me back to when I almost lost him to pneumonia and I freak and try to deal with the coughing right away. But do your research. Don’t take everything your vet tells you for gold. If you think that something doesn’t sound right, seek out a second opinion like I will. A vet that tries to convince you that the only good food you can give your cat is the one that she happen to sell, is not a good vet in my mind. And a vet that makes you feel like you’re a mean cruel pet owner because you force them to treat your pet without all those expensive testing should not be practicing, because they are obviously in it just for the money. I am gonna find a vet that doesn’t pass me judgment for refusing all the expensive tests and offer me alternatives. A vet that will tell me that if I don’t want to pay 35$ for a 4 pounds bag of food that will not last long, that I can always buy this or that at the pet store, which are similar….

    But Miss Shirley, you gave me something to think about. I keep debating about switching to raw food, or just wet food. Each time, that my mind debate all the pros and cons, I always come back to the fact that dry food is convenient and gives me the piece of mind that my fur babies aren’t starving. I know they keep saying that free feeding is bad, but when you work different shifts, it’s hard to be able to find hours to feed them that you’ll always be home to feed them…. But reading this, I am thinking about doing my research on wet food now. I recently bought Weruva for them as they have a lot of fish flavors and went with the logic that fish have a lot of Omega-3 which is suppose to be good to help with asthma and they seem like they love it. I feed them dry food in the morning and wet food before I go to bed and I always get up to a clean plate since I started feeding them those different fish flavor. If it is bad for them, of course, I’ll switch. Don’t want to make everything worst.

    But a quick question. What kind of protein do you feed your fur baby? You said to try to stay clear of fish and poultry. Now, I haven’t seen any wet food made out of rat, mice or birds, which is what they mostly feed on outdoor. And I’ve heard many times to try to stay away from meat that they wouldn’t normally be able to hunt outdoor, like beef and pork. The dry food I buy right now is made out of venison, bison, cod, salmon and a few other fish and wild beast, but no chicken, turkey, beef, pork, and tuna…. I know it’s not animal that he would hunt, but at least, it wasn’t by products and they are the first 5 or 6 ingredients, which means no corn meal, it’s grain free and the little vegetal ingredients are very low on the list….. What is your protein of choice? And what is your thoughts on raw food diet?

    1. Nadine, thanks for sharing your insights and I do apologise for the delay in my reply. I really think others will benefit from your story, specifically the point of not taking one vet’s word as gospel. I have been very fortunate that Sparrow’s vet gives me sound advice and respects the research and differing views I bring along…it does sound to me like Buddy is in good hands with you, you’re doing all the things you can to make his life easier.

      As for what I’m feeding my Sparrow, it changes frequently because he’s a picky little critter. He’ll like something one week and turn his nose up at it the next. I just aim to feed him stuff that he will eat. Every cat is different – anecdotally I’ve heard from a handful of asthma cat owners that conditions improved when they took fish off the menu and I’ve found that to be the case personally as well but your Buddy may be different. We seem to have the asthma under control at my place, but I’m sure that’s due to a number of factors including diet. Just keep doing what you’re doing and I’m sure things will settle. Good luck.

  18. Asthmatic cats: My cat is 8 and is asthmatic who was on prednisolone for many years until I switched to an inhaler (see space kitty inhaler on line)- same fluticozone rx as humans and can be ordered through vet or on line for cheaper. Prednisolone harms cats in the long run with kidney problems so inhaler is safer.

  19. Annie I don’t know if this will be read by you but I’m putting it out there for fellow cat lovers and in hopes it may help you or anyone else. I have a kitty that was feral and has been wheezing/coughing ever since I can remember having her she is now about 6 and doing fairly well on a daily spray of fluticasone propionate also known as Flonase. She takes it with a special inhaler adaptor called the aerokat (generic brands will work) and her symptoms are vastly improved. She took Prednisone as well but only shortly for less than a week. I feed her Fancy feast original wet food as they have never had a recall and are grain free! Lucky for us it is one of the more affordable brands.
    Look into inhalers for your kitties they are the same as human ones like the afformentioned Flonase or Albuterol for a rescue inhaler. Cats seem to love Fancy feast too so I would definitely recommend the original wet food. Best of luck to you.

  20. hello. and thank you for this research. It makes a lot of sense conceptually. What I struggle with is how to apply it. Without fish or poultry — what is really left in the cat canned food market besides beef? My cat will not eat beef. It would be really helpful if provided some recommendations — which brands / flavors. What do you feed your cat — specifically. thank you!

    1. Hi Sara, it’s really not easy for me to answer that question as I don’t know where you are! My Sparrow eats a blend of fresh kangaroo and lamb, which is readily available here in Australia…I’m guessing that’s not an option for most of the rest of the world. Ultimately the best food for your cat is going to be something that he will eat – there are no hard and fast rules. Good luck!

  21. My cat was switched to Purina Proplan OM (Overweight Management) by my vet. We did a very gradual switch, but once she switched I discovered she was having reverse sneezing episodes every time she ate it. I put her back on her original food immediately, but she still has a lingering cough. The sneezing has luckily ended, but the cough happens every 1 – 2 days. I feel very upset at the vet – I know he didn’t try to harm her on purpose but when I took her back because of the cough he though it was unlikely to be caused by the food.
    I am now on the hunt for something more natural/organic to switch her to. She is eating Royal Canin Mature Consult wet food, which is better than the Purina, but I am not convinced it is really what’s best for her. I no longer trust the vet’s advice on what food is healthy.

  22. Hi! I have an asthmatic cat and don’t know what to do to help her. I’ve tried shots (only the first round worked, pills (as soon as we stopped the asthma was back, and I got a prescription for Flovent but it is $300. Anyone else have Flovent? If so, do you have any suggestions on how to lower the cost?? There are coupons but they’re not applicable for pets I was told by the company. Help! Also if someone could recommend a good wet food I’d appreciate it so much!

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