There is increasing evidence to suggest that many cases of feline asthma are allergic in origin.
Asthma is a common inflammatory disease of the lower airway affecting approximately 1-5% of the cat population.1 The median age of presentation is 4-5 years of age although, it is thought many cats presenting at this time will already have a long-term history of the disease, so the actual age of onset could well be significantly younger.2 Breeds found to be at an increased risk include; Balinese, Korat, Oriental, Seychellois and Siamese.3
Cats with feline asthma present with a range of clinical signs including;
- Episodic severe respiratory distress on expiration (acute cases)
- Persistent wheezing (chronic cases)
- Coughing (sometimes only seen on gentle tracheal palpitation)
- Vomiting or paroxysmal hacking (may be mistaken for hairballs)