Respiratory problems in cats

Apathetic Burmese cat

It is very hard to see a cat breathe through its mouth, and this animal can only breathe, unlike dogs or ourselves, through its nose. When we see him with his mouth half open, with breathing difficulties, go immediately to the vet because his life is in danger.

What are the respiratory problems in cats and how are they treated?

Respiratory problems in cats

Adult bicolor cat


Asthma or allergic bronchitis in cats is a disease that can appear at any time, its appearance being more likely if the animal lives in a home where people smoke. Its cause is the oppression of the airways and airways or bronchi, which are the tubes responsible for transporting air from the trachea to the lungs.

The narrowing of these pathways occurs when the immune system overreacts to the presence of the allergen (pollen, smoke, etc.).

Symptoms and treatment

The symptoms are: shortness of breath (may breathe faster, and / or making more noise), persistent cough, wheezing when exhaling air.

If you suspect that your cat has asthma, you should take him to the vet for treatment. May prescribe allergy medications and inhalers.


It is the most common respiratory disease. The eyes, nose and mouth are the parts where the virus multiplies. It affects kittens, older cats, and those that live in colonies. If a healthy cat comes into contact with the secretions of a sick one, or if it has eaten from the same plate as him, it can become infected.

It is a virus that can live in the environment for long periods of time, so unvaccinated animals are seriously threatened.

Symptoms and treatment

The most common symptoms are: throat and tongue ulcers, sneezing, runny nose, fever, pneumonia, and eye discharge.

To help you, you should take him to the vet to treat him with anti-viral drugs. It is important that at home you clean his eyes with a gauze moistened with chamomile to make him feel better.

Feline respiratory complex

Young orange tabby cat

It is caused by viruses that attack the upper respiratory tract: throat, mouth, tongue, nose and eyes. Once they enter the body, they multiply in these areas causing irritation and general discomfort, which causes the affected animal to manufacture more saliva, tears, sneezes or mucus and use these as a means of transport to infect others.

It is very common, especially in kittens, since they do not yet have a developed immune system. If it is not treated, it can be fatal.

Symptoms and treatment

The symptoms of the feline respiratory complex are: ulcers on the tongue, inflammations in the mouth, rhinitis, conjunctivitis, aphonia.

So that he recovers as soon as possible, the vet will treat the disease with antibiotics and, if necessary, hydrating the cat with serum.

Pleural effusion

This sickness occurs when fluid builds up in the lungs. As a consequence, these vital organs cannot swell due to lack of space, which can lead to the cat's death by drowning.

It occurs frequently in felines with heart problems, cancer or feline leukemia. But, even if your cat is healthy, you must pay close attention to the symptoms that it may have throughout its life.

Symptoms and treatment

The symptoms of this pathology are the following: coughing, gasping, trouble breathing, and the tongue may turn blue. In addition, he will be very nervous.

Treatment for these cases is usually surgical. Fluid is removed from your lungs under general anesthesia, and then given a treatment with medications that will help the respiratory system work.

Viral rhinotracheitis

It is caused by the feline herpes virus 1, which especially attacks kittens and older cats, specifically their nose, eyes, throat and mouth causing inflammation and fever. If a pregnant cat contracts it, she will pass it on to her little ones or, in the worst case, abort naturally.

Keep in mind that stress is an element that activates the virusSo we must try to make our friend lead a calm and happy life.

Symptoms and treatment

The symptoms are, in addition to those we have mentioned before, the following: sneezing, conjunctivitis, discharge from the eye and nose, mouth and tongue ulcers, and pneumonia.

Regrettably, there is no cure for rhinotracheitis, but with antivirals the animal can live for many years.

Can they be prevented?

Not 100%, but a number of things can be done so that the furry can lead a life as healthy as possible. They are as follows:

  • Give him a quality diet: If a cat eats a food that does not have grains or by-products, but a high percentage of animal protein (minimum 70%), not only will it have optimal growth and development, but it will also have a strong immune system.
  • Take him to get his shots: This is especially important if you intend to let it go outside. The vaccines They are made with sleeping viruses, which are used for the body to create antibodies which, in turn, will serve to fight against viruses that are in the environment or that may enter the cat's body.
  • Take care of your catWhen you decide to have an animal at home, you have to take care of it daily, which means that you have to give it food and drink, keep it company, play with it, and take it to the vet if it is suspected that it is sick. So you are sure to lead a long and happy life.

Curious tuxedo cat

We hope this article is useful for you.

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  1.   Alba Ligia Garcia. said

    I love kittens. I have a cat and I had her vaccinated and she is also operated on. She is very tender, she sleeps outside and in winter time I am afraid that she will be affected because the corridors are very uncovered and she sleeps outside. She is very cute and is a faithful pet.