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Feline Asthma

Pippin has had an eventful life and has represented Shropshire Cat Rescue at shows during her early years and now in her later years she is still helping me to help others. As I am a veterinary nurse, I am often able to use Pippin as an example to help me explain to owners why their cat is behaving in a certain way. She is also an expert with puzzle feeders and uses raised food and water bowls so I have taken pictures of her which enables me to show owners how these can really help their cats. Her pictures appear on many of the handouts I have created and now Pippin has found herself on a leaflet about a treatment that people would think impossible to administer or that their cat would never accept.

Pippin was diagnosed with Feline Asthma in June 2021, she has her medication via an inhaler and she has helped demonstrate to owners of newly diagnosed cats how cats can adapt to the inhaler.

So, what has it been like accustoming Pippin to having a mask and inhaler to help control her asthma? Pippin has been a star due to her desire for food. Initially I bribed her with her favourite meaty stick treats as I slowly introduced the inhaler spacer and mask. Soon I was able to use her normal dry food. By introducing this potentially alarming machine to Pippin regularly and in gradual stages at her speed it meant that she is now receiving her medication via the inhaler. This is the best method for treating Feline Asthma.

Cats can be trained to accept potentially stressful treatments and other things such as a cat carrier. This can make both your life and theirs less stressful and can be worth the effort involved. Each cat is different but providing a positive experience when introducing new things is the route to success. In Pippin’s case it was the inhaler, which she now associates with something that is positive for her and knows it is not to be feared.

There is another aspect to Pippin’s story that helps me get an important point across to cat owners. Always get a cat that is coughing seen by a vet. A cat does not always cough because it is going to be sick or regurgitate a hair ball. If a cat coughs more than once but produces nothing, and especially if the coughing is followed by heavy or open mouth breathing, it is important to take your cat for an examination by a vet as soon as possible. There can be various reasons why cats start coughing and your vet should be your first port of call when you notice your cat coughing. If you can film your cat whilst it is coughing, and straight afterwards, this can really help the vet to understand the possible causes.

If you want further information about Feline Asthma or about training your cat for things like using an inhaler or to accept a cat carrier iCatCare have some brilliant resources on their website created by Feline veterinary and behavioural specialists. Their website is

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