Warning: bronchitis in cats can become a life-threatening condition for your pet if not dealt with properly! Besides being in for cat coughing and difficulty breathing, your kitty may also experience potentially dangerous symptoms like pleural effusion.
A lot of pet parents mistakenly believe that getting rid of this problem involving the cat lower respiratory tract is only through the use of "conventional" veterinary medicine. However, I'd just like to point out that if the cat cough persists and your pet is already open-mouth breathing most of the time, you will need to reach out to your vet immediately.
Make sure you follow along because I will get you in on the best natural treatment options you can go for to support your cat during this disease. How about we start our discussion by finding out what bronchitis in felines is?
What is Bronchitis in Cats?
Bronchitis in cats occurs when the “bronchi” or the main airways of your pet’s lungs become inflamed. It ultimately prevents the respiratory system to transport oxygen where it should be in the body, leading to cat dry cough, nasal discharge, and even an allergic reaction or two in some cases.
And just to emphasize, cat asthma and bronchitis in cats are two different health issues even though they have coughing in cats as a common denominator. I will explain this more in detail in just a bit.
What are the Two (2) Types of Bronchitis in Cats?
Feline bronchitis has two (2) types: short-term and chronic bronchitis. The short-term variety usually lasts for a few days, while its chronic counterpart can linger for around 2 to 3 months at a time. Cat chronic bronchitis is even considered a possible symptom of lung cancer. In some instances, bronchitis can even be accompanied by asthma attacks!
Young cats are highly vulnerable to this condition, as well as those that are overweight. Additionally, a study conducted by Cornell University College reveals that the Siamese is not the only cat breed that is highly likely to develop respiratory infections and chronic cough.
What Causes Bronchitis in Cats (and Possibly Other Respiratory Infections)?
There are (4) main causes of feline bronchitis, namely environmental irritants, allergies, infections, and parasites. We will touch on each of these in detail below:
"Environmental irritants" cover all inflammation-causing factors that can be found in a cat's environment. These can be either found inside the home or in a place where your cat typically spends a long time in.
Prime examples of these include emissions from cigarettes, pipes and vapes, aromatized chemicals in cleaning products and hair dyes, cat litter dust (time to switch to low-dust cat litter!), as well as essential oils that are harsh on your cat’s respiratory tract.
An allergy is triggered when your cat’s immune system response is much more active compared to most cats. This hyperactivity can lead to difficulty breathing and lots of cat coughing! An underlying condition like cat heart disease can be aggravated by asthma, too.
But the thing is there are a lot of factors that are causing coughing in cats due to inhaled objects, particularly tree and grass pollen, mold, mildew, small flakes of animal hair and dried skin, dust mites, and certain types of foods like dairy products, chicken, shrimp, fish, and beef.
Some foreign bodies like pieces of plastic, very small pebbles, and similar items can also be deemed as contributing factors when your cat is coughing. Keep in mind that foreign objects are not just triggers for cat's cough, but also potential choking hazards!
This is why properly storing items that your cat shouldn't be supposed to come in contact with is crucial, mainly to prevent the possibility of him nipping at foreign objects. And while we're at it, never ignore a seemingly innocent sounding cat cough or two!
Respiratory infections caused by fungi, viruses, and bacteria can set off inflammation or irritation in the airways, eventually resulting in cats coughing. They may also have to do with an underlying cause that can also lead to respiratory tract issues like coughing in cats and other symptoms.
The most common types of bacteria associated with a cat's cough are Chlamydophila felis and Bordetella bronchiseptica, popularly known as the cause of kennel cough. On the other hand, the feline calicivirus (FCV) and the feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR) typically trigger infectious diseases that can lead to chronic inflammation of the airways, which also results in coughing in cats.
Additionally, Aspergillus, Histoplasma, and Blastomyces are the most common culprits when fungal infections resulting from cat coughing are concerned. Some cat coughs, particularly wet coughs, can be attributed to the presence of unwanted fungi. These types of coughs can often sound like something is rattling inside the chest of a cat!
Did you know that parasites can also set off bronchitis (and of course, cat coughing) in our feline companions? Among common parasitic worms, the lungworm is the most well-known culprit when it comes to issues involving a cat's lungs and will trigger coughing in cats sooner or later!
When your cat is coughing, other parasites like theTroglostrongylus brevoir, Capillaria aerophila, and Aelurostrongylus abstrusus can also be responsible. Your cat's heart can also be prone to problems such as feline heartworm disease or heartworm infection when these parasites get in the picture. Some parasites can worsen asthma, too.
As I pointed out earlier, persistent cat coughing doesn't just affect the lungs, but can also aggravate heart issues in many cats.
How Do You Know If Your Cat Has Bronchitis (and Not Just Cat Coughing, Too)?
Attention, cat owners! The following are the tell-tale signs that your pet is suffering from bronchitis:
Persistent cat coughing (either dry cough or wet cough)
Seems to be abruptly losing weight
Rapid breathing during coughing
Release of mucus when your cat is coughing
Lethargy before, during, or after a cough
Loss of appetite
It is crucial to take note that your cat may also experience other symptoms when he is going through bronchitis and not just coughing. As I emphasized earlier, the right medical attention should be provided if you notice that your cat's condition is getting worse.
Is Bronchitis in Cats Different From Feline Asthma?
The short answer is yes. Bronchitis in cats and feline asthma are two completely different things. While both diseases affect a cat’s respiratory tract and lungs, they have very subtle distinctions, which make these two rather tricky to tell apart. They're really hard to distinguish even with all that cat coughing!
First, bronchitis in cats refers to the inflammation or irritation of the airways due to environmental irritants, allergies, infections, and parasites resulting in coughing. Feline asthma pertains to the tightening of the muscles within the bronchial walls.
Second, bronchitis is classified as an “irreversible” obstructive lung problem, especially in severe cases that have become chronic. A cat will cough to dislodge this "obstruction." As for cat asthma, it is deemed a “reversible” condition and can be remedied by the conduct of diagnostic tests and oxygen therapy.
Will Bronchitis in Felines and Cats Cough Go Away on Their Own?
It is very important to remember that bronchitis in cats will not go away on its own. If not properly dealt with, a cat's coughing can lead to permanent damage in its airways sooner or later. The sound of the cough will also become more and more pronounced!
And when this happens, feline bronchitis becomes an irreversible health issue and can no longer be cured. While it can still be managed, this disease will not go away if allowed to reach a severe stage.
Remember that a coughing cat will stay that way if he's not given the right care and attention! It is also crucial to immediately deal with a cat's coughing and other symptoms because they might be already a sign of heartworm disease or some other condition that affects a cat's lungs.
How Can I Treat My Cat’s Bronchitis Naturally?
So, without further ado, here are the best natural remedies for cat bronchitis that you can go for when this illness strikes:
Ginger helps clear and support the airways and alleviates a cat's cough.
A study published in the NCBI reveals that ginger contains active components like gingerol and shogaol that have been seen to have therapeutic effects on the lungs when used for airway-related diseases such as bronchitis. It can be even used to treat asthma symptoms, too.
To use ginger as a bronchitis in cats home remedy, directly mix in a small pinch of grated ginger to your pet’s meals. Grating is the best way to ensure that your cat won’t be getting any stringy parts.
You can also brew ginger tea as another approach. Simply steep two slices of ginger in a cup of hot water for at least 10 minutes. Let it cool down completely and add it to his water. This tea will also have a refreshing effect on respiratory infections commonly indicated by cat cough.
Honey helps quickly ease symptoms of a respiratory infection.
BMJ Evidence Based Medicine reports that “honey was more effective than usual care for improving symptoms, especially the frequency and severity of coughing.” In short, it can be safely and effectively used as a natural cat coughing treatment like regular conventional cough suppressants.
To use honey when bronchitis in cats strikes, you can directly add it in your pet's water or food. However, it is important to keep in mind that you should not give him more than a teaspoon of honey per day since it can already cause some stomach issues.
Pineapple contains a rich variety of active components that ease a cat's cough and other bronchitis symptoms.
According to another study published in the NCBI, pineapple is loaded with organic compounds that have therapeutic benefits in the treatment of lower and upper respiratory infection.
To use pineapple when dealing with bronchitis in cats, thinly slice a single piece and mix it thoroughly with your pet's food. Keep in mind to only give him the fruit and none of the core since it can be hard and stringy (and a possible choking hazard as well).
Moreover, make sure you only use fresh pineapple for this application since the canned stuff contains a lot of syrup, which can aggravate your cat's cough and spike his sugar levels while at it.
Turmeric helps improve the body’s immune response against pulmonary disease.
Turmeric is abundant in curcumin which promotes white blood cell activity, particularly during pulmonary health issues like bronchitis. Besides helping reduce inflammation, curcumin can also ease common signs of bronchitis like a fuzzy "voice box" and coughing in cats.
To use turmeric as bronchitis in cats natural remedy, add a pinch of this grated root to your pet’s regular meals. Remember to integrate it completely with the rest of his food since turmeric by itself can be rather spicy for your precious pet.
Turmeric can also be brewed as a tea. Just steep two slices of turmeric in a cup of hot water for at least (10) minutes. Allow it to completely cool down before integrating it with your pet's water.
A Feline Bronchitis Home Remedy You Should Consider
BRONCHIAL CLEARcontains homeopathic ingredients that provide relief from a persistent cough and support the breathing capacity and health of your cat. It is specifically designed to support your cat during respiratory ailments and ease symptoms like cat coughing and breathing difficulties as well as clear congestion due to mucus buildup.
A Final Word
And that is my lowdown on the best natural remedies you can use to support your beloved pet during feline bronchitis, which can bring lots and lots of coughing! I hope you learned a lot and make sure you keep following our blog for more informative posts like this one.
By the way, if you’re looking to learn more about the right natural options to maintain the quality of life of your pet (and not just during bronchitis, asthma, or when your cat is coughing), make sure you contact us right now!
HOMEOPATH & CO-FOUNDER OF ZUMALKA
Suzie Cyrenne is a certified Homeopath with over ten years of experience creating natural products for cats and dogs. She co-founded eCommerce brand, Zumalka in 2013 with her husband Matt and is on a mission to help thousands of animals naturally improve their quality of life and shares her experience on their popular YouTube show. Hence, she created a line of high-performance natural pet supplements to target the root cause of common health issues.
Suzie was influenced by her mother-in-law, who practiced homeopathy and made natural remedies from home. After being on prescriptions for many years for a skin issue without resolution, she wanted to try something new. Her problems were cleared up within a few months of dedication to a better diet supplemented by homeopathic remedies. That's when she knew that homeopathy worked! During this process, she wondered why there weren't better options for pets and soon created a popular line of natural remedies that have helped thousands of pets across the USA.
When she’s not traveling or reading the next personal development book, you can find Suzie snowboarding, working out, or enjoying a daily hike.
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