Cat Breathing Loudly – What Should I Know About The Problem?

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Do you know what noisy breathing in cats is? It’s a problem that can cause your cat discomfort and make it hard for her to breathe. If your cat has been making strange noises while breathing, it’s essential to take her to the vet for a diagnosis. This article will discuss the symptoms of loud breathing in cats and the causes and treatment options.

What is Noisy Breathing?

Noisy breathing is a problem that can affect cats of all ages. It’s characterized by a change in the sound of your cat’s breathing. You may notice that your cat sounds congested when she breathes or that she makes a wheezing sound. In some cases, noisy breathing may also be accompanied by difficulty breathing (dyspnea).

noisy breathing

Noisy Inhalation

Noisy inhalation or exhalation, also called stertor, is usually caused by partial airway obstruction. The air passing through the partially obstructed airway causes vibration of the tissues lining the airway, which results in the characteristic snoring sound.

Many things can cause noisy breathing in cats, including anatomic abnormalities such as a deviated septum in the nose or masses in the airway, allergies, infections, polyps, foreign bodies, and nasal mites. Noisy breathing can also be caused by other diseases that affect the lungs, such as pneumonia, heart disease, and lung cancer.

If your cat is snoring loudly and not in any distress, you can try some home remedies to help reduce the noise.

  • Elevate your cat’s head when they sleep by placing a pillow under their head.
  • Clear your cat’s nasal passages with a saline solution.
  • Try a humidifier in your cat’s room to add moisture to the air.

Cats with allergies may benefit from allergy shots or medication. If an infection is causing noisy breathing, your vet will prescribe antibiotics. A foreign body must be removed surgically if it is blocking the airway.

Noisy breathing can be a sign of a serious medical condition, so a vet must have your cat examined if they are making noise when they breathe. Home remedies may help reduce the noise but will not treat the underlying cause.

Symptoms of Noisy Breathing in Cats 

There are a few different symptoms that may be indicative of noisy breathing in cats. If your cat is having difficulty breathing, you may notice that they are:

  • Panting
  • Wheezing
  • Making grunting noises when they breathe
  • Having trouble catching their breath
  • Seeming to struggle to breathe
  • Turning blue around the mouth

If you notice any of these symptoms, you must take your cat to the vet as soon as possible.

Abnormal Breathing in Cats (Dyspnea)

The medical term for abnormal or difficult breathing in cats is dyspnea, which various conditions can cause. While some causes are benign and require no treatment, others can be life-threatening. If your cat has difficulty breathing, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.

Causes of breathing problems in cats

There are many potential causes of noisy breathing in cats, including medical and non-medical conditions. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Infectious diseases (e.g., feline infectious peritonitis)
  • Lung cancer
  • Obesity
causes of breathing problems

Asthma

Asthma is a chronic allergic airway disease that affects humans and animals. In cats, asthma is usually caused by allergies to environmental triggers such as dust, pollen, or smoke. Asthma can also be caused by viral infections, heartworm disease, and certain medications.

Symptoms of asthma include wheezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing. Asthma attacks can be triggered by exercise, excitement, or exposure to environmental triggers. During an attack, the airways constrict, and the lungs fill with mucus, making it difficult for the cat to breathe.

Asthma is a potentially lethal disorder if not treated properly. Asthma treatment typically includes the use of corticosteroids and bronchodilators. In extreme circumstances, oxygen treatment may be required. If your cat is showing asthma signs, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.

Heartworm

Heartworm disease is a serious parasitic infection that affects both dogs and cats. The disease is caused by a worm called Dirofilaria immitis, transmitted by mosquitoes. Heartworm disease can cause various symptoms, including coughing, difficulty breathing, and lethargy. In severe cases, heartworm disease can be fatal.

Heartworm disease is preventable, but it is important to have your cat tested for the infection before starting preventive medication.

If your cat is infected with heartworms, treatment typically includes the use of adulticides and corticosteroids. Surgery to remove the worms may be required in extreme situations.

Hydrothorax & Congestive Heart Failure

Hydrothorax is a condition in which fluid accumulates in the chest cavity, and it can be caused by various conditions, including congestive heart failure. Congestive heart failure is a serious condition when the heart cannot pump blood effectively. Hydrothorax occurs when fluid collects in the lungs, making it difficult for the cat to breathe.

Hydrothorax is a serious condition that can be fatal if not treated properly. Treatment typically includes the use of diuretics and corticosteroids. Surgery may be required in extreme situations to remove the fluid from the chest cavity. If your cat shows hydrothorax signs, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is a dangerous disease that can be fatal if not treated properly. Treatment typically includes surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Symptoms of lung cancer include coughing, difficulty breathing, and weight loss. If your cat is showing signs of lung cancer, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.

Respiratory Infections

Respiratory infections are a leading cause of respiratory problems in cats. Viruses, bacteria, and fungi cause the most common respiratory infections.

Symptoms of respiratory infection include coughing, difficulty breathing, and sneezing. If your cat shows signs of a respiratory infection, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately. Treatment typically includes antibiotics, anti-viral medications, and anti-fungal medications.

Various conditions can cause cat respiratory problems, including heart disease, kidney disease, and diabetes. A veterinarian can determine the underlying cause of the problem and provide appropriate treatment.

If your cat is showing signs of respiratory distress, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.

respiratory infections

Tracheal Foreign Bodies

Tracheal foreign bodies are a leading cause of respiratory problems in cats. A tracheal foreign body is an object lodged in the cat’s windpipe, and it can be caused by various things, including chewing on toys or eating too fast.

Tracheal foreign body symptoms include coughing, difficulty breathing, and gagging. If your cat shows signs of a tracheal foreign body, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately. Treatment typically includes the removal of the foreign body and the administration of oxygen therapy.

URI (Upper Respiratory Infection)

URI is a general term used to describe a variety of respiratory infections, including the common cold, influenza, and bronchitis. Symptoms of URI include coughing, difficulty breathing, sneezing, and runny nose.

Treatment typically includes antibiotics, anti-viral medications, and anti-fungal medications. If your cat shows a URI, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.

Various conditions can cause cat respiratory problems, including heart disease, kidney disease, and diabetes.

Pleural Effusion

Pleural effusion is a condition in which fluid accumulates in the chest cavity. Pleural effusion can be caused by various conditions, including congestive heart failure, pneumonia, and cancer.

Symptoms of pleural effusion include coughing, difficulty breathing, and an increased respiratory rate. If your cat shows pleural effusion symptoms, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.

Treatment typically includes the use of diuretics and corticosteroids. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the fluid from the chest cavity.

Aspiration Pneumonia

Aspiration pneumonia is when liquids, food, or vomit are inhaled into the lungs. Aspiration pneumonia can be caused by various things, including vomiting, choking, and near-drowning.

Symptoms of aspiration pneumonia include coughing, difficulty breathing, and an increased respiratory rate.

Bronchitis

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchi, the airways connecting the lungs to the trachea. Bronchitis can be caused by infections, allergies, or irritation of the airways.

Symptoms of bronchitis include coughing, difficulty breathing, and wheezing.

What To Do When My Cat Sounds Congested When Breathing?

If your cat has difficulty breathing, it is important to take them to the vet as soon as possible. There are many potential causes of respiratory distress in cats, and it can be difficult to determine the cause without a professional examination.

Once the cause has been determined, your vet can prescribe the appropriate treatment. In some cases, such as when a cat has an upper respiratory infection, the condition may resolve independently with time and rest.

cat sounds congested when breathing

However, other causes of respiratory distress, such as heart disease, can be more serious and require ongoing treatment. If you are concerned about your cat’s breathing, make an appointment with your vet today.

Treatment of Noisy Breathing in Cats

There are treatments for noisy breathing in cats, depending on the underlying cause. If your cat suffers from allergies, treatment will focus on relieving the symptoms and may include antihistamines, steroids, or immunotherapy.

If an infection is to blame, antibiotics will be prescribed. If your cat has a foreign body lodged in its throat, surgery may be necessary to remove it.

If your cat has asthma, treatment will focus on relieving the inflammation and may include steroids or other medications. In some cases, a change in diet may be recommended.

Whatever the underlying cause, it is important to work with your veterinarian to develop a treatment plan for your cat.

If your cat has difficulty breathing, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately. Cat breathing problems can be serious and even life-threatening.

Do not wait until your regular vet appointment; immediately call your veterinarian or an emergency animal hospital. With prompt treatment, most cats with noisy breathing can live normal, healthy lives.

Oxygen Therapy

If your cat is having trouble breathing, it may be given oxygen therapy to help relieve its symptoms. Oxygen therapy involves delivering oxygen to the lungs through a mask or nasal cannula (a small tube inserted into the nostrils).

This can help to improve the amount of oxygen in the blood and make breathing easier. Your cat may need to be hospitalized if it is having difficulty breathing.

In some cases, oxygen therapy may be used long-term if your cat has chronic respiratory problems. If your cat needs oxygen therapy at home, your veterinarian will show you how to set up the equipment and administer the oxygen.

Fluid Therapy

If your cat is dehydrated, it may be given fluids through an IV (intravenous) catheter. This can help to rehydrate the body and make breathing easier. Your cat may also be given fluids under the skin (subcutaneously).

Antihistamines

Antihistamines can be used to relieve the symptoms of allergies. They may be given orally or injected.

Steroids

Steroids are sometimes used to reduce inflammation. They may be given orally, by injection, or topically (applied to the skin).

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy involves desensitizing your cat to the allergens that are triggering its symptoms. This is usually done by giving your small cat injections of the allergens over time.

Antibiotics

If an infection is causing your cat’s noisy breathing, it will be given antibiotics. These may be given orally or injected.

Medications

Many different medications can be used to treat noisy breathing in cats. These include bronchodilators, anti-inflammatories, and mucolytics (medications that break up mucus). Your veterinarian will choose the best medication for your cat based on its condition.

Dietary Changes

A change in diet may be necessary if your cat has asthma or another respiratory condition. Your veterinarian can recommend a food that is suitable for your cat.

Surgery

If your cat has a foreign body lodged in its throat, surgery may be necessary to remove it. Surgery may also be necessary to treat other underlying conditions.

Your veterinarian will develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your cat’s individual needs. With proper treatment, most cats with noisy breathing can live normal, healthy lives.

treatment of noisy breathing

Conclusion

So, if you’re hearing your cat make loud breathing noises, it’s best to take them to the vet. It could signify a serious problem like asthma or heart disease. And if left untreated, those problems can become much worse. Thanks for reading and keeping your kitty healthy!

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