Definition of Feline Asthma
Asthma in cats, also referred to as allergic hypersensitivity, feline allergic bronchitis, feline bronchopulmonary disease (FBD), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthmatic bronchitis, feline lower airway disease, extrinsic asthma, eosinophilic bronchitis and immune-mediated airway disease, is a common condition triggered by activation and overreaction of a cat’s immune system to something in the environment. The substance that stimulates the asthmatic reaction is called an “allergen.” Different cats will react to the same allergen in a wide range of ways. In other words, one cat may develop asthma because it is allergic to a certain carpet deodorizer, while other cats in the same household may have no reaction to the same product. Asthmatic cats typically have recurrent attacks of wheezing, sneezing, coughing and labored breathing due to their immune system’s response to the offending allergen, which causes their airways to constrict. Feline asthma is similar to bronchial asthma in people.