This is a condition in cats in which there is a spasm of the smooth muscle of the bronchi. This results in a substantial narrowing of the air passages through the lungs. The cat consequently has increased difficulty breathing. Affected cats make a distinctive wheezing noise. Cats are less likely to develop asthma than humans. Siamese are more commonly affected than other breeds.
During severe bouts of asthma the cat might wheeze and cough, gasping for breath. It will be reluctant to move and might sit or lie in one spot with elbows out, breathing laboriously, perhaps even mouth breathing.
The underlying causes of this condition are not completely understood but they do include an allergic reaction to agents (allergens), such as pollen or house dust. If the cat’s attacks are seasonal only, then it is likely that some agent such as pollen is responsible. Often a definitive cause cannot be established.
Treatment includes corticosteroids and bronchodilators. Oxygen may be necessary if the cat is severely affected.