How do you know if your Cat has Athsma? And do you free feed?

Our 5 year old female Siamese cat enjoys the finer things in life. Namely, laying on the couch watching cat-tv [birdfeeders] loling over the warm radiators, and eating freely whenever she sees fit.

Lately, [last year or so] she has been snoring quite a bit when passed outon the couch. We’ve tried to get her to exercise even a little yogabut she is not interested at all.

We have always free fed our cats. There is a bowl of crunchies out all the time. They get wet food as a treat only every once in a while because it causes the boy siamese to hurl at 4 in the morning after we give it to him.

Aside from the snoring, when she is just hanging out watching her people [my wife and I] walk around the house muttering about, she can be heard wheezing. I can only call it a wheeze because that is what it sounds like to me, but it may not be a wheeze. It may just be that she is slightly on the portly side and just breathes heavy. Any ideas? A trip the vet is already scheduled for the week after thanksgiving - it’s not an emergency that we get her to the vet because she has sounded this way for a long time.

If she does have athsma, do we need to give her an inhaler? How?

It would depend on what the vet finds, not all cats with feline asthma need an inhaler. The more severe the asthma, the more likely the inhaler is needed, though.

There are devices, for example the Aerokat, that can be used to give the inhaler medicine to the cat. There may be others, and your vet, if she/he deems that the cat needs it, may tell you more about those devices (and give you more info on obtaining them).

Here is another webpage about feline asthma, diagnosis, and treatment options.

She IS kinda tubby, you know.

Dewey used to wheeze a lot, although I never could get him to do it for the vet. The vet thought he might have allergies, but oddly enough it cleared right up when we got another cat as a playmate for him.

We understand Lucille is a big hunk of burn’in love - but we don’t want to limit how much both of them eat, because the boy is perfectly proportioned, and hehas Pica, so with the absence of food he eats the plants, dust bunnies, rubber bands, tacks, tape, just about anything he can get his paws on.

What dry food are you using? I used to feed Science Diet and Friskies cans but my cat finally up and got a UTI. He had wheezing prior, and had done a couple of rounds on Clavamox. I gave him the vet prescribed Science Diet C/D until the bag ran out, but did some research and discovered that all the brands sold at big box pet stores (including Eukanuba) put all sorts of junk in their catfood (corn and wheat gluten). A friend suggested California Natural and I ended up putting my cat on Innova Evo, made by the same company (I believe it’s highly recommended for cats like Siamese and Abysinnians), and Wellness wet food (the chunky kind in the packet b/c he won’t eat pate style meat). It’s much much higher in protein and I haven’t had any UT issues with him since.

I’ll also say that when I tried to switch him from Science Diet Kitten to IAMS adult he had such a bad allergic reaction that I could hear him wheezing for 2 days, and he clawed gigantic clumps of fur out of his face. He went back on Science Diet Kitten, then on Science Diet Oral Care…which is what I think gave him the UTI.

Anyway, yes I free feed but he mostly snacks on the kibble and eats more of the wet food. The new foods are very expensive and only sold at boutique pet stores but it’s much less hassle than vet bills and seeing my dry clean clothes get ruined because he pisses on them. You can read reviews of Innova Evo and other Natura pet brand foods (incl. Cal Natural) online. Most people report weight drop even with free feed because the protein content is so high. However, I also had to up his water intake so I bought one of those cat fountains.

Yes, I spend too much money on this cat :slight_smile:

You may also want to discuss that with the vet (and others here will also give suggestions in regards to feeding).

Your lovable Siamese may need (if not will) a diet, just to improve her overall health (not just this single thing you’re mentioning).

Here is a link from Purina, the company who did a study about body condition and health.

I may try and search for more peer reviewed articles, if you want, this afternoon (I have to go back to work now) and tomorrow.

We free fed for years, believing that Rudy the skinny cat wouldn’t get enough food as Manfred the fat cat would eat it all. Eventually, the vet talked us into 2 half-hour feeding sessions, Manny lost some weight, Rudy got enough to eat (he aint gonna starve, the vet said) and all is good. Was. Rudy left us last year at 15. Snif. I loves me some Roo.

Expect some serious complaining in the beginning, especially with two Siamese! But it is the right thing to do in most cases, and your portly one will lose some weight.

Greeeat!! She already voices her concerns quite loudly. I was thinking of installing a proper kitty jungle gym, but the one we have is never used by Lucille. Only the boy uses it. I wonder if her little claws could actually hold her? Lat time we were at the vet she was 17 pounds. Ouf!

My Dickens was diagnosed with asthma a while ago. With her, it was less wheezing noises than the way she looked when she was breathing. Her sides were bellowing, and you could see her nostrils really flaring.

Her asthma and my hayfever seem to be triggered by the same types of things.

We control her problems with prednisone.

As for food, we free feed but we switched over to grain-free and most of the kitty weights have been coming down a little.

At 17 pounds (and she doesn’t look like she has a huge frame), Lucille is way over her ideal weight (if her ideal weight is 10 pounds, she’s 70% over it!). My biggest cat (Feather) is a big girl, and she’s only 12 pounds.

We have two cats too, and the feeding issues are complicated, I agree. We have a skinny girl who wants to free feed all day, and would do fine on that, except for the piggy (Feather) who eats until the food is gone. We feed them their official meals twice a day (morning and suppertime), and the skinny one gets food on demand (she’s getting about three snacks a day on top of her dinners now). This is working pretty well, because if Max is demanding food, she’ll actually eat it instead of letting Feather eat it all. They get no wet food at all. They get a little human food in the form of chicken, turkey, beef or tuna if we’re having it for supper, to bump up their protein intake.

I’ve had to feed separately since one of my three needs prescription food and is also a gluttonous hog. I shut Stokie in the kitchen, give him his dinner, and then feed the other two out in the dining room. Ten minutes or so later, I release Stokie and anything the other two didn’t eat gets devoured. Only took about a week before Dewey and Edison got the message that they’d better stop dilly-dallying around and eat with a sense of purpose or they’d miss out. They won’t go hungry forever.

is there a way you could have kitty excercise time? does she like the cat dancer? laser pointer? twinkle balls?

i was able to get a cat to lose a pound with 20 minutes of laser pointer time a day.

Honestly, you gotta stop free feeding her. I just looked at the pix and she is way overweight. She will stop howling after a while.

We didn’t free feed for way too long because we worried about Rudy howling and yowling (he was VERY vocal). Turned out to be minimally annoying. He got over it pretty quick.

Do you feed them wet food? If so, stop. Good quality kibble with no corn or wheat gluten and no chicken meal (vet says no to all three) is all they need. Ours get Sensible Choice Reduced Calorie.

Penelope, who is 4, has eaten it since she was a kitten; wouldn’t eat her kitten food. The vet said ‘she’ll grow.’ He is very laconic, but also right. She is a very big girl kitty, 13 pounds of muscle. Not a scrap of fat on her.

Lucille will lose weight if you pick up the food. She will probably get friskier too. And maybe even stop wheezing. There is definitely a correlation. Her lungs will have more room when she slims down.