Cat Respiratory Condition Treatments

While cat asthma and feline chronic bronchitis are caused by different issues, they both trigger inflammation in the lungs. Inflamed airways cause narrowing, constriction, and blockage of the tubes which leads to the symptoms of breathing difficulty and the potential for respiratory attack. 

While these lifelong conditions cannot be cured, your cat can lead a normal playful life with proper medication and management.  

Cat with a lung illustration

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Living with asthma or bronchitis shouldn't mean a lifetime of side effects.

To help keep your cat playing, medication needs to be given regularly and for the rest of your cat’s life. Corticosteroids are routinely prescribed by veterinarians because they work to keep the inflammation down so your cat stays symptom free. Corticosteroids are available in inhaled and systemic (oral and injectable) forms.  

Inhaled forms of steroid are preferred for long-term management

Compare Inhaled and Systemic

Cat with AeroKat*

Inhalant Therapy offers:




Better Quality of Life


Fewer Side Effects


Easier than Pilling


Just Like Children


Inhaled vs Systemic Steroids

Illustration of 1 cat with dots representing systemic steroids through the body and another cat with a chamber with inhaled steroids in the lung

Inhaled Steroids

Inhaled steroids are delivered exactly where needed: your cat’s lungs

Check icon 25x lower concentrations of steroid needed

Check icon Safer

Check iconCan be used for long term disease control

Check iconEasier to administer – bonding moments can make it a positive experience

Check iconHelps keep pets able and willing to play with their families

Systemic Steroids

Systemic steroids like Prednisolone and Dexamethasone enter the bloodstream and are sent all around the body

Alert icon Higher doses needed to ensure some of it makes it to the lungs

Alert icon Side effects can cause health and behavioral changes

Alert icon Only recommended for short term use after a severe asthma attack

Alert icon Difficult to administer – hard to bond with pills or needles

Alert icon Side effects can halt play and change the personality of your cat

Side Effects of Systemic Steroids

“The goal of oral steroid treatment is to find the lowest dose possible and use it for the shortest period of time.”
Icon of syringe and steroids
  • Lethargy/fatigue (no energy to play)
  • Change in behavior (such as aggression)
  • Suppressed immune system function
  • Increased risk of bacterial, fungal, and urinary infections
  • Diabetes
  • Weight gain / obesity
  • Vomiting, diarrhea
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Poor  wound healing
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Hair loss and skin or coat changes
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Stomach Ulcers


These side effects may reduce your cat's quality of life and the family relationship.

Cats who are lethargic or have a change in behavior may be unable or unwilling to play and may no longer seem like the pet you once knew.


Asthma and Bronchitis Treatment Path ALWAYS consult and follow the instructions of your veterinarian before giving your animal any medication! Only use inhalers as prescribed by your veterinarian.


Stop a Respiratory Attack

Provide respiratory relief

  • Your vet may provide an injectable steroid and either inhaled or injectable bronchodilator
  • Pet parents can use inhaled bronchodilator. I f unable to regain control, get emergency care for your cat immediately


Regain Airway Control

Clear the airways

  • For severe attacks, your vet will prescribe a 10-day treatment of prednisolone
  • Environmental triggers should be assessed


Transition to Inhalers

Wean off of systemic steroids

  • Your vet will wean your cat off of prednisolone while overlapping treatment with an inhaled steroid such as fluticasone
  • Overlap therapy for two weeks


Daily Management

Maintain lung health

  • Continue using inhaled steroids regularly to control inflammation
  • Continue even in the absence of symptoms
  • Inhaled bronchodilator may be prescribed to help during coughing flare-ups

Types of Inhaled Medication

There are two main types of medication that are prescribed if a cat has been diagnosed with asthma: corticosteroids and/or bronchodilators. These are the same medications used to treat asthma in humans, but require different doses and administration in felines. ALWAYS consult and follow the instructions of your veterinarian before giving your animal any medication! Only use inhalers as prescribed by your veterinarian.

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Short Acting Bronchodilators

Bronchodilators are medications used to expand the airways. They are commonly referred to as rescue medications because they are usually administered in the event of an asthma attack.

  • Opens airways by relaxing muscle constriction
  • May help with coughing flare-ups to regain control
  • Effects usually only last 4-6 hours
  • Does not treat underlying inflammation


Drug Names

  • Albuterol
  • Salbutamol
  • Ventolin
  • ProAir
  • Proventil

Where to buy

Illustration of a vet holding a cat

Save a Visit to the Vet!

Inhaled short acting bronchodilators could help your pet regain control at home giving you more time to talk to your vet.

First Aid icon

Inhaled Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids (or glucocorticoids) are anti-inflammatory medications used to treat and manage the underlying causes of asthma and bronchitis.

  • Reduces airway inflammation and mucus production
  • Used for ongoing management of condition even in the absence of symptoms


Drug Names

  • Fluticasone
  • Flovent
  • Flixotide
  • Alvesco


Where to buy

Combination Inhalers

Often a combination of an inhaled corticosteroid and a special bronchodilator that acts over a longer period of time.

  • Reduces inflammation and helps prevent airway constriction
  • Used for disease management, not rescue


Drug Names

  • Advair
  • Seretide
  • Sirdupla
  • Sereflow
  • Fluticasone Cipla
  • Symbicort
  • Dulera


Where to buy

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How the AeroKat* Chamber helps

The AeroKat* Chamber enables the use of inhalers by capturing and holding the medication so your cat can breathe it in. Designed specifically for cats by the makers of the leading AeroChamber* brand of spacers for humans, the AeroKat* Chamber has special masks, valves, and performance characteristics that help ensure your cat gets medication to its lungs, while feedback features like the Flow-Vu* inhalation indicator make using the device with any inhaler easy.

Learn More Shop


Cat using the AeroKat*

Make Every Puff Count

The AeroKat* Chamber offers greater drug availability for a longer time. This helps your cat get medication to its lungs while reducing medication waste and helping save on your cat’s annual respiratory medication costs.  

More time means better performance:

  •     Enables you to puff the inhaler before applying the mask  
  •     Ensures enough time for the 7-10 breaths needed to empty the chamber
  •     Ensures cats who hold their breath will still get medication



Where to Buy Medications




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Canadian Pharmacy World

** The links to online pharmacies are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or support of the drug product or content of those sites. Drug prices are monthly costs for 120ug(125ug) Flovent† HFA. Get 10.00 off for any purchase of inhaler product, onetime use only at (see their site for full details) ALWAYS consult and follow the instructions of your veterinarian before giving your animal any medication! Only use inhalers as prescribed by your veterinarian.

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We would love to hear from you. If you have questions or comments about one of our chambers, please reach out to us today.

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