Add moisture with humidifiers to aid cats and humans alike
When people think of respiratory illnesses and allergic reactions, often they assume that happens only to humans. But other creatures have reactions to allergens, and their reactions may not be too different. Anyone who’s seen a cat or dog sneeze must surely see a similarity to sneezing that affects their owners.
That’s not where the similarity ends, either. Just as room humidifiers soothe the symptoms experienced by human allergy sufferers, they can offer relief to their furry friends, particularly cats. In fact, feline allergies and asthma are well-documented by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and veterinarians.
Look for symptoms
If you’re trying to determine if your cats have allergies, look for a variety of symptoms – wheezing, coughing up mucus similar to when they throw up a hairball and lethargic movements. In addition, if you see your felines squat with uncomfortably hunched shoulders, extend their necks like they’re having trouble breathing, or breathe through their mouths, there’s reason to be concerned. They may in fact develop blue lips and gums or take rapid, labored breaths.
While the source of these allergic reactions may be dust or other allergens in their environment, the ASPCA advised pet owners that their cats may also have allergic bronchitis that can lead to feline asthma. As a result, owners should take care to limit smoking around their cats, watch for situations that could cause their animals stress and eliminate dust, mold or pollen from their immediate surroundings as much as possible.
Use a humidifier
Dry air exacerbates asthma attacks in humans, and it can have the same effect on cats. That’s especially true when heating is turned up in the winter and air conditioning is running frequently in homes during hot summer days. Using a humidifier to counteract these dry conditions is one way to put moisture back in the air that will make life more comfortable for your kitty.
However, the precautions about keeping the humidifier clean so that bacterial growth doesn’t develop are the same for cats as they are for humans. Water in the humidifier tank must be removed promptly and the surfaces of the device should be wiped down regularly to remove condensation. Keep an eye on these conditions, and your cats should benefit from the comfort of moist air.
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