Cat Wheezing: Causes and Treatment Options

We know that when your feline friend starts wheezing, it’s easy to get concerned. After all, our kitties are part of the family and we want to make sure they’re happy and healthy. In today’s blog post, we’ll go through some common causes and treatment options for cat wheezing. Remember, this is for educational purposes only; if your cat is wheezing, it’s important to consult a vet for proper diagnosis and treatment. Speaking of vets, don’t forget to book an appointment at any of our Heart + Paw locations for personalized, top-notch care!



What Is Cat Wheezing?

Wheezing is that high-pitched, whistle-like sound that comes from your cat’s lungs when they breathe. It’s different from other noises like sneezing, coughing, or purring. Wheezing typically indicates some kind of airway obstruction or inflammation. It’s crucial to take wheezing seriously, as it could be a sign of an underlying health issue.

Why Do Cats Wheeze?

Cats can wheeze for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s because of a minor irritant like smoke or dust, but other times it could signal something more severe like asthma or bronchitis. Don’t try to diagnose your cat at home; a vet visit is a must for proper assessment.

Common Causes of Cat Wheezing

Understanding what might be causing your cat to wheeze can help you take the necessary steps for treatment. Here are some common causes to consider:


Just like humans, cats can have allergies that affect their respiratory system. Common allergens for cats include pollen, dust mites, and certain foods.


Asthma is a chronic condition that affects a significant number of cats. It leads to inflamed airways and can result in episodes of wheezing.


Respiratory infections like feline herpesvirus and calicivirus can also cause wheezing. Other symptoms usually accompany this, such as sneezing or a runny nose.

Foreign Objects

Sometimes, a foreign object lodged in the airway can cause wheezing. This is a serious situation that requires immediate medical attention.

When to Visit the Vet

If your cat is wheezing, a vet visit should be your first course of action. Diagnostic tests like X-rays, blood tests, and sometimes even a bronchoscopy might be recommended to determine the cause of the wheezing.

What to Expect During the Vet Visit

During your appointment, your vet will typically perform a thorough physical examination and may recommend additional tests. These tests are crucial in diagnosing the underlying cause of the wheezing and crafting an effective treatment plan.

Treatment Options at Heart + Paw

Depending on the cause, treatment may vary. Here are some general approaches:


If your cat is diagnosed with asthma or bronchitis, medications like corticosteroids or bronchodilators may be prescribed.

Allergy Management

For cats with allergies, avoiding the allergen is the best course of action, but sometimes antihistamines or other medications may be prescribed.

Surgical Intervention

In severe cases, like a foreign object lodged in the airway, surgical intervention might be necessary.

Book an Appointment at Heart + Paw Today!

We know that it’s stressful when our pets aren’t feeling their best. The important thing to remember is that wheezing should never be ignored. It’s crucial to consult a vet to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan for your feline friend. So why wait? Book an appointment at one of our Heart + Paw locations today!

Remember, our pets rely on us for their well-being. When in doubt, reach out to the experts. We’re here to make sure your fur-babies live their happiest, healthiest lives!

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About Us

Heart + Paw was founded in 2018 by Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. George Melillo, who currently serves the Mid-Atlantic area. Heart + Paw offers a combination of veterinary care, pet grooming, and dog daycare to help be a resource in your pet parenthood journey.

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