Your kitty starts wheezing and hacking all of a sudden as if she needs to bring up a hairball. This gets your attention, and you start wondering what’s going on. One consideration beyond those horrid hairballs could be feline asthma. It is more common than you would think, and you need to pay attention to the needs of your cats to understand what to feed it when it is suffering from asthma. There’s a lot of conflicting information out there regarding feline diets, but you won’t find much information regarding the best food for cats with asthma.
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That’s mainly because only about 1% of cats are asthmatic, and with so few numbers, it can be tough to find relevant information. We’ve done a fair amount of research and found out a few things about feeding cats with asthma.
Cat nutrition is a massive topic, and there’s no way we can get all of it with just one article, but we will share a few important facts that you should consider when choosing the best diet for your asthmatic cat. So, without further ado, let’s get into the best food for cats with asthma.
What Do Cats Eat?
In the wild, your cat’s diet would mostly consist of small birds and rodents. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that their systems are designed to get all the nutrients and water they need from the animals they would kill and eat. In general, cats require a high protein-rich diet with nutrients like taurine, calcium, niacin, thiamine, and arginine, and a range of other vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids.
Most of the nutrients cats need can only be found in meat. Even though cats aren’t particularly thirsty creatures, they do require water in their diets, like every other animal. This low thirst drive makes it important for cats to eat a moisture-rich diet that fulfills all of their nutritional needs and keeps them well hydrated.
What Do Cats Not Eat?
We’ve been led to believe that cats eat a few things that they simply don’t need. It’s common knowledge that a bowl of milk is not what your cat needs, as cats are mostly lactose intolerant. Fish is also not a natural part of a good feline diet. Even though it’s fine as an occasional treat, fish isn’t something that cats need or would eat in the wild.
It lacks some nutrients that cats need, and there’s also the issue of those little bones that tend to get stuck in places like throats and digestive systems and cause harm. Cats also don’t eat grains, and it’s baffling as to why commercial cat food contains things such as rice, wheat, and corn. You can’t imagine your kitty munching down on a plate of rice that you’ve cooked up for dinner, can you?
No, because cats are designed by nature to get all that they need from meat, not grains, and definitely not from vegetables. They’re just not required as a wild cat’s diet would consist of only about 5% carbohydrates, most of which would be from consuming their prey.
Do Cats Need Kibble?
The short answer to this is no. If your cat eats nothing but dry food, it’s almost certain that kitty is not getting the nutrition he needs from wet food. Most low-quality dry food contains fillers. Also, they are highly processed or heat-treated to make the kibble bits into their shapes, which further destroys the nutrient content of the food.
Dry food is dry, and cats are designed to get the water they need from the food they eat. Prey animals eaten in the wild can be up to 70% water, whereas dry foods average about 10% water content. The myth about kibble being good for a cat’s teeth isn’t true as well. Cats have teeth designed for tearing through flesh and muscle, not for grinding on kibble.
Most of the time, your cat will swallow the kibble bits whole or smash them with its pointy teeth. After mixing in a bit of saliva, you will find that these bits of kibble will get stuck between your cat’s teeth and cause the plaque that you’re trying to kill.
The 5 Best Food for Cats with Asthma
Diet plays a very important part in your cat’s overall health, and asthmatic felines are even more sensitive than their easy-breathing brothers. Asthmatic cats are likely to be suffering from some immune system stress, so feeding a diet that discourages inflammation and mimics what your cat would eat in the wild is the best solution.
But what is that? There’s not a great deal of specific information, but what we have discovered in our research, from experience, and from talking with other asthma cat parents is that grains and fish should definitely be avoided and that going natural is the best thing for your cat. Generally speaking, the best anti-inflammatory diets for cats with asthma eliminate dry food, fish, grains, and even poultry.
Our Final Thoughts
You should go for organic food made with little processing for your cat with asthma. Most asthma cat parents have seen a dramatic improvement in their kitty’s wheeziness just by switching foods, but please remember that you shouldn’t stop the vet’s prescribed medication because things look like they’re getting better.
Even if this kind of diet doesn’t help with your cat’s asthma symptoms, it’s a solid foundation for good health no matter what and will give you a better chance of stopping other health problems in their tracks. We hope you now have the relevant guidance on the best food for cats with asthma after going through this post.