Asthma is cats has been most commonly treated with corticosteroids, either long acting injections (known as depomedrol) or oral prednisolone tablets. While these drugs often bring dramatic relief, there are many potential long term complications of repetitive steroid use, including secondary infections, weight gain and diabetes. Other medications that may help limit or lower doses of corticosteroids include the bronchodilators Theophylline, Albuterol and Terbutalene.
In recent years, many veterinarians are now using inhalers, which offers a safer way to deliver drugs to the airways, with fewer systemic side effects.
Feline asthma is one of the more difficult diseases to control holistically. Working with a veterinarian trained in traditional Chinese medicine or classical homeopathy may offer an alternative in some cases.
For cats who go outside in warmer climates, placing cats on monthly heartworm prevention such as topical Revolution may help less heartworm exposure and secondary airway changes. Keeping cats from becoming overweight and on species-appropriate meat based wet food diets also may help. Avoiding use of dusty cat litters, as well as limiting smoking around cats is also recommended. Using Hepa air filters in the home can improve air quality and possibly lessen the severity of feline asthma.