Feline Inhaler Use: Tips for Cat Owners

by | Mar 31, 2023

Feline Inhaler Use: Tips for Cat Owners

Cats living with respiratory conditions, such as asthma, may require the use of an inhaler. If your cat has been diagnosed with asthma, you may be wondering why your cat is being prescribed oral tablets or an inhaler. If your cat has been prescribed an inhaler, you may also be wondering how to introduce it to your cat.
To make the process as easy as possible, we’ve compiled some tips from our experts here at The Cat Hospital on how to familiarize your feline with their new device.

Learning to Use the Inhaler

Sometimes your veterinarian will start asthma treatment with oral steroids to suppress the immune response to irritants. Oral steroids are not a long term option for the treatment of asthma because they affect the whole body and can have serious side effects in cats, such as a compromised immune system or diabetes. Medications given by inhaler include bronchodilators (combats airway constriction) or steroids (for extreme cases only). Bronchodilators are the most accurate treatment with the least amount of side effects. Inhaler use should begin once your cat is acclimatized to the mask.
Before familiarization, lay the chamber and mask on the ground to encourage curiosity. This gives your cat time to investigate the device and become accustomed to its presence in the home. The Trudell training videos on YouTube are an excellent resource for tips and tricks; for example, wiping some tuna fish or food inside the mask to encourage your cat to accept the mask on their face. The scent of treats will entice them and create a positive association with the device.
To associate a positive response to the chamber, try halting play for a minute and hiding the device behind your back. When you bring it back out, reward with treats, hugs, and play. This will teach your feline that good things happen when they see their AeroKat. Swaddling your cat in a towel or blanket while administering treatment can also help ease nerves and make them feel secure during treatment time. You may have to try a few different methods before finding the one that works for you both.
Above all else, be patient! It may take time for your cat to be comfortable using the mask and chamber. But with a little practice and love, your cat, like some of our cat friends, may come running when it’s time to take their inhaled medication.
Introducing an inhaler into any household can seem overwhelming, but if done correctly it can become part of everyday life for both you and your pet! And remember – patience is key! With a little practice, you and your furry friend will soon have this down pat. If you find yourself stuck or feeling overwhelmed at any point during this process don’t hesitate to reach out for help from our team here at The Cat Hospital – we are always happy to help.

Key Points:

  • Lay the inhaler chamber at cat level to familiarize cats with its presence.
  • Use treats inside the mask to encourage acceptance of the device.
  • Associate positive responses with the inhaler by hiding it and rewarding with treats, hugs, and play.
  • Swaddling during administration can help ease nerves.
  • Patience is key; with practice, cats will become accustomed to the device.
  • Help is available from The Cat Hospital if needed.

Call Us To Make An Appointment

Questions about whether your cat has asthma? We provide consultations if you are concerned your cat is having trouble breathing or is in pain. We also are here to help you with feline orthopedic surgery, soft tissue surgery, dental care, spaying and neutering services for cats. We love cats, and we know you do too! Give us a call!
Call Us Today (236) 425-1111 | Visit Our Office at 1338 Battle St., Kamloops BC | Email Us: info@thecathospital.ca