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Medications: Inhaled Conventional Other

Overview: Other Medications

Most cats will benefit best from proven treatments in the inhaled and conventional categories. However, some asthmatic cats' health responds positively to the experimental medications listed on this page.

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Other and Alternative Medications

This page describes some of the non-standard medications used to treat feline asthma. This includes antileukotrienes, antihistamines, and antiserotonins. Herbal and naturopathic remedies may provide support to asthmatic cats who are being treated with medical compound.


Antihistamines are not known to be an effective primary treatment for asthma in veterinary literature. Furthermore, the feline immune system is significantly different from human systems, particularly in the role of histamine, so treatment of asthma with antihistamines is controversial, and some human antihistamines may possibly worsen asthma. Cyproheptadine (Periactin®) is an exception to this which we note below under antiserotonins.

Antihistamines are worthy of mention as they seem to assist in related upper respiratory issues like rhinitis and sinus infections. Rhinitis and asthma often occur together. Symptoms may include sneezing, nasal drainage, red eyes, and nasal wheezing. Your vet may consider Chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton® or Chlor-Tabs) to provide symptomatic relief.


Reports from feline asthma caregivers are mixed on this class of drugs, which includes Accolate® and Singulair®. This is an active area of study by clinicians, so it may be worth discussing with your vet or searching a veterinary library to find original abstracts.


Some caregivers report their cats' asthma is significantly helped by Cyproheptadine (Periactin®) as their primary therapy. This drug is also classified as an antihistamine agent as noted above. More than one said it makes their cat uninterested in normal, playful activity ("turns them into a zombie") and very interested in food. However, one clinician reports that these side-effects lessen after a few weeks of therapy, and one caregiver reported that their cat is active and energetic using Cyproheptadine as a primary (and relatively inexpensive) therapy. This uncommon treatment shows promise, particularly for cats who cannot tolerate steroids, and we hope that professional research will eventually emerge regarding this treatment.


Cyclosporine A is another experimental treatment, but is expensive, and as a result saved for cats who have not been helped by other drug regimens. We are not aware of any reports from caregivers as to its effectiveness.

Holistic and Homeopathic Remedies

Many caregivers seek assistance for their asthmatic cat through Holistic Medicine approaches. These can include: acupuncture, homeopathy, Bach Flower remedies, herbalism, supplements, special diet and more.

Conventional veterinary medicine can usually control asthma. Since uncontrolled asthma can be fatal, many use standard treatment and add the support and guidance from their alternative therapy practitioner. This can be disheartening to a caregiver who usually chooses natural medicines for themselves. Although mild asthma may be a better candidate for exclusive use of alternative therapies, keep in mind that absence of symptoms doesn't mean an absence of inflammation.

Due to the seriousness of asthma, many feel it best to work with by choosing standard medicines that carry the least side-effects and augment with holistic to help support and nurture the immune system.

Specifics are best discussed with a certified Holistic Veterinary Practitioner rather than experimenting with the wide variety of supplements or treatments that humans use for themselves. One needs to use caution in trying over-the-counter therapies they have heard about anecdotally because information on whether a substance can cause harm to cats is not well documented. An excellent professional organization is the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association. They have a listing for referrals. If you live outside the USA, check through the phone book or do an Internet search for finding a holistic specialist near you.

Many caregivers find that their asthmatic cats also have food or environmental allergies. A good holistic (or conventional) vet will help you set out a plan on determining what steps to take to improve your cat's overall health.

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