Coconut oil is considered a superfood and a natural way to cure many ailments. It is a plant oil derived from the meat, kernels, and milk of the coconut palm and fruit. Aside from human consumption, it is also now widely used to treat health issues among cats, such as asthma. Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory effects which makes it a popular choice as a supplement for cat asthma treatment.
Various Ways to Manage Feline Asthma Using Coconut Oil
Here are various ways to manage cat asthma using coconut oil:
1. Give it to your cat separately.
Serve coconut oil in your cat’s food bowl and let her lick it. This type of oil is sweet and has a pleasant aroma, so many cats will gladly lick it. However, if your cat finds it weird, you may try applying some of the oil to her paws and encouraging her to lick it while she is grooming.
Be sure to give your cat the smallest possible amount of coconut oil for starters and gradually increase the quantity after a few days. However, if you notice any stomach or digestive issues or an allergic reaction, discontinue giving it to your cat.
Health and wellness experts recommend giving your cat at least one-eighth of a teaspoon of coconut oil once or twice a day. You can gradually increase the quantity to one-fourth or one-half of a teaspoon, but nothing more than that. Do not continue the dosage for a very long period.
2. Mix coconut oil in hot water to create a humidifier.
One way to ease asthma in cats is by using a humidifier. It maintains the room temperature and increases moisture, thus preventing an asthma attack. Mix natural coconut oil in hot water to create a humidifier and help ease the cat’s airways. It also normalizes the breathing of your asthmatic cat.
This DIY humidifier softens the breathing vessels since coconut oil is a moisturizer.
3. Add coconut oil to your cat’s wet food.
Start by placing a very small amount of coconut oil in your cat’s food at first and observe your cat for any untoward reactions. If your cat is responding well to the coconut oil, you can increase the quantity and serve it at least twice a day. Do not overdo it since it could lead to weight gain. The anti-inflammatory effect of the oil alleviates asthma attacks.
4. Use coconut oil along with essential oils.
Some holistic and wellness practitioners recommend using the oil along with essential oils. However, be mindful of what essential oils to use since some of the oils may not be suitable for cats and may instead worsen her condition.
5. Apply coconut oil to the cat’s nose.
You can apply the oil directly to your cat’s nose to moisturize her nostrils and avoid crusting. It is beneficial for your cat since it boosts her immune system and protects her from viral, fungal, and bacterial infections.
Holistic health experts recommend virgin coconut oil as the best type of coconut oil. It should be food grade and cold-pressed to ensure that it contains the right nutrients for your cat.
Other Ways to Use Coconut Oil for Your Cat
Here are other benefits to using coconut oil for your cat:
- Prevents your cat’s wounds from becoming infected
- Heals inflamed and dry skin because of the oil’s anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.
- Acts as a dewormer since it contains lauric acid, which helps kill parasites and worms.
- Treats inflamed tissues or feline stomatitis
- Helps heal injuries in a cat’s digestive tract
- Can be used as a homemade shampoo to keep your cat’s coat smooth and fresh
- Can be used as a moisturizer for your cat’s skin. It prevents allergies; itchiness; dry, flaking skin; and itchiness due to cat litter.
Cat Asthma: What It Is, Symptoms, and Treatment Options
Cat asthma is an immunity-related health condition among felines that arises when the small passageways of the lungs become inflamed or swollen. The asthma attacks may be triggered by allergens or stress. Allergens may include pollen, grass, dust mites, cat litter, tobacco, household cleaning products, or a particular food.
Symptoms of Cat Asthma
These are the common symptoms of cat asthma:
- Difficulty in breathing or rapid breathing
- Gagging or persistent cough
- Frothy mucus when coughing
- Keeping the mouth open while breathing
- Weakness and lethargy
- Increased swallowing
- Blue gums and lips
- Extended neck while struggling to breathe
- Squatting low to the ground while struggling to breathe
Natural Remedies to Prevent Asthma Attacks
Here are some natural ways to lessen your cat’s asthma attacks:
- Do not use perfumes or heavily-scented products like lotion around your cat.
- Use a low-dust and fragrance-free cat litter.
- Change the air filters in your home regularly.
- Do not use aerosols, sprays, or harsh chemicals around your cat.
- Do not smoke around your cat.
- Keep your home clean and dust-free.
There is no cure for cat asthma, but it can be managed with the right treatment options and proper precautions.
Cat Asthma Treatment
Veterinarians typically administer anti-inflammatory medication like corticosteroids along with bronchodilators. These help reduce inflammation and widen the air passages. If this does not bring relief to an asthmatic cat, vets will usually consider antihistamine drugs. These medications are given through an inhaler, as an injection, or oral tablets.
Is coconut oil toxic to cats?
It is not considered toxic for cats, but it may not be the ideal addition to your cat’s diet. Any changes to her diet and supplements may affect your cat’s health. Coconut oil may also lead to weight gain and digestive issues like diarrhea. It is also not ideal for cats that suffer from pancreatic issues. This type of oil is made of saturated fats, which can be quite unhealthy for cats if consumed for extended periods of time.
Cats can develop asthma at any point in their life. Genetics may play a role in why certain cats are affected while some are not. Cat asthma arises when there is an inflammation in the small passageways of a cat’s lungs. It is treated with corticosteroids and antihistamine drugs, but the use of coconut oil is also becoming popular because of its anti-inflammatory effects. Coconut oil also has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties.
Image: istockphoto.com / joannawnuk