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Discussion Starter #1
Ok my little baby Mouth was diagnosed with Feline Asthma about 6 months ago or so. He is currently taking 2 different perscription medicines twice a day. One of the medications is like a steriod and makes him eat more everyday so he has gained about 5 or 6 pounds which is waaay to much and has made me become very worried.

My vet basically told me that trying to pinpoint what he could be allergic to was a waste of my time because it could be anything. He also told me that if I wasn't able to cut back on the medication, which I have tried and he begins to cough again, I would just have to let him be a fat cat.

I can't believe this. I have started researching different foods and even the raw food diet to see if I can find a certain food or grain that is aggravaiting his symptoms. One article I found said that the raw food diet probably would not be a good place to start because with his asthma and medication his immune system would be already in overdrive and he might not be able to fight off any kind of bacterial problem. I don't think I am quite ready to do the raw food diet yet anyway.

I am looking for advice on dry and wet foods that perhaps you know are high quality and that might help my little baby. I think the first item I am trying to eliminate is the corn because another article said that some cats are especially sensitive to it. Thanks in advance.
 

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Steroids are notorious for weight gain even when food is monitored. I used to have an asthmatic Tom (the vet advised against neutering because of the asthma) but we managed to keep him off steroids by a mixture of other medicines and herbl remedies.
 

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My cat has had a few bouts of bronchitis (not unlike asthma). Really nasty coughing episodes. I got some medication which helped. After the second bout of it, I tried to determine what might be causing it. My theory was that the dust from her cat litter (at the time, it was "The World's Best Cat Litter" mixed in with some other stuff) which was causing the coughing/wheezing, because nearly all of her coughing bouts were in a certain room where she spends a lot of time, which is located next to the bathroom where her litter box is located. This particular cat litter is VERY dusty, so I thoroughly cleaned off EVERYTHING in the bathroom and in the other room - no surface was left untouched, and I cleaned out her litter box and eliminated that brand of cat litter. After that, she hasn't had any *really* bad coughing spells, though she's had a couple very minor ones. So my best guess is, that particular cat litter was the major culprit, but maybe not the only one.
 

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The first thing I changed was the cat litter because it was the cheapest. I went from a scoopable litter to corn fiber litter which is completely dust free. It hasn't helped him at all.
 

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Have you considered getting another opinion? There are specialist vets out there who may have other suggestions or treatments for you. If you are open to alternative medicine possibilities, there are now a lot of holistic vets available. My own primary cat vet is holistic. There are substitution treatments beside the use of steroids which can suppress the immune system.

I think my first step would be to seek that second opinion.
 

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A lot of premium brands of cat food seem to carry "limited ingredient" lines that you might be able to leverage to pin down an allergy. Instead of having chicken and turkey flavor with salmon meal in the ingredient list, it would stick with one protein and no or limited grains. They would definitely exclude corn. I believe Blue Buffalo "Basic" is one of these, but I've definitely seen it from other brands.

My kitten was super sneezy and runny when I first got him home. He had a URI, but I found the symptoms lessened when I removed my plugin air fresheners. If you have anything super scented, you could try to remove them temporarily to see if it helps.

I actually vacuum less now that I have a kitten. I want things to be clean for both of us, but I feel so bad scaring him with the vacuum! It takes like 10 minutes to find him when I'm done. You could try vacuuming more often in case it's a dust type of irritation.
 

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Is yur cat an indoor only cat or indoor/outdoor? We are having a horrible allergy season right now, so keeping your cat inside would help.
Do you have AC or open windows?
Change the litter again. Corn is actually one of the most common allergens in a home. Cut newspaper into strips or try sand (from a home improvement center).
Remove anything with scent from your home - flowers, perfumes.
Wash the cat's bedding in hot water (if possible) and with unscented soap.
Vaccum the furniture and carpet, change the air filters.
Try a cat food with no poultry and veggies, if possible.

My Golden turned out to be allergic to grass and chicken. It was miserable.
 

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My kitten was super sneezy and runny when I first got him home. He had a URI, but I found the symptoms lessened when I removed my plugin air fresheners. If you have anything super scented, you could try to remove them temporarily to see if it helps.
That was another thing I did when I cleaned out the dusty cat litter. I had had an air freshener in her bathroom, but got rid of it. So maybe that was a factor too.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the tips and advie everyone. To answer your questions:

Mouth is completely indoors. We keep the windows open in good weather but he seems to have symptoms if the windows are open or closed. Right now we are using the AC because of the heat but he is still having the same amount of episodes. I also have an air purifier that I run 24/7 because of my own asthma and allergies (I think Mouth is my long lost child) to help with some air issues.
I don't have carpeting and I sweep and mop my floors often, at least once a week.
I don't use any air freshners in the house, unless it is for the bathroom on an as needed application ;), because I am also sensitive to fragrances.

As far as a second opinion, I did consider it but there are no holistic vets in my area. I live in a fairly rural area and I would probably have to travel several hours to find one. Mouth gets really upset when I drive him 20 mins to my current vet, so I don't see that happening any time soon. There are other vets in the area but I have tried most of them at different times, with different animals and found that this vet seems to be the best in the area. But I may start looking around again. Who knows maybe one of them will be better at helping with feline asthma.

I have a question about the litter suggestion.... Sand? Wouldn't that have as much dust as the scoopable litters? And the newspaper option will be a possibility if I can't find something. I haven't heard the best of reviews on using newspaper but if this is an allergy to an enviromental irritant I will do what I have to.

I did some more research online and found a diet that a vet came up with that is a raw/cooked diet. It is completely balanced so I won't have to worry about getting the right foods into his diet to get his nutrients in. Has anyone tried this diet:

Making Cat Food by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM :: homemade cat food, cat food recipes

The whole reason I was so skittish about going raw was because I was really concerned with making sure he got all his vitamins and nutrients. She makes it really simple so I think I am going to try this one first. I just have to get a grinder :)
 
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