Persian cats are a popular breed of cat. They have long and fluffy fur and flat face, which can lead to some breathing problems for these animals. If you own a Persian cat or know someone who does, here’s what you need to know about the potential respiratory issues they may face as well as how to make sure your pet stays healthy!
Do flat-faced cats have breathing difficulties?
Since the flat-faced breeds have a more ‘pushed in’ nose, this can cause breathing problems. The compressed airways of these breeds will make it harder for them to breathe, and they may suffer from respiratory issues. In some cases, surgery is required to help restore their nasal passages to breathe properly again.
Since they can’t pant as effectively, flat-faced cats can also overheat more easily. Owners of these breeds need to be especially vigilant about keeping their pets cool and comfortable in hot weather conditions. Flat-faced cats may also be more prone to getting sick, as their airways are already compromised.
If your cat has a flat face, make sure you are familiar with the signs of respiratory distress and take your pet to the vet if you are concerned.
What is brachycephalic airway syndrome?
Brachycephalic airway syndrome (BAS) is a respiratory disorder that affects cats. BAS is also known as feline upper airway syndrome. BAS results from a combination of anatomical abnormalities, some of which are genetic, that affect the upper airway of cats. The upper airway is the passage through which air moves from the nose, through the mouth and throat to the lungs. Cats with BAS may have upper respiratory tract noises, such as snoring or honking, or breathing difficulties, such as breathing loudly or breathing with a stridor or gurgling.
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Signs of brachycephalic airway syndrome in Persian cats:
- The cat is lethargic, unwilling to move, and has a hoarse purr.
- Panting that’s difficult or noisy. This can sound like loud snoring.
- Labored breathing with an open mouth and tongue lolling out after exercise (this may be because your cat isn’t getting enough oxygen).
- Gasping for breath.
- Excessive salivation.
- The cat’s eyes may water excessively or be red and inflamed from the constant discharge irritation.
Brachycephalic airway syndrome diagnosis:
Your vet can diagnose brachycephalic airway syndrome by taking a close look at your cat’s nose and throat. They may also want to perform some tests, such as X-rays or a CT scan, to get a better idea of the extent of the problem. If your cat is found to have brachycephalic airway syndrome, they may be prescribed medication to help with the symptoms. In some cases, surgery is required to open up your cat’s airways and restore their nasal passages so they can breathe properly again.
In severe cases of brachycephalic airway syndrome, a tube called a stent might be inserted into their nostrils for about six weeks to keep the airways open while their nose heals.
Additional flat-faced cat breed health problem information
- The brachycephalic breeds are also more susceptible to eye problems, such as corneal ulcers and keratitis.
- Due to their compressed airways, flat-faced cats can’t pant as effectively, so they may overheat easily. These breeds need particular attention in hot weather conditions.
- Some brachycephalic breeds (such as the Persian) can predispose to polycystic kidney disease. This is a life-threatening condition that requires lifelong treatment.
So, do flat-faced cats have breathing problems? Yes, they can often suffer from respiratory issues and may be more prone to getting sick. Owners of these breeds need to take extra care to keep their pets cool and comfortable in hot weather conditions. If your cat has a flat face, make sure you are familiar with the signs of respiratory distress and take your pet to the vet if you are concerned. Brachycephalic airway syndrome is a serious condition, but with proper care, your cat can live a full and healthy life. Thanks for reading!
My Persian cat (Tumnus) doesn’t have breathing problems, but he did have a brush with polycystic kidney disease. Honestly didn’t even know cats could contract this disease until Tumnus had it. So sad for my little fur baby!