Best Humidifier for Cats with Asthma | What should you get?
Your beloved fluffy feline just got another asthmatic seizure – hunched over, with stomach muscles twitching and coughing up mucus, you rush over from across the room to give them their asthma medicine.
Your poor cat may have survived another asthma attack but for how long can this go on? Is there any respite from the incessant asthma attacks? The good news is, the answer's yes.
This article will address just that.
First, you’ll get recommendations on the best humidifier for cats with asthma.
Then, we’ll focus on what triggers cat asthma, symptoms, treatment and the tools you can use to give yourself and your beloved animal some respite.
The Best Humidifier for Cats with Asthma:
Top Fill Cool Mist Humidifier
Pure Enrichment MistAire XL Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
Hybrid Ultrasonic Humidifier
1.05 gal (4 L)
1 gal (3.7 L)
1.6 gal (6 L)
7.4 oz (220 ml)
17 oz (500 ml)
17 oz (500 ml)
#1 Pure Enrichment MistAire XL Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
This ultrasonic humidifier is one of Pure Enrichment's high performance humidifiers with its one gallon tank and 500 sq. ft. room coverage.
Lasting for up to 24 hours, you do not need to worry about micromanagement of water levels at every other moment.
Moreover, even if filled halfway, the unit provides more than enough mist volume for a couple rooms.
You won’t be going off-kilter trying to replace this unit's filter since its filterless design cuts down on maintenance and hidden costs.
Even though it does not have a water level indicator like some of the other products available, we found it's transparent tank to thoroughly make up for it.
Checking the water level is easy. Not to mention, its design is aesthetically pleasing and liked by cats.
In addition, its whisper-quiet running is perfect for cats sensitive to noisy appliances (or snoring cats). Who’s the one running a lumber mill in the dead of the night? Buy the unit and find out.
However, despite its aesthetic design, this humidifier's small opening mean the unit can be cumbersome to clean.
Cleaning is always a pain point with humidifiers and that’s sort of the case here as well. Not too big a deal of course. Just takes abit more effort to get to those hard to reach places.
In addition, despite being a large room humidifier, the MistAire XL has significantly fewer features compared to other humidifiers in its price range.
However, overall the MistAire XL has a lot of redeeming qualities and is a one of the best units on the market.
It is easy to use, does the job, and is effective at alleviating a cat's asthmatic symptoms.
#2 Geniani Top Fill Cool Mist Humidifier
Geniani's Top Fill Cool Mist Humidifier is a reliable unit that has helped many cat owners with their beloved cats' asthma.
No more gawking at a unit's display to see the relative humidity in a room; the cool mist humidifier from Geniani has a tank light that indicates humidity levels at a glance with different colors.
Moreover, with an easy top fill design, you can simply refill without taking the lid off, making life so much simpler.
Why don’t other gadgets have this kind of foolproof design?!
As for those who want their nightly melatonin fix, you will be pleased with this unit’s ability to completely turn off all its lights. Perfect for a dark bedroom.
This unit is also user friendly! Its simple installation and controls make it immediately usable.
While the Geniani Humidifier has an oil diffuser, Amazon customers who bought this unit discovered the essential oil diffuser isn’t all that great. We also found this feature to be ineffective for heavier usage.
However, since cats are poor at tolerating essential oils, you probably shouldn’t be using the diffuser function anyway.
Additionally, this unit is not as silent as other humidifiers on the market and does make some noise when running.
#3 Levoit LV600HH Hybrid Ultrasonic Humidifier
The Levoit LV600HH is an excellent hybrid humidifier that can dispense both warm and cool mist.
This setting makes this unit a trusty companion for whole-year humidifying in all dry-air environments.
Refilling some humidifiers can feel like a surgical procedure but with this model, its flat design eliminates spills during refilling.
However, this very design does have several hard-to-reach spots for cleaning. Thankfully, a toothbrush should do the trick and easily circumvent this.
Every gadget should also have a remote as nifty as this unit's - easily set the unit tweak its settings without even getting up.
However, we found that you can’t use the remote to turn off display lights. To do this, you will have to hold the AUTO button on the unit for 3 seconds. A first-world problem indeed.
As for its after-purchase service, Amazon customers praise that the responsive manufacturer readily ships replacements for faulty units. So you can buy without any worries.
However, do keep a proof of purchase and snap a few pictures should problems arise.
Lastly, while the display lights aren’t that bright, it can bother some light sleepers.
Considerations when Buying the Best Humidifier for Cats with Asthma
a) What is asthma?
Asthma is a severe, sudden narrowing of the bronchi, which are small airways that connect lungs to the throat.
Once it starts, the narrowing occurs in rapid succession, which look and feel like spasms.
Asthmatic spasms often make the sufferer fight for breath and cause panic since they can appear at any moment.
They also often become worse at night or after exercise. The exact cause of asthma is unknown but is thought to be genetic with an environmental trigger.
The cure for asthma is also unknown but there are some remedies that can stop the spasms as they start happening.
The main cause of problems with asthma is the thick mucus produced; as the spasms happen because the body is trying to push the mucus out of the lungs.
Hence, if you carefully watch a cat having an asthma attack, you will notice it actually swallowing the mucus. But, why is it even produced in the first place?
b) Role of mucus in cats' airways
A cat’s airways constantly produce mucus - a slick, clear lubricant - which traps any bacteria, dust, smoke, insects, and so on to keep the lungs clean.
Ultimately, mucus is meant to trap foreign objects to keep the kitty’s airways clear of obstruction. In some cases, the mucus becomes too thick and gets stuck in the airways.
Consequentially, when the bronchi narrow, your kitty gets an asthma attack.
In general, the cat will be able to deal with the asthma attack on its own.
However, there are ways to alleviate asthmatic symptoms to make life more bearable for the cat.
c) Symptoms of cat asthma
Symptoms of cat asthma are similar to that of human asthma:
In both humans and cats, asthma happens when airways experience an allergic reaction, leading to inflammation and a severe bodily reaction.
An allergic reaction can happen for any number of reasons, but there’s always some sort of environmental trigger, such as:
It’s important not to panic or overreact when you notice your cat exhibiting asthmatic symptoms.
Stay calm and let the cat deal with it but do look into what may be causing this reaction.
Alternatively, consider visiting a vet.
d) How do vets diagnose cat asthma?
From our trips to the vet, a vet will usually want to know about the history of coughing and wheezing. Most importantly, the vet would want to know if the attacks have been getting worse and if they’ve produced anything.
After learning about your cat’s coughing history, vets most often use one of the three following methods to suss out the problem: Chest X-rays, Mucus Sampling, or Blood Tests.
With a chest X-ray, the vet can examine if there’s a fluid buildup in the lungs and, if so, where it’s concentrated. The cost is $100-$250 per X-ray image but additional costs, such as sedatives, may bring it closer to $300-$450 depending on where you live.
Mucus sampling is done by pushing a narrow tube down the cat’s throat and into the bronchi to hoover up some mucus.
The procedure, examination of the mucus and other costs can bring the total cost anywhere from $500 into thousands of dollars.
Blood test is the simplest of the three but still costs $200-300.
After considering which of the three to use, the vet will wait for the results that rule out other diseases before reaching the conclusion – the poor fluff ball has asthma.
e) Prescription medicine
Vets will typically prescribe medicine for an asthmatic kitty that works on two fronts – (1) to reduce inflammation in the airways to liquefy the mucus and (2) to widen the airways.
However, medicine can increase the risk of organ damage to the cat, leading to problems such as diabetes.
Pills are the cheapest but cats typically don’t want to swallow them. On occasion, the cat might be prescribed a breathing mask ($100-150) or injections ($15-25 per).
Insurance companies most often won’t cover pre-existing conditions, not even in kitty cats.
This means the costs of examination, the pills, the mask or injections fall squarely on your shoulders.
Cat asthma treatments are given when the attack is about to happen, with the exception of a long-lasting injection that works up to 4 months.
f) Four home remedies for cats with asthma
Medicine can help relieve critical inflammation, making your cat feel and act much livelier. However, trips to the vet are costly.
Moreover, there is the period vets call “relapse” and includes a temporary ebb of symptoms.
It’s during the relapse that you should try out some home remedies for cat asthma.
If a humidifier is not working for you, here are four great alternatives to the best humidifier for cats with asthma:
Reducing dietary carbs
Dietary carbs are believed to trigger asthma attacks in cats. Artificial cat chow often has carbohydrates to cut down on costs and make the taste more palatable to cats.
But, carbs may trigger an inflammation in the airways. So, consider less pellets and kibble, and look at animal protein, aka. meat.
Curcumin is also a great alternative to anti-inflammatory medicine and much easier to give to the cat.
The recommended dose is 100 mg per 10 lbs of a cat’s body weight but feel free to start out smaller and observe the cat’s reaction before going with a higher amount.
In a study done on humans, curcumin was a great add-on to conventional treatment for asthma.
So it could be worth a shot for your beloved feline. As always, do consult your local vet first before anything.
Essential fatty acids
Essential fatty acids are generally taken in the form of fish oil.
The recommended dose is 500mg per 10lbs of cat’s body weight drizzled over cat’s food; just like with curcumin, start out small.
Studies do support that essential fatty acides lower inflammation although there is still no conclusive evidence they can resolve asthma attacks.
Honey is a surprisingly healthy food that is also suitable for cats to help alleviate cough if given in very small doses.
The recommended dose is ½tsp per 10lbs of body weight. Try diluting honey with some water or dripping in a small drop of lemon if it’s very thick.
Eliminate airborne allergens
Lastly, eliminate airborne allergens to reduce the risk of triggering an asthma attack.
Try using less cat litter, aerosol sprays and tick-and-flea insecticides, or take a look at our list of the best humidifiers for cats with asthma.
Humidifiers are still a simple way to clear and moisten the air, capturing particles that trigger some of the cat asthma symptoms.
Bottom Line - Best Humidifier for Cats with Asthma?
In this article, we’ve chosen three best humidifiers for cats with asthma, with Pure Enrichment's MistAire XL Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier being the very best.
While all three were effective humidifiers in its own way, Pure Enrichment edged out the others with its proven record - it works well for felines and their owners with its filterless design, huge tank capacity, and generally quiet operation.
Seeing your cat suffer from an asthma attack is a heart-rending affair.
You can feel overwhelmed or guilty that you’re not doing enough to help.
Thankfully, once you understand how to help, you’ll see that it all comes down to clean air and a healthy diet.
You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on emergency vet visits and tests; a nice humidifier, a drop of honey and some fish oil should do just fine.
Cat asthma is a chronic health problem that can’t really be fixed but can be subdued through simple methods to the point the sufferer lives a relaxed, happy life with its human family.