Unlike some pedigree cat breeds, ragdoll cats are generally quite healthy and free from disease. But, are ragdoll cats prone to asthma or any other health problems? Let’s find out!
What Is Asthma In Cats?
Before we delve into whether ragdoll cats are prone to asthma, first let’s take a look at what feline asthma actually is. Feline asthma is a respiratory problem of cats, which is very similar to asthma in humans.
When a cat has asthma, it will suffer from breathing difficulties caused by an allergic response to airborne particles. These particles, which can be dust, mold, or pollen spores, are inhaled by the cat. In a healthy cat, this wouldn’t cause any problems, but in a cat, with asthma, an abnormal response is triggered.
The immune system of a cat with asthma incorrectly identifies these inhaled spores as dangerous foreign objects. This hypersensitivity leads to an exaggerated immune response, also known as an allergic reaction.
This allergic reaction causes narrowing of the airways and difficulty breathing. It takes only a tiny amount of allergen to trigger an allergic response and cause an asthma attack. Asthma in cats is a debilitating disease, but with the correct medication and management, these cats can live long and happy life.
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Are Ragdoll Cats Prone To Asthma?
Ragdoll cats can develop asthma, but they are no more likely to develop this disease than most other breeds of cats. In fact, the two cat breeds that are most prone to asthma are the Siamese and Himalayan, not the ragdoll.
Asthma in cats is not breeding specific, and cats of any breed type, color, or age can develop this disease. This means that your ragdoll could be prone to asthma, but no more so than the crossbreed cat living next door.
There is one factor that makes ragdoll cats more likely to develop asthma, and that is their living conditions. Ragdoll cats are commonly kept as house cats, and may not have as much access to fresh air as a cat that is allowed to roam outside. A common trigger for asthma in cats is household spores such as dust mites.
So, if your ragdoll cat is an inside cat, it makes sense to try and limit the exposure to potential allergens as much as possible. Vacuum areas where spores can accumulate, such as carpets and under furniture, and keep the house well ventilated at all times. If your cat is allergic to pollen, avoid bringing flowers into the house.
Do Ragdoll Cats Have Breathing Problems?
Like all cats, ragdoll cats may be prone to some diseases which can lead to breathing problems. Some of these are widespread amongst all felines, whilst others are more likely in ragdoll cats than other breeds.
Luckily, the most common diseases that cause breathing problems in cats, such as feline influenza, can be prevented by vaccination. Following a recommended vaccination protocol can help prevent these diseases.
Around 30% of ragdoll cats also have a genetic predisposition to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This can lead to heart failure at a young age, and one of the main symptoms is breathing problems. Cats with this condition will require lifelong medication as it is not curable.
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What Other Diseases Are Ragdoll Cats Prone To?
Like most long-haired breeds of cats, ragdolls are prone to getting hairballs. This occurs when the cat self-grooms and ingests large amounts of hair. These bowls of hair are normally vomited up but occasionally can cause a more severe blockage in the gastrointestinal tract.
Due to their relaxed and laid-back attitude, ragdoll cats are also prone to obesity. They can be playful but often prefer to laze around with their owners. If you have a ragdoll cat in your family, it is important to monitor its weight carefully and encourage it to play and exercise as much as possible.
Another problem commonly seen in ragdoll cats is urinary tract issues, such as cystitis and bladder stones. Cats that live solely indoors are more prone to urinary tract problems than those with access to the outside world. Urinary tract problems in cats can be a medical emergency, so it is important to monitor your cats’ urine output carefully.
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Summary – Are Ragdoll Cats Prone To Asthma?
So, as we have learned, ragdoll cats are prone to asthma, but the same applies to any breed or type of cat. Ragdolls are not more likely to get asthma than most other cat breeds, but some ragdoll cats will develop this lifelong respiratory condition. Asthma in cats can be debilitating, but with the correct medication and management strategies, cats with asthma can live long and happy life.
Do you have a ragdoll cat that regularly suffers from breathing problems? Or perhaps you’ve got some questions about the best way to care for a cat with asthma? Leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you!
What illnesses are Ragdoll cats prone to?
Ragdoll cats are prone to the same infectious diseases as all other cats, and should be vaccinated according to your local veterinary clinics vaccination protocol. Some ragdoll cats also carry a gene that predisposes them to a form of heart disease that can lead to heart failure at a young age.
Do Ragdolls have breathing issues?
Ragdoll cats can have breathing issues that are linked to a genetic form of heart disease, or alternatively due to a form of feline asthma.
Do Ragdolls get sick easily?
Ragdoll cats are generally a robust and healthy breed of cat that does not commonly get sick easily. Like all cats, they are susceptible to infectious diseases, and are also genetically predisposed to certain debilitating cardiovascular health problems.
Why is my Ragdoll breathing heavy?
Your ragdoll might be breathing heavily for a simple reason, such as overexertion or stress. However, if your cat's breathing does not quickly return to normal or you find that he often has difficulty breathing, it is vital to seek veterinary advice.