There certainly are inhalers if your kitty has asthma. One of my cats has had terrible asthma most of his life (he also wheezed from the day I brought him home from the shelter).
The vet should be able to get a good idea by listening to his lungs. An X-ray can also show if there is congestion or obstruction in the lungs although neither of these methods will tell you why it's there.
Basically, the best way to determine if it's asthma is to treat it like asthma and see if it responds.
You could try working on ruling out allergens but it sounds like that's not really an issue in your house. Wellness IS a good food and it sounds like your cleaning supplies are actually clean!
What about litter? Use a low dust litter - I currently use Swheat Scoop but there are even lower dust litters out there. What you really want to stay away from are those horribly scented ones like Fresh Step - they practically cause ME to wheeze and I don't have to climb in the box with it!
The only other allergens you could check for are in the food. Although you use a good quality food, if your kitty is allergic to fish or wheat products, those products may still be in it. You could try another brand that has an unusual protein source like rabbit and see how he responds. If it helps then you can start introducing other ingredients and see where you end up. I'd stay away from wheat products regardless which means checking the Wellness you buy (only some of theirs are wheat free) and losing the kibble. Kibble is usually mostly grain which many cats are allergic to.
ESPECIALLY if your kitty ends up being on steroids, getting the kibble out of the diet becomes very, VERY important. That situation is a trifecta for urinary tract infections, bladder infections, etc.
- You have a male cat which is more susceptible to these infections by nature of being male
- Steroids can increase the chances of getting these types of infections
- Dry kibble means kitty gets less moisture increasing the chances of getting these types of infections.
One typical treatment for asthma are steroids (usually taken orally). These can have side effects so you don't want your kitty to have to stay on them too long. In many cases though, you can clear up the asthma, taper down the dosage, and end up with a pretty healthy kitty. I was never so fortunate so I have to keep inhalers around for Oscar although I took him off the oral steroids - the side effects with him were quite bad.
The vet may also try an allergy treatment medication like Singulair. This wasn't particularly successful with Oscar but it's worked well with some cats.
That's about it. You should probably try to find a vet who's a little more interested in finding out what's wrong with him. Untreated asthma will shorten his life span unnecessarily.
In Oscar's case, although he's still living, asthma has more or less won.
We reached a point where we decided we were doing too many horrible things to him every day and not getting him any relief. We were giving him shots, pills, and liquid medications every day, having procedure after procedure, and taking him to specialists of every variety and he never improved very much. We finally decided that we'll give him the inhaler when he's struggling but we've taken him off the other meds and stopped taking him in to the vet for that particular problem. This is fairly unusual though - most of the time asthma can be treated very effectively without much trouble to the cat. I wish you the best of luck with yours!
Storm (beeps and has a pink nose and toes),
Misty (with big blue eyes and tasseled ears),
Anya (only ever called Honey - she's that sweet),
Zander (who goes by Punkin' cause he's almost that bright)
Kasee (couch potato who thinks she's a dog)