do cats breathe fast when sleeping

While resting or sleeping, your cat may breathe even more slowly (they may also snore). As a general rule, the fewer breaths they take per minute, the better. Some cats may even take fewer than 15 breaths per minute, or one breath every four seconds! That’s absolutely fine, as long as your cat is otherwise healthy.

What to Do If Your Cat is Breathing Fast

After observing your cat for a few hours, if you notice that its breathing is consistently rapid, get in touch with our veterinarian right away so they can advise you on what to do next. Your cat may simply need an adjustment in medications.

A medical emergency may arise if you experience additional symptoms in addition to a faster breathing rate while you sleep or if your symptoms have gotten worse. In this instance, your veterinarian might evaluate your cat’s condition while you’re on the phone and advise you to take your cat to AnimERge or another facility.

Why is my cat breathing fast?

Rapid breathing in cats is also known as tachypnea. Let’s first define what a cat’s normal respiratory rate—or breathing rate—is. They’d usually take between 20 to 30 breaths per minute.

Count the breaths your cat takes while at rest to determine their resting respiration rate. Breathing in occurs when the chest rises, and breathing out occurs when the chest falls. When you count your cat’s breathing rate, it’s crucial that they not be purring. Generally speaking, their breathing rate during sleep is a little slower than it is during rest.

Count the number of breaths that occur during that 30-second period by timing them with a watch or phone. To find out how many breaths your cat takes in a minute, multiply the number of breaths you counted by two.

Should I take my cat to the emergency vet?

Breathing too quickly may indicate a dangerous underlying illness. Since your cat’s health depends on the blood’s proper oxygenation, rapid breathing while at rest is a symptom that should never be disregarded.

If your cat is breathing with a whistling sound or gasping, or if its sides are moving in and out suddenly, get in touch with your veterinarian right away or call the closest animal emergency hospital that is open after hours.


How fast should a cat breathe while sleeping?

What is a normal resting/sleeping breathing rate for dogs and cats? In general, all dogs and cats, with or without heart disease, have a breathing rate of between 15-30 breaths every minute. Lower rates are even possible and are no cause for concern as long as your pet is otherwise healthy.

When should I worry about my cat breathing?

Breathing rate is an indicator of overall health – if your cat is suddenly breathing fast while sleeping (consistently more than 30 breaths per minute), this could be an early clinical sign of heart-failure. Lower rates may be no cause for concern providing your pet is otherwise behaving normally.

Why is my cat breathing fast and purring while sleeping?

Remember that purring can indicate distress as well as happiness. Your cat breathing fast and purring could mean asthma or cardiac disease. Your vet will need to know a thorough history and if your cat is breathing fast but otherwise normal. It’s important that you inform your vet whether your cat is allowed outdoors.

Do cats breathe faster when they purr?

When cats purr, the respiratory rate is increased, and this is normal.