is it normal for cats to pant

Normal Panting in Cats

Similar to dogs, cats may pant if they are anxious, stressed or overheated. Strenuous exercise may be another cause. Once your cat has had a chance to rest, calm down and cool down, this sort of panting should subside.

6 Common Causes of Cat Panting

6 causes of cat panting include, but aren’t limited to:

Heat is the most common cause of panting in cats. On a hot day, though, cats do not pant as readily as dogs do, so if your cat is panting, you must assist her in cooling down as soon as you can.

A panting cat is likely already very overheated. Move her to a dark, cool room in your home with an air conditioner, a fan, or both. Let your cat rest and try to cool down. If you notice any signs of heatstroke (e.g. difficult or rapid breathing), do not wait to take her to the emergency vet, as this can be a fatal condition.

Cats may pant if they are experiencing pain from any underlying source. Panting from pain is common in animals. Cats experience pain in the same way that humans do—they get sweaty and their heart rate goes up. However, because cats cannot sweat, they must pant.

If you notice your cat panting suddenly without a recognizable cause, look for signs that she might be in pain. Check her body thoroughly and take note of any areas she seems to be guarding or defensive about. Pay attention to her body language and behavior, too.

Many respiratory illnesses and infections can cause cats to pant. Swelling of the nose, wheezing, coughing, and other symptoms resembling human cold or flu symptoms are caused by respiratory illnesses. Your cat may experience difficulty breathing due to any of these symptoms, which may result in panting.

As long as your cat is not having severe breathing difficulties or exhibiting other symptoms of extreme distress, you can take her to your regular veterinarian rather than an emergency veterinarian if you suspect she has a respiratory infection. She’ll probably get medication from the vet to treat the infection.

Asthma is a surprisingly common illness in cats. It frequently inflames the lungs and can trigger violent coughing fits that are challenging for cats to handle. Cats who cough violently may also pant as they struggle to breathe in between coughs.

Take your cat to the emergency veterinarian if she is experiencing her first-ever asthma attack. If her asthma has been diagnosed, treat and manage flare-ups according to your veterinarian’s instructions.

As their condition worsens, cats with congestive heart failure may pant. Cats’ breathing becomes more difficult as their congestive heart failure worsens because of the accumulation of fluid around their hearts and lungs. As this illness nears its end, they might also pant as a result of pain.

Heart failure can manifest in other ways as well, and it’s occasionally linked to heartworm illness. Take your cat to the emergency veterinarian if she starts panting unexpectedly and hasn’t been diagnosed yet.

Ingested or Inhaled Object

A foreign object, like a piece of a toy or an object from around the house, could get stuck in your cat’s airways and cause panting if they swallow it or breathe it in. Your cat will pant due to the object’s presence if it gets lodged in her throat and she is still able to breathe to some extent.

There is an emergency here, so you should go to the emergency veterinarian.

With more than 20 years of experience, Beth Turner is a veterinarian. After earning her degree from North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine, she started working as an associate veterinarian and closely collaborated with the nearby shelter.

2007 saw her realize her dream of opening her own clinic by creating and constructing it. In addition to operating her clinic, she fulfilled a significant role as the county’s shelter veterinarian. This allowed her to work with the rescue she loved and contribute to the betterment of many animal lives in her community. In 2019, she closed her practice to relocate across the nation.

A note for our readers: If you have an urgent question and are unable to ask your veterinarian, you can use the Ask a Vet service that will give you access to a veterinarian for 7 days for $5.

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FAQ

Why is my cat panting with her mouth open?

What does it mean if my cat is panting like a dog? A cat’s normal breathing rhythm should be smooth and unlaboured. Panting is usually a sign that something isn’t right with your cat. Cats only breathe hard with their mouths open when they are very stressed, extremely hot, or a disease process is occurring.

When should I worry about my cat panting?

However, if your cat is panting heavily or the panting is accompanied by other symptoms it can be an indication that there is a more serious underlying health concern. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms: Your cat or kitten’s breathing becomes shallow.

Is it normal for a cat to pant after playing?

Cats will also often pant after play, exercise, or on hot days. Obese cats may be more prone to panting than cats at a normal weight. Panting can also be a symptom of upper and lower airway diseases; lung diseases like pneumonia; cancer; and abdominal distention.

Why is my cat panting while laying down?

If they are lying down, not wanting to move around a lot, and forcing the air by moving their belly muscles in and out at a rate of more than 40 breaths per minute, this is a sign of respiratory distress. If panting continues for more than 5 minutes after the stressful event is over, seek veterinary attention.