Why Is My Cat Panting?
While most of us are surely used to the image of a dog panting, it’s one we don’t readily associate with cats. That’s because our kitties usually keep cool by licking their fur and sweating from the pads of their paws. Seeing your cat huffing and puffing, mouth open, might raise an alarm in your head, but don’t panic just yet! If your cat is panting there are a few possible culprits.
While cat panting can be a bit scary, there are a few potential causes that are mostly non-threatening overall. Do keep in mind that panting for an excessive period of time is always cause for some alarm or at least attention. If you have any reason to be alarmed or concerned, call your cat vet! Always better safe, and a vet can determine if a visit is necessary.
If you need to schedule an appointment for a cat examination in Frederick County, MD, contact Village Vet of Urbana today.
Non-Health or Life-Threatening Causes
- Overheating. Don’t be too quick to discount the possibility that he or she is just hot. Even though they don’t do it as often as dogs, cats also pant to keep cool, when grooming and paw-sweat just aren’t enough. Ensure they have a cool, dry place to rest, and an ice cube can provide some measure of relief. The cube can be added to the water bowl, given to them for play, or can be rubbed lightly on fur (just be sure to dry them afterward!).
- Stress. Stress can be threatening if the cat remains stressed for too long, so be wary of the time frame. For many pets, the stress may come from a car ride, or coming to a new place. The panting should subside when the ride is over or when they’re returned somewhere safe that they are familiar with.
Potentially Dangerous Disorders & Maladies Causing Cat Panting
There are a number of disorders and maladies that can cause panting in cats. These include:
- Low blood oxygen levels
- Hydrothorax (fluid in the lungs)
- Respiratory complications
- And others
Unfortunately, these are quite hard to determine all on your own, since most of these don’t display any outward symptoms aside from panting, listlessness, or panic. However, there are ways to determine when you need to call a vet.
Assessing the Threat
- Your cat’s breathing becomes shallow, or the panting is loud, raspy, or very rapid
- Exhaustion, tiredness, and loss of appetite
- Your cat pants frequently on and off
- Your cat is hiding (this is often a sign of distress)
- Discoloration of gums
Any of the above are indications of a more serious issue, which should be addressed immediately.
Cat Respiratory & Heart Health with Village Vet of Urbana
At Village Vet of Urbana, we never want you or your cat to deal with stress or fear, so never, ever hesitate to call us right away. We can have your cat in within a moment’s notice, get him or her on oxygen to calm them, and assess the issue from there.
For cat vet care in Frederick County, MD, call (301) 228-0681. Emergency calls are welcome during business hours.