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.
Non Health-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 isn’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 is a car ride, or coming to a new place. The painting should subside when the ride is over or when they’re returned somewhere safe that they know.
Potentially Dangerous Causes for Cat Panting
There is a plethora of disorders and maladies that can cause panting. These include:
- Low blood oxygen levels
- Hydrothorax (fluid in the lungs)
- Respiratory complications
- And others
These are unfortunately quite hard to determine all on your own, since many don’t display many outward symptoms aside from panting, listlessness, or panic. However there are ways to determine when you need to call a vet.
Assessing the Threat
- If your cat’s breathing becomes shallow, the panting is very loud or raspy, or is very rapid
- Exhaustion, tiredness, and loss of appetite are all major concerns
- If your cat pants frequently on and off
- A hiding cat is often in 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
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. Our number is 301-228-0681, and emergency calls are welcome during business hours.