Panting - Cats>
Are Cats Supposed to Pant?
Cats do not usually pant, though this behavior is not always a cause for concern. For some cats, panting is how they cool down after exercise and play. In others, it’s a sign of stress. Panting or labored breathing can also indicate respiratory or cardiovascular health problems in your kitty. If you are worried about your pet panting, take them to an Animal Wellness Center veterinary clinic for a checkup.
Panting from Stress and Anxiety
Cats can be easily stressed out by changes to their routine. Having visitors over, moving to a new home, or adding a new pet to the household can all cause your cat to feel anxious. Their panting is similar to a human hyperventilating during a panic attack. Monitor your cat once the source of stress is gone to ensure they return to breathing normally. A big change like a new home or pet may take a few days of adjustment. There are many treats, toys, and methods for helping your cat stay calm during times of change. Our vets will be happy to recommend tactics for keeping your kitty comfortable during stressful situations.
Feline Respiratory and Cardiovascular Problems
Issues with the heart and lungs can cause your pet to start panting as they struggle to breathe normally. There are many severe medical problems which directly affect the airways. If your cat is panting due to respiratory issues, they may also cough, lose their appetite, and have problems eliminating.
Other symptoms of cardiovascular diseases include:
- Low appetite
- Abnormal heartbeat
Heartworms in Cats
Despite the name, heartworms reside in the lungs and can cause respiratory issues leading to panting and frequent vomiting. Fortunately, heartworm is rare in felines. An examination by the veterinarians of Animal Wellness Center will determine if your kitty has heartworms and how to best manage your cat’s symptoms. Heartworm can be fatal, which is why we recommend annual preventative treatment for all pets.
Overheating or Fever
While dogs pant to cool down, this behavior is rare in cats. Yet many pet owners have noticed their cats panting after a long play session. In these situations, panting is likely just a quirk your kitty uses to stay cool and catch their breath.
However, panting can indicate your cat is overheated as a result of high temperatures or a fever. If they are allowed outside without access to shade or water, they can quickly overheat. Untreated fevers will continue to grow as your kitty’s immune system fights off their illness. In each case, a trip to Animal Wellness Center is the first step to cooling down your kitty safely. Our advanced medical technology makes diagnosing disease faster than ever, letting us quickly start treatment of heatstroke and infection.
How to Treat Panting Cats
Temporary panting after play or a stressful situation should not be a cause for concern. Panting from stress will likely pass on its own. If your kitty begins panting while you play, stop until they are breathing normally. This should only take a few minutes.
If your cat has been panting and experiencing other symptoms like lethargy or trouble eating, bring them to Animal Wellness Center in Waukesha, Burlington, Oak Creek, or Fond du Lac for an exam. We use the latest veterinary technology to determine the underlying cause of their breathing difficulties. We then devise a treatment plan based on their diagnosis.