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Why Do Cats Pant?

Even though panting in dogs is quite normal because they are trying to cool down, it is not the same for cats. It is because panting in cats can be normal while at other times, it may be a sign of an existing condition that may require immediate veterinary care. Therefore, you are required to examine what your cat was doing before you noticed that it was panting. Like dogs, cats may also pant when anxious, overheated, stressed, or after strenuous exercises. However, this panting should resolve or stop after the cat has cooled down or is resting. It is also important to note that this kind of panting is very rare in cats than dogs. Therefore if you are not sure what your cat was doing before you saw it panting, you are supposed to visit your veterinarian.

When are you supposed to be concerned about your cat’s panting?

An explanation should always accompany why your cat was panting. For instance, if your cat pants after being active in a hot room, it is because it is trying to cool down. The same case occurs when anxious, especially when you are getting in a vehicle or during vet visits. Therefore if your cat is panting without any reason, you are advised to watch him closely because spontaneous panting could be a sign of a severe illness. You are encouraged to consult or contact your vet if the cat’s panting is accompanied by the following symptoms: heavy drooling, bleeding from the nose, bright red tongue, lethargy/ weakness, diarrhoea, or vomiting.

Medical concerns that are related to panting

Panting can be the first sign of some serious medical conditions that may require urgent veterinary care. Therefore panting can be a symptom of many cat ailments like bronchitis, asthma, pleural effusion, among many others. If the panting gets prolonged, you may perform some tests to help him develop a diagnosis. Some of the tests that can be done include blood tests, heartworm testing, EEG, ultrasound, and other tests that your vet thinks are necessary. However, if you think your cat might be panting because it is boiling, you should observe keenly for symptoms of heatstroke. But if it is on a hot day and your cat is in the sun, you are supposed to move to a more relaxed place. In most cases, gums, bright red tongue, lethargy, vomiting may all indicate that your cat is still suffering from heat stress; therefore, you are supposed to focus on cooling it immediately.

cat panting

Some possible causes of panting

Several disorders can make your cat pant, and they include infection, heartworms, fever, respiratory complications, and hydrothorax or low blood oxygen levels.

What to do if your cat is panting because of overexertion or stress

If your cat is panting because of overextension because it was walking and enjoyed it to the extent that it got tired, you are required to calm it down by using a safe spot. Therefore when taking your walk with your cat, you are required to have a cat stroller or cat backpack to give you a place if your cat gets tired or scared. Similarly, if your cat is very hot because of the long walk, you are advised to cool him as a way of enabling it to calm down and get relaxed.

However, if your cat is panting because it is in distress, you are recommended to be calm and not get stressed because the cat can read that you are also stressed and thus add on to their stress. Therefore you are supposed to identify what is stressing your cat and remove it to make them feel more comfortable. You can also reassure your cat that they will be okay because you will stress them anymore. If you are travelling or walking, you can also decide to return home so that the cat can be in a place they are familiar with and more comfortable staying.

Some of the signs of trouble you should observe as your cat is panting

They include:

  • Your cat breathing using its abdomen, where the chest expands and expands powerfully to expel out air.
  • Pale gums a sign of poor circulation which may be due to shock, anaemia, or heart failure
  • Exercise intolerance where the cat cannot take daily exercises.
  • Rapid shallow breaths.

In summary, if your cat is panting, the article above has highlighted when it is normal, abnormal, and some of the danger signs you can observe that might indicate your cat is suffering from a severe condition

Categories: Cats

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