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Why Is My Cat Panting? Should I Worry About It?

Why Is My Cat Panting? Should I Worry About It?

As a cat owner, I’m sure you probably spend a lot of time worrying about something unusual you’ve noticed about your cat. Since you’re here now, today you’re looking for the answer to “Why is my cat panting?”

I know that it sounds scary and you probably jump to conclusions whenever you think there’s something serious going on. Trust me, I understand you completely because not so long ago, I was in your shoes and I wanted to find the answers to the same question.

It was so scary to see my kitty breathing heavily and coughing more than usual. I didn’t know what to do so I called multiple vets and described her behavior. They told me all the possible reasons why she was behaving like that and I made a list of them so I can help anyone who needs these answers.

You’re probably very anxious to hear the answers so I don’t want to keep you waiting any longer. Here’s everything you need to know about cats’ panting. Let’s check it out!

What is panting, and how to know something’s off?

Why Is My Cat Panting? Should I Worry About It?

It’s totally normal to see a cat panting from time to time. Just like dogs, they can pant after their playtime or when they are nervous and uneasy. However, if you think it’s happening a lot more than it should be, then it’s likely that something else is hiding behind her unusual behavior.

It could be one of the more serious issues, but it’s also possible that you’re dealing with an easily solvable problem that doesn’t need to keep you up at night.

To help you figure out whether her panting is normal at that moment, or it’s actually a problem, I’ll give you a list of symptoms that usually go along with the “problematic” panting. Let’s take a look at them.

Constantly feeling tired.

Loss of interest in her favorite activities.

Refusing to eat.

Hiding from you and other people.

Coughing a lot.

A bluish tint on her gums.

If you notice these symptoms and they last for some time, then I advise you to contact your vet as soon as possible. That way, they will be able to give a correct diagnosis and give the best treatment if it’s needed.

Why is my cat panting?

Now you know how to notice your cat’s breathing isn’t normal and you’re ready to find the answers to why she’s doing that. Just like always, there are multiple possible reasons for her unusual behavior. But don’t worry, I prepared all of them!

You will see that some of them aren’t scary at all, but there are still a few possible issues that require professional help. However, the good thing is that they can all be treated if you react on time. The most important thing is to notice the problem and contact a vet quickly! So let’s see the possibilities.

1) She might be dealing with heartworms

Have you ever heard of heartworms? Those are tiny parasites, but don’t let their size fool you. They are actually very powerful and they can affect your feline’s lungs and heart.

The main symptoms you will notice if they attack her are coughing, panting, loss of appetite, and wheezing. If you notice these symptoms and you react quickly, then you shouldn’t worry. However, always keep in mind this possibility as it can get serious if you don’t call a vet on time.

2) Anemia

Unfortunately, we aren’t the only ones who have to deal with anemia. Cats can also get it and it could be one of the reasons she is panting.

Red blood cells are in charge of bringing oxygen to every part of her body. And if she doesn’t have enough oxygen, it’s likely that she will pant or seem more lethargic than usual.

3) It might be asthma

Another problem that is common for both humans and cats is asthma. We all know that asthma makes your breathing more difficult and therefore, it’s logical that some panting will come along.

Feline asthma is very similar to ours, especially when it comes to its triggers. It is mostly caused by stress or different allergens.

4) She might be in pain

Sometimes when we are in pain but we don’t want other people to know, we try to stay as quiet as possible. However, if we’re really hurting, our breathing will change and people will easily notice that we’re panting.

The same goes for our kitties. So if you notice she’s struggling, it would be a good idea to check whether she has some visible injuries. If not, then I suggest you take her to the vet.

5) She’s anxious and stressed

Why Is My Cat Panting? Should I Worry About It?

Another issue that’s common for both of us is anxiety. Cats get scared easily and there is nothing they fear more than being someone’s prey.

If something scared your cat, then you shouldn’t be surprised to see her panting. When you think about it, you realize that we actually do the same thing when something stresses us out.

6) Heart problems

Unfortunately, heart problems are very common when it comes to cats. The worst thing about it is that it can sometimes go completely unnoticed until it reaches a critical point.

However, if you notice that panting was combined with the loss of appetite, lethargy, sweating, and coughing, then I suggest you ask for professional help. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

7) She might have the flu

And finally, she might just have the flu. Some of the most common symptoms are coughing, wheezing, and panting. Luckily, it’s easily treated and it shouldn’t last for more than a week.

How to diagnose and treat the issue?

As you could see, there are many possible reasons behind your cat’s panting. Therefore, there are also many different diagnoses and treatments that exist. Of course, it all depends on what your kitty is actually dealing with.

If your feline is suffering from respiratory distress, then the vet will put her on oxygen. They will do that only so she calms down more easily. Then all the exams can be performed without any complications. Cats get stressed easily, so this is a good way to stop that.

Some of the most important tests include a thorough examination of her lungs and heart. But it’s also likely that a vet will want to take an X-ray because it can easily point out a more serious problem.

Let’s say that the vet discovered a fluid buildup somewhere in your feline’s chest. If that’s the case, the vet will remove it by using a needle and that will also prevent it from appearing again. Unfortunately, no one can be 100% sure that it will never accumulate again.

The most important thing for the vet is to get your cat to eat and drink on her own again. If the condition is serious, then it’s likely that your feline will need to stay hospitalized for a few days.

But don’t worry. That’s only so she can receive intravenous fluids and the medication she needs. And depending on the problem she is dealing with, the vet will decide whether there’s a need for long-term oxygen therapy or not.

How to calm my panting cat down?

Why Is My Cat Panting? Should I Worry About It?

As I’ve already mentioned, cats get stressed and scared easily. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for them to try and hide their illnesses or the fact that something hurts. They are smart, so they know that if something’s wrong with them there is a trip to the vet coming up.

And just like us, they don’t really feel happy about going there. However, it’s also possible that your kitty got stressed because of something completely different, which can also affect her health. How? That’s because she will find it difficult to breathe.

The best thing you can do to help her calm down is to stop and think, “Okay, why is my cat panting?” If you think it’s only because she’s anxious, then you should help her find a comfortable spot in which she will be able to relax. You can also bring her her favorite toy to make her feel safe.

Here are a few more things that I like to do when my kitties are struggling to breathe normally:

Try to keep your calm. If your cat sees you’re freaking out, she will feel even more anxious than before.

Don’t try to feed her or give her water. It’s not the best time to do so!

It’s possible that your cat is panting because she’s overheating. If that’s the case then try to moisten her feet and ears. The best thing you can use is a wet towel. It works well for me every time.

You can give her a fluffy blanket, it will help her calm down. Especially if it’s full of your scent!

However, if nothing is helping her breathe normally, then it’s best you contact a professional.

Final words

And we’ve reached the end of our journey. Now you know why is your cat panting and I hope that you will be able to sleep better tonight. Always keep in mind that the most important thing is to react on time. And if you do, you can easily tackle almost any problem!

Therefore, always pay attention to your kitty and make sure you contact your vet as soon as you notice some unusual things. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Good luck!

Why Is My Cat Panting? Should I Worry About It?