Unlike dogs, cats do not pant rapidly to cool down. So if your cat is panting, it’s not normal. Panting in cats is almost always a cause for concern.
What does it mean if my cat is panting?
A cat’s normal breathing rhythm should be smooth and unlaboured. Panting is usually a sign that something isn’t right with your cat. Cats only breathe hard with their mouths open when they are very stressed, extremely hot, or a disease process is occurring.
There are plenty of senior cat conditions that could bring on a sudden bout of laborious panting.
But panting isn’t confined to old age. According to Dr Catheryn Walsh from Greencross Vets Robina Village, serious medical conditions that can bring on panting include heart failure, asthma, cancer, fluid build-up in and around the lungs, bronchitis, pneumonia, or a tumour.
Regardless of the cause, if your cat is panting, it’s important you visit your local Greencross Vets immediately. Tests may include blood evaluation to check for heartworm, infections, anaemia and diabetes. A chest ultrasound or X-rays may be carried out to check for fluid around the heart and lungs.
In the meantime…
There isn’t a whole lot you can do at home for a panting cat, although Dr Walsh recommends the following quick tips while preparing to go to the vet.
- keep both the cat and yourself calm
- if you think your cat has overheated, moisten the feet and ears with a cool, wet towel
- do not give your cat any food or water by mouth
Always consult your local Greencross Vets if you are worried about symptoms in your pet.