Cat Panting – Should You be Worried?
You might discover that your cat is panting but is this normal behaviour or should you head straight for the vet’s? Cat’s don’t usually pant but there’s often nothing to worry about. Here are the reasons why they sometimes pant and what you need to do:
Heat and Excitement
Cats sometimes pant after a vigorous bout of exercise in order to cool down. This behaviour is more common in kittens than in adult cats. The panting should stop shortly after the cat begins to rest. Felines also pant when they are too hot. If you believe that your furry friend is panting because they are overheating, do whatever you can to help them cool down. If you are lucky enough to have air conditioning, switch this on. If not, move your cat to the coolest area of your home and give them a damp towel to lie on. If your cat is suffering from heat stress as opposed to simply feeling too hot, you should see your vet immediately. The symptoms of heat stress include drooling, dark red gums, vomiting, diarrhoea, nose bleeds and a bright red tongue.
Stress and Anxiety
Your cat may pant when stressed. Felines, in common with most pets, are creatures of habit and do not relish changes to their routines. Travelling, trips to the vet, loud noises like fireworks and workmen in the house can all cause cats to become anxious. In extreme cases, they may pant for a short period of time but should return to normal when the stressful event is over.
Breathing Issues and heart Conditions
Persistent panting could indicate that your cat is struggling to breath. Respiratory issues such as bronchitis and asthma can cause felines to pant. More worryingly, panting is sometimes a symptom of congestive heart failure. If your cat’s panting doesn’t quickly subside and they have not been exposed to a stressful situation, you should have your cat examined by a vet at the earliest opportunity. Panting for a few minutes shouldn’t concern you but if the panting persists, it warrants further investigation. If your cat is suffering from a serious health issue, they will often be displaying other symptoms including lethargy and a loss of appetite. A vet will be able to listen to their heart and lungs. They may then need to take a chest x-ray or perform an echocardiogram to reach a diagnosis. Panting can be entirely normal, but it may not be, You should always remain vigilante and seek help as soon as possible when you suspect that your pet is struggling.