Cat Panting: These Are the Causes

Cats usually pant for harmless reasons, but panting can also be a serious symptom of illness. Read here why cats pant and when the cat should be taken to the vet.

A panting cat is a rare sight and very worrying for many cat owners. The panting usually has very simple reasons and calms down again after a few minutes. However, if the cat is panting frequently or for no apparent reason, it should be taken to a veterinarian. If there is a suspicion of shortness of breath, it must be done quickly.

When Do Cats Pant?

What to do if the cat is panting Cats pant for mostly harmless reasons. As soon as the cat calms down and the cause has been eliminated, it will stop panting. Typical causes can be:

  • Cat panting in high heat.
  • Cat panting after playing and romping.
  • Cat panting when excited and stressed, e.g. when transporting a car.

If any of these conditions apply, calm the cat down and see if it stops panting once it relaxes a little. If heat is the trigger for panting, arrange for the cat to retreat to a cooler, shady spot. Otherwise there is a risk of heat stroke.

Cat Panting For No Apparent Reason

If the cat is panting frequently or for no apparent reason, it should be taken to a veterinarian. Panting can also be a symptom of cardiovascular problems. If you suspect shortness of breath, you should contact an emergency veterinarian immediately.

Recognize Shortness of Breath: Panting Or Mouth Breathing

When panting, the cat does not breathe. Only the upper airways are ventilated, but there is no air exchange. The evaporation, which occurs through panting on the mucous membranes, ensures cooling.

With mouth breathing, the cat breathes through the open mouth instead of through the nose. If so, she is likely to be having trouble breathing and should be taken to a veterinarian immediately.

Cat Leaves Its Mouth Open

If the cat remains motionless with its mouth open and maybe also sticks out its tongue a little, there is no reason to worry. Through the Jacobson’s organ, which is located in the cat’s palate, cats smell scents even more intensively than when breathing through the nose.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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