Why is my cat panting?
Unlike dogs, cats do not pant rapidly to cool down. So if your cat is panting, it’s not normal, and almost always a cause for concern.
A cat’s normal breathing rhythm should be smooth and unlaboured. Cats only breathe hard with their mouths open when they are very stressed, extremely hot, or a disease process is occurring.
Is your cat older than most of the neighbourhood kids? 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 both visit your local Greencross Vets as soon as possible for an evaluation and stabilisation. Tests may include blood evaluation to check for heartworm, infections, anaemia and diabetes, as well as a chest ultrasound or x-rays to check for fluid around the heart and lungs or any sinister masses.
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.