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Is It Normal for Cats to Pant Constantly? What to Look Out For

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Dear VetBabble

Question: My cat is always panting, is this normal? She is an older cat and sometimes seems to be in pain. Are there any possible illnesses that could be causing this, or any other strange behaviors I should watch out for? Should I see a vet?

An Overview of Panting in Cats

Panting in cats is not as common as it is in dogs, and it may sometimes indicate an underlying problem. In this informative article, we will address some of the possible reasons behind your cat’s panting and share tips for helping your feline friend. By understanding and addressing this issue, you can better care for your beloved pet and ensure their health and well-being.

1. Pain and Discomfort

One potential reason for a cat’s panting is pain or discomfort. As your cat has aged, there’s a chance that she is living with arthritis or another ailment that causes pain. Cats are good at concealing their pain, so it’s essential to look for subtle signs that may suggest discomfort. For instance, your cat might be less active than usual, may have difficulty jumping or climbing, or might display a change in appetite. To learn more about arthritis in cats and its symptoms, you can read our article, “Arthritis in Cats”.

If you suspect your cat is in pain, it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian to discuss appropriate pain management strategies and potential treatment options.

2. Gastrointestinal Issues

Another factor in your cat’s panting could be gastrointestinal issues. If your cat is experiencing stomach discomfort or digestive problems, they may pant as a way to cope with the nausea. Additionally, panting could be a sign that your cat is experiencing vomiting, either due to an upset stomach or a more severe medical condition. Our article, “Why is My Cat Vomiting?”, provides valuable information on this common issue and offers tips on when to seek veterinary care.

3. Kidney Disease

Older cats are at a higher risk of developing kidney disease, which can cause a variety of symptoms, including panting. Cats with kidney disease might also drink more water, leading to increased urination. This can result in dehydration, which might explain your cat’s panting as well. To understand more about how kidney disease might be affecting your cat, you can review our article on “Kidney Disease in Cats”.

If you suspect your cat may be suffering from kidney disease, consult with your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Monitoring Your Cat’s Behavior

As a responsible pet owner, it’s essential to monitor your cat’s behavior and report any changes or concerning behaviors to your veterinarian. This could involve watching your cat’s activity levels, appetite, social interactions, and elimination habits. By staying vigilant, you can catch potential health issues early and provide your cat with the best care possible.

If your cat continues to pant or exhibits other behaviors that give you cause for concern, it’s essential to consult your veterinarian. They can help determine the underlying cause and provide proper advice and treatment options specific to your cat’s needs. Be sure to keep an eye on any additional strange behaviors, such as changes in how much your cat drinks water, which we cover in our article, “Why Does My Cat Drink More Water?”.

In conclusion, panting in your cat is not always normal, particularly if you’ve noticed additional changes in her behavior. It’s essential to visit your veterinarian to address any health concerns, manage pain, or treat underlying diseases. As a caring pet owner, your dedication to observing and understanding your cat’s needs will help ensure her comfort and well-being.

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