Cats can pant?

I was giving Signal a good workout with a feather on a string and then a laser pointer tonight. He was going crazy, jumping 4 feet into the air and climbing the walls. Then he started doing something I’ve never seen a cat do before – he started panting. Just like a dog, he stuck out his tongue and breathed heavily. Maybe he’s out of shape, but it sure was weird. It took me quite a while to get a good shot of him to prove it, so I kept having to tire him out again. Maybe he’ll be too tired to wake me up at the crack of dawn tomorrow.

96 Comments

  1. My cat does the same. Not only he pants but sometimes he also starts coughing. I was told long ago it was due to some heart problem. I just try not to push him too hard.

  2. Heck yeah cat’s pant.

    Just like any other animal without sweat glands, it’s how they give off heat. They’re not as good at it as dogs are, so with the exception of cheetahs, they generally don’t push themselves to it all that often. I only know they pant because my Siamese was a touch hyperactive and would usually show up panting his head off.

  3. I have also been having this concern lately…my kitten is only 5 months old and after about 10 minutes of good play he begin to pant….really pant. It worries me, but he runs all day climbing and jumping so he is not in bad shape. This is just a recent development…I know cats sweat through paws…the panting has thrown me off!

  4. Im a 11month old Tabby and my mama and papa think that Im playing too hard because I “pant” . They took away my fishing pole bird feather that smells like heaven and I was NOT happy! Please inform them that panting is normal and that Im not a pussy with a weak heart!
    Mac

  5. I was playing with my cat tonight, with a wand with fleece and a feather on the end. The he started panting and it worried me that he might be having a reaction to it. He is breathing heavy and panting, but he is not swollen, no fever and he is not having problems breathing. It is just rapid and shallow. And he keeps looking at my panting and meowing at me. Should I give it back? I’m glad this site was here, I have never heard of a cat panting before.

  6. Everyone… cat panting is a sign of cat heatstroke if it is coupled with the following:
    – Unable to stand without wobbling or walking unsteadily
    – Coughing and wheezing
    – Distress and gasping for air
    – Gums appear to be darker red than usual.

    When the weather is hot or your cat has been doing excessive exercise, their lack of sweat glands and thick fur coat will obviously have an effect. It is important not to panic when you see your cat pant, but look out for other symptoms of heat stroke. If it is, they should see the vet immediately as it is known to be fatal. A cat panting could also just be because they’re tired and just need to cool down. But excessive panting is a sign of danger and should be checked out by your vet.

  7. Hi All,
    My cat has a severe heart condition and in the hot and humid weather she pants a lot. In my experience, it is not typical for a cat to pant. My cat pants mostly in hot weather, but a good bit of exercise causes her to pant as well.

  8. ok, i found my way here a lil late. $150.00 late! i freaked out when my Sasha Bell went outside, came back in panting like a dog. so i called my vet and of course they said, bring her in NOW. so i did, x-rays were done and found NADA. i was told it isnt common for cats to pant but they do when they are overheated. i guess a long haired, BLACK cat in the summer sun should have tipped the vet off…but i now know its NOT that uncommon!

  9. Just last night I had my Turkish Van Siren running around the apartment with a laser. It was about 85 F outside, and I have air, but it was still warm. After about 15 minutes or so, she started panting and running at the same time. I stopped playing with her, and she laid down. Her head was up and her eyes were alert, and when I called her, she got up and came to me. About 3 minutes later, she would stop panting and breathe normally for a few seconds, then pant a few times, then breathe normally again. I took this as her cooling off because I saw no other signs of heat stroke. She walked confidently and steadily, her gums were pink, and although she was panting, her breathing wasn’t distressed. Being as this was the first time I’d ever seen her full-on pant like that, I watched her. About 10 minutes after she started the whole thing, she was fine. She stood up, walked to her water bowl, got herself some water, then laid in her bed and took a nap.

    No, it’s not common for a cat to pant, but they will if the need arises through vigorous play. While it CAN be a sign of something serious, you shouldn’t panic at the first sign of panting. Watch them, though, and if you observe any of the symptoms that Dora listed, get vet attention. If not, just let the poor little thing cool down an minute and they should be fine.

  10. I just had my cat spayed, on Thurs. July 28th 2005. When I brought her home that night she stayed away from everyone and hid. I let it go being that she had a rabies shot and a shot of pain medicine. On Friday morning she was her usual affectionate self, but meowing constantly. I know she missed me but found it unusual that it was a constant thing, and wouldn’t leave me alone, which is normal but it was more. I started to get worried when she laid with me on the couch and cuddled, where she was on my chest and started to pant. I looked at her belly and it was moving in and out so fast. My husband told me that she went through a horrible expierence being away from us overnight and being somewhere she doesn’t go every day, with strange people etc.. and that she probably is a little overwhelmed. I knew this but still was worried so I called the vet (which is 24 hrs) and asked them. The only info. they could give me over the phone was if she is still panting heavy on a continous basis to bring her in asap. It is now almost 130 in the morning on the 31st and I’m typing this and she is still meowing, but not panting. I want to wait to see if she still does it being it is the first time I have seen it and just calm down. So I’m off to bed and I think that is what she wants me to do. I know she needs her rest , and the special atttention now, so I’m signing off. Goodnight cat lovers………

  11. So this website is scaring me more than i was before! My cat and my friends new kitten were playing hard last night and my Ellie was panting more than every before. She has in the past, but this was pretty bad. AFter reading these comments, it could be a bad heart or parasites? how would you know which one without taking them to the vet! ! now i’m worried. 🙁

  12. My Maine Coon mix kitten who is about six months old has been exhibiting the same symptoms as described here. Minerva will only pant after vigorous play sessions, either with me or with her older brother–Max, also a MC mix and about a year old. Max never panted, but Min will play until she pants; then, she will flop to the floor and make frustrated mewing sounds until she catches her breath enough to keep on playing. I was worried that she might have feline asthma, but she doesn’t wheeze or cough; she only pants when exercising heavily. I do notice that in warmer weather, though, it doesn’t take as long a period of time until the panting begins during play sessions. Of course, when she starts to pant, I stop playing with her so she can cool down, but Max doesn’t know that she should leave Min alone when she’s panting. Min will then be forced (by exhaustion and lack of breath) to lay down until she can catch up to Max. Luckily, nothing more serious has occurred so I am figuring that she’s just more sensitive to heat than Max, as her paw pads become fire hot when she’s having these episodes.

  13. I just adopted a kitten a few weeks ago. A long haired saimese. She pants all the time. I t has been extremely hot lately. Once in a while she coughs. A short cough. I brought her to the vet and she was put on antibiotics. No mucus or any other symptoms. I have never in my life heard of or saw a cat pant. My mother raised Siamese cats all our lives. 51 years of cats and this is the first panter. What tests are done to check for medical problems?

  14. I have three cats and the youngest is only about 1 1/2 years. She’s a bit hefty though, its so hard to control when there are other mouths to feed. Anyway this cat (Sweet) will pant like crazy when she’s out in the yard running around in the heat. This has been an especially hot and humid summer, so I’ve been seeing this quite a bit and have some concern. My initial reaction is that it’s just real hot, she’s a little chubby and she’s still running around like a kitten. So I avoid letting her out in the heat, make sure that at least one room has a/c when I’m at work, and I just keep an eye on her.

    I’m glad this post is available, because I will check it out from time to time. I also plan to discuss Sweet’s panting in a few months when her check up is due. I’ve also gotten some good information from some of the other posts.

  15. i have a three month old siamese, and today i discovered a segment of tapeworm on his tail, so i have an appt. for saturday at the vet. i wasnt worried about him really, because almost every time i adopt or find a kitten, it has tapeworm, and i’ve only had Lestat for a few days. but just now i was playing with him, and he started panting like crazy! i didnt notice any signs of heatstroke, he was otherwise normal. . . except that he doesnt look very happy. could the fact that he has tapeworm cause him to pant excessively? i’ve never heard of that before. i mean, i had cats who would pant in the heat, or in the car, but not after playing for less than ten minutes. and his breathing sounded quite labored, and i’m not sure if he was wheezing or not, but it didnt sound normal. i’ll be sure to bring it up at the vet. should i be worried, though?

  16. Like everyone else…I just recently ran to my computer to look up ” cat panting.” Goblin is a four and a half month old–but good sized–kitten. Black and white with semi-long hair…mama was a maine coon. Well…guess what toy I just introduced to him this morning? A feather toy on a fishing pole. He went nuts over it, zipping in circles around the kitchen and jumping etc…he started making wierd panting huff huff sounds when wrestling with it, but if I stopped motion, he would stop making the sound–so at first I thought maybe he was just making wierd/ agressive play noises(he already is a cat who chirps and trills etc…) Well, we played about ten minutes, and I literally had to pry the toy away from him and hide it……but the panting continued and really worried me for a bit, I was all checking to make sure he did not have a feather in his mouth or something. He is fine now, about a half an hour later, and is sprawled out in front of my little fan on my desk here. This all came after he peeled a Harry Potter sticker off the top of monitorand ate it a couple hours ago. :: shakes head:: There is a reason I named him Goblin instead of the originally intended Rigoletto.
    I am keeping a close eye on him here, and he had some water, so I think he will be okay. there is something else that he does that scares me though…..he twitches really bad in his sleep. In fact, not only does he twitch, but he also tends to sleep with his eyes semi-open, so he can look kind of like he is dead, or having a siezure when he twitches because his eyes will roll and twitch a little too. However, when I reach out and touch him he wakes up instantly, is fine, and grumbles and whines to me, stretches a bit…then goes back to sleep. Even though I have read up that some cats do twitch when they go into a form of REM sleep, and have seen him do it many times….it still freaks me a little. I feel like the mother who wakes the baby all the time to make ” sure”, lol.
    Okay, he is curled up in a ball and starting to sleep now, so going to just let him have his rest and try not get him that worked up again. Thanks all for posting here. Though you can find web pages with heat stroke information etc…it is helpful to have regular people reporting the same kind of incidents.

  17. My kitten is about a few months old, we live in a warm area and have noticed that Cosmo will pant after he runs around, even if it’s in the morning when it’s cooler. But once he’s done he stops. For those who say they are worried, I would recommend contacting a few vets for different opinions and keep in mind many will recommend bringing them in immediately. But this is to cover themselves if something should be wrong. (which is understandable)My theory is if your cat seems fine for the most part then just mention it to the vet at his/her next visit as the kitten should be getting check up visits. From what I have read, I haven’t yet read that a cat pant being anything serious, just something not very common.

  18. You all freak out way too much. It’s August, for crying out loud! My 3-month-old cat Monty insists on following us around the block on our evening walk, and there’s nothing we can do to stop him. It’s hot out. He paw foots along a while then has to sprint occasionally to catch up with us. At the end of the first go-round (1/2 mile) he’s PANTING. Surprise, surprise. He calms down after a bit. It’s all to be expected. No biggie.

    These are animals, folks, with their own internal signal for when to stop. You have to trust that.

  19. It can be a serious concern when a cat pants. Although cats may pant when
    overheated, they may also pant when under stress. I noticed a few writers mentioned they had Maine Coon cats. This breed is known to have a genetic predisposition to HCM or Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. One should be especially concerned when a cat or kitten coughs in conjunction with panting. One should also be concerned when a cat pants in conjunction with an underlying heart murmur. This may be indicative of heart and/or lung disease. My cat often pants after stressful events (seeing the vet). Her sister never pants. The panting cat has a heart murmur – which only recently developed. I am deciding whether or not to follow up with a DVM cardiologist.

    You might want to check out the entires under cardiomyopathy and cardiovascular disease
    at http://www.vetinfo4cats.com/catindex.html

  20. Our little kitten is about 3 1/2 months old. She’s a little black kitten and is usually very active around the house, harrassing our old fat cat. Today, we broke down and bought her some toys since she seems to be getting bored with the other things we have laying around the house. Of course, we got her the fishing pole with the feathers on it and after attempting to make it slowly skip on the ground to little reaction, I started hopping it around. Wow, our little Evelyn started bounding in the air, jumping and sprinting after it like her life depended on it. After a few minutes, probably about 10 or so, she started to pant really badly. Having never had a kitten before (we adopted the older cat) I panicked and became extremely distressed when the panting continued with her breathing being extremely rapid and shallow. She was meowing every once in a while and seemed to be distressed. After a while, probably about 10 to 15 minutes (and also after I overreacted and dipped her in some cold water and wrapped a damp towel around her, to which I have claw marks to show for it) she stopped and is now moving around quite normally. Nothing different and she seems very content and is investigating the now limp feather rod. I’m thankful I found this sight because everything appears to be normal now and I’m going to chock it up as it’s a hot night and she played harder than she ever did before, so most likely it seems she simply overheated, got some rest and a cooldown and got back to normal. I seriously think they should put a warning on that fishing rod with feathers on it saying “CAUTION: Cat may pant in hot weather while using this toy, do not play excessively with it” because that thing gave me a real scare. I’m thankful for everybody’s postings before this, otherwise I’d still be freaking out about it. It’s good to know that other people have seen and experienced this as well without much complications.

  21. Hi!
    I have a long-haired black male cat and when he came inside from outside not a while ago, he was tottaly crazy! He was running around (back and forth down the hallway and EVERYWHERE!) and he was panting! its not hot outside at all…i was wondering….whats the matter? he’s tottaly OFF THE WALL! so…we locked him in the garage…now what?

  22. I have a long haired black kitten – almost 5 months old. My situation is almost exactly like the one Nicodemus describes above.

    He runs around the house full boar and all of a sudden he will stop and lay down and start panitn greally hard. His breathing is not labored – no wheezing or coughing. Then about 15-30 seconds later he is off again running around.

    My vet had a heart ultrasound done to rule out cardiomyopathy abnd everything was fine. He is being neutered on Friday and I just spoke with her cuz he still pants after a hard workout. She said she could do a chest xray just to make sure – there is some sort of herniated diaphragm condition. Probably is nothing but just to be sure. I will post back with an update. 🙂

  23. As someone has already posted, BE CAREFUL and DO WORRY! Heavy panting is not normal at all, no matter how hot it is. Maine Coons, Siamese, Ragdolls, cross breeds — just to name a few — have a predisposition to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is heart failure, and is seen quite often in male cats. My 7-month-old male Ragdoll was just diagnosed on Friday with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. He sometimes pants after 10 minutes of vigorous running, then is fine. He has no other symptoms. Early detection and treatment will give these cats a fighting chance. Most live only two years but in some cases can live as long as four or five years with early diagnosis, treatment, and diet. Better to be safe than sorry; don’t rely on advice and opinions of others who have not consulted with a veterinarian before giving their advice: Please, if you really love your pet, spend the money for an echocardiogram ($300 to $400) if your cat pants! On X-ray and through stethoscope, my baby’s heart seemed normal; with the echo, it wasn’t normal. If you can rule out heart failure, then other underlying causes must be investigated to determine the reason why your cat pants.

  24. My 1 yr. old Maine Coon had a panting/hyperventilation episode yesterday in the car. We had left for a trip (he is normally an excellent traveler–not a peep). Forty five minutes into the ride I notice that he is breathing extremely fast and shallow. It was not especially hot (75 degs) air cond. was on. I thought this might be transitory, and allowed another half hour for symptoms to subside; they didn’t , so we returned home. He was in this panting state for a couple of hours; and when we got home, he was knocked out, seeming to have been through an ordeal. Today he seems fine. I have never seen this in him before. Could stress and emotions of the trip have triggered this? Is hyperventilation and panting a common reaction to panic or stress? Getting him checked out today anyway.

  25. hi, recv’d this site from a client of mine. PLEASE READ OR SCAN. i’ve been a professional catsitter for 5 years. this client found a kitten who is now about 6-7 months old and she has been trying to find a home for her. another client of mine was interested so arrangements were made for them to meet kitten, which was her original name. (if only i had a matchmaker!) after a great amt of playtime, kitten panted heavily, her tongue turning bright red, sticking out dramatically! kitten’s foster parent said she had panted like this once before, a few weeks ago. needless to say, prospective parents were concerned–they have an 8-year-old cat, so they are not first-time parents. i was concerned as well and will tell my personal story with my own kitten’s panting in a few sentences. before prospective parents would consider kitten, kitten was taken to vet for x-ray, ultrasound and tests were normal. prospective parents consequently decided not to adopt kitten as husband was very concerned and fearful of kitten’s health.
    this was background info to my story. i adopted isaac when he was 2 months old and he played with his 6-month-old sister (adopted the same time) like kittens do. at 3 months or so, isaac would stop in his tracks to pant for a few seconds then continue to play, then pant, etc. i became concerned when this “behavior” continued and seemed to get worse. isaac was seen alot by the vet during this time for shots, gastrointestinal and weight issues, neutering. each time vet (diff ones) would listen to isaac’s lungs, heart and say everything sounded normal and also say that alot of kittens pant and they often grow out of it. (my friend’s kitten did the same when he was young.) at one visit, i asked vet to really listen deeply–surprise! this was when “something unusual was heard.” i had informed vets earlier that it sounded like isaac was snoring when he slept and he would “cough.” FAST FORWARD: isaac has FELINE ASTHMA and his panting was him trying to get his breath after playing, his “snoring” sounds was him trying to breathe, much like people who have sleep apnea. his coughing was serious because it is the time that it is the most dificult for him to breathe and could eventually cause his lungs to collapse. initial`ASTHMA diagnosis was made without echo, ultrasound, etc. because with what the vets “now” heard from his lungs and the symptoms i gave, it was a clear case of asthma. TREATMENT: twice daily treatments of albuteral given by a pediatric inhaler over his nose/mouth for a week and then treatment were weaned. he was such a great patient!! he is now only to get his treatment when he coughs (trying to breath) or pants for an extended period. i had to give him his treatment “only” once in the last year. however, he STILL pants and coughs for a short amt of time. who knows what happens when i’m not home!! for issaac and robbi and myself, i bought a super vacuum which picks up dust, dander, etc, unlike any other standard vacuum. i changed litter to wheat-based which is 100% dust-free. i don’t use perfume (never did) or use sprays which could affect ALL OUR BREATHING. ultimately, isaac did have an ultasound and echo about 2 months after initial diagnosis as vets thought they heard fluid around heart. no fluid was seen but the “confirmation” of asthma was made as well as as isaac having an enlarged heart due to his size. he’s a big boy at 2 years old.
    if your vet has ruled out a medical problem, that’s great but PLEASE TAKE YOUR CAT TO VET if your cat’s panting increases or “coughing “continues or see your cat in a crouching position while panting, coughing! she’s not coughing, she’s trying to breathe. i mentioned earlier that i have a friend whose kitten, smokey, also panted–her cat didn’t “grow out of it.” ultrasound determined he had asthma as well!! as you can see, i can go on and on but i hope you got my message. some cats can pant due to the heat, overexertion, etc., and they don’t have a heart or lung problem (like kitten, remember her); some cats can pant and they do( like isaac and smokey). thanks for all your time in reading this long “blog message.”

  26. I’ve had 5 cats over the last couple of years, and I’ve seen a few different forms of panting. Nurgle, who was nearly 10 when he died, had FIV. He died three weeks after diagnosis, in that time he was panting a lot and it was the only sign we had that he was in pain. I guess cats don’t whimper, they just pant and put up with it. Velcro on the other hand, is 7. He’s a big fluffy boy, one of his parents was persian. So he’s got a very thick coat, but also I suspect he’s inherited a tendancy towards heart disease. He pants when he plays, and often has to stop and rest after a couple of minutes. Apart from this he seems fine. My main concern is that the anasthetic our local vets use is known to cause heart failure in susceptible cats so if he ever needs a general I will insist the vets check him out and find an alternative if necessary. Last panting episode was just this morning – Tiger, a robust 3 year old tabby, was demanding to go outside so we put her out in the cat run by herself. 30 mins later she’s wailing to come in – and also panting with huge dilated pupils. So thats how I found my way here – was it heatstroke? No, seems like she’s walking ok and gums look normal – it is cool today but cats can soak up a lot of sun. Best guess is anxiety at being left alone. Normally we would put her and Roddy out together (they fight when they are inside but it seems like the cat run is neutral territory and they don’t fight there). I’ll be watching her to see if she winds down a bit.

  27. Hi all,
    I have a calico-tortie and white, 8 month old female. Whenever she is around any boy cats she pants. Is panting ever associated with any sexual activities? I wanna know if my cat is trying to lure these boys or what….and this only happens when she’s around these boys or if she’s been playing for quite some time…..can anyone shed some light on this? thanks

  28. Hi. I am not a vet, but I am a physiological ecologist who has studied thermoregulation in endotheric homeotherms. Panting is a form of thermoregulation by counter-current exchange by means of evaporative water loss. One interesting fact is that the air flow is unidirectial (air in through the nose and out through the mouth). This unidirectioal flow allows for a quite efficient mechanism for dissipating the heat load from an increase in metabolic activity. One question that I have is when the cat increases the rate of respiration there is a shift to the left in the oxygen dissociation curve, but cats regulate blood pH in order to compensate for the change in blood carbonic acid.
    Thanks Mark…

  29. Hi, I adopted a 2 month old kitten a few months ago, and was told when adopting him that he had a heart murmour. This site has been helpful, as my kitten often(many times in a day) pants. At least I think it is panting, he will run around for not even 5 minutes sometimes then will stop, breath very hard and his stomach will heave in and out. When I first adopted him, this only happened maybe once a day that I noticed. Now it’s happening multiple times a day, at least 5 times. Has anyone had experience with it happening this frequently? Temperature is not a problem as I live northern Canada.

  30. Hi, well i’m in Sydney Australia and today we had the hottest January 1 (about 45-48 degrees celcius) ever. Went to my parents house an hour ago to find my mum’s cat panting very heavily.

    I’m one to panic so have now locked her in the coolest room I could find after putting her feet and tummy in cool water and giving her iced water to drink. She has been panting for at least the last hour and I will watch her for another 1/2 before deciding to bite the bullet and call the vet for a check up or not. She must be overheating (cause the only other time i have seen her pant is when she goes for a car trip – ie stress) and none of my other cats have ever done this before.

    I was hoping to find other ways to cool her down, but will let you know if i find anything else that works well.

    Happy New Year guys (2.15AM)

    Neala

  31. Hey ya’ll.

    I have a ten month old (cat that is) and after play time he pants. I wasn’t really concerned as I assumed it was just him being hot and needing a break from play. (After all, big cats like tigers, leopards etc. pant) However, now I’ve read all the posts on this site and I don’t know what to think! I wish I’d never looked it up! Now I’m paranoid he might have a weak little kitty heart or something… I hope he’s just hot from running around chasing that crazy feather on the string on the pole thing. At least I know I should keep an eye on it now, just in case.

    Cheers!
    Karen.
    Melbourne Australia.

  32. We play with the feather on a fishing pole with our cats, oh my gosh best cat toy ever! One of our cats was slightly over weight and would just bat at it but now with just over a week of feather play he’s looking much better, jumps higher, and plays more even without the feather. We told our vet about it when we took them in for routine shots and her answer? She makes her fat kitty chase the same type of feather toy until he pants each night to make sure he’s getting some exercise. I hadn’t seen a cat pant before, but my bf had and the vet does it to her cat. I imagine you give a cat good exercise, they get wound up and pant. If they pant as a response to stress, they will to exertion as well. The bodies response isn’t that different to either.

    However, by no means do I mean to trivialize panting. I imagine if your cat is healthy its no big thing, just let them rest when they get that worked up, but if you aren’t sure, always ALWAYS take your furry buddy to a vet. Better safe than sorry.

  33. I have to thank everyone. I was so concerned about my kitten Beckham. Named, after the soccer player ( he plays with a ball like no other, my kitten) But his panting was really disturbing me. I feel a lil better after reading everyones input, but i still think i will bring it up with my vet. It was just so wierd to see our new kitten pant. But our other kitty is an outdoor “tiger” and he’s 8 years old- so i could just be outta kitty conduct shape.. Thanks.

  34. I bought my 5 month-old kitten the fishing pole with a feather on it on my way home from work tonight and we played with it like crazy for about 10 minutes. When we stopped, he started panting for breath–I thought I’d killed him and almost called 911! He’s back to normal now, like it never happened. Thanks to everyone for sharing your stories. I may actually get some sleep tonight. We do love our little ones, don’t we?

  35. I was just playing with my cat with a torch and have done the same with a laser pointer, he was goin insane, jumping and everything, he started panting very heavily and LUCKILY i caught sum great shots and even a great clear video of him panting away just like a dog

    HERE IS A GREAT FACT – cats do sweat, they infact sweat through their paws so next time u make him go wild and he starts panting you just feel his paw pads,

    FEEL FREE TO EMAIL ME FOR VIDEO OR PICTURES OR ANY QUESTIONS

  36. My cat, Pixel, had an extreme panting episode while at the veterinarian’s office yesterday. It appeared to be caused by anxiety. My vet was very concerned and advised that we stay at the office (in a quiet dark room) until Pixel calmed down. It took more than a half an hour before Pixel was able to stop panting and start breathing normally. He would pant, then try to slow his breathing down, then start panting all over again. His eyes were dilated, his tongue, gums and ears were bright red. He even vomited white frothy foam a few times during this episode. My vet stated that it is NOT normal for cat’s to pant and he has even seen a cat die from panting like that! I have had a cat with congestive heart failure and he would breath rapidly, but not pant. I have seen cat’s breathe with their mouth’s open in excessive heat, but even though they were breathing more rapidly thank usual, it’s not panting. I wasn’t concerned at first when Pixel started panting because I just figured he was having an anxiety attack, but when I saw how alarmed my vet was, I got really scared. My advice, if your cat is panting for more than a few minutes and you can’t attribute it to exercise, call your vet. At least have them checked for heart disease – which, unfortunately, is common in cats. My vet ultimately gave Pixel a shot a valium to calm him, then proceeded with the exam. It was a very scary episode!

  37. I don’t know who Jeff Boultrer is..but thanks to all these replies on his weblog, I feel a little better…..I guess.
    My Maine Coon cat is already huge and 6 months old. He pants nearly each time we play “da bird” (the feather on a fishing pole). He has always growled like a dog with this toy..so we figured the panting might be some sort of predatory “thing”. We told our vet about it today (just there to get the FIV booster) and she seemed a tad concerned. She said to watch him and consider possibly seeing a feline cardiologist if it worsens, etcetera. Well, I just don’t know now, reading all these posts. I certainly do worry over him–! I’d hate to stop playing with him–he lives for those play times!

  38. I have two kittens,brother and sister and the are 10 months old. they are very active and we live in a warm climate, they pant to cool them selves off. they love to chase the goffers in the fiels beside our house and will return to pant and lay on the basement floor(concrete) to cool off and all is well in avery short time. Don’t worry this is natural, look ant the big cats in the desserts they all pant to cool down. K

  39. This is in response to Patti, I have a Maine Coon and he has a heart murmur. Maine Coons are predisposed to cardiomyopathy, so you’re vet was correct. You may need to consult a veterinary cardiologist. I don’t want to scare you though.

  40. I have a 10 month old long haired grey tabby. He tore out the window screen today and got outside for the first time. It is 32 celsius out there, and he came in panting like crazy. I wrapped him in a wet towel and that helped cool him down. Now if I could just get him to stop begging to go outside…

  41. My long haired cat went to the vet the other day with panting, but it wasn’t just the panting that sent us there. He pants a lot after playing outside, but this was different. His tongue hung way out, it was very red, and most importantly, he was scared. He ran around as if he was scared of something. At the vet, his temp was over 104. They put him into an oxygen cage with ice. x-rays showed his heart was ok, but the vet says she sees this in cats with heartworms and asthma. Heartworms can cause sudden death. Or, the cat may have just been overheated. Don’t assume your long-haired cat will come in on a hot day in time to cool off! Watch them for signs of distress.

  42. My wife and I went camping over this last week and left our 3 yr. old, ‘Da Bitty’ at my brothers house. Every time he’s been in the car, it’s been to the vet for neutering, shot’s etc… so never the less he was scared, and was panting…
    To make a long story short…
    He’s fine!!! Panting is still there, and he’s missing a leg now but we all deal with stress in our own ways… We now refer to him as, ‘Tri-Bitty’ and the name hasn’t ‘sunk in’ for him yet. Any suggestions? Are names and panting somehow connected? Will ‘Tri-Bitty’ stop shitting on that one good leg?

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