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Panting in Cats

Panting is very rare in cats. It is often a sign of a serious problem.

Common Causes

More common causes are listed first. Less common causes are listed later.

  • Extreme heat can cause panting in cats.
  • Extreme stress, fear, or anxiety may lead to panting.
  • Severe pain may cause cats to pant.
  • Respiratory problems (including feline asthma), allergic reactions, or heart conditions may lead to respiratory distress (difficulty breathing) that can look like panting.

Recommended Course of Action

In cats, panting or respiratory distress always should be taken seriously. If no obvious cause for the behavior, such as extreme heat or fear, can be found and eliminated, contact a veterinarian immediately.  The situation should be treated as an emergency.

Copyright © Eric Barchas, DVM All rights reserved.
The contents of this page are provided for general informational purposes only. Under no circumstances should this page be substituted for professional consultation with a veterinarian.