Why Do Cats Pant?

This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links, at no cost to you.

Cat can pant, but for other reasons that dogs normally do. If you’ve ever noticed your cat pants, you might wonder why cats pant and if it’s cause for concern. Panting is a natural behavior that can indicate various things, from simply being hot to having an underlying medical issue. Keep reading to learn more about why cats pant and when you should be worried about a panting cat. 

Cat Can Pant? 

Just like their canine counterparts, our feline friends will sometimes pant when they become agitated or stressed out. A stressed cat should be placed in a cat carrier or kennel where it can calm down and feel safe. This is because rapid breathing helps them cool down quickly in the face of fear or excitement—which is why you might see your cat panting after an intense play session or during a thunderstorm. Panting can also signify problems with the respiratory system, such as asthma or chronic bronchitis, so it’s essential to watch for any other signs that something might be wrong with your cat’s health. Cat asthma may sound odd, but an asthma attack is definitely something that can happen. Always keep an eye out, especially if you have older cats. A trip to the vet’s office may be necessary.

Cats can also pant if they get too hot. While cats generally prefer warm temperatures, they don’t do well in extreme heat and humidity. If you notice your cat panting more than usual on hot days, make sure to provide plenty of fresh water and shade for them to cool off in. If the problem persists, consider consulting your vet about other ways to keep your cat comfortable during hot weather. 

Cats also tend to pant when they get excited or anxious about something—such as an impending vet visit or car ride—which can actually be beneficial since it helps them regulate their emotions better than if they were just left to their own devices. That said, it’s essential to keep an eye on your cat during these situations and make sure that their breathing returns to normal once the situation has passed.  

Other Reasons Why Cats Pant 

In rare cases, cats may also exhibit signs of distress, such as panting after being exposed to certain toxins (such as antifreeze) or during periods of extreme excitement (such as during playtime). If your cat begins showing signs of distress after being exposed to a toxin or experiencing an intense emotion (e.g., fear), it is vital that you seek veterinary care right away before any further damage is done. 

Cats may also start panting due to changes in their environment (such as moving into a new home) or being around unfamiliar people or animals. If this is the case, providing your cat with a safe place to relax and feel comfortable can help reduce their anxiety levels and stop them from panting. 

The Difference Between Dog and Cat Panting 

Cats and dogs both pant for the same reason—to cool themselves down. However, there are some critical differences between dog and cat panting. For one thing, cats don’t sweat as dogs do. In fact, cats only have sweat glands on their paw pads, which makes them rely heavily on other methods to regulate their body temperature—like panting.  As such, cats will start to pant far less frequently than dogs due to their cooling mechanism being less efficient than that of a canine. That said, if you ever see your cat start to pant heavily or more often than usual, it could indicate medical conditions of some kind. 

What To Do If Your Cat Is Panting Too Much? 

If you think your cat is panting more than normal, first make sure that they are not in any immediate danger from being too hot or exposed to stressors like loud noises or unfamiliar people/pets. There can be a different, underlying cause of your cat suddenly having difficulty breathing. Determining any stressors or causes is essential. Once you’ve determined that everything is okay in the short term, it’s time to take action so that your cat won’t be overly stressed or hot again anytime soon! Ensure your home is kept at an appropriate temperature for your cat—not too hot or too cold—and provide plenty of space for your cat if there seem to be too many animals/people around for them to feel comfortable. A cool place or cooler location if outdoors can be helpful in figuring out if your cat’s heavy breathing is a normal response or due to a problem. Additionally, providing plenty of hiding places and comforting items such as scratching posts and calming treats can help keep stress levels low even during times of transition when things seem chaotic in the home environment.  

When Should I Be Worried? 

Most of the time, cats only need to pant to cool down during the summer months or when they are in a stressful situation. However, if you notice your cat is panting excessively or out of context (like during cold weather), it could signal an underlying problem that needs attention from your veterinarian right away. It’s also important to monitor other signs of distress like excessive salivation, vomiting/diarrhea, and lethargy/lack of energy. These signs, coupled with excessive panting, could mean that something more serious is happening with your cat, and they need medical attention ASAP! Regular vet visits can help identify respiratory issues, heart problems, or other medical issues. A veterinary hospital should be able to help come up with a treatment plan and treatment options.

Always Pay Attention

Panting in cats is often associated with stress; however, there are other reasons why cats may exhibit this behavior, too—including overexertion during physical activities or extreme temperatures (both hot and cold). Ultimately, if your cat is panting persistently or excessively due to any cause whatsoever, then you should take them to visit their veterinarian for a further evaluation immediately. Taking steps to ensure your cat stays cool during hot weather can help prevent episodes of uncontrollable panting too! Learning about why cats need to pant can help dog owners and other pet enthusiasts better understand their feline companions’ needs in order to keep them happy and healthy for years to come!