Have you ever heard your cat breathing hard? What does it mean and can there be any problems? Let’s see what happens when the cat breathes badly and how to move if it happens.
How the cat normally breathes
How to breathe the cat, what is your normal breathing? These are some of the questions that we are visited by people who are caring for us of your cat.
The normal respiratory rate of a cat in resting conditions is about 20 breaths per minute, during the visit to a veterinary medical facility the stress of the new environment and the manipulations make us feel regular a respiratory rate up to 30 breaths per minute.
Is the cat’s wheezing always an alarm signal?
There are some situations in which the cat shows breathlessness, such as for example an intense physical exercise, a wild ride, a strong fright, a journey for a cat not used to moving, excessive heat : in these cases if the wheezing of the cat is temporary, then the breathing returns to normal once the triggering cause has ceased, there is no need to be alarmed.
In some cases you can intervene with prevention : in the case of travel, for example, by getting the kitten used to being a small carrier and avoiding to take it out only as needed but leaving it within its reach as a part an integral part of its territory, it will learn not to associate it with traumatic events, while on hot summer days it is possible to plan outings in less hot times.
Cat and wheezing
It is not always easy to notice some warning signs of breathing difficulties in the cat, such as an increase in the respiratory rate, the cat is breathing fast or a slight intolerance to exercise.
In fact, the cat’s breathing is superficial, sometimes almost imperceptible: some people barely notice it, unfortunately it happens not infrequently that one notices that the cat is sick only when the symptoms are more evident and the damage more extensive : the chest rises in an accentuated way and the cat has a wheezing with the tongue out .
By lifting the lip you can control the color of the gums , as long as the cat allows it: the pallor means acute hypoxia , that is a reduced intake of suddenly occurring oxygen, the pressure decreases and the distribution of peripheral blood is reduced to preserve the vital organs; the presence of cyanosis , a bluish color instead indicates a severe hypoxia, despite the increased respiratory work this effort is not sufficient to satisfy the tissue’s oxygen needs: these are some symptoms that can accompany the breathlessness: the cat breathes badly, a respiratory rattle is heard, the situation must be investigated as soon as possible.
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The cat’s respiratory illnesses that cause a cat’s wheezing can be different:
- feline asthma,
The causes can be:
When we see the cat breathing badly we can think that it has a problem in its own breath so the disease must necessarily be respiratory, in reality it is not, because the breathlessness can also be caused by problems external to the respiratory system, here are some examples:
- heart problems,
- heat stroke,
- hiatal hernia,
- abdominal distension,
- neurological disorders,
- severe pain in general.
The veterinarian will be able to determine the origin of the problem. In addition to the clinical examination, blood tests and instrumental investigations such as ultrasound and X-rays may be necessary.
Depending on the cause of the problem, if an older cat breathes badly or an adult cat or a kitten and the time between the onset of breathlessness and its diagnosis is short you can determine whether the cure will be decisive, or the prognosis can be said to be reserved or sometimes unfortunate, thus learning to recognize the aforementioned premonitory symptoms, such as increased respiratory rate and reduced exercise tolerance: we can intervene early giving our cat an extra gear.