Panting in cat, tests negative, anybody have experience with this?

IMPORTANT: If your cat is in any distress or discomfort, please consult your own vet as your first priority.
Post Reply
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:06 am

Panting in cat, tests negative, anybody have experience with this?

Post by pbrown14 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:19 am

Hello all,

We have a one-year-old Half-Norwegian Forest cat. For about four months, we had seen him panting occasionally (usually after coming in from outdoors, or when we played long chasing games with him). We put it down to the warmer weather, and the strenuous exercise he had been doing). However, when i mentioned it in passing to our veterinary nurse, they said it could be a sign of heart problems (a thickened heart wall in mixed pedigree breeds?), and advised we send him for tests. He had a blood test and it came back completely normal, but we still occasionally see him panting.

I am just interested to know if anybody else has experience with panting cats at all? My neighbour used to have a cat that panted quite a lot, and they lived until 15 years (though they had taken him to the vets too and been told the vets didn't know why he was doing so). This isn't to alleviate my worries so i can 'ignore' his problem, (we keep a keen eye and take him to the vet for check ups on this concern regularly), I just wondered if anybody else had experienced similar mannerisms. Whilst we may of course be wrong about it not being his heart (could be asthma), when he does pant, it is usually after he meows at us (meows very deeply and loudly several times when he does so), and if he does pant, it seems as though he can instantly stop. For example, if he meows, then pants and a fly/wasp or is buzzing around, he will immediately stop panting and go after it. Or if he is panting and you go over to stroke him when he is panting, he will immediately stop and start playing. We have checked his breathing when he does suddenly stop, and it doesn't seem irregular/heavy to us, so we are a bit confused! Does anybody have any experience or ideas what this could be?

Thanks in advance!

VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 1117
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:58 am
No. of cats in household: 1
Location: UK

Re: Panting in cat, tests negative, anybody have experience with this?

Post by Mollycat » Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:30 pm

Panting isn't normal in cats as you know but it can be a whole host of things. From what you say it seems to be heat or exercise related so heart would be the first idea, a close second would be lungs. But within those can be a whole lot of different issues including faulty heart valves, fluid on the lungs, inflammation or infection, parasites, and more.

That said, I believe NFCs are prone like a lot of other breeds to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), so ideally your vet ought to be looking to eliminate that possibility. If he was a pedigree you would expect him to have been tested for it as responsible breeders normally take all steps they reasonably can not to let faulty genes keep going in their lines.

Post Reply