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My cat pants when she plays... normal?

Lil Brown
September 30th, 2010, 05:00 PM
Hi everyone,

I have 2 cats, and one (Fiddle) has always been very passive during cat-human playtime, letting her sister cat do most of the running and jumping. Recently I found a toy Fiddle absolutley LOVES. She has started running, jumping, rolling etc during playtime, which I think is great for her. However, I've noticed that during play she will actually pant for short periods, with her mouth open. Sometimes this is followed by a hiss at the toy, or she'll lay down for a minute, but then she's right back into the game. She is 10 pounds and under 2 years of age, and has no health issues that we're aware of.

Any thoughts on this? Wondering if it warrants a trip to the vet or not.

Thanks for your feedback. :cat:

September 30th, 2010, 05:29 PM
My Jasper is like this too, I have asked three vets and they have check him out and can't find anything wrong :shrug:. If you do find out something I sure would like to know.

September 30th, 2010, 05:49 PM
IMO to be on the safe side I would be scheduling an appt. It is not normal for cats to pant although on occasion some do. Kitty could be getting really excited playing with the toy and gets over stimulated. Funny that she hisses at the toy. But there may possibly be something going on that needs attention.
I believe you said in your other post that it took a while for your kitty to get her meow back after you came back from holidays. Cats should not lose their meow. That is a sign of something not right. If that is the same cat please for sure schedule an appt.

September 30th, 2010, 06:41 PM
My cats pant as well, but mind you I play REALLY rough with them (the boys). So it's expected for them to pant because I basically do cat agility with them (doing back flips, etc).

If you are only playing mildly with them, I would have a quick vet check to ensure everything is in order. Cat's can have asthma and other related pulmonary disorders. Shortness of breath can be an indicator for other serious medical issues as well.

Chances are it's nothing, but a good physically wouldn't hurt :cat:

September 30th, 2010, 07:36 PM
I had a cat that used to pant when excited. Vet said it was his heart.

Lil Brown
September 30th, 2010, 07:42 PM
Hi and thank you all for your replies :)

It is quite vigorous playing. I am thinking it's overstimulation since she tends to be slightly highstrung, plus she's never really taken part in that kind of play before. She is leaping up onto the bed, over and down and around and back again, plus jumping into the air and trying to catch it with her paws. I play with her for almost an hour- I know I'd be panting if I were her!

Hi 14+: She didn't totally lose her meow; I just meant she was not as talkative for a day or so. She still meowed, just not as often or with as much variation as she usually does. Our little Fiddler is quite vocal!

I am going to play with her tonight and keep a close eye on her. Right now she is racing around the house with the other cat, showing no ill effects. (She keeps coming to look at me- I think she's waiting for her play time. I'll keep you posted and tomorrow I'm going to give my vet a call and see what he says.

Thanks, again!

September 30th, 2010, 10:39 PM
If she's longhaired that might explain the panting, as they tend to heat up faster than shortaired cats and usually have shorter active play times. Getting out of breath after little exertion could be something more serious, like a heart problem.

October 1st, 2010, 11:12 AM
Just to clarify -

From - -

Although it is part of a dog’s nature, it is just not normal in cats
Panting in cats is very uncommon

Panting in cats is very uncommon and is something that should be taken very seriously. Although it is part of a dog’s nature, it is just not normal in cats. There may be an occasion when your cat may pant after an extensive play period, but that is also very rare.

In most cases when your cat does pant, they are either in stressful situation, very hot, or they are actually in distress from an underlying and potential life threatening condition.

Panting in cats in most situations will the result of overheating or when they have become extremely stressed by some type of a traumatic event. The panting that they will exhibit will be very rapid but also a very shallow form of respiration. A normal respiration in your cat should be between 20 to 30 breaths per minute.

This is a long article. Please check the website listed above for the continuing piece.....

Until the time when testing has been done for your kitty by a qualified vet (of which we are not) and he has ruled out all possible health issues could I suggest possible limiting your kitty's play time to 15 minutes at a time. You can still let her play with the toy but after that amount of time take the toy away (carefully) and allow her to calm down. After half an hour or so give her the toy back for the same amount of time. Maybe that would eliminate or at least greatly reduce the panting. The thing that strikes me is that you said "Sometimes this is followed by a hiss at the toy, or she'll lay down for a minute, but then she's right back into the game." To me that says she thinks the toy is hurting her. Maybe I am reading too much into this but better safe than sorry.

October 1st, 2010, 11:24 AM
You are right, it is not common in cats, hence why I had three vets check out Jasper.

Lil Brown please have your cat check by your vet, you just never know.