Worried about cat panting after small exercise.

bunhearts

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Hi all, my almost year old cat has been having minor issues with breathing since he was around 4months old, but sparingly.

It’s rare when it happens and has only happened thrice, and first happened about a week after I got him. I was playing with him when he was around 4 months old, when all of a sudden he hunched over and started breathing very heavily, I’ve owned cats before and I initially thought it was a hair ball, but this was air he was trying to inhale. I chalked it up to us playing too hard, and him being too young to know when to stop and pace himself. He stopped after about 10 seconds, and went on with his day like it was nothing. Now he pants after chasing our other cat around after a few minutes.

When we play for only a few minutes, albeit intensely, he starts to pant, which I know is not normal for cats, so I calm down the play to something else and he stops. I can also hear him breathe occasionally , like when he sleeps he snores sometimes like he's stuffy, and his meow is awfully guttural, and always has been since I got him. It’s like his meow is broken into two syllables, a mm-and then a break in between like a harsh, —kkow like he’s struggling to make it smooth. Other times though his meow is just fine, especially when wanting food.

Other than that he eats, drinks, plays with our other cat, poops,pees all perfectly normally. I’ve learned to just take it easy with play, and the two cats play fight very normally, and he doesn’t pant.
I suspect asthma or a long case of a very minor uri (since in his records he had a case of an upper respiratory infection as a kitten) but does not have runny nose or squinty eyes, but I also know it could be heart worm or lung related. I start a new well paying job in October, so I plan on taking him then when I have the money, but I’d love to know if this is an emergency or what, if it is, I want to get him checked out ASAP.
 

Maurey

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What’s his respiration rate at rest? Personally, I’d wait as little as possible with breathing issues like this, but it is expensive to test for. Imo you’d need at least an X-ray to look at the lungs, as well as an ECG to rule out HCM and other heart issues.
 
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bunhearts

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What’s his respiration rate at rest? Personally, I’d wait as little as possible with breathing issues like this, but it is expensive to test for. Imo you’d need at least an X-ray to look at the lungs, as well as an ECG to rule out HCM and other heart issues.
At rest it seems all within normal range, 30-32 breaths per minute, he doesn’t pant or seem to have trouble breathing at rest at all.
 

Maurey

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bunhearts

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30-32 is on the very high end of normal for at rest, imo. Normal is 15 to 30, but unless it’s particularly warm climate-wise, somewhere in the 20s is more typical. Do you know what the types of laboured breathing look like in cats? Some are more subtle than others.

Here’s a good resource with descriptions and videos Heavy Breathing Cat - The 3 Types Of Heavy Breathing And What They Mean - All About Cats
Thanks for the link! Looks nothing like the examples of labored breathing for him. I’ll try to take another look when he’s in a bit of a deeper sleep, I took that measure when he was at rest but not yet completely asleep, but it’s nowhere near those examples!
 

LTS3

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Panting after vigorous play / exercise is normal for all animals and even people. Just give the cat a break during play time before resuming.
 
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