To detect accelerated breathing in cats, it is necessary to know what the normal respiratory rate would be. It is natural that if your cat just had an active game session, gasp or breathe a little faster than normal. If in doubt, checking the respiratory rate is very simple.
How to detect accelerated breathing in cats?
First, we must know that the normal respiratory rate of a cat is between 20 to 30 breaths per minute. It is also important to observe carefully, since in normal conditions the respiratory movement should be smooth, uniform and without restrictions.
To determine your cat’s respiratory rate, what you should do is count the number of breaths it takes in a 60-second period.
Ideally, You should check the respiratory rate several times to get an average rate. Breathes may vary and a general average will be more accurate. Keep in mind that if your cat is stressed its rate could be higher than normal.
When should you worry?
In case of observing a high respiratory rate while resting and breathing is shallow and noisy. Also if you have wheezing, gasping or breathing with your mouth open.
Likewise, if breathing is very slow, you should consult your veterinarian.
Common causes of accelerated breathing in cats
There are literally dozens of reasons why your cat might have trouble breathing. Some of the most common include: infection, tumor, enlarged heart, fluid in the lungs, bleeding in the lungs, asthma, allergies, traumatic injuries, paralyzing toxins and low red blood cell count.
To determine the cause, the veterinarian will begin a series of tests that may include a blood count, a biochemical profile, a urine test and, perhaps, even an electrocardiogram.
Depending on what you find, you can order an x-ray or ultrasound to look at your cat’s heart or lungs. It may even be necessary to insert an endoscope into your cat’s nose or airways to find out if something is wrong. First, The veterinarian will closely monitor your cat’s breathing to make sure he receives adequate oxygen.
Infection as a cause of accelerated breathing in cats
The main cause of respiratory difficulties is respiratory infections caused by one or more viral or bacterial agents:
- The most common viruses that cause upper respiratory infections in cats are feline herpes virus type 1, also known as feline viral rhinotracheitis or FVR, and feline calicivirus (FCV).
- On the other hand, the most common bacteria that cause upper respiratory infections in cats are Bordetella bronchiseptica (bronchiseptic) Y Chlamydophila felis (C. felis).
Heart disease as a cause of accelerated breathing in cats
While the most common cause of upper respiratory diseases in cats is viral disease, it is necessary to rule out other causes such as some heart condition.
In case the respiratory rate is increased when the cat rests or sleeps –of more than 30 breaths per minute – it can be a heart condition.
It is important observe if accelerated breathing is accompanied by some of the following clinical signs: cough or retching, restlessness, agitation and difficulty finding a comfortable sleeping position, weakness or decreased appetite.
Other factors to consider
Cats with conformational characteristics (breed or malformation), such as short or contoured nasal passages or very small nostrils, are predisposed to unresolved inflammation. As for age, cats of all ages can be affected. Mental health factors such as anxiety should be considered.
Finally, if you are worried about accelerated breathing in cats, and no apparent cause is found, you should keep in mind that It can also be caused by fungi. However, fungal disease is more relevant in specific geographical regions. For this reason, the inclusion of travel history is important in the medical history.
Anxiety in your cat is one of its most uncomfortable situations, as it causes uncertainty and doubts. How to act in these cases? Read more “