uld I do

Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. It is difficult to say what is going on. Usually if cats are open mouth breathing (a bit like panting) it is an emergency and needs to see a vet immediately but as it is now resting you can monitor and if it happens again call the emergency vet.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Noisy breathing is common in cats. It can result from a variety of conditions, including: an upper respiratory infection, a sinus infection (from dental disease or a nasal foreign body), a tumor in the nose, nasopharyngeal stenosis (a narrowing of the back of the throat) or a nasopharyngeal polyp.
The breathing troubles your feline is exhibiting might be a sign of an upper respiratory infection. The open-mouth breathing might be accompanied by symptoms such as congestion, excessive sneezing or coughing, eye or nose discharge, fever, a loss of appetite or dehydration.
Stridor: Noisy breathing with a high-pitched sound, which is usually caused by a blockage or issue in the larynx or windpipe. Stertor: Noisy breathing with a low-pitched sound that often occurs when inhaling, and is usually caused by an issue in the nose or throat.
Unusually loud breathing sounds are often the result of air passing through abnormally narrowed passageways, meeting resistance to airflow because of partial blockage of these regions. The origin may be the back of the throat (nasopharynx), the throat (pharynx), the voice box (larynx), or the windpipe (trachea).
What causes cat laryngitis? Cat laryngitis is often the result of infectious diseases such as upper respiratory infections (cat cold or URI), calicivirus, or rhinotracheitis however there are a number of other conditions that can cause your cat to lose their voice including: Inhaled irritants, such as smoke or dust.
Purring (and many other low-frequency vocalizations in mammals) often are associated with positive social situations: nursing, grooming, relaxing, being friendly. More likely, though, purring is simply soothing, or self-soothing, as cats may also purr in stressful situations.
Panting is dyspnea (difficulty) and excessive breathing that requires the mouth to be open. Cats breathe rapidly when they pant, usually with their tongues sticking out. Cats normally breathe through their noses, which means that normal panting is usually due to one of the following causes: Excitement or exercise.
This is called a “Flehmen response,” sometimes shortened to “flehming.” The term comes from a German word referring to curling of the lips. The cat opens their mouth to allow scent to reach the vomeronasal organ (called the Jacobsen Organ) in the roof of their mouth.
General information. As a rule, you shouldn`t be able to hear or see your cat breathing unless you look and listen very closely. If your cat`s breathing seems noisy, fast, or is causing their chest or belly to move a lot, this is often a sign of a problem.
A grunting sound can be heard each time the person exhales. This grunting is the body`s way of trying to keep air in the lungs so they will stay open. Nose flaring. The openings of the nose spreading open while breathing may indicate that a person is having to work harder to breathe.
Mind that a normal cat`s respiratory rate is 15-30 breaths per minute while resting or sleeping. If you see more than 30 breaths per minute, accompanied by other worrying symptoms, such as lethargy, blue gums, or hiding, you should contact a vet immediately. The best pet parents are attentive parents.
Wheezing in cats sounds similar to wheezing in humans or similar to just before your cat coughs up a hairball. It usually sounds like a huffing or whistling noise as they inhale or exhale or a slight rattling of the breath. Heavy breathing could also be involved depending on the cause of the wheeze.
Growling, hissing or spitting indicates a cat who is annoyed, frightened, angry or aggressive. Leave this cat alone. A yowl or howl (they sound like loud, drawn-out meows) tells you your cat is in some kind of distress—stuck in a closet, looking for you or in pain. Find your cat if they`re making this noise.
Your cat could be meowing excessively because they are hungry, afraid, sick, or when they need your attention and love. There are different meow sounds that cats make at certain times. If your cat is meowing non-stop, it can be very challenging for you to figure out the issue.
If your cat sleeps on your bed, he may choose a position that lets him see out your bedroom door more easily. If he`s curled up in a ball under your bed or in a quiet corner, then he may be hiding. Cats who sleep under the covers might love being close to you, or they might be hiding to feel safer.
Cats that are ill will usually show changes in overall appearance, energy level, sociability, coat appearance and/or amount of shedding, appetite, litterbox usage, breathing, or discharges from the eyes or nose. In general, any sudden change should alert you that your cat needs veterinary attention.
The average lifespan of a domestic cat may range from 10 to 13 years. As cats senesce, they undergo predictable changes in health and behavior. Dental disease and loss of olfaction are common as cats age, affecting eating habits. Arthritis and sarcopenia are also common in older cats.
The Task Force has designated four age-related life stages (Table 1): the kitten stage, from birth up to 1 year; young adult, from 1 year through 6 years; mature adult, from 7 to 10 years; and senior, aged over 10 years.
Think food puzzles to engage minds and bodies, vertical space for climbing and surveying their domain, scratching posts, safe outdoor access (like a catio), window perches and interactive play. “Play is an important part of relieving stress,” Delgado says. “It helps cats release those feel-good hormones.”
According to the Smart Living Network, “The occasional `silent meow` is common among felines and nothing to worry about and some cats do use this more often than others.” For many cats, the quiet meow simply is a substitute for a classic meow.
TMJ is the name given to the joint where the lower jaw hinges to the skull. When this joint isn`t working properly, it can make a clicking or popping sound. Lab work, imaging (e.g., x-rays, ultrasound, MRIs), and tissue biopsies may be necessary to diagnose other causes of teeth grinding in cats.
Trigeminal Neuritis in Cats

Trigeminal nerve neuritis (inflammation) is characterized by the sudden onset of the inability to close the jaw owing to dysfunction of the mandibular (jaw) branch of the trigeminal nerves (one of the cranial nerves).

Stridor, also known as noisy breathing, is a condition that causes you to make a high-pitched whistling noise when you breathe in or out. There are several causes for this condition, but the most common is a foreign object stuck in your airway.
Wheezing. A tight, whistling or musical sound heard with each breath can mean that the air passages may be smaller (tighter), making it harder to breathe. Body position. A person may spontaneously lean forward while sitting to help take deeper breaths.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. Why do cats meow?
ANSWER : A. Cat parents often wish they could better understand what their favorite feline friends want or desire. A cat’s meow can be interpreted in many different ways and can indicate an array of feelings and needs. Here are some of the most common reasons for your cat’s vocalizations:

1. Greeting- Many cats will meow as a greeting when you enter your home or walk into a room. Cats will also meow at another cat or animal in the household to extend a hello and acknowledge the other animal’s presence.

2. Attention – An exuberant meow followed by leg rubbing or another attention seeking behavior may indicate your cat is looking for some quality time spent together. Some petting or rubbing behind the ears may be in order.

3. Hunger – A meowing cat is often a hungry cat. This is one of the most common reasons for a cat to vocalize to their owners. A cat will meow to get your attention at feeding times or even when they want extra food.

4. Sickness – A sick or hurt cat may begin to meow excessively, warranting a visit to the veterinarian. There are numerous reasons for a cat in distress to meow—whether it is related to an upset stomach, an injured leg or a urinary blockage. These meows should be carefully investigated.

5. Entering or leaving – Most cats will vocalize when they want to be let in or out of a room. You may notice when you are in the bathroom or behind the closed door of a room that your cat begins to meow, scratches at the door, and often reaches its paw under the door. This is a clear indication that the cat wants to be where you are.

6. Angry – An agitated cat may meow to warn their owner or another household pet that they are upset and would like to be left alone. This angry meow may increase in sound volume as the cat becomes more stressed or agitated. Often a cat will exhibit this type of meow at the veterinary office when they are unhappy with their examination or restraint.

Each feline is different and so are their vocalizations. Learn to understand the variety of meows your cat uses on a daily basis. This will help you develop a better relationship with your cat and help them live a more trusting and happier life.

Q. My cat is about 14 yrs old. She just started breathing loudly with her mouth open. It sounds like a loud purr. Resting quietly now. What should I do
ANSWER : A. It is difficult to say what is going on. Usually if cats are open mouth breathing (a bit like panting) it is an emergency and needs to see a vet immediately but as it is now resting you can monitor and if it happens again call the emergency vet.

Read Full Q/A … : Elderly Cat Behavior

Q. My cat continues to scratch on furniture and carpets. He has plenty of scratching posts around the house. Please help!
ANSWER : A. Scratching is a natural behavior in cats that can be frequently frustrating for pet owners who want to keep their furniture from being shredded on a constant basis. The texture of furniture and carpet is very appealing to cats and this why they frequently choose to spend their time on this activity as opposed to playing with their own cat toys. Here are some suggestions to help curb this unwanted behavior:

1. Purchase a cat scratching post or cat tree that is covered in carpeted or textured material. Place it in an appealing spot that your cat would be inclined to spend time (eg. in the sun). You can also place catnip on the scratching post or cat tree to make your cat even more interested in the new object.

2. You can utilize double sided tape on the ends of the furniture because you cat will not like the sticky feeling and will learn to not scratch in that region. Use the tape that has a lighter adhesive in order to prevent any permanent damage. Other materials, such as aluminum foil or bubble wrap can also be placed on the furniture to discourage the scratching.

3. Keep nails trimmed short by either learning to do this on your own at home or using a veterinary technician, or groomer. Nails can usually be trimmed every 6-8 weeks.

4. Redirect the unwanted behavior. If your cat begins scratching, use a favorite or new toy to distract the cat from the scratching. Give your cat positive praise for not scratching.

5. As a last resort you can use a spray bottle full of water to spritz your cat when he or she is scratching inappropriately at your furniture. Generally, cats do not like water and this will discourage them from continuing the behavior.

Have patience with your cat because it can takes time to understand this is an unwanted behavior and that furniture is not another toy for them to use. You can always consult your veterinary or veterinary behaviorist to help with ideas or further solutions to this problem.

Read Full Q/A … : I found Pickle on

Q. My cats nose is stopped up on antibiotics. She has a loss of appetite, acting normal though. Is 3 ounces of can food enough in 24h? 9 pound cat
ANSWER : A. Cats with stopped up noses tend to eat much less, as you’ve noted, because they can’t smell their food as well. And the smell of food is pretty important to a cat’s appetite. You can start by warming up the food in a microwave – not too hot, test it yourself by putting your finger right in the center, as the temperature of microwave food can vary – as this will intensify the smell and hopefully make your cat more interested.

Saline nose drops, like those that are used on little kids, are safe to use on a cat to clean the discharge that is dried around and in the nose. There’s a brand called Little Noses that’s available in the U.S. That I like. You can put it on a q-tip and try to remove the debris. Humidifying the air with a humidifier can help as well, or you can put the cat in the bathroom and run the shower enough to generate steam. Don’t use “real” nose drops like Neo-synephrine or anything else like that – cats quickly build up resistance to them.

A 3 oz can of food is an OK amount in 24 hours, but do try the techniques above to help your cat get more interested in food. You might also try some baby food – no garlic or onions in the ingredients – as cats usually really like the taste of it.

Q. My cat started to pee outside the litter box. What should I do?
ANSWER : A. Inappropriate bathroom use in cats is often a behavioral problem rather than a medical problem, so the first step is to have him seen by your vet to eliminate any kind of illness or condition as a cause for his defecating outside the box.

Once medical issues are ruled out, it’s time to take a look at other explanations. Has there been a lot of activity that wasn’t normal? Were you away and your cat was left at home or boarded? Is the litterbox located in a busy area? Has anything happened recently in this area to make him reluctant to use it again? Is there another cat, pet, or person that is preventing him from getting to the box? Have you changed it from a hooded to an open box, or vice versa? Have you changed the brand of litter or kind? Or is there something about the spot he has chosen to use that is attracting him in some way? Cats dislike disturbances to their routine and may act out as a way of expressing their dissatisfaction.

The general rule of thumb is one litter box per cat in the household, plus one. That way each cat can have a place of their own to go in case the box is occupied or another cat has claimed it as territory. They should be scooped at least daily, if not more often and changed completely on a weekly basis, and washed with soap and water.

You can also offer one kind of litter in one box and another kind in another to see if there is a preference. I don’t recommend the crystal kind, since it makes a hissing sound when wet that can startle some cats and make them reluctant to use it again.

The litter boxes should be located in a quiet, low-traffic area so that the cat can use them in peace. Make sure other pets or people aren’t giving them a hard time around or in the litterbox. It may take some investigation and experimentation to find your cat’s preference and accommodate him so that everyone is satisfied with the situation.

Q. How should I interpret my cat’s tail movements?
ANSWER : A. Our feline friends express themselves in many different ways, including through the use of their tails. Most pet owners pay close attention to a happy or excited dog, but they are sometimes less attentive to the posture and movement of their cat. Here are some of the most common cat tail behaviors, and the underlying emotion behind each action:

A flicking tail: Many anxious, nervous or stressed cats will hold their tail in a low position and flick it quickly back and forth. This is often referred to as angry tail, and a pet owner or veterinarian should be on guard for any possible aggressive or defensive activity. If a cat is moving their tail slowly, and not exhibiting the flicking motion, then this cat is at a much calmer state.

Vertical position: Most of the time when a cat is holding their tail in a straight, vertical position this is indicating curiosity and a playful mood. A cat chasing after a laser pointer or playing toys will often have their tails in a vertical position showing their enjoyment. This position also helps with balanced movements. In contrast, if the tail is in the vertical position and the cat’s back is arched with pinned back ears then this could demonstrate a feeling of being threatened and thus result in defensive or aggressive behaviors.

The Tucked Tail: Similar to a dog, a tucked tail often indicates submission or fear. Your cat is conveying upset feelings and should most likely be left alone. This tucked tail appearance can also make a cat look smaller and less threatening to an aggressive cat.

The Tail Twine: Cats will often hook their tail around another cat’s tail, owner’s legs or other objects to show a friendly and affectionate nature. They are also trying to indicate whether they want to receive affection from their owners, be fed or have playtime.

The next time you are home with your feline companion take note on how they express themselves through their tail movements, their ears, body posture and vocalization. You can start to better understand their needs and wants, in addition to what makes them uncomfortable or happy. Cats will surprise you with their array of emotions and varied expressions they can express.

Q. My cat is pooping outside of the litter bix. He is 2 1/2. He did this as a kitten. It stopped then started about 3 months ago. Litterbox is clean.
ANSWER : A. Inappropriate elimination or house soiling can be a frustrating problem but with a bit of detective work on your part, there is hope. First, before deciding that this is a behavioral issue, any medical problems (diarrhea, constipation, fecal incontinence, pain on defecation, etc.) need to be ruled out and/or treated. If your cat receives a clean bill of health from your vet but is still eliminating outside the litterbox, then we need to consider that something about the box itself might be aversive to your cat. Cats can be quite finicky about their litterbox and toileting habits. Below I have listed common recommendations and cat preferences for litterbox use. Review the list and make any changes that could account for your cat’s aversion to defecating in the litterbox:
* Soft, fine-grained clumping litter (vs, coarse-grained, non-clumping litter)
* Unscented
* 1 – 1 1/2 inch depth (especially older cats or cats with hip problems)
* Larger pans (especially for large cats) – want to get whole body inside – poop just outside the box might mean the box is too small
* Open, non-hooded
* At least one shallow side to get in and out easily
* Easy to get to – not hidden away, preferably in areas they spend time in or near – and not near appliances that make scary, unpredictable noises (washers, dryers, refrigerators)
* Scoop minimum 1X/day – preferably 2
* Clean the litterbox with soap and water and put in fresh scoopable litter at least once/month (instead of just continuously adding)
* Some cats prefer to urinate in one box and defecate in a separate box, so you may need 2 boxes even if you just have 1 cat. Multi-cat households should have 1 box/cat plus 1 extra.

Q. 5 Yr old female cat change in behavior last 2 mos: hides, sleeps all the time, meows when touched, decrease appetite; last 1-2 wks wobbley.
ANSWER : A. While I think neurologic disease is certainly a concern based on what you’re describing, and should be ruled out with a good neuro exam (full examination of spinal reflexes and cranial nerves), a cat that sleeps all the time and is wobbly could have many things going on. What you’re describing sounds like generalized weakness to me, and that could be caused by heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, anemia (lots of causes to this) or metabolic/hormonal conditions like diabetes. Often cats “look” neurologic when in fact they’re just really weak.

However, as far as specific neurologic conditions that might cause what you’re seeing, chronic ear infections or a polyp in the inner or middle ear can affect the vestibular nerve and affect balance, some drugs if used long term (metronidazole) can cause it as well. Other things include intervertebral disk disease (slipped disk), cancer in the spinal cord, thiamine deficiency (not a problem if your cat eats a commercially-prepared diet) and feline infectious peritonitis.

Unfortunately the only way to start figuring out what’s going on is likely with lab work (complete blood count, chemistry panel, and urinalysis) and x-rays for starters (likely of the spine). And as I said above a good neuro exam is critical to starting to figure out whether it’s a neuro problem or not. Your vet will possibly recommend other tests based on the initial results. If you’d like to consult further about exactly what’s going on with your cat select the “consult” button.