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andrew's avatar

Kitten Panting: Normal?

Asked by andrew (15764 points ) July 10th, 2008

We played with the jerk-of-a-cat yesterday in an effort to wear him down. Suddenly, after about 5 minutes of strenuous acrobatics and scampering, he started panting. Like a dog. Tongue lolling out of his mouth.

I’ve seen him pant slightly when playing fetch, but this was very sudden and lasted for about 5 minutes. Afterward, he was back to his old jerk tricks again (so much for wearing him down).

Has anyone else seen this?

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18 Answers

monsoon's avatar

I’m sure I’ve seen cats pant before. Do cats sweat? Hold on…

This article seems to say that it’s okay if your cat is panting after rigorous physical activity, but not if it’s for a long period of time or for no particular reason.

scamp's avatar

It sounds like you did a little too much with him, and he got overheated. If that happens again, try cooling him down by putting a cool damp towel on him, or put him in front of a fan. Cats can suffer heat stroke as well as dogs. I’m sure Syz will have more to say about this when she sees it.

cheebdragon's avatar

try using a laser pointer, cats and especially kittens love them! but to answer the question, yes, i have seen cats panting like dogs before, i dont think its anything to be worried about
; )

Oh, and the laser pointer will also work great if he is doing something you dont want him to be doing, it will distract him.

monsoon's avatar

Has anyone noticed that there are some cats that totally have the personality of dogs? Maybe that’s it.

scamp's avatar

Panting is more of a physical thing than personality trait tho. My cat pants when we travel due to stress. He hates to ride in the RV.

Adina1968's avatar

I would be concerned. I worked in animal emergency. Open mouth breathing in a cat may be a sign of something way more serious such as a heart condition. I would have him examined. A chest x-ray may be a good idea just as a precation.

marinelife's avatar

From a vet, Andrew: ”
image Kittens, as do puppies, dogs and cats, may pant rapidly to dissipate heat from their bodies. If she is very active and playful, she may stop to pant. If she has problems with her heart or lungs, she would be more lethargic, cough, and breathe deeper. The lips and gums of cat with respiratory disease would turn bluish, indicating the lack of oxygen in the blood. When in doubt, your veterinarian can determine any problems with his or her handy stethoscope.”

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

I read this question to say “Kitten Painting” and had to see what was in here. Whoops! Then I see the cat in question is called jerk-of-a-cat and that was when I peed myself.

PupnTaco's avatar

Dam, I thought it was “kitten painting” too and I immediately went to Pussy Doodles on Tim & Eric.

syz's avatar

If the kitten was being quite physical and/or extremely excited about the play, then I wouldn’t worry. Cats do pant (rarely) and it looks pretty strange. However, excercise intolerance can be an indicator for some pretty serious physical problems (heart or lung related, usually). Just monitor his activity.

The signs of problems can be fairly subtle. After years of having siamese mixes and other lean bodied cats, I had a heavyset maine coom male. I missed his excercise intolerance, thinking he was just fat and out of shape. He died of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy at age seven. Even with years of experience in the field, I missed the signs until he went into crisis.

Seesul's avatar

I read it as kitten painting as well. They did have elephants doing that at the San Diego Zoo when I was a kid as a fund raiser. This was back when human art resembled what they were doing (or vice versa). I also read “jerk the cat”, as the name of a game, better be careful, if you meant that in a disparaging way, Andrew, you’re surrounded, you know.

Time to take a nap.

marinelife's avatar

While cat painting or painting cats or painting by cats sounds like fun, should anyone think about trying it, remember that cats are very sensitive to chemicals of all types and absorb substances through their paw pads. Do not try kitten painting unless you somewhere find some paint declared safe for this use.

scamp's avatar

Good point Marina. Now people are well informed no matter how they read this question!

Seesul's avatar

Yeah, I misread and then I go out and try it. ST and P&T wanna have a cat painting party and bring in some cash?

gailcalled's avatar

Too late. Heather Busch and Burton Silver got extremely rich in 1990 when they published
Why Cats Paint: A Theory of Feline Aesthetics

Then the calenders, address books, mugs, T-shirts. (No cats were harmed in the process.)

Seesul's avatar

I’m sorry gail, I should have included you in the invite. Then Milo wouldn’t think it was so bad having his pedi done. In the mean time, I’ll call the zoo and ask what paint to use.

shrubbery's avatar

I’ve got that book! Very interesting. Don’t worry Andrew, my cats used to pant too, now they’re just fat and lazy though.

Zaku's avatar

Good job getting your kitten to pant! You will be a professional cat entertainer in no time!

I saw “painting” too. We have some orang-utans in Seattle who paint very well.
http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/thebigblog/archives/130856.asp

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