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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15710
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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I have a nursing cat that's about 1yr old. She had kittens a

Customer Question

Hi. I have a nursing cat that's about 1yr old. She had kittens a few weeks ago. I left for work today and made sure the air was on to keep cool since its super hot outside but the kittens were in a warm safe place. When I got home the power was off and it was stuffy in the house. When I came in she was panting with her tongue out and I've never seen her do that i hurried and push her water bowl to her and she drank a few sips. The kittens are healthy and the mama cat eats and drinks like she's supposed to and even more since she has the kittens. She also urinates and makes her bowel movements regularly. Could it be the kittens stressing her out or do you think she's overheated? Im nervous.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the kitten? I'll do all I can to help.
Customer: That's it and thank you!
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Has her breathing settled since you came home?

Are her gums pink or pale/white?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
It's slowing down only a little bit and They're pink
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
She's even nursing and cleaning the kittens like normal but still has rapid breathing
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 months ago.

Thank you,

First, I am glad to hear that her gums are pink since that does tell us that she is getting adequate oxygen here (thus ruling out oxygenation issues, heart/lung/low red blood cell level based issues). With those aside and based on your history and her currently being affected, this is more likely to be heat related. Stress from the kittens doesn't usually cause panting in cats and usually they will just take a break if the kittens are overwhelming them.

So, if she is still breathing quicker then 30 breaths per minute and especially if she is still panting, we would want to take steps to cool her off. If she isn't drinking much, you can flavor the water with milk (a bit is safe to use) or low salt chicken broth. Otherwise, we may need to think about a cool (not cold though) bath or at least dampening her coat using a damp towel or wash cloth. And if you haven't already, we'd want to turn on the fans or A/C to help reduce the heat and try to settle her. Of course, if she cannot settle with the above, we'd need to consider having her seen to rule out any other issues (ie metabolic imbalances from the demands of the kittens and lactation), have her temperature checked (as it should be <102.5*F) +/- have her put onto cool IV fluids to get her signs stabilized.

Overall, we do need to tread with care if her rate is still >30 breaths per minute. Though again this won't be related to the kittens directly and heat sensitivity would be more likely for your lass.

Please take care,

Dr. B.


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