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Candy R.
Candy R., Veterinary Technician
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 11612
Experience:  Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
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My cat who is 11, is breathing rapidly, nostrils flaring with

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My cat who is 11, is breathing rapidly, nostrils flaring with the same rapid motion and he has a continual purring sound going. He was fine this morning. Could he just be under stress? He is a house cat and only goes out on the screened in porch for a couple of hours in the evening. He doesnt mind me holding or touching him. It is just so odd.

I would love to help I just have a few additional questions. After your reply please allow a few minutes for me to type your answer.


Is he walking ok?


Is he breathing with his mouth open at all?


When did this start?


Has he been acting ok before this started, eating and drinking normally etc?


When did he last urinate?


What color are his gums?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

He is walking ok. On the porch laying in his basket (like he does every evening)

No mouth breathing.

Noticed it this evening when I got home from work. Was fine in the am.

He has been feeling extra better and frisky lately actually.

Changed the litter box last night and he has urinated twice since then (pee bombs in potty).

Gums light pink


Additional info: timed his breathing, about 50 breaths in 30 seconds. But seems relaxed and calm in his basket. Also he has yaked up several hair balls lately. Short hair cat.

Thank you very much for the additional information,


Normal respiratory rate for a cat is 20-40 per minute so this is 2-3 times the normal rate.


This is very very concerning in a senior cat as this can indicate they are not able to oxygenate properly due to problems with the heart or lungs.

Increased breathing can also indicate severe pain but I would not expect to see him relaxed.


If the gums are lighter then normal this could indicate anemia and or shock.


Considering his age and the rate at which he is breathing it would be best to have him seen in the local animal emergency tonight. I am afraid if this is related to the heart or lungs that this will continue to get worse as the night goes on.

Here is additional information on Tachypnea in cats



Breathing this hard can also cause an increase in body temp so I would have him seen as soon as possible


Please let me know how he is doing, please reply back if you have additional questions or concerns


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