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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28967
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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Cat is breathing fast or my cat is 8 months old can he have

Customer Question

cat is breathing fast or my cat is 8 months old can he have heart problems
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. A stressed cat can intermittently have a respiratory rate exceeding 40 breaths/minute - the rate at which I become concerned - but if that or higher rate is persistent, yes, heart problems (cardiomyopathy/heart muscle disease) are possible as are lower respiratory disorders such as asthma and neoplasia (cancer) in the chest cavity. We have to be concerned about effusions (collection of fluid) in the chest cavity as well. Effusions can arise from many different disease processes and will prevent the lungs from expanding fully resulting in an increased respiratory rate.

In summary, if your cat is experiencing a persistently increased respiratory rate, he needs to have his vet carefully auscultate (listen to) and X-ray his chest. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish. I'll be on a plane all day today but can reply tonight if need be.