How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Terri Your Own Question
Terri, Feline Healthcare Expert
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 32665
Experience:  Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
Type Your Cat Question Here...
Terri is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

my cat has become lethargic and listless, with laboured breathing

Resolved Question:

my cat has become lethargic and listless, with laboured breathing (shallow and rapid) over the last 12 hours. what could the matter with her be? She is 11 years old and usually very active.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Terri replied 8 years ago.

Hi there,


Is she an indoor kitty?


Are her gums pale?


Is she able to potty normally?


Is she taking aany meds or have any known illnesses?




Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Hi Terri, merry Christmas!


Yes she's a indoor cat, and her gums (and usually very pink nose) are pale. Not sure on the potty front - haven't seen her go today - but the litter tray is out the way so unless we watch them (we have three in total!) we're unlikely to. No longterm illnesses and regular vet visits (annually) have not thrown up anything before.

Expert:  Terri replied 8 years ago.

Hi there, Merry Christmas to you as well!!

I am very concerned about your girl because pale gums indicate anemia or shock. If she is anemic she may not be getting enough oxygenated blood to her organs, hence the rapid breathing.


If you have an ER vet she should be seen ASAP.


In the meantime, if she is not diabetic, put a drop of pancake syrup in her mouth to raise her blood sugar.


Give her tuna water or milk.


Make sure she is warm by placing her on a low heating pad with a towel inbetween. Or warm raw rice in socks in the microwave and place them around her. Warm her food as well.


Please let me know how she is doing. I hope all will be well.


Best wishes for her,



Terri and 2 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you