Why Do Cats Pant in the Car?

June 1, 2023

If your cat is panting in the car, this could be a sign of something serious. Panting is typically a result of anxiety and stress and it’s very common in cats who don’t like car rides. If you notice your cat is panting in the car along with other signs like drooling, pacing, and seeming weak and lethargic during and after the drive, it’s time to take them to the vet.

Most cats do not enjoy car rides and they tend to be very stressed out on a ride because of the change in environment and being exposed to new places that are unfamiliar. This is why it’s so important to train your cat to be comfortable in their carrier while going on a trip. It’s also a good idea to roll down the windows and keep your car cool, since panting is often a sign of overheating.

It’s also a possibility that your cat is panting because they are feeling nauseous. If you notice this in combination with panting, they might be pacing around the vehicle and may even drool and vomit. This type of panting usually happens when they are in a stressful situation like a visit to the vet or when a strange person enters the home.

Cats who have feline asthma will pant when they feel sick, and they may even start breathing out of their mouth if the condition becomes severe enough. In some cases, this is a life-threatening issue that needs to be addressed immediately. If you suspect your cat has feline asthma, talk to your veterinarian right away so they can check their heart rate and other vitals and get them some medicine to help with the symptoms.


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