From purring to gasping – this is how cats breathe

Cats breathe in 9 different ways and some signs could be related to respiratory, heart disease or diabetes.

Cats never cease to amaze. From their physical characteristics to their behaviors, getting to know these felines is a mysterious and fascinating journey. One of the aspects that most intrigues is the way cats breathe. It may seem strange to you but there are 9 ways to breathe of cat. The latter also breathes when he purrs or when he meows.

Breathing in the cat

The respiratory system of the cat is similar to that of humans. The airways are divided into upper airways (nostrils, nasopharynx, larynx and cervical portion of the trachea) and lower airways (intrathoracic portion of the trachea, bronchi and lungs).

In some cases, the cat’s particular breathing is a sign of a respiratory disease. So let’s see how cats breathe and when to be alarmed.

Slow Breathing

If your cat is breathing very slowly it could be poisoning or encephalitis. If you notice a sudden change in breathing and therefore a slow pace, intervene quickly and take cat to the vet.

Rapid breathing

Fast breathing, like slow breathing, is also an indicator of something wrong. Stress and anxiety, fever, widespread pain, heat stroke, excessive arousal but also more serious diseases such as lung or heart disease and diabetes cause the cat to breathe quickly. If rapid breathing continues for some time, see your vet.

Noisy breathing

If you also hear noises while breathing you must be alarmed as it could be a dangerous occlusion or disease. Take cat to the vet immediately.

Rough Breathing

It is the classic breathing due to the narrowing of the vocal cords. Kitty may have an object obstructing the passage of air; take him to the vet.

Superficial Breathing

Mammals breathe deeply. If your cat is unable to fully exploit all lung capacity then first stop what should be full respiratory action could have, in severe cases, a fracture or injury to the ribs or an excess of mucus in the chest. Only the vet will be able to dispel your doubts.

Hissing Breathing

Have you ever heard the hiss produced by an asthmatic person? It is a kind of whistle produced during the aspiration or exhalation of air caused by the narrowing of the trachea or bronchial vessels . As for humans, wheezing could also be a sign of asthmabacterial diseases, heart problems or accumulation of hair for the feline. Take cat to the vet.


After runningjumping and playing the cat jumps. Don’t worry, a slight change in breathing is quite normal after physical activity, it is a system put in place by felines to lower the body temperature.


Continuous and excessive meowing is a unique type of breathing that the cat uses to communicate that it is in pain. If you see your cat in this description it is necessary to contact the veterinarian who will investigate the symptoms.


The purr is the product of a respiratory effort and generally communicates a state of pleasure or contentment. However, pay attention to excessive purring or purring at inappropriate moments: they could be a sign of discomfort. The vet will be able to advise you.

Cat BreedsCat Food and Nutrition
Tips for Cat OwnersCat Training
Cat BehaviorKittens
Cat HealthCat Grooming
Cat AdoptionTravel with Cat
Holiday Season- Cat

Leave a Comment