Worried About Your Cat's Noisy Breathing? What You Should Know

24 October 2017
 Categories: , Blog

If you are a caring cat owner, then you likely pay close attention to the health and well-being of your cat at all times. As such, when you notice that your cat is breathing noisily, you might be understandably concerned about the situation. Learn some of the facts about noisy breathing in cats so you can better decide if you need to take your cat to the animal hospital or not. 

There are Two Types of Noisy Breathing in Cats

Cats can experience two different types of noisy breathing. These two types of loud respiration are known as stridor and stertor. Stridor is a high-pitched noise that can occur while your cat is breathing. Oftentimes, this sounds like a wheezing or whistling sound and occurs on inhalation. Stertor is a more low-pitched sound. You may hear stertor breathing and think that your cat is snoring but look over and see that they are wide awake.

If you do take your cat to the animal hospital to be checked out for their noisy breathing, it can be helpful to use the terms stridor or stertor with the veterinarian to describe their breathing issues. This can help to clarify the situation and give your veterinarian a direction to go in for testing and treatment. Accurately describing the sound can also be highly beneficial if your cat does not breathe loudly all the time. 

Noisy Breathing Can Have Many Causes

Several conditions and health issues, both acute and chronic, can cause your cat to breathe noisily. Some of these are quite serious while others are relatively minor and are not dangerous. If your cat has always had issues off and on with loud breathing, it is possible that they have nasal passages that are narrower than most cats. Your cat could also have polyps or tumors that are obstructing your cats airways in some way. These issues could be dangerous to your cat and may require surgery to correct. 

On the other hand, noisy breathing that occurs off and on over months or years could also be the result of allergies or asthma. Both of these conditions can cause your cat's airways to narrow temporarily and to widen again once the irritants are no longer bothering your cat. If this is the case for your cat, medications can be used to manage the conditions. 

When a cat suddenly begins to breathe loudly, the cause is often acute. This can be something as simple as a respiratory virus (like a cat version of a cold). Cats can also develop pneumonia which would also cause breathing issues. An obstruction like an object lodged in  their airway might also cause your cat to have breathing issues. 

With these facts in mind, you can better decide what you want to do about your cat's noisy breathing. Contact a center like Kenmore Veterinary Hospital for more information.