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Open mouth panting after laser light play

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
Played with laser for the first time...for about 12-15 minutes. My kitten was overexcited and I stopped and wanted to get to a tangible toy play. But since we stopped about 15 minutes ago, she's been panting off and on with her tongue out. I called the local emergency hospital and the person on the phone said to bring her in because cats do not breathe through their mouths. Period.

I'm really scared. Should I give her time to calm down? She's cleaning herself and walking around looking for the laser light. And she's closed mouth, but still visibly shaking. It's been alernating between that and the panting. She's breathing close mouth more now....Should I take her in just to be sure?

Her sister wasn't quite as fascinated by the laser light and only played tentatively. I think I'm going to retiring this particular toy. Too scary.
post #2 of 53
Thread Starter 
Still breathing hard, but closed mouth for awhile now. She walks off when I try to place my hands on her, I'm trying to be calming.

Is this normal because she got over-excited? Or does she have some condition that I should have the vets check out? Even if it's not an emergency situation. I wonder if she's prone to asthma...
post #3 of 53
Both my boys pant when they've been playing very hard. I would guess it's from playing. Maybe offer her some water and see if you can help her cool off somehow.

Here's a link to an older thread on panting. http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=52990
post #4 of 53
I would take her to the vet to be safe.
It does not sound like asthma.
Coco will wheeze when she plays but she never pants.
She only did that twice in 17 years.
post #5 of 53
When my kitty was about 4 to 5 months old..he was running and playing and having a great time...he also seemed to pant loudly when he stopped to catch his breath. I asked the Vet about and she said that it was perfectly normal..he was just running hard for a little kitty. He's a fine, healthy 15 month old cat now and can run and play without a problem.

Maybe your little girl just needs to pace herself a bit. I hope she's fine soon!
post #6 of 53
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. She's no longer panting. And she even went after an ant on the wall. She was definitely way overexcited. She gets excited playing with the cat dancer too but the laser light was overdrive for her. We will not play it again or if we do, it will be at a much much slower pace. This was our first time and I thought she was having fun ;(

If she's fine for the rest of the night, I will not take her to the vet. But when we do go in for a visit or check-up, I will bring this issue up.

And Nova, I think she did over-play but I've got the AC on so I don't think over-heating is the issue. I just think I overdid excitement level. I tried to get her to drink but she's not having it. I will see if she will eat her usual midnight snack.
post #7 of 53
Thread Starter 
She's chowing down with gusto. Will continue to monitor...
post #8 of 53
My cats will open mouth pant with 2 toys - lazer pointers and Da Bird. I have to watch them and as soon as I see them start to pant, I stop and give them a break for a while. 15 minutes is a long time to play actively with a toy that they've never had before, particularly if they like it that much. Try 5 minutes next time.
post #9 of 53
Thread Starter 
Yes, missing common sense...We routinely play for about 30 minutes each night before my bedtime, so 12-15 minutes didn't seem too excessive which it obviously was.

She's laying down now, relaxing after her midnight snack and breathing normally now. I'm still too nervous to go to bed though. I keep the cats out of my bedroom so I don't sleep with them.
post #10 of 53
You have to think of it this way... what do you do when you have been exercising heavily? You are normally out of breath and having to breath harder. This is the same with your cat.

I have found that the laser pointer really gets my boys wound up good. They tear through the house chasing the light, they jump higher then with any other toy. There are certain toys that will give your cats a harder exercise session then others and the laser pointer can be one of them.

Normally I only give them about a 15 minute session with the laser pointer a few times a week. Jack and Max end up panting pretty good because they just don't know how to pace themselves while Bear takes a break when he starts to get tired.

My vet told me that panting while exercising is normal and to just keep these sessions short. He did tell me that if I ever see them panting for no reason, such as if they are just laying around or if it's really hot, then there can be cause for concern.

You should definitely talk to your vet about it regardless though. Just like with humans heavy exercise should be discussed just to make sure that there are no reasons for your kitty to not exercise hard.
post #11 of 53
its normal but not necessarily the best thing for them, so I end up waiting a few moments till they can catch their breath again and will start up play again.
post #12 of 53
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone. Am touched with everyone's concern. I was a bit scared there! She's fine and stopped panting about 20 minutes after playing.
post #13 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdonline View Post
Thank you everyone. Am touched with everyone's concern. I was a bit scared there! She's fine and stopped panting about 20 minutes after playing.
While panting is normal after play, it is only normal within the first minute of rest immediately after play. 20 minutes of panting sounds like a loong time! I mean was she panting with open mouth all this time? If not it's probably okay as long as you couldn't actually hear wheezing..If it was open mouth panting 20 minutes after play you may need to make an appointment with your vet and in the meantime don't use the laser.
Jake used to pant during those very first hot summer days of this year. I dunno how much of it was in my head but I also felt like he was a bit less active?? He hasn't panted at all since then or acted in any abnormal way. As a baby he used to breathe loudly but no longer does that either, he is now 7 months old. But I was freaking out over that and when I saw my newborn nephew he was breathing just like Jake as a baby, lol it must be common for all species.
post #14 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdonline View Post
Thank you everyone. Am touched with everyone's concern. I was a bit scared there! She's fine and stopped panting about 20 minutes after playing.
Glad to hear it. Definately mention it to your vet in case there is a medical reason that your kitty shouldn't play so hard.

Kizzy has a very low grade heart murmur, so at first I worried about that. He plays with Da Bird, and gets panting just like a dog.... but he does start pacing himself.. instead of doing in the air flips (noone ever told him that his breed is supposed to be relaxed, not doing air jumps LOL), he will just lay there and swat at it... when he's done panting, he'll get back up and do more flips.

The 9wk old kittens I have, play with a dangly toy like DaBird, and very similiar...When they start panting, the one will lay down while the other plays...and then they switch.

But my vet ok'd the play with Kizzy's heart murmur because it is just barely a murmur....
post #15 of 53
Thread Starter 
No, no, she wasn't panting for 20 minutes. It was off and on and I'm only generalizing, but after 15-20 minutes, she stopped panting period. And the duration of panting tapered off. She would clean herself and pant. Look for the laser light and pant, etc.

But I will ask for a checkup on this issue when we next see the vet (barring any other episodes, if there's another one, we'll see the vet pronto).
post #16 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
My cats will open mouth pant with 2 toys - lazer pointers and Da Bird. I have to watch them and as soon as I see them start to pant, I stop and give them a break for a while. 15 minutes is a long time to play actively with a toy that they've never had before, particularly if they like it that much. Try 5 minutes next time.
Riley does the same thing with Da Bird and the Cat Dancer so he only gets those toys for a few minutes at a time.
post #17 of 53
My cats pant all the time when they get a good play session with the laser toys.
post #18 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
My cats will open mouth pant with 2 toys - lazer pointers and Da Bird. I have to watch them and as soon as I see them start to pant, I stop and give them a break for a while.
Mine do the same with the laser pointer and DaBird but as soon as they start to pant we take a break.
post #19 of 53
Thread Starter 
No more panting. I only use the laser for 2-4 minutes at a time and I keep it very low key, no crazy moves and in a small area. I think I made her run and jump the first time around. She's still nuts about it.
post #20 of 53
It's okay to make them run and jump. They need exercise, too. We just have to know when it's time to take a break because not all cats will stop on their own. Some cats will keep going as long as the toy is out regardless of how exhausted they are.
post #21 of 53
Thread Starter 
White, you're right, i meant to write "run and jump too much". I'll increase the amount of time for laser play, but I overdid on the first try.
post #22 of 53
I've heard a Vet once refer to one of my kittens who has recently passed, as having her mouth open in open mouthed breathing and slightly panting - she referred to it, as her being in distress.

I'm not suggesting that it's medical, all I'm saying is that I remember the vet referring to a cat having it's mouth open as some sort of sign of distress.

So, could it be, that the laser light scared her? that it caused an anxiety attack and the panting is a sign of fear/agitation/stress/anxiety? Sure, she'll calm down, but she may have gotten a bit overexcited and experienced a fright?
post #23 of 53
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately, Dory's panting has continued and the frequency has increased. Saw a new vet yesterday and he's trying to figure out the best way forward. He's going over my cats' records and will call me back. Dory did have a good visit and the vet could not detect any murmur or anything out of the ordinary.

Still, after reading a bit about cats with heart disease today, I did tear up a bit at work. I'm hoping for the best, but am worried sick that my shelter cat is getting another bad break. She was so sick when I adopted her less than 4 months ago but has since improved and doubled her weight. I thought she was on her way to a healthy adulthood.
post #24 of 53
Maybe since she was sick before, she just needs more time to build up her stamina?
post #25 of 53
Thread Starter 
Except the panting has gotten worse, so she's regressing. She now pants several times a day. When she gets chased by her sister. When she plays. When she's scared. When she's excited. When she's in a new situation. For example, last night she was able to get into the tall hamper for the first time. Her sister was harassing her a bit from the outside. When I tried to give her a hand to get out of the hamper, she started panting. So I let her be. Five minutes later, I gave her a lift and I think she was ready to go as she was happy for the help. It's these episodes that worry me. She even pant at the vet's office a couple of days ago.
post #26 of 53
Has the vet called you back yet?

I can see why you're concerned. Panting is normal after heavy play, but it sounds like Dory is not just panting due to heavy play....

Is it hot where you are?
post #27 of 53
Thread Starter 
No, it's been unseasonably cool here actually. But it wouldn't matter as I keep them indoors and have the AC at 80-82F.

We did talk today and I help put into context Dory's extensive vet records since March. He said he's doing some travel for the rest of the week and that he wants to go over the records again. And we would talk on Monday.

He said he's concerned but doesn't want to rush into any judgments. Dory, is otherwise, a healthy looking cat. Good appetite and litterbox habits and simply has the most sinfully soft coat.
post #28 of 53
Thread Starter 
Could the panting be from an injury? I know that the kitties have fallen off from trying to jump onto the bathroom sink (there's no counter so when it's slippery...oops) and hit their chest on the way down. Same with jumping and fighting on the cat tree. Could she have damaged her chest or bruised the heart or respiratory area?

I know, I know, I should stop imagining everything in sight and just wait...Had an incredibly bad day at work (discovered I made a major budgetary mistake in March...) and dealing with this the last couple of days. I just can't help but imagine the worst. And we can't even have a lot of fun as I've tempered the kitty playtime so Dory won't pant.
post #29 of 53
is it real panting? My cat does this strange thing when she smells a strange scent where she will open her mouth and almost do a mini pant for a second. I think she is trying to use all her senses to find the new scent/indruder. It kind of worried me when I first saw her do it...but there seems to be nothing wrong with her and she's been doing it since I got her (4 years ago).
post #30 of 53
Thread Starter 
I've wondered too if it's behavorial rather than health but since it happens after some of activity, I believe it is real panting. She's been doing this strange thing today where she'll run up the cat tree and claw a bit and then look around like something is possessing her. Then she'll pant heavily for a few seconds. That's strange only because it's not like she was active for more than a few seconds.

She's currently wrestling with her sister and haven't panted yet.

Last weekend, I gave her a first bath and oh lord, she was almost hyperventilating towards the end. So either stress induces the panting OR the other way around, the panting is how she copes? In any case, no more baths...
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