Why Does My Cat Pant After Playing? Possible Reasons

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If you are wondering why does my cat pant after playing, here are some of the possible reasons.


  • The cat is cooling down after physical activity
  • It’s a hot day
  • Panting might indicate a medical issue

Why Does My Cat Pant After Playing? Possible Reasons


I’ve been a cat owner for about fifteen years, so it’s safe to say that I have some experience with these furry and adorable creatures. However, when I got my first cat, one of my first concerns was, why does my cat pant after playing?


Back then I didn’t know much about cats, but I knew they shouldn’t pant like dogs. That’s why I’m sure that a lot of new cat owners out there are asking the same question. Therefore, today, I’m going to talk about panting in cats, what causes it, and when the owner should be concerned.


Here’s Why Cats Pant


When dogs feel loved, cozy, and happy, they pant a lot. That’s how they let the owner know they are content. Cats, on the other hand, don’t pant; they purr. However, if an inexperienced owner notices that their cat is panting, they might think something’s wrong. That is perfectly normal, but most of the time there’s no cause for concern. 


Here are some of the situations when panting is normal.

After the Cat Is Done Playing

If you’re asking yourself why does my cat pant after playing, I have a simple answer for you. It pants because it’s trying to lower its body temperature. Panting is cats’ way of cooling down. Therefore, if you just finished playing with your pet and it’s panting, there’s no need to worry.


In most cases, you just have to let your pet rest. However, you should pay attention to your cat for at least fifteen minutes after playing. If he or she doesn’t stop panting or if you hear any strange noises combined with labored breathing, you should definitely visit the vet.


Persistent panting may indicate a medical issue, and the most responsible thing to do is to consult an expert you trust.


On a Hot Day

Who doesn’t pant on a hot day, am I right? However, unlike us humans, cats can’t have a cold beer to cool down. Of course, they can drink some water, but that doesn’t help too much. The main problem cats have in hot weather is definitely their fur. It prevents them from cooling down, and that is why they pant.


Besides giving your pet some water to drink, you should also wash it a bit. He or she probably won’t like being wet, but it certainly beats having a heat stroke. However, that doesn’t mean you should spray the cat with water. Simply put some cold water on your palm and wash your cat’s face and neck area.


I made the mistake of spraying my cat with water, and he didn’t trust me for a week after the incident. So, if you want to remain friends with your pet, don’t use too much water.


In case you are outside with your cat on a hot day, you have to be extra careful. If he or she starts to pant, you have to find some shade or go inside. Otherwise, your cat might suffer from a heat stroke.


Cats Sometimes Pant When They’re Anxious


Most humans are very good at hiding the fact that they are anxious. Animals, on the other hand, don’t have this ability. To be honest, they are not trying to fool anyone in the first place. So, before assuming there is some kind of health problem, try to see whether or not your cat is in some sort of discomfort.


Cats are usually anxious when they are at the vet’s while riding in a car, or when they feel threatened by other animals. So, if your cat is panting in those situations, you have no reason to be concerned.


Why Does My Cat Pant After Playing and When Should I Be Worried?


Like I stated before, panting after exercise is normal and expected. However, persistent panting, combined with other things, like strange noises or mucus, is not. Therefore, if you haven’t played with your cat and if it’s not a hot day, but your cat has trouble breathing, you should watch its behavior.


If you notice any of the following, you should definitely consult your vet:


  • Bright red tongue
  • Drooling
  • Weakness or lethargy
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Bleeding from the nose


I know it sounds scary, but if any of the things stated above happen, you have to remain calm and call an expert.


Illnesses That Might Be Associated With Panting



Asthma can cause panting, wheezing, coughing, and an increased respiratory rate in cats. Your cat can breathe in something that might trigger an allergic reaction. This, of course, is not life-threatening, but you should definitely take your cat to the vet.


This disease is more common in the dogs’ world, but cats can also get infected. The symptoms of heartworm in cats are panting and shortness of breath. Considering the fact that this disease can be fatal, you should be responsible and call the local veterinarian.

Congestive Heart Failure

When a cat suffers from this disease, fluid is accumulated in and around its lungs. That usually causes deep, rapid breaths, coughing, and panting. It can also be fatal, so make sure to watch your cat closely and be careful.

Respiratory Infection

Any respiratory infection will cause mucus to accumulate in the cat’s nasal cavity. Logically, this makes it difficult for a cat to breathe, hence the panting. You can help your cat by softening the mucus with a steam bath.


To Conclude


If you are wondering why your cat is panting after playing, you are probably a very caring and loving human being. Your cat is lucky to have you.


However, you should know that panting after hours of play and on a hot day is a completely normal occurrence. Therefore, you shouldn’t concern yourself too much. But, if your cat starts panting for no reason whatsoever, you should definitely pay attention to its behavior. Persistent panting may indicate that something is wrong with your cat.


Why does my cat pant after playing is definitely one of the most common questions among new cat owners? As I said, panting after a playing session shouldn’t concern you. However, if your cat displays other symptoms, like drooling, coughing, and wheezing, he or she might be having some health problems. In such cases, the most responsible thing to do is to visit the local veterinarian station. You should do that even if you don’t think it’s something dangerous. Trust me, it could save your pet’s life.

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