Why is my cat breathing heavily through his nose?

First of all my cat is about six years old and a domestic short hair. About once or twice a week he will stop, get in the same position he gets in to cough up hairballs/throw up, then start to breathe heavily through his nose. It sounds like he's taking deep breaths and it's pretty loud. Also his breathing is not rapid, it's spaced apart. He hasn't been acting irregularly though, he still eats and goes to the litter box regularly. There's no discharge around his eyes or nose, and his nose is not too wet, nor dry. The only strange thing he does is vomit, he vomits at least once or twice a month. Sometimes he gags, but nothing comes up. Any clues as to what he is doing when he's breathing like this?

Asked by Member 1013571 on Nov 27th 2010 Tagged breathing, wheezing, coughing in Illness & Disease
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I would suggest getting kitty to the vet for a proper diagnosis. It could be something as simple as a hairball (which could get worse and cause serious problems), or it could be a sign of respiratory problems (asthma, etc.). My cat does this on occasion and my vet is not sure what is going on with her, but she has not ruled out asthma because it doesn't happen that frequently. My cat is a total indoor cat and is a little overweight. How is your cat's weight? Any change in weight or behavior would warrant a trip to the vet. Hope this helps. Best of luck.

Member 185886 answered on 11/28/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

gracie tatanka

it could possibly be something caught above the palate that shifts occasionally or perhaps an allergy that might be causing a bit of a tickle there i would definately recommend having a chat to the vet to see what they think i personaly wouldnt think it something to panic about but i would have it investigated good luck

gracie tatanka answered on 11/28/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Having a respiratory crisis can often be misinterptreted as gagging or spitting up in cats. The most common chronic recurring respiratory disease in cats is asthma, which often presents as gagging/coughing instances that are episodal in nature. Heavy breathing from the nose and open mouth breathing often accompanies this. Other asthmatic felines have more of a chronic recurring wheezing presentation, or even just go through spells of heavy breathing or panting. My recommendation would be to have you kitty checked out and likely have chest x-rays. Asthma is quite treatable, but left untreated, has the potential to get wuite serious.

Forrest answered on 11/29/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer