Q:

Do cats breathe through their mouths?

A:

Quick Answer

A cat can breathe through its mouth, but most of the time, open-mouth breathing indicates an underlying health issue. Though exercise and heat both cause panting, most cats that exhibit this behavior need medical treatment from a veterinarian.

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Full Answer

A cat breathes through its open mouth when breathing through the nose does not provide a sufficient amount of oxygen. Respiratory issues including nasal blockage and asthma prevent the lungs from receiving adequate amounts of air. Cardiovascular and hematological issues cause a dangerous decrease in the amount of oxygen transported by the blood. Neurological damage and environmental factors also cause panting. Open-mouth breathing can be an early indicator of significant health problems.

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