Breathing rate monitoring:

Counting your cat’s breathing rate when sleeping is a very valuable tool that can be used to ensure that your cat has no fluid on their lungs due to heart failure.

Count your pets breathing for 30 seconds (one rise and fall of the chest = one breathe) then double this number for a rate per minute

When cat’s pant or open-mouth breathe, this is usually considered to be an emergency presentation that requires immediate attention. Cats with breathing difficulties will often use their abdominal muscles to breathe and will be uncomfortable lying on their side to rest or sleep.

Fluid that accumulates in the lungs with congestive heart failure doesn’t come and go. Once it comes, it persists until medication is administered to eliminate it. Until then breathing is necessarily rapid because the lungs simply don’t work properly when there is fluid present.

If you’re worried about your cat’s breathing being rapid or laboured, please bring them that same day to your veterinarian, an emergency service or VCA for x-rays.