Without examining Rocky it is difficult to say what the specific cause of the symptoms are since rapid breathing is a vague symptom. You should visit your Veterinarian immediately since Rocky is struggling to breathe and is using his abdomen to breathe as well. There isn’t anything productive I can advise you to do at home for this. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
Diagnosis of rapid breathing in your cat will require your veterinarian to determine the underlying cause. This will involve diagnostic tests that may not seem related to breathing, such as blood work, urinalysis and other extensive systemic exams. Given the lengthy list of potential conditions, it will be important for you to provide your veterinarian with a thorough physical and medical history of your cat. If your cat is allowed outdoors, has recently suffered from a traumatic injury, or could potentially have fallen from a high surface, this will be important information to help identify potential trauma or pain. You should also provide your vet with a history of progression of symptoms such as approximate time of onset and any worsening or improvement. This will help your veterinarian narrow down potential causes.
One of the Blue Russian's vulnerabilities is its tendency to be startled easily. They also have a natural proclivity to shyness and nervousness around strangers and in strange environments. If it is true that this breed was once the target of fur hunters (as some say), this would easily account for their caution and quick footedness. They would have had to move fast at the slightest sound to quite literally preserve their own skins.
There are various different causes for rapid breathing which may include infections, pain, heart disorders, dehydration among other causes; a cat’s respiration should be below 30 breaths per minute when at rest but if it is significantly above this rate at rest I would suggest visiting your Veterinarian for an examination to determine a cause. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM