Hello there! My girlfriend and I have an exclusively outdoor cat who has recently shown some worrisome behavior. Typically, Simba is very independent. Only allows some human interaction when we feed him, and even then it's more like we have to sneak a pet here and there. About three days ago I came home and noticed his breathing was fairly rapid. I thought maybe he just came to our porch after some activity, so I mentioned it to my girlfriend in passing. Yesterday she called me at work worried. Simba was letting her pet him and even came into our garage (which is basically set up like a living room. There's a heater, ac unit, tv, carpets, etc.) It's very home-y. Anyway, he's been in the garage the past two nights since its been in the thirties at night time. He lays very still, breathes very rapid and heavy. I can hear, what I think is congestion as he breathes. He hasn't eaten or drank much. The only thing I have gotten to eat are a few cat treats. I read online we could give him a small dosage of benedryl. But I don't want to give him anything that would essentially hurt him. He also has random asthma like episodes. Wheezing and coughing with his mouth closed. He meows when we talk to him, or look at him. Part of me feels like he's asking for help! Unsure if whatever he has is life threatening or just a little kitty cold.

This breed does not like change, preferring for things to be uniform and predictable. It can be thrown off when dinnertime is altered, and is nit-picky about hygiene. It will not even enter its litter box if it is dirty. In the early years, this breed developed a reputation at shows for being difficult to work with because of traits like these. The Russian Blue was gentle and happy at home, but at shows it was visibly discontent and temperamental. Popularity declined and fewer Russian Blues were being shown until breeders focused on improving the attitudes of the breed through selective breeding and behavior management (e.g., soft music, recording of show noises, crystals, herbal remedies). This commitment to the breed paid off, and today the Russian Blue is a happy participant at cat shows.


So from your question it seems like the abscess was treated successfully but now you’re noticing at the respiratory rate is increased; there are many different causes for an increased respiratory rate which may include pain, heart disease, stress among other causes. Without examining Kitty I cannot (legally) diagnose a particular condition or offer treatment; you should return to your Veterinarian for another examination especially since there are many possible causes which it could be. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
Pneumonia is an infectious/inflammatory disorder of the lung parenchyma. Tiny bronchi fill the lungs; each one ends in smaller sacs known as alveoli which contain tiny blood vessels. Oxygen is added to the blood and carbon dioxide removed via the alveoli. Pneumonia causes these alveoli to fill with pus and fluids which affect the lung’s ability to exchange gases. There are several causes including infection (viral, fungal, bacterial, parasitic), aspiration of gastric contents or medications.

11 month old kitten with rapid breathing since we got him at 3 months old. Acting normal, voiding without issue, playing, eating and drinking. Normal behaviors. As a nurse myself I always questioned his fast breathing but because he is a kitten I let it slide thinking that maybe they, like babies/children have faster respiratory rates. He is half tabby half Maine coon and is about 12-13lbs. His respiratory rate at rest is about 75-85. He has only panted about 3 times that we’ve seen during intense play time with our other cat. No coughing or runny nose. I’m very worried now that he is approaching a year old. I’ve been through the ringer with expensive tests at the vet with another cat and I’m wondering what are the baseline tests for this that I can start with that could lead to answers? And what are the most common diagnosises with rapid breathing being the only symptom? Thoughts and many thanks in advance!

Heavy rapid breathing in cats can be caused by stress and anxiety or can be linked to more serious cat diseases. If your cat cannot breathe properly, make sure to take it to the vet IMMEDIATELY as its life could be at risk. For more about rapid breathing in cats, labored breathing in cats or cat breathing difficulties, keep reading here at AnimalWised.

It’s a good idea to keep a Russian Blue as an indoor-only cat to protect him from diseases spread by other cats, attacks by dogs or coyotes, and the other dangers that face cats who go outdoors, such as being hit by a car. Russian Blues who go outdoors also run the risk of being stolen by someone who would like to have such a beautiful cat without paying for it.


The first hybrids of the jungle cat (Felis chaus) and the domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus) may have been born in Egypt several thousand years ago.[2] The jungle cat is native to a vast region spanning Southeast Asia, India, and the Middle East (Sunquist, 2002). For the most part, it is an Asian species of wild cat that lives by rivers and lakes. But the species is found in one small area of North Africa: the Nile Delta. It is well known that the ancient Egyptians kept domestic cats as pets. Many domestic cat mummies have been found interred in Egyptian temples. What is not so well known is that one other species of cat was occasionally preserved after death via mummification; that was the jungle cat (Malek, 1993). F. chaus is not a timid species; they are known for moving into abandoned buildings and living as happily by irrigation canals as by wild rivers, provided that adequate prey and shrubbery for cover are available. Because domestic cats are likely to have frequently encountered jungle cats along the Nile and occasionally even within their owners' homes, it seems that hybrids of the two species were probably often born there.[3][better source needed]
This semi-long-haired feline is native to Norway, according to the Cat Fancier’s Association, and everything it does, it does when it’s good and ready.  (You got that?) They’re described as sensitive, social and friendly but on their own terms. Despite their outdoorsy name, they’re quite happy inside but do require a scratching post and cat tree — preferably with an outdoor view — to keep them stimulated.
If the resting respiratory rate is above 40 breaths per minute, you should ideally visit a Veterinarian for an examination as it can be difficult to narrow in on a specific cause; there are a few possible causes for this rapid breathing including infections, laryngeal disorders, pain among other causes. You should visit a Veterinarian as soon as possible for an examination to narrow in on a cause. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
My wonderful kitty Dave is generally very healthy. He cuddles and plays all the time and is always by my side when I’m home. I’ve noticed this a few times but most recently a few days ago- he’ll be breathing very fast (60bpm) and shivering. He doesn’t try to hide and definitely wants to be held or cuddled but doesn’t want to move around. Last time it happened there was a bad thunderstorm and I wasn’t home for the worst part of it. Could he have just been scared? After a little while as the storm does down, he used his litter box and peed a lot, then pooped - also a lot. Buried it. Drank his water, ate some food and was back to purring and playing. I can’t remember if it had stormed the other times he’s acted like that with the rapid breathing and dilated glassy eyes, but i did notice that he’ll cuddle then use the box and feel better. He’s even cried before in his litter box, like it hurt to go poop. But I figured out that only happened when he ate fishy cat food so now he gets beef, chicken or turkey.
Pyothorax (pleural empyema) is the presence of pus in the pleural space in the chest cavity, the thin, fluid-filled space that lies between the lungs and the chest wall. Any pathogenic organism can cause pyothorax including fungal, viral, bacterial or protozoal; however, a bacterial infection is by far the most common pathogen. The collection of pus is due to dead white blood cells and dead bacteria. Common bacteria involved in pyothorax include Pasteurella spp (the most common), Nocardia spp,  Streptococcus spp, Clostridium spp, Proteus spp, Bacteroides spp and Mycoplasma spp.
My cat, Arwen, just came out to the living room limping badly with her front right leg kinda knuckling over. The leg and paw is cool to the touch in comparison to the rest of her body and her shoulder blade is just flat. I pinched her toes a little and there was no reaction. She's also breathing kind of shallow and fast with it seems like she's breathing from her stomach not her chest. She is crying a little bit but not when we touch the leg, onky when she tries to move around while laying down.
The most commonly held theory regarding this breed’s origin is that Russian Blues were brought to Great Britain in 1860 by British sailors from the White Sea port town of Archangel (Arkhangelsk) in northern Russia. Whether this story is true—and if true, whether the cats really originated in that area—is anyone’s guess. Their thick coats give credence to the theory that they developed in a cold climate, and, according to accounts, blue shorthairs still exist in Russia.

If your cat is struggling to breath and is not eating or moving, it could be a sign of trauma in cats. A steep fall, collision or dog attack can result in internal injuries, which can affect your cats lung capacity. An internal hemorrhage, intense pain, fractures or pneumothorax constitute as emergencies that can cause fast, superficial abdominal breathing in cats.

11 month old kitten with rapid breathing since we got him at 3 months old. Acting normal, voiding without issue, playing, eating and drinking. Normal behaviors. As a nurse myself I always questioned his fast breathing but because he is a kitten I let it slide thinking that maybe they, like babies/children have faster respiratory rates. He is half tabby half Maine coon and is about 12-13lbs. His respiratory rate at rest is about 75-85. He has only panted about 3 times that we’ve seen during intense play time with our other cat. No coughing or runny nose. I’m very worried now that he is approaching a year old. I’ve been through the ringer with expensive tests at the vet with another cat and I’m wondering what are the baseline tests for this that I can start with that could lead to answers? And what are the most common diagnosises with rapid breathing being the only symptom? Thoughts and many thanks in advance!

Pulmonary thromboembolism (PTE) is a blockage in the pulmonary artery or one of its branches in the lungs that is caused by an embolism, a substance which has travelled through the circulatory system from another part of the body. The most common cause of pulmonary thromboembolism is a blood clot other causes include heartworm and a globule of fat. Blood can clot as a result of increased clotting disorders, heart disease, tumours, heartworm, polycythemia (increased red blood cells), and damage to the blood vessel walls.
Allergy medicine wouldn’t help here, it may be a case that the beef tendon is causing pain or an obstruction for Kingston which may explain his posture of sitting and his increased respiratory rate. I would keep an eye on him, but if there is no improvement within a few hours I would recommend taking him into your Veterinarian for an examination; I wouldn’t induce vomiting since if there is an obstruction this may cause more pain and distress for him. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
In 1912 the Foreign Blue, one of the breed’s early names, warranted their own class and finally got separated from the blue cats variety. Progress of the cat’s popularity was halted, with the breed coming dangerously close to extinction during the onset of World War II. Breeders tried to revive the line by crossing the Russian Blue to Bluepoint Siamese and British Blues. Scandinavian breeders tried the same using Finland blue cats and Siamese blues.

Rapid breathing (tachypnea) is a respiratory disorder characterised by abnormal breathing that is rapid and shallow.  It is caused by a reduced level of oxygen, mechanical disorders (where the lungs aren’t able to expand as they should, usually due to a build-up of fluid in or around the lungs), and physiological disorders in which the cat’s respiratory centre in the brain is over stimulated.

×