Why Do Cats Pant In The Car?

Why Do Cats Pant in the Car?

If your cat is panting when you take it out for a ride in the car, she may not enjoy it.

The cat is probably wondering why you are putting her life in danger just for the thrill of driving.

In this article, I will show you the reason why cats are panting and what you can do to make the trip more enjoyable and less stressful.

Before we get started, let’s first see what exactly causes a cat to pant. Cats sweat, and cars can get very hot.

The ardent sun can overheat a cat’s body, causing them to pant. The high temperatures in the car may also make them thirsty, causing them to pant more.

It is very common for motorists and passengers to accidentally leave their windows open. Cats can be startled by the sudden breeze, causing them to pant even louder than usual.

Why Do Cats Pant in the Car?

In automobiles, cats pant to collect heat from the car’s interior. Additionally, cats pant to get in enough oxygen, which is important for their survival.

This might take the shape of a rise bed or a plastic tub filled with water.

As the heated air exits , your cat feels cooler.

Cats pant in vehicles because they can’t sweat.

Normally, cats don’t have the glands that humans do, but they do have a few other means that keep them cool. For example, they can emit heat through their tongue and lungs.

Panting is the act of breathing through their mouth while expelling heat through their mouths and noses.

Cats pant at home involuntarily because they are not able to control their body temperature. They simply have to remove moisture by breathing in order to cool down.

They can’t produce as cool bodies as dogs do, and they don’t move as much.

They can only pant in extremely hot weather.

In general, cats in the automobile do not die or become very sick from being overheated. However, prolonged stress caused by heat is unhealthy for them.

They may always search out the coolest place in the house–maybe under the dining room table, on top of the refrigerator or in the bathtub!

Anxiety and Stress

Cats have been known to suffer from excessive panting when they are anxious or stressed.

One reason for this is that they have a limited capacity for holding moisture in panting, meaning that panting can quickly deplete them of oxygen and cause them to pass out.

While cat owners may notice panting, it is not typically something which is reported to vets.

Find pet carriers like these that provide your cat with a safe space to curl up in during the journey.

Respiratory infections

When your cat has a respiratory illness, he or she may suddenly start panting.

This can happen to cats or dogs, however, panting is most common in cats. Panting is a form of breathing which could help your cat by getting them more air.

Having them examined by a veterinarian will enable your cat to breath normally again.

Heart Disorders

Your pet’s panting might be caused by something as simple as a blocked heart valve or as serious as a heart infection.

In other words, even though it may seem obvious that your pet has a fever, it’s important not to ignore the panting, as it is a sign that there may be an underlying problem that needs to be treated.

It’s critical that your local veterinarian assesses your pet’s panting in order to determine whether your cat is suffering from a cardiac condition.

Even if your cat is not showing any symptoms of heart disease, your cat’s veterinarian can still examine the heart with a stethoscope to look for murmurs or other signs of cardiac disease.

Heart murmurs are generally thought of as a normal part of your cat’s heart, but not all heart murmurs are benign.

The cardiac condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is one of the more common types of heart murmurs in cats. HCM is the most common reason cats pant.


Most healthy cats will pant in response to a hot or cold environment.

They do this because they’re trying to get their body temperature regulated. Cats pant to release heat, which causes their body temperature to drop a little.

If they can’t locate a cool place to retreat to, then bring them inside and place a fan in their room.

Providing them with frozen snacks is a good way to assist them out.

Strenous Physical Activities

It is beneficial to your animal to do this, as it helps their bodies dissipate heat.

If your animal becomes uncomfortable in the car, he or she will likely begin panting.

When you push someone over their sweat limit, they respond by increasing their heart and breathing rates.

Cats are able to do this, too. In order to keep a cat from becoming overheated, they may pant to rapidly cool their body down.

You may notice your cat panting more during exercise. However, this is normal.

The key is providing your cat with plenty of opportunities to move around during the day.

As a result of the panting, they may become uncomfortable, and may even start sweating.

If this happens, you may have to give them some break time indoors. This may also help your cat stay cool in the hot summer months.


Asthma may cause significant panting in cats.

The feline form of the illness is known as feline asthma. It commonly affects middle-aged cats.

Because of the breed’s narrower airways, it’s easier for cats to get asthma. In addition, feline asthma is sometimes hereditary.

If your cat is gasping and struggling for air, it is crucial to bring your cat to the vet immediately. If left untreated, your cat may even die as a result of its asthma.

Its respiration may also decrease as a result of its physical state. As your cat ages, it is more likely to have asthma.

It could also be associated with feline leukemia, which can be fatal. Airways narrow as mucus becomes trapped and inflamed in them.

This is also known as asthma. It makes it difficult for air to enter the lungs.

This is a response that is triggered by allergens and is relatively rare in cats. Typically, feline asthma is progressive.

It happens when breathing becomes difficult. When it is severe, it may be life-threatening.

As a consequence of severe coughing and wheezing, cats can show signs of distress. Their breathing may become rapid, and their heart rate may escalate.

There may also be signs of stress, such as urine leakage. Cats may also emit a barking cough.

In most cases, cats suffering from asthma become introverted and shy. They may develop sensitivity to other noises.

They may also start avoiding certain places. Pay special attention to your cat’s behavior and breathing patterns.

Why Does My Cat Hyperventilate In The Car?

Because they don’t feel obligated to do anything, cats engage in fewer behaviors such as making eye contact or listening to their driver’s voice.

This makes engaging in conversation or decision-making difficult. Because of this, cats are more likely to panic, which can lead to hyperventilation.

Although this can make them appear to be dangerously hyperventilating, it may actually be explained by their fear of traveling.

It’s important to remember that cats have a lot in common with dogs and horses – all are prey animals and thus unlikely to want to travel more than they need to.

Because it is a new setting, it forces the cat to acclimate. Once the cat learns to adjust to the new environment, he/she will be able to handle the ride much more calmly.

We don’t help our cats form pleasant associations with cars. Nonetheless, with a little effort, you can teach your cat how to sit in the passenger seat without hyperventilating.

The less your cat is anxious, the more relaxed she’ll be.

Why Are Car Rides Stressful For Cats?

Because they are agitated and scared in the confined spaces of cars, cats may attack the vehicle.

Cats are nervous travelers and can easily panic or freak out.

If your cat experiences motion sickness, avoid seating your cat at an angle. Driving erratically or very fast in an unfamiliar environment can cause your cat to have anxiety.

Cats also dislike the noises of cars, such as loud horns and squealing tires.

They are territorial, and they resent being confined to a confined space when a long trip is ahead.

When cats drive long distances , they may become excessively excited and anxious.

The vibrations and noises of a running automobile cause dizziness, nausea, and confusion in cats because their inner ears are sensitive.

Cats prefer cooler temperatures when the ride in the car is longer.

When cats travel long distances by car, they get ill and need to use the bathroom. The vibrations and noises of a running automobile cause dizziness, nausea, and confusion in cats because their inner ears are sensitive.

Keeping your automobile cold helps relax your cat. Don’t expect your cat to travel well during a long car ride.

How Can You Help Your Cat If It is Panting in the Car?

Give your panting cat a gentle pat or even feed it a kibble to help alleviate its stress.

Your cat’s temperature may be lowered or its food may be replaced with a certain type of baby food.

To make this strategy work, you may place your cat in a cage with plenty of blankets and pillows, so it feels more comfortable.

Your cat will feel more at ease and will be able to rest for the entire trip. Animals, especially cats, are highly sensitive to their owner’s moods.

By establishing a positive relationship with your pet, you will be able to prevent it from feeling stressed or anxious during car rides. It’s also a good idea to keep your pet’s booster shots up to date.

You may also use a sleeping application like melatonin to help you relax. Inquire about calming sedatives and anesthetics.

Before you go, you’ll need to pick up these calming medications from your veterinarian.


Panting in the automobile will cause your cat to breathe deeper and deeper into their lungs.

This will cause their heart rate and respiration to increase and the veins in their face to dilate. Your cat’s body will work to transport more oxygen to their vital organs in an attempt to help regulate their body temperature.

The faster your cat’s heart rate and respiration increase, the hotter their body temperature will become, resulting in panting. To prevent your cat from panting excessively, consider placing a large blanket over your vehicle’s back seat.

This will prevent them from having an unpleasant travel experience. Another cause of their panting might be an inherited condition called heaves.

Your cat’s behavior can be affected if his breathing is stifled. A cat with heaves might suddenly stop breathing while he’s in the car, and then start again when the ride is over.

Some cats might pant much more often than they normally would. The possible causes include stress, anxiety, and illness.

Some cats might pant while they’re riding in a car because of medication , like when a cat is given a sedative. Traveling cats have much more anxiety than untrained cats.

Older cats are more nervous than kittens. Young cats may experience more anxiety from traveling than adult cats.

Anxiety in cats may be seen as fear, stress, nervousness, or panic, and is often accompanied by drooling, staring, hiding, or licking. Some cats may try to hide from or run from cars.

Cats may also experience seizures or other signs of distress when moving quickly, which can cause them to collapse suddenly and fall unconscious.