Cat Health

Decoding Ragdoll Cat Panting: Causes and Care

No matter how little cats may seem to be in size, you can never mistake them for a dog. Panting is regarded as a dog thing, but why is my ragdoll panting?

Painting can mean different things when it comes to dogs and cats; in dogs, panting helps to cool off if they are hot or engage in strenuous exercise activities. A cat could also pant from strenuous exercise, which is usually not as common as that of dogs.

Hence, it is essential to take close observation of your ragdoll cat to determine if your feline friend is having a severe health issue or if it’s trying to catch its breath. Here is everything you need to know about cat panting.

Ragdoll cat panting causes and care

Is Ragdoll Cat Panting Normal?

The process of heat exchange in cat and humans are different. Ragdoll cats have pores all over their body, but they don’t sweat through those pores. Cats experience what is known as mirror sweating— where they sweat through the bottom of their paws or their pads.

Ragdoll cats can’t sweat enough; hence, they need to release heat from their body through panting. Having stated the above, it isn’t common to see a ragdoll cat taking a walk and panting like a dog.

Why is my Ragdoll Panting?


Ragdoll cats can pant to release heat, can pant after overworking itself, when they are stressed, when they have heart issues, and when they have respiratory disease 

Ragdoll Cats Pant When They Are Stressed

A cat will pant if it’s stressed—even more than how it would—if it were trying to release heat. Cats hate traveling in cars; if you have ever carried a cat to the vet or while you were going out, you’ll notice your cat will shit itself sometimes; they also pee, regardless of if you carry them in a carrier or on your laps.

Asides from trips to the vet, other stressors could impact your ragdoll cats; ragdoll panting will occur if your cat isn’t socialized correctly and gets to see a stranger. Also, an abused cat may get stressed from loud noises or the presence of the abuser.

What can you do in cases like this? Identify the cause of stress and eliminate it if possible.

Ragdoll Cats Pant to Release Heat

The tiny sweat glands on cats’ paws, pads, and between their toes are insufficient to control their body temperature. Cats pant to expel heat.

Evaporation helps ragdoll cats cool off; if they get too hot, they pant. Almost never do ragdolls pant. All cats, including Ragdolls, can handle being outside in hot weather and look for shade and shelter to stay cool.

Ragdoll Cat Panting Can Be a Sign of a Heart Issue

Cardiomyopathy is a structural disease that plagues the heart’s muscles. This genetic disease is common in certain cat breeds, According to the Cornell University School of Veterinary Medicine, Ragdolls, sphynx, Maine coon, and Persian cats. Even at a young age, kittens could have cardiomyopathy.

Kittens can be born with cardiomyopathy, but they’ll show its symptoms later in their lives. Senior cats are more susceptible to this condition and hypothyroidism. Once your cat starts aging, we advise you to take proactive measures to ensure they don’t die from heart-related complications. If your senior cat is panting, it’s time to call the vet.

Ragdoll Cats Can Pant From overworking itself

Ragdoll Cats, especially kittens—overwork themselves during play; this will lead to your kitty panting. Whenever you see your cat panting, try to calm it down and disengage it from any activity that has led to its current state.

Disengage your cat calmly if; they are playing with other house pets; try and pet your ragdoll cat or the other house pets, or you could leave them to recuperate from lost breath. If, after some minutes, your ragdoll is still panting, staggering, and looking all weak—it’s time to involve your vet.

Respiratory Diseases Can cause ragdoll Cat Panting

Different respiratory diseases can be developed in your ragdoll cat’s nasal passage and lungs due to bacterial, fungal, and virus organisms—when these organisms habits your ragdoll’s respiratory system, the immune system responds with inflammation in a bid to fight the disease—which may make your cat seem asthmatic.

Ragdoll Cats who experience this inflammatory response will have much difficulty in breathing(struggling to breathe with much effort or breathing very fast), may pant, cough, and show signs of lethargy

Treatment for this condition is dependent on the cause. Your ragdoll kitten can be treated with antibiotics, oxygen therapy, and humidifiers to clear your ragdoll’s nasal passage.

How to Calm a Panting Ragdoll Cat

Cats are masters when it comes to hiding their sickness; you will only know a cat is sick when the illness has become too much to bear. When your cat is panting due to a medically related issue, any little stress can spiral your cat into a circumstance where it cannot oxygenate properly.

Keeping your cat calm is very important, then allow your ragdoll cat to take up any position that will enable it to recuperate quickly. There are lots of things you can do to help stop panting in ragdoll cats, but here are professional tips as given by Dr. Walsh:

  1. If your ragdoll is panting, don’t give it water and food by mouth, or you will further complicate its condition.
  2. Try to stay calm; also, try to keep your ragdoll cat as calm as possible—since anxiety could increase the ragdoll panting.
  3. If your ragdoll panting is caused by overheating, using a wet towel to moisten the feet and ears of your cat will work well.

If you’re worried, consult your local veterinarian.

When Should I Be Worried About my ragdoll cat Panting?

Ragdoll panting could be less concerning if the panting results from undergoing vigorous activities. However, if other symptoms accompany your ragdoll panting, it could be a pointer to an underlying disease.

Get in contact with your if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  1. If your ragdoll cat is having shallow breathing.
  2. Loss of appetite and lethargy
  3. Hiding or aggression
  4. If the ragdoll panting is accompanied by rapid breathing or wheezing.
  5. Blue-tinged gum or pale gum
  6. If your ragdoll Pants for a period, stop and start panting again.

What Should You Do If Your Cat Is Panting in a Car?

Reducing stress and keeping your ragdoll cat calm when stressed in your car is a no-brainer. Suppose your cat is panting while on a trip; get your cat out of that as soon as possible. Suppose the panting is accompanied by excessive drooling and lethargy, head to the vet as quickly as possible.

Most times, we carry our ragdoll cats in a car; usually it’s when we are headed for the vet. Asides from panting, cats poop and pee during trips, it doesn’t matter if they are on your warm laps or in a carrier; if you’re headed to the vet, contact the vet to prepare a quiet room where your cat can be calmed first.

The fundamental tip here is that; most cats will hardly find a trip in a car as comfortable. This is why you should plan, get some natural calming treats, or use pheromone sprays to calm your cat before you embark on any journey.

The air conditioner can be instrumental in calming your ragdoll cat; make sure your cat’s carrier is facing the air-conditioned; by doing so, your cat will experience cool air. Alternatively, you can open the windows.

Ragdoll panting FAQ

Do ragdoll cats have breathing problems?

Ragdolls can be susceptible to a lower respiratory tract condition known as feline asthma, which occurs when irritants and allergies cause the bronchi(lower airways) and lungs to become sensitive and inflamed. Wheezing and coughing are common symptoms.

What to Do if Your Ragdoll Is Panting Excessively

If you’re seeing your ragdoll panting more than usual, there could be a few reasons. It might be because your ragdoll is overheated or because he’s stressed or anxious.

The best thing to do is to take him to the vet and get him checked out. Excessive panting can signify a severe health issue, so it’s essential to get it checked out as soon as possible.

If it’s just a case of your ragdoll being too hot, you can try cooling him down by spraying him with cold water or putting him in front of a fan.

Ragdoll cat panting causes and care

Why is my ragdoll panting? – Final Thoughts

Panting in cats can be caused by excitement, anxiety, or pain. Taking your cat to the vet for unexplained panting is crucial.

In the meantime, watch your cat to discover what’s making them pant. If you can remedy it, do so; if not, you’ll know what’s wrong and provide your pet the greatest care.


I am Joshua kaynard, an avid cat lover. Our pets provide an excellent way of connecting with nature; I am committed to helping you understand all the aspects of your feline friend's life. Enjoy!

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