Maine is believed to be the only long-haired breed of domestic cat native to America and is undoubtedly an American treasure, though due to their size, their tendency to become overweight, their predisposition to a handful of health issues, and their thick, long coats they can be seen to pant a lot.
So, you might ask yourself, “why does my Maine pant?”
Mostly, this panting can happen due to stress, over-exertion, and/or warm temperatures, but could also be a symptom of a more serious medical problem, such as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) which Maine’s are prone to developing.
Panting is a mechanism Maine’s, like all cats and dogs, use to cool themselves down, as a coping method for dealing with stress or a medical reaction to something more sinister.
Although panting is more frequently seen in dogs, it is not uncommon to see a cat with its mouth panting after physically exerting itself or trying to handle a stressful situation.
Excessive panting should always be taken seriously, and there are many actions responsible Maine owners can take to ensure the well-being of their beloved feline if they are noticing excessive panting.
The most important action is if you are concerned your Maine is panting excessively you should contact your veterinarian immediately. After all, it is always best to be safe rather than sorry.
6 Reasons Why Maine Cats Pant
1. Maine’s are prone to becoming overweight
so controlling their weight will go a long way to ensure frequent panting does not become an issue.
Because of their sheer size, they take a lot longer to reach full development, up to two years longer than that of your regular domestic short hair, which many owners fail to appreciate.
This is most frequent in new owners of Maine’s, who stress that their cat has not reached full development at two and begin overfeeding to try and help them grow, not understanding they are late bloomers.
This overfeeding to a breed that is already obese can be a disaster, leading to many health issues. They are a breed that does require adequate exercise, and just like us, a healthy and moderate diet must go hand in hand with a good exercise regime.
Though just like us humans and other breeds of cats, they will of course pant to cool down after running amok.
2. Another reason the cat could be panting a lot is due to their coat
Their coat may be soft and luxurious, but it is dense, so ensuring your Maine is kept cool during warmer summer months is key to preventing them from excessive panting in order to cool down.
Keeping them indoors with air-conditioning on is advisable during the warmer months, along with ensuring plenty of cool, freshwater is readily available and even a cold, damp towel on the ground on which they can lay to bring their body temperature back down.
Not having the adequate facilities to cool down in an acceptable time frame could result in a more sinister outcome, with the Maine, especially with its coat, running a risk of heatstroke which has the potential to be fatal.
3. Maine’s, like all felines pant a lot while feeling stressed or anxious
Just like us humans if we are experiencing anxiety or stress, our breathing becomes more shallow, and our breaths more frequent because of it. Cats essentially are no different.
There are numerous triggers to what could cause your cat to be feeling particularly stressed and anxious including feeling threatened by another cat or animal such as a dog, moving home, or going to the vet.
Generally, once the trigger subsides, so will the panting an tense behavior. It is always advisable for the owner to remain calm and measured in these instances, so as not to impart more anxiety onto the cat from themselves.
4. Some medical reasons such as HCM of which Maine’s are pre-disposed to developing.
HCM is a thickening of the walls surrounding the heart, which can cause serious heart problems. It is notable that Maine’s have a genetic component causing this issue, though it is not yet conclusive.
Knowing that your Maine is particularly vulnerable to developing HCM, it is important to maintain regular checkups with your vet and monitor for signs, such as excessive panting.
Medical reasons such as asthma, congestive heart failure, respiratory infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia could all cause heavy panting, highlighting the need for owners to take any noticeable increase in panting in their feline friends seriously.
If the panting is accompanied by wheezing, coughing, head lowered or difficulty standing, this is definitely pointing to a more significant issue than just recuperating after running around for a zoomie spell, with veterinarian attention definitely advisable.
5. Maine’S are extremely sensitive to paracetamol, which can be fatal
Unlike their canine compatriots who can consume Panadol in controlled doses, cats, including Maine’s, cannot.
Ingestion of paracetamol can lead to cats turning blue (their gums, not their coats of course) and also, panting profusely with the toxicity from the paracetamol .causing severe breathing difficulties as well as swelling and jaundice.
Just another thing to be mindful of you do not leave lying around or consider giving it to your cat as emergency pain relief, as it will have rather the opposite effect.
6. Big cats with heavy coats are more prone to feeling warmer temperatures
This will cause panting as the body’s natural response to cooling itself down. If they do become overweight, a lack of fitness could lead to panting as well.
Stress and anxiety are other triggers for heavy panting, but this kind of panting could also be a symptom of something that requires medical attention such as anemia.
- You May Also Like To Read
- Do Maine Cats Like Grooming?
- Why Does My Maine Cat Drool?
- Why Does My Maine Cat Pant?
- Do Maine Cats Shed A lot?
- Do Maine’s Get Along With Other Cats?
The take-home message is simple if you are concerned your Maine is panting too much, talk to your vet.
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