Hello all. I have a 15 yr old Hymalayan that has enjoyed good health all his life but now his breathing has gotten heavy. He hasn’t changed his daily routine at all just the heavy breathing. Any suggestions to what it might be would be very helpfull.
Thank you – Kirk
ANSWER: Hi Kirk, thanks for asking about you Himalayan cat with heavy breathing. I’ll put my thoughts into the pot first and hope one or two others might follow.
I think the first point is that you say the breathing is “heavy”. You don’t mention “rapid”. A classic reason for rapid breathing is heart disease. There are other possible reasons.
Bronchitis causes difficulty in breathing but is accompanied by a cough but there is no cough it seems.
Heavy breathing might mean “noisy” breathing, which is a sign of upper respiratory disease.
Foreign objects etc. cause coughing and can be ruled out.
Although there is a story on the internet of a cat with diagnosed kidney failure having heavy breathing I am not sure that this is correct. But if a cat is ill and old it will be tired and might breath heavily.
Himalayans are pointed Persian cats as you probably know and I can’t avoid thinking of the genetic diseases to which the Persian is prone and PKD1 Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) is high on the list. Persian cat health problems.
My gut feel is that it might be a combination of age causing tiredness coming on more easily resulting in heavier than normal breathing and either heart problems and/or PKD. Are there any other symptoms such as increased fluid intake and urination? It not kidney disease is not indicated. Another possibility is fluid in the space around the lungs making breathing harder. This is called Pleural Effusion. This is the most common cause of breathing difficulties in cats apparently. This is caused by FIP and Feline Leukemia both serious diseases.
Or just plain old age. (Reference material: Book 1).