Why do Bengal Cats Pant?

Panting in cats is not something most people are familiar with unless they happen to own a Bengal cat.

So, do Bengal cats pant? While panting is an act that is more associated with dogs, it is common amongst Bengal cats as well. Bengal cats could pant under some kind of stress, fear, anxiety or they could simply be heated up. However, there can be multiple medical reasons too that may cause Bengal cats to pant.

Let us have a look at some of the common reasons of panting in Bengal cats and what you can do in each case.

Stress and panting in Bengal cats


Panting is a way for the Bengal cats to express heightened emotions of fear, stress and/or anxiety.

Till now:

The real reasons as to why these cats pant in such conditions are still not known but enough cases have been documented to give us a clear idea that the notion does hold to be true.

However, being the owner:

It will be pretty obvious for you to identify the situation or object that is stressing out your Bengal cat or making it anxious.

Tackling the situation that is triggering this response is a great way to handle the situation and make things accommodating for the cats.

Bengals pant due to high temperature

This is probably the first and the most common cause of panting that we are aware of.

Even dogs pant the most to dissipate heat from their body and cool down a little.

Same is the case with Bengal cats.

While when feeling hot, they do sweat heavily through the pads of their paws, it often is not enough.

This is when they feel the need to pant and use the saliva on their tongue to cool their bodies down.


If your cat has been playing a lot or is extra hyper for some reason, finding her panting and overly heated up is a common sight and one you should be prepared for.

Panting during pregnancy in Bengal cats

During the end of a pregnancy, the kittens as they begin to grow and drop down, start putting pressure on the diaphragm of the mother.

This can make it difficult for the female cat to breathe properly and this is the reason why they might often be seen painting by the end of their pregnancy term.

It is only to catch deep breaths that she otherwise might not be able to do with all that she is going through.

Similarly, giving birth to the babies is as hard for these furballs it is for us humans.

Long hours of labor and painful process of giving birth can exhaust the cats and have them be stressed.

Thus, during labor too, you are bound to see the cats panting.

It is to calm their nerves down and gain the energy needed to go through the whole process with strength.


If you see that your Bengal cat is panting more than it should and things are not moving the way they should, then, you might want to rush it to an emergency to help move things along and facilitate the cat with the process.

Medical reasons why your Bengal cat might pant

It is not every time that you would see the Bengal cat panting out of ordinary reasons.

Some may even call for concern and your grave attention to take needful actions on time.

Some of those reasons have been discussed below.

This way, the next time you see your Bengal cat panting for no reason at all, you will know if the situation is serious or not.

1. Anemia

As has been discussed above:

If the cat is not breathing properly, you would see it panting often.

But this is only normal during the last term of their pregnancy and not any time else.

One main reason why the cat might be panting, if it is not pregnant or feeling hot or excited, is because it is not getting enough oxygen.

Reduced number of red blood cells in the body can cause the oxygen-carrying strength of the blood to drop and thus may cause your cat to pant often to make up for the lost oxygen.

This may require a blood workup and a follow up with your vet to evaluate the situation and the possible actions that need to be taken to rectify it.

2. Breathing infections

Breathing problems or infections that affect the respiratory tract are common causes of panting in Bengal cats.

If you notice other alarming signs along with this, then it is advised that you do not delay the visit to the vet and take control of the infection in due time.

The problem could range anywhere from a blockage of the nose or the windpipe to asthma and even cancer.

Going to the doctor would help you identify the best way to handle the problem and resolve the breathing issue for your cat.

3. Nervous problems

It is the main controlling unit of your body which is giving commands and directing other organs to perform properly.

Any issue with your nervous system can result in the whole body getting affected.


The excessive panting that you have been observing in your Bengal cat lately could also be because of a mental issue that is either affecting the respiratory tract or the breathing mechanism of your cat’s body.

4. Heartworm

So you thought that heartworms can only affect dogs and not cats?


You are wrong.

Heartworms can affect the cats too and cause even more damage than they would when in dogs.

This is because the cats’ bodies are smaller and thus get affected more severely.

It can damage the blood vessels that are connected to the heart along with the lungs as well since it is all so physically close to each other, leading to breathing difficulties and panting in the cats.

5. Heart issues

As has been discussed previously, any trouble with the heart can affect the lungs as well in cats.

This is because of their bodies’ anatomy where everything is lying right next to each other.

Any pressure on the heart results in the lungs and the respiratory tract getting affected equally too.


An issue in the cat’s heart would be identified by a change in its breathing pattern and in the case of Bengal cats, by their panting.

A failure of the heart to function properly will put more pressure on the lungs causing breathing difficulties in cats.

The bottom line is:

If your Bengal cat has been panting more frequently nowadays and things don’t feel too good to you, it is suggested that you discuss your concerns with your vet immediately and have it thoroughly examined.

6. Carbon mono-oxide poisoning

This odorless gas could be leaking from some pipe near your cat’s home without you even knowing about it resulting in breathing issues.

While you might be that quick into identifying the leakage, your cat would feel its effects way more quickly and thus would be seen panting and gasping around to catch some breath.

In case of exposure to Carbon Mono-oxide:

You need to have your cat visit a doctor while eliminating the cause of leakage at the same time.

If you feel that your cat has been panting excessively lately and it could be for some underlying health condition, then see a vet on a priority basis.

He may write up a few tests and have your cat put up on fluids and medications to override the cause and ensure that its functions are fine and working in their optimum capacities.

Related Questions

Is panting dangerous for my Bengal cat? Panting alone is not dangerous but when it comes with significant other factors, that is when you need to be worried.

Some of the alarming signs to look out for along with panting are :

  • Poor appetite
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Coughing
  • Weight loss
  • Unquenchable thirst
  • Problem walking and maintaining stability
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue

If you happen to see any of these signs when your Bengal cat is panting then it might be something serious and worth getting checked up.

Is Bengal cat the only breed that pants? No.

In fact:

Panting has been observed in various other cat breeds too such as Persians, Himalayans and Maine coons.

Most of the cats that have long hair pant, but panting may not be that prominent in these breeds as it is with Bengal cats.

What kind of tests would the vet right up for a panting Bengal cat? The tests might include :

  • A complete blood report to identify RBC count and WBC count for anemia and infection along with chemical paneling of the blood to check for organ failures
  • X-ray test that would identify tumors and cancer in the chest and abdomen
  • Ultrasound of the chest to check for the functioning of the heart
  • Heartworm tests

Depending on the condition and symptoms that your cat is showing, the kind of tests that are prescribed may vary.

Once the reason is identified:

It is only then that the vet would be able to come up with a  treatment plan for your cat.


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