Kittens are energetic little creatures that typically take deep breaths whether they've recently been physically active or not. If your kitten seems to be struggling to breathe, this is a serious issue that requires medical attention. However, there may be steps you can take in the meantime to help alleviate your kitten's problem. Try these tips if you think your kitten isn't breathing as deeply as it should.
Check Nose and Mouth
One of the potential causes of a kitten not being able to breathe properly is that a foreign body or substance is causing a problem. This can often be cleared up, if only temporarily, before you head in to the vet's office.
To see if something is blocking your cat from breathing, get a flashlight and look closely at their nose. If you see signs of an injury, make a note of it to talk to the vet. If there's a foreign body lodged in their nostril, leave it alone. Trying to remove it could break off a portion and allow it to migrate to the lungs.
Lastly, if your kitten has mucus coming from their nose or mouth, that may be creating a bubble that keeps them from breathing fully. Try to wipe away the excess and if you find a bubble, pop it.
If your kitten's mouth and nose seem to be unharmed, there could be a problem with your cat's body. An injury can cause breathing problems if an infection develops near or in the lungs. You can typically find injuries just by running your hand over your cat's body. If your cat reacts badly to being touched in a certain area, make a note of it and stop touching it. There may be an injury there, but trying to handle it could cause your cat to hurt you.
Furthermore, check your cat's collar or harness. If it's too tight, it can definitely affect their ability to breathe. If you're not sure if it's too tight, try taking it off just for a little while and see if it makes a difference. If your cat seems to be better, adjust the collar to be looser or throw it away and get a bigger new one.
Get To Vet
Even if your cat's condition improves, don't assume that you can skip the vet's office. Several of the conditions described here don't go away just from clearing away their byproducts. For example, wiping away mucus can help, but the mucus will come back. In addition, even if your cat continues to breathe well, there's a chance that internal harm has occurred from not being able to breathe properly for a prolonged time.
Your vet will be able to perform a full exam of your cat and determine if they have any kind of problem that needs medical treatment.
Young kittens and adult cats need to be able to breathe well in order to live. If you ever notice that your cat is struggling to breathe, get medical help right away. Contact a clinic, like Parkview Animal Hospital, for more help.