Hunter was recently diagnosed with restrictive cardiomyopathy (a heart condition that led to fluid accumulating in his heart and lungs).

We were instructed to monitor his condition by measuring his breathing rate regularly. To do this, we should count the number of breaths (an inhalation and exhalation) that he takes in a minute. We were instructed to do this when he is relaxed or asleep.

When he's relaxed he's usually purring. Does purring affect his breathing rate? Should we only measure his breathing rate when he's not purring?

  • This may depend on how hard he's working to make sure you hear him. I've known cats whose purr is inaudible, and others who are impossible not to hear, and while some of that is certainly anatomical I have to believe that the loudest purrs are more effort and involve deeper or more rapid breathing. On the othet hand, if that really is your cat's resting mode, that's probably the one you want to record for the vet...
    – keshlam
    Apr 25, 2015 at 14:22

1 Answer 1


I spoke to my vet this morning. He said that some cats have their breathing rate affected by purring (because they get into a purring rhythm), but other cats do not.

The breathing rate that I should be measuring is really when he's asleep (and he won't purr while he's asleep).

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