When cats are smelling something they can broaden or heighten their sense of smell by opening their mouth, giving them the appearance of panting. My cats do this when they smell something on the carpet. My male cat also pants after he's been running around the house and playing realing hard. In that instance, like dogs, they use it to help cool them off.
my guess is that he doesn't have sweat glands and so this is his natural reaction when he gets hot or it might just be because he's out of breathe
My cats only panted when they were hot and thirsty.
My cat is now 6 years old, but shortly after we got her, when she was about 8 weeks old, I noticed that every time she was playing she would start panting. A lot. It scared me so much & I thought she had asthma, so I took her to the vet. When I brought her in, I told the vet the problem & she told me that there was absolutely nothing wrong with her. That it was just pheromones. Another way for them to experience a sensation. Like ShatteredSilk said, it's how they "taste" what they're smelling. The vet told me that it was perfectly normal & can happen to all cats when they're excited, or in any other kind of hyper-emotional state. He was probably just excited to get to the cat food after he opened the bag lol. <br />
It was wierd because she was the first cat I'd EVER noticed doing that before & I had LOTS of cats throughout my childhood. Occasionally since, though, I've noticed that my other two cats have also done it.
ShatteredSilk is right, I believe. Cats will open their mouths to "taste" a scent to help them identify it. (Big cats do this, also.) They also pant to cool off when overheated, like dogs. If they pant a lot, though, it's probably time to take them to the vet because that is definitely not normal.
I've never heard of a painting cat. I saw an elephant once that painted pictures with his trunk and then there was the chimpanzee. Is your cat into cubism or is he a traditional. If any of his paintings come up for sale let me know.
Most quadrupeds don't sweat, so they control there core temperature by panting... There's also others causes related to smell and emotional status that can influence breathing behavior and yawning.<br />
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