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Verity, once the respiratory rate exceeds 30 breaths/minute while asleep or at rest, our cat patients need the attention of their vets. Advanced cardiopulmonary disorders such as cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease), thoracic effusion (free fluid in the chest cavity) due to congestive heart failure or inflammation due to neoplasia (cancer), and primary lung tumor or, less commonly chronic bronchitis due to asthma are all important considerations.
Please have Chole's vet carefully auscultate (listen to) and X-ray Chole's chest at your earliest convenience. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
My condolences for your loss of Chole. I appreciate your taking the time to let me know. You may receive an inappropriate follow-up from the site ostensibly sent by me. It wasn't and I apologize in advance should you receive it.