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Why Is My Cat Gagging

Diseases Which Cause Cat Gagging

Why is My Cat Gagging (the cause could be deadly!) – Cat Health Vet Advice

If your cat keeps gagging in fits over a period of time, it likely means they are suffering a chronic problem. This could be related to inappropriate diet as mention above, but it may also be due to an underlying pathology.

Certain diseases, even if they are not ostensibly connected to the pharynx, can result in the cat retching repeatedly. The following diseases are link to cat gagging as a symptom:

  • Heart disease: various symptoms can occur when a cat has heart disease, including lethargy, swelling, weakness and gagging. The problem can be genetic or lifestyle based. It is important to take the cat to a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.
  • Kidney disease: malfunction of the kidneys means the rest of the cat’s organism is affecting. It can affect the cat’s central nervous system and cause inappropriate signals to be sent, some of which can lead to gagging.
  • Liver disease: similar cause to kidney disease in cats.
  • Hyperthyroidism: when a cat’s thyroid overacts, it can lead to persistent gagging as a symptom. Again, veterinary diagnosis and symptom management will be required.
  • Infections: if a cat has a viral, bacterial or fungal infection which affects the back of their throat, it is common for the gag reflex to be triggering. Treatment will depend on the type of infection present.

Why Is My Cat Coughing And Gagging

Original Question: My cat has been gagging for two and a half days. She’s not being herself and clearly doesn’t feel good but she is still eating. Should I wait a bit longer to see if she coughs it up or see a vet ASAP? – Cass

Hi Cass,

Thanks for your question.

I want to start off by saying that gagging is not a normal thing for a cat to do and it could definitely represent a problem with the back of the mouth, throat, or the upper intestinal tract and in and around the upper esophagus. Coughing and gagging in cats could be due to something that was swallowed and is now stabbing at the back of the mouth such as a stick or grass seed. It could also be due to ulceration, injury, severe dental disease, and nerve problems so there a lot of possible causes.

Its definitely better to get her checked out sooner rather than later by your vet because problems in this area can become life-threatening and much harder to treat if left for some time.

Please have your cat seen by a veterinarian for a physical examination and diagnostics so the appropriate treatment can be initiated.

Good luck.

Is My Cat Choking Or Just Coughing Here’s What To Do In Case Of An Emergency

Learn how to tell whether your feline friend is just coughing or if hes experiencing a more dangerous lack of air.

If your cat is choking, it’s an emergency. But it can be difficult to tell whether your cat is just coughing, or actually choking. Learn how to distinguish the two and what you can do at home if your cat loses consciousness.

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What Is Cat Gagging

According to Catster, the gag reflex is a contraction of the throat muscles that is caused by stimulation of the pharynx. The gag reflex of cats is excellent as it is needed for survival. It is normal and healthy for a cat to gag if something harmful has entered their system or they are suffering from irritation. Gagging differs from coughing and sneezing as coughing is related to the lungs and sneezing is related to the nasal passages, whereas gagging relates to the throat.

What Causes Cats To Cough

Why is my cat gagging and choking? https://www ...

In cats, coughing is most often a sign of an inflammatory problem affecting the lower respiratory tract, especially some form of bronchitis. This inflammation is often due to an infection, particularly with viruses such as feline viral rhinotracheitis, or bacteria such as Bordetella.

Parasitic worms, especially heartworms, may be responsible for coughing and respiratory problems in some cases. Allergies of various origins may also cause coughing. Cats can cough for a variety of other reasons, including the presence of foreign material within the airway, or irritation from inhaled liquids or gases.

“In cats, coughing is most often a sign of an inflammatory problem affecting the lower respiratory tract, especially some form of bronchitis.”

Chest tumors can occasionally cause coughing. Coughing is not commonly associated with heart disease.

Coughing may accompany upper respiratory tract disease when irritation or inflammation affects the larynx or trachea, or a disease in the nose that results in excessive secretions draining into the larynx and trachea, causing irritation and coughing.

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Seek Veterinary Care For Your Cats Gagging

Do you feel like you understand a little bit more about your cats gagging issue now? As you can see, some causes of gagging are not very serious at all, and some may even take care of themselves without veterinary intervention.

However, in many cases, it is important to take your cat to the vet if you notice him gagging. And of course, if he shows any signs of respiratory distress or if you believe he may have inhaled or ingested a foreign object, seek emergency vet care right away. Otherwise, you can probably wait until your regular vet is available for other issues.

When in doubt, especially for a situation like this, its best to have your cat examined by a veterinarian to make sure there arent other underlying health problems that could be causing your cat to keep gagging. Regarding your pets health, is always better to be safe than sorry.

Dry Heaving And Vomiting In Cats

All cats will vomit or dry heave every so often. However, severe or frequent dry heaving may be a sign that your kitty is suffering from a more serious health issue than an upset stomach. Here, our Tracy vets explain some of the causes of dry heaving or vomiting in cats, what conditions may cause them and how they are diagnosed.

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The Most Common Causes Of Feline Gagging

If you have an idea of what your cat may have swallowed to cause the gagging, use your instincts to figure out if the situation warrants immediate help. We touched on hairballs, but those are not necessarily dangerous to your cat. In fact, it should be expected that your cats will have at least one bout with hairballs in their lifetimes.

But hairballs are only one possible explanation among many for feline gagging, and sometimes, more serious measures need to be taken in order to resolve the situation. For example, let’s say you dropped a chocolate chip or a Hershey’s kiss, and you became busy with something else so you forgot to pick up the chocolate that you dropped.

As the majority of pet owners know, chocolate is a toxic ingredient for cats. It upsets their stomachs to an incredible degree, and the chocolate itself is very harmful to your cat’s digestive system. So, if you suddenly notice that your cat is gagging, and you think back to the memory of you dropping a piece of chocolate, the situation would warrant medical attention.

Even if you can help guide your cat through the gagging process and your cat eventually coughs up the chocolate, there is still a problem at hand. The fact that chocolate was in your cat’s system is concerning, and even though the chocolate is not physically digesting in your cat’s stomach, chocolate entered your cat’s body. This is a cause for professional assistance because your cat will need to be monitored after ingesting something toxic.

Are Cat Hairballs Normal

Dry Heaving Cat

Many cat owners find it very difficult and distressing to hear their cats gagging and retching, and they start to wonder if there is anything they should be worrying about. This self-grooming is completely normal and cats should be doing it to keep their fur in good condition.

Most individual hairs will pass through the cats digestive system as normal, but sometimes they can form clumps which begin to accumulate in the stomach. Cats try and vomit them up to prevent them going into the intestine and causing a blockage. Dont be worried if you see your cat stretch their neck, dry retch and expel a hairball before calmly walking away. It can be distressing to watch this, but dont worry its normal.

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How Do You Prevent Your Cat From Choking

Ideally, you want to keep choking hazards out of your cat’s environment. Cats are drawn to chewing on tinsel, string, yarn, and hair ties. Make sure your cat doesn’t have access to string-like objects and toys that are small enough to be swallowed.

When it comes to feeding, Simpson recommends using a food puzzle or a slow-feed bowl for dry food. This will slow down cats who tend to quickly gulp food. Also, never give bones to your cat, since slivers of bone can get stuck in their airway.

Administering medication can also create a choking hazard, Simpson says. “Be sure to follow a pill with a syringe of water to prevent it from getting stuck in the esophagus. If your cat is struggling, stop trying to give medication because this could accidentally cause the cat to cough and inhale the pill.”

Whether your cat is choking or coughing, both require veterinary attention. But choking is an emergency. When in doubt, head to or contact your veterinarian immediately. Better to assume that it’s an emergency than to wait until it’s too late.

Cat Fur Ball Gag Or Something Worse Why Is My Cat Gagging

A cat fur ball gag is a familiar sound to a pet owner. Particularly when your cat is a long haired breed. Cats are always grooming and if your long haired cat is not brushed regularly, she can gag and retch up furballs frequently. What cat owner hasnt unwittingly stepped in a puddle of slimy, gooey furball at one point or another? Usually in the middle of the night, in the dark! All cats are subject to furballs from time to time.

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The Differences Between Normal Coughing And Concerning Gagging

As mentioned earlier, gagging is not always a concerning event in your cat’s life. On a similar note, some behaviors are mistaken as gagging. Dry heaving is an example of a behavior that mimics many symptoms of gagging but it is different from gagging. The situation is only something to take note of if you find that something seems off or when your cat cannot stop gagging.

The main differences between normal gagging and problematic, excessive gagging include…

  • Vomiting
  • Straining or signs of pain
  • Distressing sounds
  • Hiding in unusual places
  • Aggressive behavior after gagging

If you notice that any of these behaviors coincide with your catâs gagging situation, then we advise you to take your pet to the vet. Receiving medical wisdom on the matter will not only calm your mind but the professionals will also be able to make your cat more comfortable while the gagging episodes pass.

Coughing And Gagging In Cats

Why does my cat have gagging?

Coughing in cats is a protective reflex meant to rid the respiratory tract of items such as foreign particles, mucus, irritants, and microbes. This is driven by an irritation or inflammation in the bronchi or trachea which might be related to various mild to severe conditions.

Similarly, a cat gagging is reflexively removing irritants from its larynx. It is usually confused with retching. Now, lets look at these conditions underlying causes:

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Q Any Prevention Tips

A Brushing your cat regularly with a soft brush can definitely help, and you should aim for a once-a-day grooming session for longhaired breeds, or a weekly one for shorthaired cats. If your cat is prone to furballs, you can also consider an anti-hairball dry food. These kibble-based diets usually contain vitamins and minerals to improve the condition of your cat’s fur and reduce hair loss, plus they have plenty of fibre to help ‘sweep’ the excess fur through her digestive system. By and large, hairballs are a digestive issue rather than a breathing problem, so it’s important to recognise the difference between the two. If your cat is coughing or gagging regularly, never just assume that it’s a hairball. If you’re in any doubt, always have a chat with your vet.

How To Help A Cat With Hairballs

Many cat owners are concerned when a cat has hairballs because it seems like they are choking or struggling. Whats the best way for owners to help a cat throw up a hairball?

Although its difficult to watch your cat struggling and gagging, the best thing you can do to help them with hairballs is to give them plenty of space. Its perfectly normal for your cat to gag several times to be able to vomit the hairball.

The key is not to get too distressed and just keep an eye on your cat to ensure they bring up the hairball and then stop gagging.

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Cat Gagging The Final Verdict

Cat gagging is normal cat behavior that is caused by the gag reflex. In most cases, it is not serious and is a reaction to bringing up a hairball or a small foreign object irritating their pharynx. However, if cat gagging is a persistent problem, it is potentially a sign of something more serious, such as kidney, liver, or heart disease. Therefore, you may need to see the vet if this problem continues and they will conduct the necessary tests and decide the best course of treatment.

Q Is That Retching Noise Always Due To A Furball

My Kitty Coughing – What’s Going On?

A The problem with hairballs is that they can be confused with other serious health conditions, such as . The main symptom of is usually a dry cough, but if your cat has developed a sore throat at the same time, she can make a retching sound similar to bringing up a hairball. Asthmatic cats usually also tend to wheeze, so if you´re in any doubt about which condition it might be, ask your vet for advice.

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What To Do If Your Cat Is Dry Heaving

Hairballs can be treated or prevented by giving your cat hairball treatment. It is important to talk to your veterinarian first to be sure it is safe for your cat.

Uncomplicated nausea may resolve within a short time. If it persists for longer than 24 hours or is accompanied by fever or other symptoms, you should call your veterinary care provider.

Gastroenteritis should be checked out by your veterinarian, who will be able to perform laboratory and diagnostic tests as well as a physical examination.

A foreign body in throat or stomach has to be evaluated by your veterinarian to see what the options for treatment are.

Kidney, liver, and heart disease all need to be checked by your veterinary care provider right away.

Heimlich Manoeuvre In Cats

If this doesnt work, you need to get your cat to a vet ASAP. While in the car, if the cat cannot breathe, you can try a variation of the Heimlich manoeuvre. Only try this if your cat is collapsed and cannot breathe as it can cause damage to the chest, and your cat will need to be checked afterwards by a vet. In human medicine, for example, anyone receiving the Heimlich manoeuvre should be checked by a doctor to make sure that no ribs have been broken. If a second person is not available during the car journey, its more important to drive quickly and safely to the vet.

Heimlich manoeuvre steps:

  • Lay your cat on their side.
  • Hold your cats back against your stomach , and, with one hand, find the soft hollow under the ribs .
  • Using the hand on your cats stomach, pull up and in two or three times, toward your own tummy, using a sharp thrusting motion.
  • Check the mouth for foreign objects.
  • If this doesnt work and your cat loses their pulse, begin CPR at approximately 120 chest compressions per minute and continue these until at the veterinary practice.
  • In most cases, getting rid of the choking obstruction will allow the cat to breathe again. However, a trip to the vet is essential regardless of whether the item has been dislodged or not as there may be damage to the inside of the mouth or throat once the object is removed.

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    Upper Respiratory Tract Infections

    Upper respiratory tract infections in cats are relatively common. The term refers to a group of infections which can affect the upper respiratory system, either completely or in part. Thanks to the development and utilization of vaccination programs, their incidence is decreasing. The causative agents of these infections are usually viral, bacterial or fungal. They cause various symptoms, but coughing and gagging are common.

    Some of the most common causes of coughing and gagging cats are due to feline rhinotracheitis virus, feline calicivirus and Chlamydia infections. URIs in cats are commonly highly contagious and are transmitted between cats via secretions. Often this is in the form of mucus or purulent discharge. When such secretions are expelled they can cause gagging or agitation leading to coughing. Since cats groom each other, bacteria and viruses can spread easily.

    Young kittens are more likely to develop a URI, as are those with feline leukemia virus or any reason for immunodeficiency. Cats going through stressful situations can have lower defences against infections and upper respiratory tract infections can spread easily through animal shelters or places where cats live in large groups. Infections from various causative agents can affect a cat at the same time, such as when a viral infection leads to a secondary bacterial infection.

    Along with coughing and gaging, upper respiratory tract infections in cats can lead to the following symptoms:


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