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Why Is My Cat Gagging?

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You’re sitting down on your couch, excited to relax. Your furry friend comes and kneads your lap, getting comfortable too. Then, instead of curling into a ball, he widens his mouth and starts heaving. Instead of relaxing, you’re cleaning up after your pet and wondering – why is my cat gagging?

At Germantown Vet, we understand how unpleasant it is for cat owners to see their cat gagging. Here are the common reasons why cats gag — and what you can do about it.

Common Reasons Cats Gag

Hearing your cat gag is unpleasant and, for many cat owners, familiar. Cats typically gag due to:

  • Hairballs: Hairballs are the most common reason cats gag. They ingest fur when they clean themselves. That fur is difficult for digestive systems to process, so they get rid of it through gagging and vomiting.
  • Eating too quickly: If your cat vacuums down their food, it could cause gagging. The food overwhelms your cat’s system, causing them to regurgitate. Eating too fast can be a result of food anxiety.
  • Eating a foreign object: Cats’ curious nature can get them into trouble. They may eat things like string, fabric, or plastic, which can get stuck in their airway or digestive system, leading to gagging. This problem requires immediate attention from a veterinarian. Don’t try to remove any item yourself because you may cause damage.
  • Ingesting a toxin: It’s that curious nature getting your cat into trouble again. Many houseplants and cleaning supplies are toxic to cats. If your cat’s problem resolves on its own, you should watch for worsening conditions. If that happens, get your cat to the vet right away.
  • Nausea: It may be tummy troubles causing your cat to gag. If your cat’s gagging is persistent (no hairballs!), it could be nausea. The type of food, some medications, or diseases can cause nausea in cats, so you should have your furry friend checked out by a vet to rule out any underlying conditions.
  • Disease: If your cat is gagging and is also lethargic, weak, extra thirsty, or has a swollen abdomen, your animal may have a more serious condition, like heart, kidney, or liver disease. You should bring your cat to our office immediately, so we can help you make them more comfortable and alleviate their symptoms.

Simple Ways To Help Your Cat Gag Less

Your cat gagging may be normal, but that doesn’t make it less concerning. Here are simple ways you can reduce your cat’s gagging at home:

  • Feed them smaller meals.
  • Use a slow feeder.
  • Brush your cat more frequently.
  • Offer hairball food formulas.
  • Check their airways.
  • Put away attractive hazards such as small plastic pieces, toxic plants, etc.
  • Schedule an appointment with Germantown Vet.

You can help your cat reduce their gagging with some preventative care. It’s also important to ensure your cat is healthy and that there are no underlying reasons for the gagging.

Improve Your Cat’s Wellness With Germantown Vet

You can improve your cat’s overall wellness with a visit to Germantown Vet. We’ll ensure your cat is healthy and can help you reduce their gagging.

We’re the largest and best-equipped veterinarian office in Montgomery County. You can trust we can diagnose and treat your cat, no matter the problem. We’ve helped Germantown pet owners in our state-of-the-art facility since 1983, and we’re excited to help you keep your cat as healthy as possible.

Call 240-252-7467 or contact us online to schedule your cat’s wellness visit with us.

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