As a cat owner, you will notice that cats are very calm creatures who don't need much. They lie around with you and are happy with the food, affection, and a little bit of playtime. Everyone once in a while you might notice that your cat is gagging and may throw out a hairball now and then.
This is quite natural for cats. If you notice that the cat has frequently been gagging, this might indicate other problems such as infections or inflammations. In this case, you will need to help them out and seek professional help. Here are four tips to help your gagging cat.
Things That Can Make The Cat Gag
Before we dive into the tips to help your gagging cat, let's start with things you should avoid to prevent your cat from gagging.
1. Don't Let Them Swallow Foreign Objects
All animals try to swallow things that are not meant to be eaten. Cats too, can sometimes swallow strings or materials that resemble strings. You should keep your floor clean and your cat away from stray pieces of fabric.
2. Don't Make High-Frequency Noises
Cats are highly sensitive to noise, especially high-frequency ones. Sometimes these high-frequency noises such as the noise of a comb or a whistle can irritate them and make them gag. Try not to make such noises to help your cat live comfortably.
3. Only Feed Them What’s Good For Them
Cats can't eat everything that we humans can, so feeding them what we eat can be toxic. Furthermore, you might have house cleaners split on the floor or plants that they might try to eat. These can bring severe problems, so keep these away from your cat at all times.
Here are a few tips you can use to help your gagging cat.
1. Start by Massaging the Throat & Holding the Nose, and the Tongue
Before considering extreme measures, you need to see if the problem is not that severe and can be fixed with just a little help. You won't want to take your cat to a vet if it's no big issue, especially since cats don't like going to the vet. Hence, one of the first tips to help your gagging cat is to massage its throat.
If your cat seems distressed and starts gagging and coughing, it might signal that something got stuck in their throats. In this case, you should try gently massaging your cat's throat. This will help the muscles in the cat's throat relax and might help them swallow whatever they got stuck there.
Additionally, you can place your hand on the cat's nose. Now, we know that you might be confused as to how blocking the cat's nostrils will help. When the nostrils are blocked, the cat will be forced to swallow as the air supply through the nose has been cut off. This just might do the trick if no other serious variables are in play.
2. Go Visit an Expert
While being a cat owner has several benefits, you must also come to their aid when problems arise. If you can’t sort the problem out yourself, then chances are it is more severe than you first thought, in which case the best tip to help your gagging cat will be to visit a vet.
The problem may be more significant than you thought, and there are chances of infections or inflammation. Allergies can also cause gagging, and to identify the main problem, who better to ask than an expert? The vet will be able to give the cat an anesthetic and examine the cat till they find the primary cause. Note, that the cat should not be fed for a couple of hours before going to the vet.
3. Use Proper Medication to Treat Your Cats Condition
All creatures get sick from time to time, and your cat is sadly no exception. So, just as we humans take prescribed medicine for our sicknesses, cats need them to stay healthy indoors and outdoors. Medicine is also, of course, a big part of these tips to help your gagging cat. So let's start talking about some medications, shall we?
If the cat has been diagnosed with mucus, which can originate from allergies and irritations, you need to take swift measures to relieve them of the discomfort. Allergy medication such as antihistamine or decongestant will help the cat with its gagging. Furthermore, the gagging might be connected to the coughing, in which case the vet will also give you a coughing suppressant.
Additionally, the cat may be experiencing inflammation or an infection, for which the doctor will prescribe some strong antibiotics. If the examination shows that the throat is under inflammation, steroids may be prescribed. As for the infection, you will need to feed the cat antibiotics for a quick recovery.
In the worst-case scenario, the cat may require surgery to treat any internal damage. The throat area might have sustained damage; if not serious, the doctor will give them medicine that relaxes the throat muscle. Otherwise, surgery should be done to help your cat recover.
4. Prevention is the Best Cure For Cats
For the tips to help your gagging cat, as with all diseases and problems, if you can prevent it before it happens, that is the best solution. You should start by trying to feed your cat soft food, which is easier to swallow. Warm water mixed with dry food will also be easier on the cat's throat.
Additionally, there are hairball formula cat foods that help the hairballs move through their bodies, instead of throwing up or gagging. The main reason for hairballs is of course hair so you should also brush the cat often. A wet wipe will also help remove loose hair.
Lastly, you should feed the cat medicines that aid digestion. Laxatives can help with this process. Additionally, olive oil, canned pumpkin, or any other food with high fiber can help the cat push the hair through without gagging.
Cats may be adorable little creatures who don't seem to need much from us. Still, as owners, it is our absolute responsibility to identify the signs of their distress and give them the appropriate treatment.
Regardless of how small the problem seems, if the cat is constantly showing signs of stress and is gagging, then do not undermine the issue and seek help from a veterinarian as quickly as possible. We hope that this article aided you with these tips to help your gagging cat, and we hope you and your furry friend stay in good shape.