Why Does My Cat Have Hiccups?

Hiccups – what sometimes sounds like a swallowed frog with humans, sounds very cute with cats. But it is still uncomfortable for the four-pawed darling. Most of the time, the amount of feed is too large, and in individual cases, there is a disease behind it. This post explains why cats get hiccups and what to do.

Why Do Cats Get Hiccups?

  • Hiccups can affect cats and hangovers of any age.
  • Please do not try the same methods as on people with hiccups (startling or holding your breath).
  • Fast, overeating leads to swallowing too much air, causing hiccups.
  • Basically, a “classic” hiccup disappears in a few hours.

The Cat Has Hiccups: How Does It Happen?

In concrete terms, when the cat hiccups, the diaphragm contracts. At the same time, however, the glottis between the vocal cords, which are located in the larynx, closes. Then there is the well-known “hiccup”. Often the cause is irritated nerves in the diaphragm. As a rule, the phenomenon disappears after a maximum of a few hours. If this is not the case or if it occurs more frequently in house cats, you should ask the vet for advice. In principle, cat owners do not have to intervene if the pet has hiccups. The reflex is not associated with shortness of breath. It’s an uncomfortable feeling, but it will pass.

Note: It is often forgotten that hiccups are an important mechanism. It prevents fluid from entering the lungs.

Possible side effects if the cat has hiccups

  • Cat has hiccups when purring;
  • Cat has hiccups and chokes or coughs;
  • Cat twitches at the stomach when hiccups;
  • Cat gasps and hiccups.

Harmless Reasons for Hiccups in Cats

If the little house tiger is one of the quick eaters, hiccups are often a well-known companion. The animals gobble down the food without chewing properly. This means that a lot of air gets into the stomach at the same time. This has an irritating effect on the diaphragm, whereupon the classic “hiccup” occurs. This is the most common reason for velvet paw hiccups. In general, younger kittens who are still learning to eat are often more affected.

Furthermore, hiccups can result from eating too large a portion or too large pieces.

Another harmless trigger could be insufficient water intake. Similarly, hairballs in the stomach contribute to hiccups. This is especially true if the cat chokes to remove the ball of fur from the digestive tract, but it doesn’t work.

Diseases that may be related to hiccups

  • Heart Problems: If the cat has hiccups, a heart condition such as HCM may be a trigger. Often this is the case with older cats.
  • Lungs: Sometimes the hiccups are a sign of pulmonary edema. This is accompanied by panting, shortness of breath, paralysis, staggering, or sudden attacks of weakness.
  • Asthma: Hiccups are often just the harbinger of such an illness. Look out for other symptoms, such as coughing or shortness of breath.
  • Tumors and parasites are also possible causes of hiccups.
  • Allergies: Sometimes we don’t even know, but our pets also suffer from allergies. Here it helps to check when and in which situations the hiccups start.
  • Foreign bodies: It is not uncommon for the velvet paws to eat something that is not good for them. Even then, respiratory problems occur more frequently.

Calm Down the Animal Patient and Drive to the Vet in an Emergency

The cat has hiccups – what to do and how best to help? Owners and mistresses who ask themselves these questions are given a few tips below that are useful in an emergency:

  • Avoid Stress and Keep Calm: These tips are very helpful. This allows the fur nose to relax and the annoying noise quickly subsides. A cat can hiccup for up to 24 hours without developing a serious illness.
  • Do not try any tricks: There is absolutely no point in treating the kitten with “human tricks”. On the contrary, because often it only makes the situation worse and the animal panics
  • Massage gently towards the head: Sometimes it helps if the cat is gently stroked. Starting with the front legs, slowly and gently move towards the head. This makes it possible for the air to escape upwards in a more relaxed and problem-free manner.
  • Feed small portions: If you want to eat quickly, it is worth changing your habits. These can be shredded pieces or smaller rations of food. However, it helps to put a larger object in the food bowl. The fur nose has to eat around it, which means that it takes in less food at once
  • Visit the vet: If the hiccups persist or come back regularly, take the patient to the vet.
  • Especially when symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, or general weakness are added.
Judy Taylor

Written by Judy Taylor

Judy Taylor combines her love of science and writing to educate pet owners. Her articles on pet wellness, published on a variety of platforms, reveal a deep passion for animals. With a teaching background and shelter volunteer experience, Judy brings expertise to the fields of writing and compassionate pet care.

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