Cat hiccups are not a regular occurrence, but it is completely normal for cats to get the hiccups; however, cat hiccups don’t sound anything like human ones. At the same time if hiccups seem to be chronic or in bursts, then they may be signaling a bigger issue.
How to Recognize a Cat Hiccup
As previously mentioned, cat hiccups are not like your own, so it will take some attention to know whether your cat has got the hiccups or is just being her usual weird self.
The physical manifestations of a cat hiccup are the same as that of a human so you can see or feel the abdominal spasms as the hiccups occur; however, the sound is more akin to a squeaking. Wheezing and signs of breathing problems can also be indicative of a cat hiccup.
Normal hiccups caused by one of the reasons listed below should last no longer than a few hours to a day. If the hiccupping lasts for an extended period, especially in older cats, it can mean that there is a more serious problem such as asthma, heart disease, the presence of parasites, or even tumor.
Why Do Cats Hiccup?
Hiccups are more common in kittens that adult cats, and the result of spasms in the diaphragm. There are several reasons why such spams of the diaphragm might occur:
- Eating too fast: Just like humans, eating too fast can results in hiccups for cats. Cats eat their food without much chewing which can mean swallowing a lot of air, which, of course, sometimes results in hiccups.
- Eating too much: Aside from eating too quickly, overeating is another reason why a cat might get the hiccups.
- Hairballs: Cats and hairballs go hand-in-hand, and if a cat’s throat becomes irritated by a hairball, instead of coughing she might develop a hiccup.
Cat Hiccup Treatment
There isn’t anything you can do stop a hiccup once it has started—it has to go away on its own—there are several steps you can take to reduce the chance of your cat getting a hiccup.
- Since the most common way a cat will develop hiccups is from eating too fast or overeating, you can reduce the chances of her developing a hiccup by feeding smaller portions of her daily allotment of food. Additionally, having her food bowl on a platform that is just in reach can help slow down the speed at which she scarfs down her food.
- If the hiccups seem to be caused by hairballs, then the solution is to reduce the chance of hairballs accumulating. There are many varieties of gels, and types of foods you can feed your cat in order to reduce hairball accumulation. Frequent brushing of your cat can also help reduce the amount of hair it ingests while grooming.
Lastly, if your cat is hiccupping without any apparent cause, don’t try too many home remedies. It is best to take your cat in to your veterinarian as soon as possible so that any serious problems can be dealt with quickly.