Everyone knows how irritating a hiccup crisis can be – for those who feel and those who hear – and, like us, cats can also be affected by these sudden and involuntary movements. Although cats hiccups are not as frequent, these pets are also not comfortable with the problem.
In general, cats usually recover quickly from hiccups. Therefore, at first, it is advisable not to intervene and let the body recover naturally. But when observing that the hiccups become very intense or that the animal shows symptoms of discomfort/difficulty in breathing, it is important to help them to control this situation.
The best thing to do when you notice that your cat hiccups with a certain frequency or intensity are to take him to the trusted vet.
Continue reading this article to learn more about the cat hiccups.
Why Do Cats Have Hiccups?
The inspiratory sound and the characteristic sensation of the hiccup are the results of two natural organic phenomena that occur involuntarily. The basis of the hiccup (or its first part) happens from an involuntary movement of the diaphragm, which consists of a sudden and intermittent contraction. This involuntary contraction generates a temporary and very fast closing of the epiglottis, which produces the characteristic “hip” sound.
Although hiccup attacks appear abruptly, without being able to identify a specific cause, some behaviors can favor their development. In cats, the most frequent causes of hiccups are:
- Eat or drink too fast.
- Compulsion or excessive consumption of food.
- Formation of hairballs in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Allergic reactions.
- Hyperactivity, anxiety, stress or excessive arousal.
- Metabolic disorders – such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism – that can lead to hyperexcitation, hyperactivity or increased stress.
- Cold exposure.
And What To Do?
As already mentioned, cats hiccups are generally harmless and last for a few seconds, as the body is prepared to naturally recover. So, it is almost always better not to intervene and observe to ensure that the animal recovers satisfactorily.
Occasionally, tutors may have some difficulty in distinguishing hiccups from the noises the cat makes because of a foreign body stuck in its throat. Therefore, before using any homemade method, it is better to have the specialized attention of a veterinarian.
However, it is recommended that all guardians take some preventive measures to prevent their cats from suffering a hiccup attack. Check out the tips below.
Prevent Water And Food From Being Swallowed Quickly: Eating too fast is a common bad habit in dogs, but cats can also hiccup for that reason. To prevent this from happening, it is recommended to offer food and water in larger containers, which reduces the risk of binge eating and requires greater effort to reach the internal content. It is also important to establish a regular feeding routine for the feline, saving him from periods of prolonged fasting.
Avoid The Accumulation Of Hairballs In Your Gastrointestinal Tract: Despite being harmless, the hiccup deserves special attention when associated with the difficulty in removing hair from the gastrointestinal tract, since it can cause vomiting, constipation and other digestive discomforts. Keeping hair brushing up to date is a good tip to avoid the problem.
Discard Possible Allergies: When you notice that the cat has very intense hiccups, it is advisable to consult your trusted veterinarian about allergy tests for cats. In many cats, hiccups can be a symptom of an allergy and it is important to identify which agent causes this reaction.
Taking Care Of The Cold: Cats are sensitive to the cold. Low temperatures can seriously damage your health, in addition to causing hypothermia. To avoid hiccups, do not expose it to low temperatures and pay attention to the conditioning of the house.
Provide A Positive Environment: Stress and negative feelings are very harmful to the health of the cats. Healthy breeding should include a positive environment, in which the cat feels safe and finds the ideal conditions for its development.
Provide Adequate Preventive Medicine: Allergies and metabolic disorders can affect behavior and cause unfavorable moods in cats. To be diagnosed early and avoid worsening of symptoms, it is essential to provide the appropriate preventive medicine to these animals: visit the veterinarian every six months, respect the periodic vaccination protocol and take care of deworming.
Hiccups In Kittens Cats
As with adult cats, in general, when puppies have hiccups it is due to an involuntary response of the diaphragm after excessive milk intake or after intense feeding. For this reason, it is common to observe hiccups in newborn cats, in small cats that start eating solid foods, or even in orphaned cats that must be bottle-fed.
If these causes have been ruled out and it is not known why the newborn has hiccups, see the vet as soon as possible to find the cause.