Cats and Kittens also get hiccups like humans. If you have a feline friend at home who is suffering from hiccoughs, read and know all about the causes and treatment of the condition.
What are Cat Hiccups?
The condition refers to hiccups that occur in cats. In cats, the sound may be somewhat different from that of a human although the reasons behind the hiccups are scientifically similar. The frequencies of hiccups in feline members are different from that of humans. Hiccups, although not a serious issue, are a discomforting issue for cats just as in case of humans.
How Do Cat Hiccups Occur?
The medical term for hiccups is “Synchronous Diaphragmatic Flutter.” Hiccups are an involuntary action which is similar to catching breath while crying. They occur when the muscles of the diaphragm suddenly contract. Hiccups begin from the diaphragm when the muscles of the diaphragm contract involuntarily and disrupt the normal functions of the diaphragm. The diaphragm can be pulled down abruptly while air is being exhaled. Hiccups occur when the air unexpectedly enter the voice box.
What Causes Cat Hiccups?
A full stomach is one of the common reasons why a cat experiences hiccups. Cats normally eat slowly but do not chew food properly when they eat fast. Eating too much or eating quickly can irritate the diaphragm, which leads to its abnormal functioning. A bout of hiccups can also be set off by a foreign object, such as fur balls, in the throat of a cat when it grooms itself. It may also be related to allergic reaction to duct or presence of other allergens in the environment like pollen grains or grasses.
Hiccoughs may also be caused due to irritation of the nerves which extend from the neck to the throat of a cat. In rare conditions, the condition may also result from a serious medical disorder. Hiccupping can also be caused due to an anatomical problem in a cat’s throat. If a cat experiences hiccups for more than 3 hours, it would require immediate medical attention since its energy level would be affected due to stomach pain and shortness of breath.
When Would a Cat Require Medical Help?
Cats normally appear undisturbed by the hiccups. However, if a cat or kitten seems to be distressed, it might need treatment by a doctor. Also, if you notice that your cat is not stretching out while relaxing but sitting scrunched up, it might be experiencing abdominal pain. Sometimes, a cat may start vomiting in serious conditions. If the hiccupping is due to an allergic reaction or due to a microbial infection, it would require urgent medical attention.
How to Cure Cat Hiccups?
In most cases, cat hiccups can resolve naturally after some time. You can wait for the hiccoughs to recede. However, if you are too worried about the health of your furry friend, you may follow the following tips to cure cat hiccups:
- Put the meal and water dishes of your cat at an elevated place. This may prevent your cat from drinking or eating fast. Elevated bowls or dishes will make your cat work harder to get the food and eat slowly. This will prevent hiccups from developing.
- If your cat is allergic to something, it may develop hiccups. Remove any possible allergens in the environment like dust, grass, pollen dust.
- If possible, make your pet drink water. However, do not force it. If you suspect ingestion in the throat due to hairballs, provide diets that will help the cat to pass them out through excreta. Formation of hairballs can create a blockage in the gastrointestinal system of a cat.
- Sometimes, hiccups are a sign of illness. If the hiccups continue for a long time and your cat seems to be disturbed and weak, it might be a signal that it needs medical attention. The sound of hiccups may actually be the result of something that has accidentally got stuck in the throat.