As a cat lover, it’s likely that you have noticed certain attitudes and behaviors from your cute furry friend that might call your attention. Cats are amazing and very expressive animals, and many of the things they do are ways of communicating with us. One example of this is the gagging at food. This is something that happens a lot to many different cat breeds, and many humans tend to wonder about the reasons behind this. Do you want to know more about why it is that your cat is gagging at food? Read along to find out everything about this!
Multiple causes, multiple explanations
Gagging is the way cats get rid of unwanted materials, items or sensations inside their bodies. Such as people gag whenever they taste, swallow or smell something that they find weird or that they don’t like, so do cats! As you may imagine, there’s no one simple or single explanation on the reasons why your cat gags at food.
Depending on the context, the cat breed, the particular situation and other circumstances, the reasons which explain this specific behavior can differ. In this sense, it’s important to take all of these factors into account when trying to understand why your cat does this. In the following section of this article, we will dive into the details of some of the most frequent explanations about why cats gag at food.
The main reasons why cats gag at food
Just like we have mentioned above, there are many different explanations behind cats gagging at food. While some reasons are more common than others, and some other reasons don’t represent anything to worry about, there are other causes which might require your attention and action.
Swallowing something by accident
On occasions, cats can swallow something that they are not supposed to. In this sense, one of the reasons that might explain why a cat is gagging at food is that it might have swallowed some foreign object accidentally. Usually, the objects that they most swallow by accident are strings, as they very much enjoy playing with them.
Your cat is nauseous
Even though cats don’t usually gag from nausea as humans tend to do, this is also possible. Thus, another cause that may explain why cats gag at food is that they are nauseous. Nausea may be accompanied by vomits, and it can also be a sign of illnesses or also a reaction towards certain types of medications. Either way, if you see that your cat is gagging at food because it is nauseous, then it is worth keeping an eye on it and going to the vet whenever you have doubts.
A hairball situation
As you must surely have noticed, almost every cat likes to take care of its aspect, and they are constantly grooming themselves. The reason why cats do this is that they are trying to remove any trace of debris from their furs. And the fact is that, in the process of doing so, their hair forms a ball that many cats tend to swallow from time to time. Thus, swallowing hairballs is one of the most common and popular reasons that explain why cats gag at food. In this particular situation, cats gag to get rid of the hairballs.
In the mealtime
On several occasions, before and also after their mealtime, cats have a tendency to gag at food. It may happen that, before they start to eat, while they are eating or after they are eating, some unwanted item gets into their throats, and this is what triggers the gagging.
Scents in the area
What to us might seem like a delicious, wonderful and enjoyable aroma, for cats might probably not feel like the same. In this sense, even though certain foods might not be toxic for cats, it’s possible that the scents, smells and aromas of them might cause them gagging. A way of knowing if your cat is gagging due to the smell of unpleasant foods is by looking at how it expresses this. If you see that your cat is making weird faces and inhaling air while making gagging noises, it’s possible that the reason behind this is a smell that they definitely do not like.
Issues with their stomachs
Another possible reason which might explain why your cat is gagging at food is that it might be suffering from some stomach issues. This is why it can happen that indigestion, acid reflux or other troubles cause that your cat gags at food. If this is the case, be sure to stay alert to your cat and do not hesitate to bring it to the vet if you have any particular doubts or concerns. Also remember that a diet which works for one cat might not work for another. In this sense, the types of food that can cause your cat indigestion or reflux might not cause these types of issues on another cat.
Infections due to bacteria
It’s important to know and to keep in mind that cats, as many other animals, are prompt to suffer from certain bacterial infections, especially from food that is not properly cooked and prepared. This is why a can of cat food that is not correctly processed or conserved can be a means of transmission of different types of bacteria, which can be risky for the health of your cat.
Moreover, the smell, sensation and consumption of a food like this can easily cause gagging to your cat. This may also be accompanied by nausea and vomit. Thus, an explanation behind why your cat is gagging at food may be because this food is not correctly conserved or prepared.
The texture of the food
It’s possible that the cat food is in a good conservation and preparation state but, in spite of this, it still causes it to gag. One of the logical explanations behind this might possibly be that there’s an issue with the texture of the food. Cat food can come in many different formats, flavors and textures, and each cat may have a particular preference for certain types of food over others.
This is why the texture of the food is so important, and it explains why if you cat gags at food this might be because it really dislikes very much the texture of it. Gagging can thus help you understand and read your cat and, in this specific case, it can be a guide for you to know which types and brands of food your cat enjoys the best.
To sum up, as you can see there are many different explanations behind the reasons why your cat is gagging at food. As we have mentioned here, it’s very important to keep this in mind and to keep an eye on your cat to see if the gagging might be or might not be a reason for concern. Does your cat usually gag at food? Let us know in the comments below!