What should I do if my cat has the hiccups?

A black cat hiccups outside

Has your cat been having the hiccups lately? Are you unsure about how to react when they do? While it isn’t necessarily dangerous for a cat to hiccup, it can be quite an uncomfortable experience for them. In this article, we’ll describe a few of the main causes of cat hiccups and the best ways to get rid of and prevent them!

What are the main causes of cat hiccups?

To begin with, it’s important to note that cat hiccups are often harmless and temporary. Similar to the type of hiccups that humans experience, cat hiccups are an involuntary contraction of the diaphragm that causes an uncontrollable muscular spasm.

To put it simply, air is pushing out while the glottis, located in the throat, is still closed. When this happens, a sound is produced by a vibration of the vocal cords. Cat hiccups can sometimes sound like a cough or sneeze. This can be a bit surprising if you have never heard a cat hiccup.

There are numerous reasons for the cause of this muscular spasm. For example, one cause of hiccups is accelerated eating. This is because it causes the digestive tract to stretch and can irritate the diaphragm.

They can also be caused by the stomach reacting to spoiled food that was not able to be digested properly.

In addition, the presence of a hairball or intestinal worms could cause cat hiccups.

Lastly, another main reason is stress or anxiety. When cats are feeling uneasy, these spasms can happy involuntarily.

How do I help my cat get rid of their hiccups?

If you want to help your cat get rid of their hiccups, you must first try to find the cause. If you succeed in doing this, you will have an easier time finding ways to get rid of them.

Give your cat water if they have the hiccups

In general, it is possible for humans to get rid of their hiccups by drinking water. The same goes for cats! Sometimes, these muscular spasms are caused by a throat irritation. You can help relieve your cat’s discomfort by encouraging them to drink.

After a few hours, the water should be able to soothe the stomach and help get rid of the diaphragmatic contractions that are causing the hiccups. It is important to make sure that your cat always has access to clean water to quench their thirst when needed.

Keep your cat physically and mentally stimulated

However, drinking water is not the only way to make hiccups disappear. Playing a game will allow you to distract your cat from the involuntary contractions of their diaphragm. If you play with your cat, they will give all of their attention to the game that you initiated.

Doing this will not only stimulate your cat mentally and physically, but also aid in getting rid of the hiccups. Therefore, if you notice that your cat is starting to hiccup, try giving your cat a ball to chase or toys to chew on. The goal is to make your cat move as much as possible to reduce the muscular spasms and make them disappear.

Keep an eye on what your cat is eating

Food is important to ensure that your cat stays healthy. Feeding them the right food can also prevent these diaphragmatic contractions. To do this, make sure that your cat has a balanced diet that provides them with the nutrients they need.

If your cat has a tendency to eat rapidly, there is a strong chance that they swallow air during their meal. This can raise the risk of cat hiccups. Therefore, it is important to provide food that is rich in nutrients and easy to digest. Meals that are rich in fiber and fats should be avoided.

Consult a vet if the symptoms persist

Are your cat’s hiccups persisting and getting increasingly uncomfortable? The best solution in this case is to visit a vet clinic. It is also the only option to consider if the symptoms become serious and your cat is suffering regularly from these diaphragmatic contractions.

Your vet will conduct a complete examination and analyses to find the true cause of your cat’s discomfort. Depending on the diagnosis, your vet can prescribe medicine such as muscle relaxers to stop the spasms.

No matter how serious your cat’s state is, it’s very important to never give them medicine that is designed for humans. These medicines can be dangerous, even fatal for them.

A cat with mouth open hiccup
While not harmful to your pet, hiccups can be very uncomfortable.

What are the best ways to prevent cat hiccups?

It can be frustrating to see your cat suffer from hiccups. We all want the best for our feline friends! If your cat regularly encounters these involuntary muscle spasms, there are few precautions you can take to prevent them from happening in the first place. We have a listed a few of them below!

Avoid stressful situations

Provide your cat with a serene environment to prevent hiccups.

Stress is one of the main causes of cat hiccups! If you ensure that your cat’s environment is calm and peaceful, their hiccups are less likely to reappear.

You can start by placing your cat’s litter box in a calm area of the house so that they feel comfortable and relaxed when they are at their most vulnerable. Your cat will thank you for this!

Your cat will also benefit from cuddle time! To prevent stress and anxiety, spend time giving your cat a lot of affection and attention.

In addition, it is incredibly important for cats to interact with their environment. To ensure that your cat lives a happy and fulfilling life, play with your cat regularly and make sure that they have a lot of toys to destress with! This type of stimulation will help prevent your cat from hiccuping.

Provide your cat with a healthy and balanced diet

A balanced diet plays an important role in the prevention of cat hiccups. Prioritize healthy and nutritious food to feed your cat. Avoid too much sugar, salt, and fat.

In addition to choosing the right food for your cat’s diet, make sure to not feed them too much. Break big meals into little portions so that your cat can eat is more easily.

Does your cat love mealtime and eats too quickly? Doing this can make them swallow air bubbles. Intervene ahead of time to help them eat slower.

Care for your cat regularly

In order to prevent cat hiccups, take care of your cat regularly. This implies brushing their coat regularly, even if they are short-haired.

In addition, keep their litter box clean. A litter box that is not taken care of regularly can be a source of stress for your cat and cause digestive issues and hiccups.

Encourage your cat to be physically active on a regular basis

Frequent physical activity is incredibly beneficial for cats! Not only does physical exercise allow them to stay in good health, but it also improves their blood circulation and reduces stress!

Even if your cat is naturally active, it is best to provide them with many opportunities to exercise. You can do this by taking a toy and initiating play time! Furthermore, you can provide interactive toys and take them on safe outings. Ensure your cat’s physical well-being and prevent hiccups from coming.

Taking care of a cat that has the hiccups is a task that requires a lot of attention daily. Your pet may suffer from a number of ailments, some benign, some not. Cat hiccups are a common phenomenon that does not often have serious consequences. However, it can be a sign of more advanced respiratory or digestive disorders.

Therefore, be attentive to the various symptoms of your cat and take adequate measures to soothe their discomfort. If the hiccups persist despite the advice presented above, do not hesitate to consult a vet. Vets have the knowledge and experience necessary to indicate the proper treatments and guarantee the health and well-being of your cat.