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Why Does My Cat Make Gulping Sounds? (4 Main Reasons)

If you have noticed that your cat has been making gulping sounds you may be wondering why this is happening and if there is anything you can do to prevent it…

Why does my cat make gulping sounds?

Your cat may make gulping sounds for several reasons such as hairballs, just finished drinking, Dysphagia, or even Asthma. If it’s just the timing of its drinking or hairballs, it can be fixed. But, if it’s the other two you will need assistance from your vet.

So, now you know. But, what can you do to prevent this from happening? Why could your cat be gulping while it purrs? Why do some cats gulp after eating? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…

4 Reasons why a cat may make gulping sounds:

Why does my cat make gulping sounds?

A cat with its mouth wide open.

Earlier I briefly mentioned some reasons why your cat may be making random gulping sounds. Therefore, in this section, I will explain each one in more detail.

01. Just finished drinking

There is a chance that this gulping sound from your cat could just be your cat finishing up from drinking. Hopefully, it is this because, if it is, there is nothing to be worried about.

Some cats may take in a gulp of water and take time to take it down, and you may just have caught it at this moment. Unfortunately, the chances of this are low. But, it’s possible, nevertheless.

02. Dysphagia

Dysphagia or Pharyngeal Dysphagia is a condition that causes a cat to struggle to consume food normally. The symptoms of this may include the cat gulping and having difficulty swelling the food it has chewed.

This issue has been known to be caused by many things such as a dental issue that has been hanging around for some time.

If you notice this gulping problem while it’s eating specifically, then there could be a chance it could be this. If in doubt, get it to check over with your vet as soon as possible.

03. Hairballs

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Hairballs is a common issue for cats. When a cat has a hairball they have to try and pass it. When this happens it can get lodged or take time to come out. During this awkward period of time, you may see gulping symptoms.

These hairballs are caused by your cat grooming itself and small particles of fur are swallowed and collect inside the cat because the fire cannot be digested.

If you fear that it is a hairball issue fortunately there are many solutions (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad) on offer that you can consider.

04. Asthma

Asthma in cats is a disease that causes breathing issues. It is common in humans as well as cats. The classic symptoms are breathing difficulties, wheezing, or even coughing.

Many adults or children use inhalers to help them with their Asthma symptoms, but cats may have different remedies. But, this is something for your vet to confirm. So, if in doubt take them into the vets.

How can you prevent your cat from making gulping sounds?

So, now you know why your cat may be making these gulping sounds. But, you may be keen to understand what you can do about it:

01. Hairballs?

If your cat has hairballs then the best way to prevent it is to reduce or stop it consuming the fur that leads to these hairballs. The best way to do this is to help it groom itself more often.

This can get rid of loose fur that it can consume and lead to hairballs. This can be as simple as using a good grooming brush (click here for my best one) regularly.

02. Gulping while drinking?

If your cat is gulping while drinking then, usually, it’s not an issue. If it happens now and then there is no action. But, if you are concerned about the sound or frequency, then consult your vet to check.

03. Dysphagia or Asthma?

If your cat has Dysphagia or Asthma then the best thing to do is to consult your vet. They are medical issues that need their advice on how to prevent and deal with the symptoms they may cause.

Why is my cat gulping while purring?

If your cat is gulping while purring (click here if it never stops) it could just be a one-off. But, there has been at least one report of a cat owner stating their cat ending up being diagnosed with hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.

Hyperthyroidism is when your cat produces too many thyroid hormones and can cause several symptoms, one of which, according to this cat owner, is a gulping sound from the cat.

On the opposite scale, and often confused os hypothyroidism. This is when the cat has an underactive thyroid. Meaning it does not produce enough thyroid hormone.

To get rid of this problem you will need to consult your vet. But, some common treatments include supplementation or a change of diet for the cat.

Could your cat be hiccuping instead of gulping?

There is a chance that your cat could be hiccuping, instead of gulping. This is because they can be linked, and may sound similar.

When a cat hiccups there is usually air trapped that causes a cat to make this sound repeatedly for a short period of time. And, the chances are, you have experienced this yourself, maybe after drinking too quickly, right?

Gulping, on the other hand, is more of a one-off sound, or shall I say, it should be. And, is typically heard when swallowing food or drinking.

Why do some cats gulp after eating?

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Some cats gulp after eating because they eat too fast. When they do it is difficult for the food to go down and may also cause the cat to overeat. If this is happening it is important to try and control the speed of your cat’s food consumption.

This can be done using a slow feeder bowl (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad). These simple bowls are designed to make the food more of a challenge for the cat, which in turn, slows down their eating speed.

Can excess saliva cause a cat to swallow hard?

Saliva in your cat’s mouth can cause your cat to swallow hard. When this happens you may hear them gulping. This can also be paired with issues with drooling.

If this is happening then it could be a concern and worth getting it checked out with your vet. This is because drooling like this is not normal or expected.

Could a dental issue cause your cat to swallow hard or gulp?

A dental issue, such as a tooth infection could lead to a cat swallowing hard or gulp, as a symptom. This can often be caused by poor dental treatment leading to plaque build-up, gum disease, or worse.

It’s important to maintain good oral hygiene with your cat to avoid this happening. Your vet should be able to advise of some good methods to avoid this once you have consulted them.

Lindsey Browlingdon