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Why Does My Cat Gurgle? (Is This An Issue?)

If you have heard your cat gurgle you may be wondering what might have caused it and why it happens…

Why does my cat gurgle?

There are many reasons why your cat might gurgle. For example, digestion issues, eating too fast, congestion problems, IBD, out of breath, etc. Some of these are minor issues, while some may need some assistance from your vet to inspect further.

So, now you know. But, how can you prevent this from happening? Do we humans do this as well? Where does this sound come from? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…

What does gurgle mean?

Why does my cat gurgle?

A cat with its eyes closed, and mouth open.

Gurgling is a sound that is similar to rattling, rumbling, or even bubbling. It is subjective on how you wish to explain the sound but this is a good high-level idea of the sound, without actually hearing it.

Another example, which may make it easier is mouthwash. Have you ever gargled after using mouthwash? Well, this is another example of the sound. Realistically, the sound of mouth washing may be more intense than you would expect to hear from your cat. But, it’s a rough example.

How can you prevent your cat from gurgling?

To prevent your cat from gurgling you will need to establish what the root cause of the problem is. Here are a few suggestions:

01. Eating too fast

If your cat is just eating too fast you need to think of some ways to slow it down. One of the simplest methods is to use a food puzzle (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad). These puzzles make eating fun but also have the added benefit of slowing down their food consumption.

Also, if you have a real greedy cat that is eating too much this can be another way to control its eating speed. The beauty is It is quite quick and simple to implement.

02. Heavy breath

If your cat is heavy breathing this could be caused by anxiety or stress. Therefore, you will need to find out what triggered this. For example, it could have been chased by a local cat, scared of your dad, etc.

Whatever it is, you will need to alleviate the stress point first to then get rid of the gurgling problem. Truthfully, this is oversimplified, because these stress issues are not always easy to fix.

For example, if the addition of a new family member is causing your cat stress, which is making it heavy breath and gurgle, it could be tough dealing with it. It may take some time for it to adjust to the new member.

03. Health Issues

If the cause of this gurgling is a health-related issue, such as IBD, parasites, infection, etc, then, you will need some assistance from your vet. Don’t try to work this out on your own, your vet will get to the bottom of it quicker and save your cat valuable time.

Some of these issues such as parasites, or infections can escalate if left and get out of hand. Therefore, it is better to get it looked into sooner rather than later.

Can an empty stomach cause a cat to gurgle?

An empty stomach could cause a cat to gurgle. Mostly, people associate a full stomach affecting its digestion to make this sound. But, an empty stomach can do this.

Maybe you have been feeling hungry and heard your stomach growl and gurgle? Well, this is a similar sound that you can hear a cat make under these conditions. You know, maybe you have referred to this sound as something else, but now you can relate this to the sound your cat is making.

Can a human gurgle as well?

Humans can gurgle as well as cats. It is often heard as your food digests. The official medical name for this is borborygmus. In fact, it’s not just us humans and cats who encounter this.

There is a very good chance that you have either made this sound yourself or at least heard another person make it. Ever had a big meal and heard your stomach bubble? Well, this is the same gurgle I am talking about here.

Could IBD cause gurgling?

There have been reports of cats gurgling as a symptom when having IBD. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a type of inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, often referred to as the GI tract. This may not occur in all cases but there has been at least one report of this.

You may have heard of people adjusting their diet due to this condition. Apart from the chance of it making a gurgling sound, it can cause some discomfort when eating certain foods.

Can the gurgling intensify if your cat is picked up?

You may notice that your cat’s gurgle sound intensifies if you pick it up. This may be because you are placing your hand near their stomach which could be causing this sound in the first place.

Regardless if it does it may help you identify the problem quickly and then lead you to find a solution quicker. Whether that be a simple fix, such as it eating too fast, or a health issue such as IBD.

Should you change your cat’s diet if it gurgles?

My cat doesn't drink water but eats wet food.

A cat eating from its bowl.

It is not wise to change your cat’s diet immediately after hearing it gurgle. This is because it might not be linked to its diet as all. For example, it could simply be because it ate too fast. And, if this is the case the diet is not causing it.

After investigation, if it is confirmed to be related to its diet, then you may need to consider looking at its diet. And, it is always a good idea to see what your vet thinks about your potential diet changes before committing to it.

Also, cats do not always respond well to changes in general. Whether that be their diet, environment, etc. So, if you can avoid this it will keep it more settled. Because you may find a different issue after attempting to switch its diet.

Where does the gurgling sound come from?

The gurgling sound is often generated from the cat’s bowel, rather than its stomach. It does sound like the stomach when you first hear it but it is typically the bowel.

So, if you have ever wondered about this, or assumed it was the stomach, you have learned the true location of its origin.

Could this gurgling sound come from congestion?

Sometimes this sound may be caused by congestion. Meaning, a build-up of mucous in its chest. This is similar to when you have a cold and cough and gurgle.

Have you ever had a real chesty cough? Then heard the phlem bubble and gurgle? Well, this is a similar situation. The chances are, in your lifetime, you have come across this so this is probably a good example of this.

It could be worrying when you hear this gurgle sound the first time. But, hopefully, it is something basic rather than a real problem.

Lindsey Browlingdon