Do Cats Hiccup?

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Hiccuping is a common and regular occurrence amongst humans, which can be pretty annoying and inconvenient, but it is usually harmless.

It also stops after a while, so it’s nothing to worry about. We know that cats, along with other mammals, can get ill just like humans do, and they have vets just like we have doctors.

But what about hiccups? Have you ever wondered if cats can hiccup? The answer is yes!

Cat hiccups are, in fact, very similar to human hiccups. Cats can get hiccups at any age and at any time, just like humans.

It is usually more common in kittens, but older cats can get hiccups just as much. The causes are also usually very similar to those of humans, so as a general rule, it’s nothing to be worried about!

However, if your cat has been hiccuping for a very prolonged period of time, or is hiccuping very regularly for no apparent reason, then it might be best to get a vet to perform a health check-up.

This is because the hiccuping could be a symptom of a worse and more dangerous issue, especially if the cat is old. 

If your cat is hiccuping, probably because it has eaten too fast, you should give it some water and some space, so that it can relax and calm down by itself until the hiccups go away. 

Why Do Cats Hiccup?

Just like humans, there can be a variety of different reasons which cause your cat to hiccup.

One of the main and most common reasons for hiccuping comes from the way your cat has eaten. This tends to happen if your cat was really hungry or really eager to eat the food.

If a cat eats the food without chewing and at a fast pace, it might accidentally swallow some air too, which then causes the diaphragm to spasm, which is what causes hiccuping. This is a very similar scenario to when humans eat very fast and then get hiccups.

It is absolutely nothing to worry about and should usually disappear by itself fairly quickly. 

Another common cause for hiccuping amongst cats is hairballs. This is one that humans won’t experience (or at least we hope so, please see a doctor if you’re spitting up hairballs!)

The irritation that the hairball causes on the cat’s throat can kick-start a hiccuping fit, so this might be what is affecting your cat. If it happens, it should subdue after a while, and once the throat irritation has died down.

Once again, it is nothing you should be too worried about. 

There are other reasons for which a cat hiccuping, but it is usually nothing to be concerned about!

How to Stop Your Cat From Hiccuping

Once you start hiccuping, the immediate thoughts are “how can I stop it”. Hiccupping is very annoying and can be very inconvenient, so it is completely natural to want to make it stop as soon as possible.

Humans come up with many different methods to make hiccups stop, from the traditional jump-scare to drinking small sips of water without breathing, to being distracted by an odd question or a magic trick.

Different solutions work for different people, but as a general rule, thinking about something other than the hiccuping seems to do the trick. 

You could try jump-scaring your cat, but that might not be very nice, and your cat will probably stay away from you for the rest of the day, which is less than ideal. 

You can’t exactly distract your cat with odd questions, so the best solution you can try and offer your feline pet is some water. Drinking water might help subdue the hiccuping to make it stop faster. 

However, it is not a 100% effective solution, and as a general rule, there is little more you can do to help a cat when hiccuping. This is why the best thing to do is to prevent any future hiccuping.

Make sure your cat eats slowly, chewing the food properly. You can buy special food bowls for this! They might also benefit your cat with other things, as eating slower is usually a lot healthier. 

You can also reduce the number of hairballs your cat spits up by brushing the fur regularly. This will reduce the excess hairs, meaning your cat will swallow fewer hairs when it’s cleaning itself, and the hairballs will therefore be reduced. 

Other things you can do to stop your cat from hiccuping is to give it some space or some alone time, especially because stressful, anxious, or overwhelming situations can enhance the hiccuping and make it worse.

Just close the door and leave your cat be, the hiccups should go away after a while, and should not last longer than a day. 

Are Cat Hiccups Dangerous?

As a general rule, cat hiccups are very similar to human hiccups and are therefore nothing to worry about. Usually, the hiccups appear because of common things such as eating too fast or spitting up a hairball, which isn’t too dangerous. 

Cat hiccups will on average last for a little while, and should definitely not last for longer than a whole day. 

If your cat has been hiccuping for longer than a day or is hiccuping very frequently and you don’t quite know why then it might be time to visit the vet and have your cat checked over just in case the hiccuping is a symptom of something worse.

Hiccuping can be a sign of a more dangerous health issue, especially in older cats, so that is when it is time to worry and get a health check-up for your cat. 


Do cats hiccup? Just like humans, and many other mammals, cats can hiccup.

Usually, it happens because the cat has eaten too fast and has swallowed air, resulting in the diaphragm spasming and hiccups appearing. It can also happen if the cat has spat up a hairball, as that can irritate the throat and cause hiccuping. 

Hiccuping in a cat is usually nothing to worry about and will go away before the day is over. You can help alleviate the hiccuping by offering your cat some water and by giving it some space to relax and calm down, this will help the hiccups go away faster. 

If your cat has been hiccuping for more than a day or gets very frequent hiccuping attacks, then it might be best to visit a vet and get a health check-up, especially if your cat is old!  

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