cat making gulping or hard swallowing sounds

by Twoie's Mommy

My 10 year old Russian Blue mix male cat (neutered)has begun making gulping or hard swallowing sounds when he is grooming, purring and eating. He also sneezes from time to time and had a coughing spell almost every morning. He is an indoor/outdoor cat and weighs 15 pounds.

Other than the above symptoms, he appears normal and undistressed.


This could be hairballs

If the symptoms continue for more than a few days or more or if you notice any other symptoms then it may be an idea to have them checked by a vet in case there is something else which is stuck in his throat.

However hairballs are quick common and can be a bit uncomfortable for the cat until they can get rid of them.


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Answer for my cat gulping while purring
by: Anonymous

My cat's gulping while purring was due to the onset of thyroid problems. He was diagnosed and is on a 2x a day medicine.
**The gulping is gone.**
He is back to his normal self!
Also- boy do I recommend greenies pill hiding treats for medicine! Easy peasy.

Summary of the above posts
by: Joanne

Summary of the above posts
I’ve read through all of the previous posts and thought I would put together a summary of common symptoms and suggest an answer. The beauty of online forums like this is that it provides a great wealth of data and case studies yet all too often no-one thinks to do a summary which can often show linking themes. Im interested because my cat too is experiencing these symptoms but I think we have finally worked out what it is.
What’s wrong with these cats?
I believe that it is a Streptococcus infection, as has been suggested by a couple of people here.
Why do I think this? My cat has had
• Lifelong asthma which is controlled by medication and generally causes no problems
• Xrays (nothing to show except lung damage from his asthma);
• Endoscopy looking at his trachea and larynx (all looked good and no polyps present as we were expecting).
• Endoscopy looking at his nose (all good)
• Weird lesions in his throat and its swollen and inflamed
• Lots of swabs taken from his respiratory tract that showed he has a Streptococcus infection
Several vets have told me that cats with asthma are prone / susceptible to other respiratory infections.
Strep throat in humans is a highly contagious bacterial infection that gives you tonsillitis, makes swallowing difficult and painful, can change your voice, and spreads easily from person to person. In cats, young kittens and older cats (whose immunity is declining) are more susceptible. See
The treatment for Streptococcus is a very limited range of antibiotics. My kitty has been prescribed one (by the kitty hospital vet) that my regular vet has never heard of, but apparently it is one of only a handful that will work against the type of Strep that he has. My guess is that if you use the wrong antibiotic it may reduce the strep infection but won’t get rid of it, and so you will see a temporary reduction in symptoms but they will then come back.
Many of the cats in this thread are
1) older cats or young kittens and so in the susceptible age range for Strep
2) asthmatic or "have furball problems". Many asthmatic cats are misdiagnosed as having furball problems – they retch but never bring anything up. That retching is feline asthma – watch a video of a cat having an asthma attack and you will see how similar it looks to a cat trying to bring up a furball. Asthmatic cats are more susceptible to a Strep infection
3) A number of the cats have already been ‘diagnosed’ (or misdiagnosed more likely) as having some other kind of respiratory infection but antibiotics helped only temporarily. My guess is that’s because the antibiotics were the wrong type to treat a Strep infections. Please note: Baytril DOES NOT work against Strep infections as suggested in one of these threads. Streptococcus is a bacteria that grows in the absence of oxygen and Baytril is not effective against bacteria that can do this. Baytril works against bacterial that need oxygen to grow.
*** Please go to your vet, get them to test for a Strep infection and even if its negative, get a prescription for one of the few antibiotics that will work against Strep. If you do this, please post here and let us know how your kitty gets on. *** Good luck!
See these pages for more info

Summary of first 16 posts….. all these cats are in the ‘susceptible to Strep’ category

Gulping while purring by: Anonymous – older cat had pneumonia (respiratory infection)
Cst gulps hard by: Anonymous– kitten has respiratory infection and asthma
Cat gulping by: Anonymous – cat sneezes and retches but no hairballs (ie is actually asthmatic)
Gulping- answer by: Anonymous – older cat suspected of having herpes (How was this diagnosed??)
Another cat gulping by: Charlene – older cat with slight cough (asthma or respiratory infection), antibiotics worked temporarily but didn’t fix it
gulping in cats by: Anonymous – older cat voice change (suggests tonsillitis)
cat gulping at rest by: Charlotte – started in one cat and spread to another suggesting it is contagious
Weird swallowing only when purring loudly by: Jackie older cat, voice change
cat swallowing while purring by: luke older cat
no help???? by: Ingrid older cat
Teeth cleaning. by: Anonymous Cat sneezing, antibiotics work temporarily but don’t fix it
Gulping after surgery by: Anonymous Has asthma, had surgery but didn’t complete antibiotic course
Pollen allergy & unexplained drooling by: Anonymous Has asthma
No end in sight by: Anonymous: older cat sneezing (respiratory infection),
gulping trying to purr by: Janet farrar older cat, sore throat and suspected infection
Hard swollow sneezing lethargy by: Glenn: suspects cat has Strep infection (very likely correct) but Baytril wont work as he suggststs

Gulping while purring
by: Anonymous

I am distraught because 4 weeks ago I had to have my 13 year old tabby put to sleep after he suddenly developed pneumonia over a period of 2 weeks. This started with the odd cough and bubbly breathing. He had seemed in perfectly good health but for quite a long time he had had a tendency for his purring to get thick at times with gulping and lately once or twice the thickness seemed to come momentarily from the chest rather than throat. The vets were unable to detect any lung congestion and gave antibiotics until I had to have a bronchoscope and x Rays. I know it makes no difference now but I can’t help wondering how this happened.

Cst gulps hard
by: Anonymous

I have a 5 month old kitten who after defeating ringworm, an upper respiratory infection and difficult beginning gulps hard after eating , playi1ng or being outside. She has asthma or allergies or both now. Her gulping is caused my mucus and a narrow nasal passages. She is also a very small boned Calico.
My point is cats are like kids. If they get sick take them to the clinic if you feel you should. Educate yourself on everything cat, use common sense, and love the lady with the dying cat is ts a disease get it help.

Wasting money
by: Anonymous

Find a holistic vet who uses homeopathic. My cat Clancy has Cali I virus, asthma and stomatitis. Also does the gulping from time to time but it passes quickly . Best results come through homeopathic approach. Also look up Hample website for animals in Perth Australia. They have so many different homeopathic remedies that work and they send to all countries. Try it and save your money and your cat will be so much happier.

Cat gulping
by: Anonymous

Neither I,nor my prev pets,have had much fairness from vets,whom I trusted,tbh with 4 prev pets (3 cats 1 dog) well before all the restrictions now in place, so that hindrance didn't apply.It resulted in a total of paying over £1000,and still had to say goodbye to each one.
My cat,who I took in from his prev owner,with his feline Mum,would certainly freak out at the vets and become distressed esp if a male vet, so I'm loathe to take him unless it was drastic.He is an indoor/outdoor cat of 7 yrs, I've had him nearly 5 yrs, he has started to gulp and sneeze,retch,he does like the hairball remedy by Johnson's which I've used again this morning cause he was gulping...He's been out all night and was disinterested in food when home,but could've been hunting,they are prone to reverting to their natural instincts,no matter how sweet they are otherwise, so I'm going to let him rest/sleep today in his own space and review how he is ltr, when I present him with his fave treat - fresh chicken! I love & treasure his presence enough in my life to allow him some time to settle and see if the gulping ceases, before I dash off to the vets..

Gulping- answer
by: Anonymous

My 11yr old cat gulps when he purrs. I took him to the vet (best vet) they did a full teeth cleaning and full workup. My cat is healthy in every way but does have feline herpes. Vet said to add some coconut to cats food to treat the herpes and use it to treat my cats watery eyes because coconut oil will end the herpes.
Use the best that you can find, liquid form, organic etc. Hope this helps.

Do Not Get A Pet If You Can't Afford To Take Care Of It!!!!
by: Stitch's MJ

My orange tabby cat who's 7yrs old is making hard gulping sounds and hasn't been eating very much. Today he ate nothing. The worst sign is when pets stop eating. I will have to take him to the vet if he doesnt start eating. This happened once before and he wouldn't eat for 3 days so I took him to the vet. They gave him an iv of fluids and kept him over night and hand fed him in the morning. We picked him up that afternoon and he was all better and my wallet lost $500 pounds! I've read some comments and one person said there cat was ill but they can't afford to take them to the vet because they have low income and have 7 other cats. Some people may be conflicted on this topic but ive always believed if you know you can't afford to take a pet to the vet for yearly shots and when they are really sick then don't get a pet and especially not 7 of them. We8not talking about a goldfish here. Cats/dogs are almost like kids. They need food, shelter, good health and to know they're loved. Make sure you can afford to take care of a pet before you get one. And just because you love pets doesn't mean you should get one if u can't afford it. 7 cats?? So what happens when ur cat does get sick? You just let it suffer because you can't take it to the vet because you can't afford it???? Why on earth does anyone in that situation have 7 cats? I cant be the only one who feels this way

Another cat gulping
by: Charlene

14 years old. Russian blue fixed female. Indoor/outdoor. Started 2 years ago. Discharge, weird gulping, slight cough, no fever, decreased activity. Went to vet, said bad teeth, did tests, x-rays, tooth extractions and cleaning. On antibiotics for 2 weeks, was better. 3 months later worse, losing weight, now weird clicking sound as she breathes deep in her throat, less activity, no answers. Anyone have answers? We are close to $4000.00 and no solutions. Love her and want her healthy.

gulping in cats
by: Anonymous

My 12 1/2 yr old grey male kitty has been gulping for a few years every now and then. He freaks out at the vet, so I haven't been going in the last few years. (Also I had a horrendous experience with my last cat whose final days were spent tortured at an animal hospital when I took him in for a sudden illness.) He has been losing weight since last summer. His voice has changed a little in the last week, but he has been happy and playing. All of a sudden, he threw up a hairball today and is in a nosedive. He won't relax and put his head down. He wants to stay in corners. I am heartbroken. I wish I knew the source of it. Dental problems? Cancer? But I will not torture him with extensive vet testing.

by: Anonymous

I think most vets are just stabbing in the dark when trying to find out what is wrong with our pets. A good vet is a real treasure, but very very difficult to find. Shots, especially steroids seem to be given too readily for every ailment.

by: jJ

my cat been gulping for 2 months. Seen two vets and both cant find anything. Best working theory is bad tartar on teeth or infected teeth. Bacteria gets swallowed down the throat. Please research this. Going in for xray and cleaning in few weeks. Hope this is the prob.

Pay for quality food now or pay latter in vet bills.

cat gulping at rest
by: Charlotte

I see everyone is concerned about this gulping disorder in cats. My cat developed this condition in Sept. 2016 and died a year later because she, eventually, became unable to eat or drink, and gradually wasted away. Now, in June 2019, another of my cats has begun the same gulping. My guess is that it is some sort of contagious [viral?] disease that is causing this. Perhaps it causes a paralysis that renders them unable to swallow? My cats are genetically unrelated, although they are both female American Shorthairs: one grey; the other grey & white. They shared the same food bowls and environment, and both had access to the out-of-doors. I am of low-income and cannot afford vet care or expensive diagnostic tests for my seven rescue cats; however, they are all spayed/neutered and I feed them a decent-quality food [Purina One dry cat food and breakfast of Friskies canned pate; plus occasional human-food additions of milk, cheese, bits of meat, spaghetti sauce, or canned tuna juice].

Swallowing Hard in Cats
by: Anonymous

Just a thought from an old person....I have a cat who gulps and swallows hard, especially when purring. After reading all of these comments it has occurred to me that it could be that the purring vibration releases extra nasal secretions that get in the throat and they have to swallow hard to get it down. So, maybe there is no "condition" for the doctors to find - just a natural process taking care of itself.

Weird swallowing only when purring loudly
by: Jackie

I have a 9 year old whole female Sphynx that started gulping after intense purring about 6 months ago. It is VERY sporadic and has only happened 4 times. It starts after she has been purring very loudly for an extended period of time. Then the swallowing/gulping starts up. It almost seems like she is hyperventilating. There is also a clicking sound that comes from her throat. She does extend her neck a little also. She is normally very talkative, but her voice gets hoarse when the swallowing starts. Normally it only lasts for 5 to 10 minutes. This 4th time (which is happening right now) it has been going on for about 45 minutes. She doesn't appear distressed, although I am! It's obviously not hairballs as she is hairless. She has been eating fine and is drinking water. Her diet is Blue Wilderness Chicken with occasional wet food as a treat. What I'm noticing from other posts is that most of the cats with similar symptoms are older/senior cats. This is a cat that has never been sick once in her life. Her last vet check up the vet said her weight was excellent and her blood work was boringly normal. She also gets tested for HCM and has no problems with that. I'm stumped as to what this is. But it really seems that it is caused (starts up) by extreme purring. Love to know if anyone figures this out!

cat swallowing while purring
by: luke

my 13 year old tabby just started doing this. i noticed it when she jumps in bed with me at night. she hasnt eaten in atleast 4 hours. the gulping/swallowing seems to come on when shes purring but eventually goes away.

i checked her teeth and they look ok. i dont want her to be in pain but i also dont want to take her to the vet if its just her age. she gets extreme anxiety when being put in the car.

no help????
by: ingrid

My 10 y.o dom s/h,also started this while purring.Seem very painful.Went to vet, spent all I could and vet shrugged shoulders,said, found nothing.O.K I'm about to lose it here, this cannot be O.K.!!!I KNOW my Chucky,this isn't NORMAL! Do have a new feral intact tom causing stress, but out of ideas. Really can not ONE vet answer this maddening, stressful condition?A ANYONE able to help?I'm broke now, and no better for Chucky!!???

Feline herpes is a thing
by: Colleen

A lot of people on this thread most likely have cats with feline herpes. The condition presents with congestion in nose and eyes, sneezing, and coughing. It can be diagnosed as an upper respiratory infection. If a course of antibotics works that is fabulous but if it keeps happening or does not go away at all it is probably herpes. If steroids make your cat worse it is absolutely herpes. The disease can be controlled with medication. Look for a vet that is familiar with this condition. It is very common these days especially among shelter cats. It is important to keep these kitties as stress free as possible. A humidifier is also very helpful. Cool mist for safety.

Teeth cleaning.
by: Anonymous

Janet Farrar,
I think you just may have it right in my case. My Auggie has been sneezing excessively along with hard gulping. Took him to the vet and doc says maybe herpes. Gives him a shot of steroid and anti biotic. This works for a while but condition reappears. Thinking sinus or teeth cleaning. Other that this perfectly healthy.

Gulping after surgery
by: Anonymous

My 3yr old healthy cat decided to swallow some thread (she pulled it off the spool on my sewing machine). She had to have emergency surgery where her stomach and intestines were opened to clear the thread. She's two weeks post-surgery and never needed her pain meds - she just bounced right back like nothing happened. She was on antibiotics for several days which she fought and probably only got half doses.

So, lately I've noticed she seems to have trouble swallowing. I haven't noticed it while she eats, just when she's doing normal routine things.

Oddly, during this same time period I, too, have had a mild sore throat and I don't have asthma. My other 5 cats are having no symptoms.

She was diagnosed with asthma over the summer but her symptoms subsided in the fall so I quit the medication.

So, I'm wondering if it's the asthma making her swallow hard and I am just noticing it because I'm paying close attention to her and that she may have been doing this all along. Or...I hate to think that there's still something stuck in her throat, like thread wrapped around her tongue or something. Or an infection, but she's far too active to think she's got a bug. What should I be looking out for to know if it's a repercussion of the thread trauma or mild asthma.

Pollen allergy & unexplained drooling
by: Anonymous

My cat does all of these things. A new vet told me she likely had a pollen allergy that was causing her to have asthma attacks (look it up on YouTube and see if thats what your cat looks like.) The vet also said she badly needed to get her teeth cleaned, so im wondering if thats whats causing her drooling

No end in sight
by: Anonymous

My female cat of 11+ years has had the gulping, sneezing wheezing thing going on for about a month or more. We took her to the vet and blood tests came back normal, he did adjust her thyroid medication methimazole up a little to get her thyroid numbers on track. He prescribed turbutaline to help if allergies or asthma were the case. Normally he would prescribe prednisone but not with a hyperthyroid cat. So a week or so later with symptoms worsening, we bring her in for X-rays of abdomen. Results showed nothing of concern except air in the intestines indicating she is swallowing air due to not getting enough air. ($800 later and no diagnosis) now she is prescribed clavomox (antibiotic) and apoquel for allergies. So she is taking 3 meds in the morning and 4 at night. Now she has diarrhea or loose stools probably due to antibiotics, still no change in gasp/cough/gulp. It seems worse when she starts purring so I can’t even pet her to console her. Next step is to do a trachea wash. It seems so similar to what other cats are experiencing. Anyone ever come to a conclusion on what is causing this or what the cure is?

gulping trying to purr
by: Janet farrar

My "older" cat (that I just adopted) did that for and I wondered if it could be a sore throat. I treated it with clavomox.....and her body responded to it nicely. The gulping disappeared for a day or so. When It came back, I decided that a vet ought to look at her. She found that her back teeth needed cleaning badly and she had developed a peridontal gum disease. She put her to sleep and cleaned the back teeth shinny. Now, the gulping has totally disappeared, she can purr endlessly. so I was on the right track with the fact that an infection was appearing and irritating the throat. Please realize that your cat cannot tell you what is wrong. It just takes a lot of looking and testing. Make sure the vet cleans the back teeth well. Your cat must be suffering and isn't able to tell you. My cats personallity has changed for the better, now that she is healthy again.

Catch in his throat
by: Anonymous

I have a tom cat that I rescued who also rescued me. He started this gulping or catchi g of the throat so I started researching. Has anyone ever heard of lungworms and have any of your cats been tested for them. M8ne has not, and maybe I am too much of a worrier but thinking it might be something that I should have him tested for.

hard swollow sneezing lethargy
by: Glenn

a lot of people wonder what's wrong , it is often a streptococcal infection that needs antibiotics , it causes swollen tonsils and then the hard swallow .baytril will give noticeable improvement in 24 hours .adhere strictly to dose no more than 5 mg per kg body weight in cats .

Still another cat with this issue
by: Anonymous

My female cat is 12 and lives in central Wisconsin. She was in good health when she lost her voice and then started swallowing a lot (while not eating). Took her to my wonderful vet and found a small pocket of infection on one side of throat, plus a few teeth which needed pulling after having them cleaned a little less than a year ago. She was given Convenia and her mouth healed nicely, but the swallowing never went away and she also hasn't got her voice back. She can make sounds if she tries hard enough or if she wants something. Swallowing seemed to get worse, and repeated visits to vet for follow up exams and a shot of Convenia every 10 days now plus now also a steroid shot every 30 days to try to get rid of whatever may be causing this. Nice, non-invasive approach, but she now rattles loudly when breathing and occasionally coughs (just once -not repeatedly). She's not getting better, but seems to be getting worse. Has anyone solved this yet?

Tooth decay & hairballs
by: Sylvia

I totally agree w/someone here who wrote about being put off by the high number of people feeding their cats a multitude of medications. I would go read about organic products which are specifically for cures for cat ailments & also go to Healthy Pets by Dr. Karen Becker she has videos discussing care of animals & via her site I've discovered which of my Vets was not worth going back to & wasting my money! You have to be careful & visit a doctor highly recommended by a neighbor or friend who you trust that you know truly care for their pets. The gulping which my cat was due to inflamed gums, some bad teeth (which is something older cats have quite a few teeth needing extraction). I only feed no grain dry & at dinner no grain soft, after 10 years of age, I feed food targeted at helping kidneys stay healthy (Hill's Science Diet Urinary/Hairball Formula). The better quality food, the less doctor's visits & we're all pretty happy here. Hope this helps someone solve their kitty health issue.

Obligate carnivores
by: Millitoo

In response to the comment from anonymous that the gulping problem is caused by relflux. Well, that is possible, but I take issue with the statement that the reflux is caused by high protein. Cats are obligate carnivores and should be fed high protein diets. Many of the the problems that cats face are due to a diet with not enough protein and too many carbs. Feline diabetes is epidemic and the reason is a diet high in carbs. Most dry cat food contains way too much carbohydrate, especially those purchased in the grocery store. Any canned food is better.

Gulping cat noise
by: Anonymous

I have two cats from same litter male and female. Very healthy forthe 11years both 16lbs, indoor out door. Only dry food high end mix and cat snacks daily also dry generic. She in the last year started gulping. Both get saame everything daily. This last year I switched to smartwater with electrolytes in it. Also tried steaming a viriatey of vegetables. Asparagus chopped in little bits is her new favorite. I try all veggies so I know what their eating. It helped her a littlebit. He dosent want any part. She is slower. I would guess like any vet would that she is having thyroid issues.. he's fine they both kills small wildlife and eat the kill. I wonder if this contributes to the problem? If it was possible. They would both be on a home cooked meat and veggie diet. It's a lot of work. Like all of you facing a huge vet bill for blood works is an option. But. Like my uncle a doctor always says , were still practicing...with that I spend the money on the best dry food and continue to make them healthy home cooked dinners with chicken ,tuna veggies and bread to mix in. Seems to have benefits.Like humans any shellfish is a big risk, I don't advise it.being an owner of almostevery pet not reptiles. Large, horse and all feathered ,cats dogs ect. I've tried everything. I do think cats after10 years develope problems like old human's.we get things. Who knows what's really going on. If their suffering and you try it all. Last respectful act of love for your baby is a older vet with experience.and recommendation. Pet insurance saved me big money. She also started snoring with her gulping. So maybe it's connected. I'm always willing to find out and laern something that works. Good for you to notice a change in your pets.the head shaking is neurologic for sure. I really believe it's the diet we have them on. Wet food is not a good thing. If you wouldn't eat it Don't give it to your pet. I taste all meds and feed on all my pets large and small. Horrible as it is. To understand the effects it has on them. I'm not saying eat their food. Look at the ingredients with a keen eye and know what's in it.sauces are easy to digest so I blend a lot to get absorbed better as an alternative with dry food quality ingredients. It's your babies DON'T BE CHEAPang good luck too. Pet lover.

it's Acid Refux
by: Anonymous

I'm shocked that nobody has mentioned acid reflux or GERD. My cat does this and it's acid reflux. Vet is aware. Has prescribed 1/4 of 10mg pepcid. It breaks my heart when she's having an episode, but the pepcid does help when given before a meal. Tried to change food to help and will continue. High fat and high protein will cause the problem. Also large meals. Google acid reflux in cats and you'll find other causes due to improper fasting before sedation. Discuss with vet before giving pepcid. Also, just learned there is a gel you can put in their ear so they don't have to take a pill. Will be getting that.

Older cat gulping and not eating.
by: Glenda

It has been about 10 days since my 15 year old cat has eaten. She is also purring loudly and gulping. The vet ran $250 of tests and found that her white count was very low and we will further check that. But, that didn't explain the gulping. She will lick hairball med off my finger but that is it. I'm afraid she is going to die. She still walks around but is really slowing down. I wish we could figure out what this gulping is all about. Just seems it's something in their throat but no sign of anything.

Gulping and coughing in hyperthyroid cat
by: Anonymous

I have a 10-year-old cat with severe hyperthyroidism. He is treated with methimazole. This past week he has been coughing and gulping with fatigue and more rapid breathing. I suspect he has heart problems from his hyperthyroidism. But as precaution vet gave him shot of antibiotic called Convenia in case of respiratory infection. Tonight the cough seems better but he continues to gulp. I hope this is all due to sore throat/respiratory infection rather than his heart ❤️

Hard gulping
by: Anonymous

I just rescued a cat 2 days ago and she is gulping hard whenever she tries to eat dry food, and sometimes when she purrs too much or when she is cleaning herself. It seems to be preventing her from eating more than a few pieces of her dry food at a time. I took her to the vet today and told them about it but they just looked in her mouth and said she seems fine.

I see a theme here
by: Anonymous

My cat gulps when purring but I don't worry too much about it. She's healthy and clearly not in any discomfort.

I'm shocked at the amount of medicines and prescriptions people seem to be throwing at this.

Medicines of any sort should be avoided unless absolutely necessary and never used for something like this which is not causing any other problems.

Cat gulping
by: Stevie

My cat has been doing this for the last 2 years gulping when he's purring he's a 10 year old ginger tom took him to the vet who couldn't find anything wrong, apart from that he's fine can't understand why no vet seems to know what this is .

My cat gulping too
by: Anonymous

My cat has has 'gulping epsiodes' in the past, and they usually clear up in few days. He eats and drinks his milk (watered down) and has both wet and dry foods, plus plenty of water. He seems ok apart from that. But I always think that as pet owners it is a little worrying in case your cat is in pain. My boy just acts perfectly normal so i'm worndering if it is hairballs. He gets combed through regularly to remove loose hair. He sometimes coughs like he want to bring something up which I think could be hairball, so regular combing of the fur is good to help prevent this getting worse. I hope he will get back to normal in day or so.

yet another gulping cat
by: Debbi

Two different vets agreed that my cat gulps hard during purring most likely b/c of cranial nerve damage. She also shakes her head a lot when purring, digs at her ears and cries after purring (and her ears are fine) and shakes her head after eating. They thought she might have polyps in her throat but scoped her and she didn't have anything. So, cranial nerve damage was the consensus. No treatment ideas, just keep her happy, feed her canned food, and wait and see. She was a shelter dump, and was around 6 years old when I got her. It's been a year and a half, and she is definitely getting worse :-(

My cat recently started doing this while purring :(
by: Anonymous

My cat (almost 17 years old) has recently started doing this same thing when he is purring. He normally purrs a lot of the time but now once he starts his trachea seems to be sticking out, he shakes his head and starts gulping. He will walk off into a corner until it stops. I fear that the vet will do a ton of work ups which will end up costing hundred and still not give me a for sure answer or resolve the issue. If it continues I will end up bringing him in, will update the post if I do.

Go to vet
by: Jess

It's feline herpes virus. controllable, contagious among cats(usually get it as a kitten) physical or mental stress causes flair ups. See vet for feline anti-inflammatory and test to discover possible stress triggers. Feed soft pate food to help sooth throats. Fresh cool water also helps.

Maybe it's stress-induced?
by: Big Mama Cat

My elderly cat started gulping (when not eating) about a year ago, but she doesn't do it all the time. She seems to go through short spells of doing it followed by months and months of not doing it. I've noticed that she does it during high-stress times, such as when there has been a change in the household that she's not pleased with. As things cool down for her, the gulping goes away. So you might look into cheering up a depressed kitty and/or trying to make life easier for him/her, as it might be a stress-induced tick.

My cat is going through a gulping phase right now, because I have rescued kittens in the house. She is also having coughing /sneezing fits maybe twice a day. My vet said to ride it out and has never had anything of note to say about the gulping.

by: Anonymous

Could it be tapeworm?

Cat gulping
by: Anonymous

My cat I adopted from the shelter is also doing the same thing. Gulping when heavy purring. I have gone to the vet several times and the first one says a brochitis infection treated with steriods which made HIm worse. Then they said asthma. The third vet says cardio. Which is it??? I am going through money trying to make my cat feel better and no one can tell me how to treat this!!! I have put him on Lysine 500mg to build up an ammunity to what ever. I have had some results but he is not 100%. Can someone out there help???

Gulping noises
by: Anonymous

My cat has been making gulping noises everytime he's content and purring it's loud but other than that he seems ok. He's on pepsid cause he was vomiting a lot and that stopped but still gulping when purring or content can't figure out what's wrong!

Is this a new condition?
by: Dee

My cat has started gulping now too. Not as vocal as usual, somewhat listless, not so interested in food, sometimes non-productive wreching. Seems to roam around the house rather restlessly. Four year old healthy spayed female. Took her to the vet who agreed no sign of pain or discomfort in her throat, no sign of sore throat or blockage. Did have some tooth tartar that he scraped off and swabbed her ears. No temperature or other signs of illness.

So I wonder too - what is the concensus as to why this is happening? What is this gulping (hard swallowing with head jerking forward) even when not eating or drinking? A new condition? A neurological problem? Needing blood tests or X-rays or what? Any real answers out there?

hard swallowing in cats
by: adele

I have two cats that do this gulping sound when swallowing even when they are NOT eating. It started with one, then spread to the other. It started with the one cat catching a mouse. Everytime he is around mice it gets worse. I have been to two vets. One said tonsillitis, the other said a cold like symptom and gave antibiotics. It got better temporarily, then came right back. A lot of people on line have this same problem and yet with all the vets out there, NO ONE KNOWS whats causing this???????????

Cat Asthma
by: Anonymous

It's probably asthma/bronchitis. My cat has the same issue. The vet did an exam and xray, and put her on the Aerocat inhaler. Pepcid (half of a 5mg tablet) might help too, if it's acid reflux. Best to check with your vet.

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