Question: I have a question about my 2 year old indoor cat. He has a hairball caused by an earlier skin problem when he licked a couple of places on his lower back. I have been giving him hair ball medicine for about 5 days twice a day.
He will wretch a lot and something comes up in his mouth, I can tell, but he will not allow himself to spit it out, he swallows it back down. He is trying to cough it up, but has always acted scared of throwing up. Can you help me?
What can I do for him so that he has to spit it on out? He has stopped drinking water but still wants to play and acts well, other than may be constipated too. Thank you or anyone who can help.
Answer: Thanks for your inquiry. The pattern you are describing is very common for cats and generally there is nothing we can do to make a cat “spit out” the material. Keep in mind that this may indeed be wretching—meaning your cat is trying to vomit or throw up a hairball.
The other thing in this age cat that often causes a wretching/gagging motion is coughing. I know it sounds crazy but a cat who is coughing often looks like they are trying to “bring up a hairball”. My recommendation would be to take a short video of what your cat is doing and have your vet take a look. The recommended treatment will be very different depending on if your cat is truly trying to vomit or if he is coughing.
Dr. Donna Spector
Answers provided to pet owners by Dr. Donna Spector should be considered information and not specific advice. Answers are to be used for general information purposes only and not as a substitute for in-person evaluation or specific professional advice from your veterinarian. Communications on this site are very limited and should never be used in possible cases of emergency.
Halo, Purely for Pets will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any information or content contained in a blog or article post. If you have consulted your veterinarian and if you are still concerned about your pet’s condition or if your pet has chronic, complicated or undiagnosed problems, Dr. Spector can offer consultations for you and your veterinarian via www.SpectorDVM.com.