If your cat is moaning and choking you should be aware that this is fairly uncommon behaviour. Serious issues may cause this behaviour. Therefore it is important to watch your cat closely if you notice either and do not hesitate to drive to a clinic in an emergency!
1.The most common reason why your cat is moaning and choking is stuck hair and hairballs
This is usually when the cat is moaning and choking without vomiting. Usually the hair will eventually land on the carpet, but in the worst cases the hair clogs up the intestine (although this is very rare). Try giving him malt paste, this will make the walls of the digestive tract smoother so that hair tufts can leave the body. You should encourage the kitty to drink as much water as possible in order to help flush away the hair before it builds up in his stomach. If he is a reluctant drinker then maybe think about getting a pet water fountain to increase the likelihood of him drinking throughout the day and night.
2.Another foreign body could be stuck
Cats are naturally curious and hungry which can often be a bad combination. Hair clips or small pieces of paper suddenly disappear sometimes and their remains can later be found in a litter box! However it is possible that a swallowed object turns on its side when ingested. In a serious scenario this can lead to a perforated stomach or intestinal wall. If you suspect that your cat may have swallowed a sharp object, you should urgently go to the vet as there is a risk of internal bleeding
3.The rattling and choking does not necessarily come from the stomach
Lung problems, such as feline asthma, can also cause these symptoms as well as coughing and breathlessness. Again, you should not leave symptoms ignored for too long and drive to a vet. Asthma attacks can be life threatening!
4.Parasites can settle in the lungs
Not just lungworms, but any parasite that migrates in the body (such as hookworms and roundworms). Think about when their last worming was done and make sure to book them in when necessary. If the rattling and choking does not stop parasites were probably the cause.
5.The heart can be affected
In case of insufficiency, the blood builds up and water enters the lungs. The cat will then try to get rid of it by coughing. Older cats are more likely to be affected by this. In such cases the heart should be sounded and the cat administered a diuretic (water-removing) agent.
Not every cause of moaning and choking requires going to the vet. You must watch out for accompanying circumstances – does your cat appear apathetic? Is she still active? Does she eat and drink? A cat should never go hungry for more than 48 hours, otherwise severe metabolic disorders can occur. Does the behaviour stop after minutes or does it persist?
In principle, going to the vet is always required if the symptoms last more than a day or the cats behaviour is severely impaired.
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