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Old June 30th, 2006, 08:30 PM
vancouverchick vancouverchick is offline
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Cat gags and vomits while purring - Answered by Dr. Slome

My cat will throw up a runny hair ball or whatever hes recently eaten after we have pet him and he starts to purr. He has just gotten over a cold....and is eating, drinking, pooping and running around as usual. He seems very happy except for that purr/puke thing??? I will be taking him to the vet but i thought id see if anyone knew anything about this.........thx
Hes a 10 yr old male short hair. In good health and is both an indoor and outdoor cat with 2 other cats living indoors.
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Old July 18th, 2006, 10:15 AM
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petdr petdr is offline
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Posts: 262
This is certainly interesting. He may have a sore throat or an inflammation of his stomach or oesophagus that causes him to regurgitate or vomit when excited or stimulated etc. Sometimes fur causes mechanical irritation and resulting inflammation that is responsible for this condition. Other conditions that your vet will need to rule is a foreign object lodged in his throat or in his oesophagus or stomach. He may also have to check for some viral diseases that may have been contracted from being outdoors.

Make sure you have him protected and on good parasite control. I guess a starting point to try and rule out what is going on is a fecal test to check for intestinal parasites and an x-ray to check for obstructions from foreign bodies incl. fur balls.

Last thought is that there may be a food intolerance causing an IBD (Inflammatory bowel disease) and this will be something that your vet may need to address also.

Good luck

Martin Slome DVM

Centre Street Animal Hospital
7700 Bathurst Street Units 40-42
Thornhill, Ont.
L4J 7Y3
Tel. (905) 771-9855
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Old December 17th, 2006, 10:21 AM
Bird Bird is offline
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Location: east coast US
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Gagging while purring


I'm interested in this thread because I've been unable to find a solution for a similar problem I'm having with my male cat. When he purrs, he creates so much congestion that he coughs and gags. This only happens when he purrs, and he is otherwise fine - never has runny eyes or nose, or coughs or gags for any other reason. The congestion appears to be nasal rather than his lungs, and my vet said his lungs were clear. But it's quite bad. It's as if purring creates so much nasal phelgm [he acutally gurgles], that he gets some kind of post nasal drip and then hacks and gags. He doesn't regurgitate anything from his stomach [as in the previous post with vomiting]. He may occasionally expel phlegm with this though.

It's really sad because it prevents us from petting him for very long, and this problem has been persistent for about 2 years [he's 10 years old and in otherwise excellent health].....he starts as soon as he starts purring, which he does as soon as any of us get close to him. He's a real cuddler, but he usually has to get up and leave because this makes him so uncomfortable.

Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Old November 19th, 2007, 12:33 PM
jkitchin jkitchin is offline
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My cat has exactly the same problem as this. I wonder if you (Bird) ever got any help or explanation with this?

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Old November 19th, 2007, 03:03 PM
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phoozles phoozles is offline
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Hi Jean (and Bird, if you're still milling around),

That's what was happening to my guy Jake - as you can see in this thread about it: http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=46076

Turns out he was suffering from something simliar to an URI - it looks like he had an outbreak of Feline Herpes, which he caught off of our kitten, Alley. According to some research I've done, about 90% of cats have it, but you usually don't see any signs unless they have experienced stress, change in environment, etc. The coughing is due to congestion - you might notice your cat swallowing a lot more too - trying to swallow down the phlegm.

I would watch your kitty for signs of not eating as well - when their noses get stuffed up they don't want to eat as much.

You can pretty much just treat the symptoms, and everything should wrap up eventually. Jake just wrapped up a bout of Clavamox, he's on some diuretic pills to clear up some fluid in his lungs and has some L-Lysine in his food, and he's almost completely better.

I would ask for a check for this. If not, you might need x-rays to see if your cat has something more serious, like asthma or bronchitis. How old is your kitty? Asthma usually appears in younger cats, but bronchitis can happen any time.

Hope that helps!
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Old November 20th, 2007, 08:14 AM
jkitchin jkitchin is offline
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Cat Coughing and Gagging when purring

Hi Phoozles

Thank you for your reply to my post. I did find your thread after I had posted my message to Bird.

My cat, Oscar, is 16. He has a hyperthyroid condition. He goes to the vets regularly for a check on his condition and I have taken him with regard to the purring problem. Oscar also has a swelling in his tummy that is undiagnosed and does not appear to be causing him any discomfort or pain. Because of his age and his hyperthyroid the vet has told me that there are massive risks attached to any investigative procedures requiring aneasthetic and even sedation. Oscar gets himself in a real state when he goes to the vets. He would have to be sedated for Xrays etc. and we have agreed that while his quality of life is good, which it is currently, we will just let him get on with it. The vet could not find anything that might be causing him to have this problem when he purrs and he just said as long as it is only when he purrs and he is OK otherwise leave him. Alternatively, if I felt it was causing Oscar too much distress he suggested a throat probe which I really don't want to put him through.

I think this probelem distresses me more than it does Oscar. He just seems to have a cough, have a drink and then he gets on with it. As Bird said in his post it is heartbreaking not to be able to pet him as I would like and trying not to make him purr. Like Bird's cat, Oscar is big on purring.

I have to say that I do not have a lot of faith in my vet. He has no knowledge of complimentary medicine for pets nor has he been able to give advice on supplements. He did give Oscar a cause of antibiotics when his purring problem first started but they had no effect. As soon as I saw your post I ordered some L Lycine. I am going to try him on that. He has no other symptoms, eats well and dsepite his thyroid condition (which is under control) he is a happy, healthy cats.

I really appreciate your advice.

Many thanks

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