Cat Food
Cat Gagging At Food

Cat Gagging At Food

If your cat is gagging at food, you have all the reasons to get concerned. It might be a medical condition, or they could be showing signs of displeasure.

Cats are the most sensitive members of our families and could gag at the slightest gross by even the smell of food. We encourage you to know your cat better, thus understanding their likes and dislikes.

We recommend that you consult your vet if gagging persists. Below are probable causes why your cat is gagging at food.

Probable causes of cat gagging at food

A cat gagging at food could mean a lot. Maybe your feline has a stomach upset, painful swallowing, an allergy, or even displeasure with the type of food. Let’s look at the probable causes.

Throat Obstruction

  • If you notice your cat gagging, immediately check if its throat is clear. There could be an obstruction by food or any other items like bones.
  • Such obstructions could cause the cat to gag while pawing at their throat to clear the obstruction. Throat obstructions could be fatal and should be cleared immediately upon notice.
  • Make sure to check your cat’s toys and food to ensure they cannot cause throat blockage. Toys that are broken or have tiny pieces that the dog might decide to swallow should be eliminated.
  • Throat blockage could lead to difficulty in breathing, which can be fatal.
  • Texture of Food

If your cat keeps on gagging at food, check if the texture is okay. Rough texture foods could cause pain when swallowing, especially for cats with no teeth or a sore throat. Your cat food could have all the fantastic smell and taste but hurt the cat since it doesn't have the right texture.

You can try the high calories food for a sick cat that comes soft and nutritious for sick cats.

Various textures available for cat food include minced, grilled, sliced, and many more. Make sure to choose the right texture for your cat. Minced or mashed food would be an excellent choice for a cat with difficulties in chewing and swallowing.

  • Stomach Upsets

Stomach upsets could not always be the cause for gagging, but it's a significant cause. Gagging is also not a symptom of stomach upsets.

Stomach upsets can be a result of acidity or indigestion. Stomach upsets could also emanate from your cat's diet. Make sure to feed your nutritious cat food well checked and approved by a vet.

  • Bacterial Infections

Bacterial infections in cats can cause lots of discomforts and result in gagging. Such conditions could make your cat experience pain while chewing or when swallowing food.

Bacterial infections could start from uncooked or undercooked food. Bacteria die under high temperatures, which calls for properly cooking meat and other foods to ensure bacteria-free food for your fluffy friend.

  • Food Serving Environment

Cats are sensitive to cleanliness and could be disgusted at the slightest provocation. Ensure your cat lives and feeds in a clean environment.

Always clean and dry any feeding equipment to give your cat an environment to thrive and grow healthy.

Just like humans, cats like to live and eat in a clean environment. In the same way, you will be disgusted to eat in an environment where there are unpleasant smells or on a filthy plate; do the same for your cat.

  • Loss of appetite

A cat gagging at their food could be because they do not want to eat.

If your cat loses appetite, you have a reason to worry since something must be wrong.

Loss of appetite is the first symptom of illness in cats. Make sure to diagnose and contact your vet to ensure that your cat is okay.

Gagging at food could mean they have lost appetite and do not want any food. Observe closely to see whether they could prefer another type of food, or they can't eat if your cat is elderly and has terrible teeth; we recommend cat food for older cats with bad teeth.

  • Swallowing Difficulties

Your cat can gag at food due to swallowing difficulties. Swallowing difficulties cause pain during feeding. This condition requires immediate medical attention by your vet.

A cat can gag and cough while eating occasionally, but if it’s persistent, then it’s time to see a vet.

The difficulty in swallowing condition in cats is called dysphagia. This condition can cause instant loss of weight due to the inability to feed correctly. The condition shouldn’t go for a long time untreated for the wellbeing of your cat.

Symptoms of dysphagia

You might notice your cat gagging her food, painful swallowing of food, repeatedly coughing when feeding, drooling, and taking unusual positions while feeding.

Types of dysphagia

  • Oral dysphagia

Oral dysphagia is characterized by difficulty in holding food in the mouth. The cat might try pushing the food to the side of the mouth or throwing its head backward while struggling to swallow.

  • Cricopharyngeal Dysphagia

You will notice the cat regurgitating food, loss of appetite, gagging, loss of weight, and struggling attempts to swallow food.

  • Pharyngeal Dysphagia

  • This type of dysphagia gives the cat lots of difficulty while swallowing. The cat also gags the food a lot, will cough and drool while feeding. If the cat spits any saliva, you will notice bloodstains, and they often chew for an extended period before swallowing. The cat will also make unusual neck and head movements while eating and swallowing to signify feeding difficulty.


Gagging at food could have man courses. Observe your cat closely for clues, but if it persists, please contact your veterinarian for a detailed diagnosis to determine the reason behind constant gagging.

If you notice the gagging is caused by difficulty swallowing, make sure to contact or visit a vet immediately to ensure that your feline will be okay.

Kindly note that cats will gag and cough while feeding sometimes and should not be a cause for alarm. However, if the gagging iterates, seek the advice of a vet convenient to you.

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