Cat Gagging: Why Do Cats Gag When They Smell Food?

Are you facing some changes in your cat? Does your cat start gagging when offering food recently? If yes, then there is nothing to be worried about. This kind of behavior is common while they are served food. There can be plenty of reasons for this behavior, and some of those can be related to the health of the cat. And that is why you do not have to worry about anything and know more about cat gagging at food; then you can check this out!

Why Do Cats Gag When They Smell Food?

There are people who may get worried when their cat starts gagging on food. One organ is the vomeronasal sac, which is the part of the olfactory sense organ that you may find behind the teeth of the mouth of the cat and is responsible for detecting heavy moisture. It also has the odor particles to which the cat may react instinctively and open her mouth, which may be curling the upper lip which is during the inhalation.

The sense of smell the cat has is so powerful, and if you have the cat, then it is important for the person to know about the smell that your cat may not like, and those are mentioned below-

  • Citrus
  • Mint, wintergreen and menthol
  • Cinnamon, rosemary, rue, lavender

A person also needs to make sure that the cat is actually gagging or not. It means it is important for the person to know whether your cat gags when they smell food or gags while doing any other thing. If they gag while doing something, that can be the reason for some problem, and the person needs to look into it.

When To Take Your Cat To The Vet For Gagging?

Cats are animal that has the ability where they can reject the things that they ingested so quickly and especially when they know that they have ingested something harmful. They can eject something out of their mouth, and they may not need any kind of help from their pet owner. But if gagging and vomiting occur so frequently, that kind of situation may be alarming, and you may need to take them to the vet.

One thing that you need to do is to check their airways immediately, and if you see something long such as string, you should not pull that out. It will be good if you will just take them to the vet because they know how to do these things. However, a person should not do that because they may not have a better idea, and they might accidentally pull out something which can be harmful to the cat inside.

Also Read: Cats and Fish Bones: Can Cats Eat Fish Bones?


Even if you do not see any kind of long string or anything or cannot identify the cause of excessive gagging, then it becomes vital for you to take them to the vet because they will be the only ones who can help you out with that situation.

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