Why Do Cats Gag At Combs?

Cats hate combs.

Due to their tiny mouths and tiny fingers, they’re easily intimidated by regular combs. Some cats will violently bite and swish their tongues out in protest when faced with an expensive, fancy detangler or grooming brush.

Combs are a natural alternative to chemical-based deodorizers. So, why Cats Gag At Combs?Cats are natural groomers.

Their fur is their defining feature, and they spend a lot of energy making sure it is clear and shiny! However, most cats hate regular combs.

The structure is difficult for them to handle and is uncomfortable to use on sensitive areas, such as the ears. Most cats will violently bite and swish their tongues out in protest when faced with an expensive, fancy detangler or grooming brush.

However, cats do love naturally scented deodorizers, such as catnip!

Why Do Cats Gag At Combs?

The sound of combing makes cats feel like they’re being electrocuted.

However, it may irritate your feline friend’s sensitive ears and skin if they accidentally grab your comb or brush while they’re napping.

It’s like nails going across a chalkboard for some kitties.


Feline audiogenic reflex seizures are a seizure type that is fairly common in cats.

It is induced by high-pitched tones and can be caused by hearing a hunter’s call.

Hearing loss is a natural part of aging, but it is especially common in cases of FCARs.

That is why cats typically don’t gag at combs or brushes when they can hear and feel the vibrations.

Individual cats’ seizure triggers will change over time, which is why some cats may gag at combs and other grooming tools when they used to enjoy being groomed.


Cats groom themselves regularly, and they love to feel their fur.

This hair may then form balls in your cat’s stomach, which can result in vomiting or gagging if they try to eat the furball while it’s still cemented together.

Dental Disease

If they feel their mouth to be painful, they may block out the pain by tensing the muscles around their muzzle and throat.

This happens when plaque and tartar build up on your cat’s teeth, causing gingivitis or periodontal disease.

Dental illness may be one possible reason that your kitty is gagging at combs and brushes.

Respiratory Problems

Infections, foreign objects in the airway, and feline asthma can all result in gagging in cats.

These issues might cause the airway to become swollen and inflamed, making breathing difficult.


Allergies in cats may be caused both by environmental factors and by products made specifically for cats.

This creates respiratory issues, and your cat may respond to this by choking or gagging when they try to eat, drink, or breathe.

If you suspect your cat may be experiencing allergies, make an appointment with a vet as soon as possible to discuss treatment options.

Feline Asthma

Feline Asthma is a lung irritation that is caused by inflammation of the lining of the air passages.

It happens when the airways are irritated by allergens such as pollens and dust, and can lead to chronic coughing and wheezing.

Why Do Cats Gag at Smells?

Cats lose the scent because their noses are not capable of discriminating smell as well as humans do. This is also why your kitty can get frustrated and meow loudly when he or she can’t smell what he or she is looking for.

They avoid certain smells because they associate them with danger, such as the smell of predators or medicine prescribed by vets.

If your cat becomes sick or hurt, he or she may lose the ability to smell properly.

Symptoms like lethargy or vomiting are not associated with contextual smells, but the nose is still able to smell them.

It is almost as if a cat with feline respiratory syndrome is deaf to context smells only. Cats who experience this are no longer able to differentiate between a smell that is dangerous and one that is not.

Cats seem not to care about their smell when they are not in mood to mate or hunt.

Why Does My Cat Gag at Certain Sounds?

Some cats get anxious or upset at sudden loud noises.

This is similar to the way that people get upset by sudden loud noises.

The anxiety can manifest itself as gagging because it makes them feel powerless to defend themselves against a scary sound.

When the doorbell rings or you drop a pot on the floor in the kitchen.

Some cats are very sensitive to certain sound frequencies, such as high-pitched sounds or high frequencies (sounds that are high pitched and have more energy) such as someone with a voice that is squeaky or that sings in a high-pitched voice, or the sound of a vacuum cleaner or hair dryer.

Why Do They Gag When Being Brushed?

Gagging cats may indicate that they dislike having their teeth brushed.

Many cats also have lengthy hair, which makes brushing a cat’s teeth somewhat difficult.

Giving your cat treats while brushing them is an alternative to brushing your teeth for them.

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Please vote for him! The noise of the brush or comb can also make the gums swell and bleed, which could make your cat feel pain.

If the root cause of the gag reflex is dental disease, you could use a bandana to prevent your cat from covering its face while brushing its teeth.

In the end, gagging at brushes and combs is a symptom of a deeper issue.

Why Do Cats Gag When Smelling Food?

Cats find the smell of food incredibly delicious!

Cats have an interest in learning new foods, as long as smells, sounds or textures don’t scare them away.

Some cats are picky eaters. They may not eat a new item if only the smell appeals to them.

Some cats can’t eat too much of something without getting sick (causing them to have the gag reflex), while others can eat the foods they gag at without any problems!

Their sensitive noses and mouths make them more picky than most cats. The smell of food stimulates their appetite and makes them more receptive to new foods.

However, if your kitty has a strong gag reflex, it might mean that he or she is unsure of your brand of food, or that he or she has a sensitive digestive system.

Also Read: Why Does My Cat Keep Gagging But Not Throwing Up?

Should I Be Worried If My Cat Gags?

When cats are threatened or don’t like something they’re experiencing, they might react by trying to vomit.

However, if your cat starts coughing excessively while doing that, or the vomiting is painful, you should make an appointment with your vet.

It’s usually a good idea to take your cat to a vet if you notice that it’s gagging excessively at any objects or activities.

FARS, allergies, respiratory difficulties, and even dental problems can be causes for excessive gagging in cats.


Combs aren’t for everyone! If your cat doesn’t like it, don’t force the issue! There are grooming tools on the market that are much easier to use on your cat!

In conclusion, if your cat tends to gag at brushes or combs, you should make an appointment with a vet to make sure that it isn’t a sign of a serious illness.