Why Do Cats Gag At Combs?

Why Do Cats Gag At Combs?

We all know cats are picky animals, but there are certain things that might be perplexing. One of them is why your cat may vomit if you attempt to brush its hair with a comb. This article will assist to clarify this issue and provide a solution to the age-old question: When cats encounter combs, why do they gag? Because cats have very keen hearing, they can detect high-frequency vibrations. The sound of the comb is too exciting for the cat, and it causes them to choke.

Why Do Cats Gag At Combs?

The sound of combing makes cats gag because it produces a high-frequency sound that humans cannot hear. However, it may irritate your cat to the point of causing a gag reaction. It’s like nails going down a chalkboard in human terms!


Feline audiogenic reflex seizures are a kind of epilepsy that has just recently been recognized in cats. It is induced by high-pitched or loud stimuli and is typical in elderly cats. Hearing loss is a natural part of aging, and the capacity to hear lower-pitched noises is usually the first to go. That is why cats are more startled by high-pitched noises. Individual cats’ seizure triggers will vary, with a wide range of noises considered triggers.


Cats groom themselves regularly, and they ingest a lot of hair in the process. This hair may then form balls in the cat’s stomach, causing them to choke while trying to vomit them out.

Dental Disease

Dental disease is one of the most prevalent causes of gagging in cats. This happens when plaque and tartar build up on the cat’s teeth, causing discomfort and illness. Dental illness may be fatal if it is not addressed.

Respiratory Problems

Infections, foreign objects in the airway, and even cancer are all possible causes of respiratory issues in cats. These issues might cause the cat to frequently gag and make breathing difficult.


Allergies in cats may be caused by a variety of causes, including pollen and human food. This creates respiratory issues, causing individuals to choke or cough often. If you suspect your cat may have allergies, it’s important to get them tested.

Feline Asthma

Feline Asthma is a lung ailment that affects both cats and dogs. It happens when the airways in the cat’s lungs become inflamed, making breathing difficult.

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Why Do They Gag When Being Brushed?

Gagging cats may indicate that they dislike having their hair touched by people, therefore brushing them is not recommended. Many cats also have lengthy hair, which makes brushing more difficult and may cause discomfort if tugged too forcefully or for an extended period of time. Giving your cat treats while brushing them is the greatest method to get them acclimated to it before you really brush them. This will help the cat connect being stroked with something pleasant, increasing the likelihood that it will enjoy the encounter.

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Should I Be Worried If My Cat Gags?

When cats are threatened or don’t like what they’re seeing, they utilize gagging as a natural defense strategy. It’s nothing to be concerned about as long as the gagging doesn’t become extreme. However, if your cat starts coughing excessively while doing so, this might be a sign that something is wrong, and you should seek medical help. It’s usually a good idea to take your cat to the veterinarian if they’re gagging for no apparent cause. FARS, allergies, respiratory difficulties, and even dental disease are all possible reasons of inexplicable gag reflexes in cats.


While seeing your cat gag at combs may be unnerving, it’s typically nothing to be concerned about. Gagging occurs in cats for a variety of causes, including sensitive hearing, respiratory difficulties, dental disorders, and hairballs. If your cat is continually gagging, you should take them to the doctor for testing and treatment. FARS is a disorder that causes some cats to choke or lose their hearing in reaction to loud sounds. If you suspect your cat has FARS, take them to a veterinarian who can diagnose the disease and, if required, provide medication.