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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 22616
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
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my cat keeps heaving like she wants to vomit but nothing happens

could you give me an... Show More
could you give me an idea what causes this
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Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner. If you would still like assistance, can you tell me:

How long has Penny being doing this?

Can she eat and drink?

Does she sound hoarse when she meows?

If you press on her belly does she have any discomfort or pain?

Any straining to pass feces?

Customer reply replied 3 years ago.

i dont no how long i have only just taken her into my home;yes she can eat and drink no she does not sound hoarse; she does not seam to be in any pain only when she starts heaving not that i know of

Thank you John,

When we have cats that are non-productive retching but not having any issue eating, drinking, and keeping everything down; this is most suggestive of transient foreign bodies (like hairballs) or thorat irritation (ie viral or bacterial tracheitis). Concerns about obstructions or gastroenteritis would be less likely as she lacks any other signs suggesting their presence.

Now if she has no voice changes and doesn't seem uncomfortable in her throat, we can hopefully put concerns of tracheitis to the side. If we did have this present, often viral induced ones settle after a few weeks (where only the severe or bacterial ones need antibiotics +/- feline friendly anti-inflammatories).

Otherwise,with these signs and since she is otherwise well, the first point of call would be to treat her for a hairball. To do so, you will just want to give a few daily treatments with either a hairball treatment or by increasing his dietary fiber. Both will just push this or any irritating material through the GI and out the way nature intended. In regards ***** ***** options, there are hairball gel treatments (ie Laxatone, Catalax - example), treats (example), dietary options (example), and we can even add a spoonful of tinned pumpkin (as a fiber source) into her wet food to aid in pushing this potential cause out of her stomach. And if this is out culprit, this retching should just settle down.

Overall, her signs do rule out a lot of sinister issues and instead our top concern for her non-productive heaving would be a potential hair ball. So, do try treating for that first while monitoring her. If she doesn't settle, starts to show signs of throat irritation or vomiting, then we'd need to consider those other potential causes and plan to follow up with her vet to address those for her with antibiotics +/- feline safe anti-inflammatories or nausea agents.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )