Skip to Content

Why Does My Cat Gag When Purring?

Cats are almost as popular as dogs these days and the popularity of cats just keeps on growing each year with more and more people adding a cat to their family each month.

Generally speaking, cats tend to have less genetic health problems than dogs but we do still see a wide range of questions from the cat owning community about various issues they are having with their pets.

We have been answering as many of the cat questions as possible recently but we have noticed a number of people reaching out and asking why their pet cat gags when purring recently.

Now, there are a number of different reasons that your cat will gag when purring and it can be difficult to work out exactly what’s wrong with your cat.

Although we would still recommend that you try to book a video call with a veterinarian to have them check your cat over, especially if your cat has only recently started to gag while purring, there are some non-serious issues that can cause this issue in your cat.

We have structured our article in a way where we should be able to try and cover the three main questions that we see from the cat owning community about their cat gagging when purring to answer all three questions in one place.

Why Does My Cat Gag When Purring?

Sopme cats will gag when they purr due to having a problem such as liquid on their lungs or a fur ball ready to come up but other cats can make this sound naturally and without anything being wrong with them.

If your cat has always made this gagging sound then chances are it is natural for them but if it has randomly started then it could be due to a health problem.

Although it may sound strange, the gagging sound for some cats really is just a natural way to purr due to how they posture themselves naturally.

As your cat is purring, you can usually rest your hand on its chest to get an idea of if the gagging sound is natural or not. If you don’t feel a rapid vibration change as your cat is puring then the gagging sound is probably natural.

If you can feel rapid changes in the diaphragm of your cat or you can feel a steady moving sensation as if there is liquid in your cat’s diaphragm then your cat may have a serious health problem.

As we mentioned above though, booking a video call with a veterinarian is always the best route to take to get an accurate diagnosis of your cats condition.

How Can I Stop My Cat From Gagging When Purring?

If your cat is actually gagging when it purrs then you will often be able to see the reason that it is gagging.

If it is due to fur balls then try to groom your cat to remove the lose fur causing the issue. If it is due to trapped air, double check the food you give your cat and if it is due to vomit, especially clear foamy liquid then seek assistance from a vet.

These are very broad treatment options though and they are all a grey area that can be hard to correctly diagnose for the vast majority or normal people who own a cat.

Even a fully trained veterinarian will usually have to rely on some specialist equipment to correctly diagnose any potential problems in your cat’s breathing and chest.

Thankfully though, the majority of problems that can cause your cat to gag when purring can usually be quickly fixed.

Often with some medication but in some situations, your cat may require an easy operation to release pressure or fluid.

Again though, this is only if the gagging sound is due to an issue, a supringing number of cats will naturally sound like this when they purr and there is no way or need to “fix” the issue in those cats.

Should I Be Worried If My Cat Gags When Purring?

The majority of the time when you hear your cat gagging as it purrs it will often not be a majority cause of concern, it will either be a natural sound or simply due to a fur ball.

In the rare situations where it may be due to a health problem the majority of cats will be able to make a full recovery provided they get help from a vet s soon as possible.

Too many fur balls can also end up being a problem if you don’t get your cats grooming under control though and not just because it is able to make your cat make gagging sounds as it purrs.

So many cat owners are unaware that a cheap grooming brush is often enough to remove the bulk of the loose hair from your cats coat to prevent it form being able to cause keep building up fur balls regularly.


That brings our article going over why your pet cat gags when purring to a close. We hope that we have been able to help put your mind at ease and help you realise that the majority of cats who do gag when purring will be totally fine and not have any serious long term problems. Still, if you do notice this happening in your pet cat then you should ideally have a veterinarian confirm the cause of the gagging to make sure that it is nothing that requires treatment.