Plz help! Cat won’t stop gagging

That_crazy_cat_lady777

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 23, 2024
Messages
23
Purraise
42
My 8 year old neutered male cat, Axl, that we rescued when he was an abandoned kitten has something wrong. Early this morning he sneezed several times in a row and then he ran off to another room. Several hours later I heard the loudest, most odd coughing/gagging sound. I actually thought it was a human (which freaked me out because no one should’ve been in that part of the house). But then Axl came running into my room with a ton of drool falling out of his mouth and gagging like he was going to throw up or pass a hairball. But no matter how much he gagged, nothing came out. He hopped up onto my lap and seemed to calm down but then a few mins later he was gagging again. After several instances of this, he managed to throw up a small amount of white foam. I noticed after that, that his left nostril and his left eye seemed to have clear liquid that was coming out. He came and laid down and took a nap. He was letting me pet him like normal and responding the way he typically would to being pet. He seemed to be feeling better, and he no longer had the clear liquid running out of his nose or eye, but less than an hour later he woke up and started doing little gagging movements with his mouth and then he began to full on gag again. He’s been doing this on and off all day. He hasn’t had the running nose or eye problem since then, but if he’s awake, he’s gagging on and off constantly. I tried to get him to eat some wet food (which he LOVES) and while he sniffed it and seemed to really want it, he refused to actually eat it. Eventually he began licking around it, and seemed to take a couple VERY SMALL nibbles of it, but then he walked away. I tried giving him different kinds, and offering gravy but he wasn’t interested. Maybe 15-20 mins or so after he took a few nibbles of the food, he began to gag, and he gagged up clear liquid and white foam. His breathing rate is normal. I can’t tell if he has blue gums because his gums are naturally black. Right before he tried to eat, we went outside and he even began to chase a flower that went floating by (that was when he was ignoring the wet food that I had set down beside him). He’s not lethargic or anything but he keeps gagging. At one point he seemed to be sneezing and gagging. His brother (who we also rescued 8 years ago) had some sort of cold he’s getting over but he never did any gagging, just a fair amount of sneezing and it’s pretty much gone now. Axl does have asthma and allergies that greatly affect him during the late Spring - thru Summer and even into the very early Fall but they haven’t started yet (it seems to start when it gets really hot and muggy). That being said, the last couple days have been so bad for my whole family’s allergies. They’re hitting hard, so I don’t know if this could be related to his seasonal allergies. His vet doesn’t have any sort of way to reach them during after hours and my husband was recently put on disability (due to end stage COPD and Congestive Heart Failure) which really hurt us financially because I HAVE to stay home to care for our youngest who is SEVERELY mentally and physically disabled. So right now I don’t have the funds to take him to an emergency vet (I don’t have the money to take him to a regular vet until the 1st either). Before you get upset that I have a cat and I don’t have the resources for a vet- I DO understand the concern, but when we rescued our cats, we were their only hope (all the Cat Rescues were full, and no one else was willing to take them in because they needed around the clock bottle feeding) plus my husband was able to work at the time and our life was very different financially than it is now. Back then we never saw the day coming that my husband, while still in his early 40s, would have end stage COPD and heart failure and be told he cannot work. I HAVE to help my little Axl. I’m freaking out, but I don’t know what to do.
Has anyone experienced anything similar with their kitty? Any ideas on what it could be? Any ideas on what I could do for him?
 

FeebysOwner

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
22,908
Purraise
34,389
Location
Central FL (Born in OH)
I am so sorry about what is going with Axl, and your life in general. But, I know of nothing that can be done from a home remedy standpoint. He may have swallowed something that is lodged in his throat, maybe a growth, a build up of mucous in his sinuses/head/throat, or it could be his asthma and/or allergies badly acting up. The watery eye(s) and runny nose may be nothing more than what can happen with humans who have a gagging/coughing spell.

You can try to take him into a bathroom after running hot water to make it steamy and see if that helps, but that is about all I would know to try. If he can drink fluids, watered down gravy, etc. then try that with him if for no other reason than to perhaps help soothe his throat.

You could try calling a (reputable) televet for additional at home advice. Does your vet have a recorded message with a contact to call when they aren't open?
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3

That_crazy_cat_lady777

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 23, 2024
Messages
23
Purraise
42
I am so sorry about what is going with Axl, and your life in general. But, I know of nothing that can be done from a home remedy standpoint. He may have swallowed something that is lodged in his throat, maybe a growth, a build up of mucous in his sinuses/head/throat, or it could be his asthma and/or allergies badly acting up. The watery eye(s) and runny nose may be nothing more than what can happen with humans who have a gagging/coughing spell.

You can try to take him into a bathroom after running hot water to make it steamy and see if that helps, but that is about all I would know to try. If he can drink fluids, watered down gravy, etc. then try that with him if for no other reason than to perhaps help soothe his throat.

You could try calling a (reputable) televet for additional at home advice. Does your vet have a recorded message with a contact to call when they aren't open?
Unfortunately they don’t. They just say to go to the closest emergency vet. It’s so frustrating. I wish they had an on call vet so I talk to them about this. My husband thinks it’s allergies because it started with some crazy sneezing this morning. But I’m so worried he might have something stuck in his throat or something like that.
 

iPappy

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jun 1, 2022
Messages
5,391
Purraise
16,952
Unfortunately they don’t. They just say to go to the closest emergency vet. It’s so frustrating. I wish they had an on call vet so I talk to them about this. My husband thinks it’s allergies because it started with some crazy sneezing this morning. But I’m so worried he might have something stuck in his throat or something like that.
Are you able to take him into a bathroom with the door closed, and run the shower and see if that loosens anything up?
When he threw up, was the foam/clear fluid watery, or was it thick like mucous?
I'm wondering if he caught your other cats cold, and it's affecting him worse because of his allergies, asthma, etc.?
 

silent meowlook

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 10, 2014
Messages
3,668
Purraise
6,970
Don’t steam him in the bathroom. This can make things worse. It would be ok if this was upper respiratory congestion, but if it isn’t, it’s not good. Especially if it is an asthma fare up.
 

silent meowlook

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 10, 2014
Messages
3,668
Purraise
6,970
Obviously he needs a vet and I am not a vet.

Do you have any plants in your house? He goes outside right? What are the plants in the garden?

Some plants can have a toxicity to them that can cause Purina to the esophagus and inside the mouth. Don’t go trying to look at him though, you don’t want to start another coughing fit.

Cats can also get parts of plants or strings or anything really caught in their esophagus and that can cause what you are seeing.

Certain chemicals like I scent killers, air fresheners, candles, potpourri etc can cause severe irritation to the airways.

You said he has asthma. What medications do you have to treat that?

The problem is without knowing what is causing this, there is no way to treat it. I would definitely keep him inside until this is figured out.

Other thing is even if we figure out what’s going on, you will still need medications to treat.

I would start reaching out to local cat groups, make some pleas on Facebook or start a go fund me.

If he isn’t eating, that can cause liver disease quite easily and that will be even more that has to be addressed if it isn’t too late. Don’t try to give him anything by mouth.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8

That_crazy_cat_lady777

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 23, 2024
Messages
23
Purraise
42
Are you able to take him into a bathroom with the door closed, and run the shower and see if that loosens anything up?
When he threw up, was the foam/clear fluid watery, or was it thick like mucous?
I'm wondering if he caught your other cats cold, and it's affecting him worse because of his allergies, asthma, etc.?
When he threw up it was white foam. He ended up throwing up a second time and it was a mixture of white foam and clear liquid. Both times were relatively small amounts.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9

That_crazy_cat_lady777

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 23, 2024
Messages
23
Purraise
42
Don’t steam him in the bathroom. This can make things worse. It would be ok if this was upper respiratory congestion, but if it isn’t, it’s not good. Especially if it is an asthma fare up.
Oh wow I didn’t know that. I hadn’t tried it yet though.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10

That_crazy_cat_lady777

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 23, 2024
Messages
23
Purraise
42
Obviously he needs a vet and I am not a vet.

Do you have any plants in your house? He goes outside right? What are the plants in the garden?

Some plants can have a toxicity to them that can cause Purina to the esophagus and inside the mouth. Don’t go trying to look at him though, you don’t want to start another coughing fit.

Cats can also get parts of plants or strings or anything really caught in their esophagus and that can cause what you are seeing.

Certain chemicals like I scent killers, air fresheners, candles, potpourri etc can cause severe irritation to the airways.

You said he has asthma. What medications do you have to treat that?

The problem is without knowing what is causing this, there is no way to treat it. I would definitely keep him inside until this is figured out.

Other thing is even if we figure out what’s going on, you will still need medications to treat.

I would start reaching out to local cat groups, make some pleas on Facebook or start a go fund me.

If he isn’t eating, that can cause liver disease quite easily and that will be even more that has to be addressed if it isn’t too late. Don’t try to give him anything by mouth.
We don’t have any indoor plants but there are a lot of outdoor plants around our yard. Nothing we planted, just random plants that pop up. We live in the country in the Deep South and with it being Spring all sorts of random weeds and shrubbery are popping up overnight. He’s lived here his entire life and I’ve never seen anything like this before when the plants start growing everywhere but of course that doesn’t mean he didn’t try something out this year.

I asked his vet for asthma medication and when I described his symptoms he agreed it sounded just like asthma but he never gave us any prescriptions. He even just had surgery a month ago and afterwards I wasn’t given any instructions or information about what they found or how to care for him. When I asked on the day I picked him up, the front desk lady just sort of shrugged her shoulders. I said he was supposed to talk to me and tell me what was going on. That was also when we were supposed to finish our conversation about his asthma but she said he was too busy. It was odd. Honestly I need a new vet. I was recommended one just the other day and I was planning on taking him in when we got paid in a couple weeks but then this sprung up.

I’m so worried about him not eating. He does have a horrible obsession with chewing plastic bags. We constantly try to hide them or throw them away but somehow he always finds them in the middle of the night. I’m hoping he didn’t get one last night and get a piece stuck.

It’s so weird cuz he’s being playful and acting normal (usually when he’s not feeling well, he doesn’t play around) but when he’s not gagging he’s playing or watching the other cats, or cuddling us. It’s just that every 10 mins or so he’s gagging. And he won’t eat which is seriously stressing me out because I’m worried about organ failure.

I tried applying for the various medical payment options for vet offices but all of them denied me (I don’t have BAD credit- I just don’t really have any credit).
Whoa!!! As I’m typing this, I look over and he’s CHOWING DOWN on dry food.
Oh, that’s another thing - we just had to get a different brand of cat food. We went everywhere and everyone was sold out of the brand he usually eats.
I want to switch all my cats to a raw food diet as I know dry food is awful for them but I can’t get them to switch over. They are obsessed with dry food. I’m hoping to switch them to wet food and then from there to raw. Earlier he wouldn’t touch the wet food but now he’s eating the dry food.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12

That_crazy_cat_lady777

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 23, 2024
Messages
23
Purraise
42
Thank you for those links! That’s a huge help!

I haven’t noticed him gag for maybe the last hour now. He DID still keep gagging even after he threw up those 2 times but he hasn’t gagged in awhile. I’m hoping whatever it was is settled down or fixed or something. I’ll let you all know if he starts back up.

I’m so grateful for everyone taking the time to reply. This whole thing has me so stressed. You all have been amazing. I was trying to figure out what was going on with him, and keeping a close watch on him while taking care of my youngest who is disabled and was having some issues this evening, and having to help my husband because he’s in the middle of a COPD flare up - so I kinda feel like my head is spinning. It’s been such a help to get some advice and suggestions on what it could be or things to try.
 

Alldara

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Apr 29, 2022
Messages
5,679
Purraise
9,770
Location
Canada
Ah no wonder you're so stressed. That's a lot for anyone to handle!

Was there nothing in the foam or liquid?

For his food if he still won't eat you could soak it and put it in a blender.

Just an FYI for raw food - there are higher risks with it because it isn't cooked, NP potential pathogens are cooked off. Since you're on limited income, that could be stressful again to you in an emergency. Perhaps a home cooked diet might be better? Or just adding some inexpensive cans. There's no studies to show any benefits to raw or homemade anyway. It's all just opinions or what works for cats with specific conditions. It sounds like you don't need to juggle more hats right now, so no need to feel like a guilty pet owner.
 

silent meowlook

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 10, 2014
Messages
3,668
Purraise
6,970
I honestly would not feed raw if he was my cat. You shouldn’t feed raw to a cat with a compromised immune system. Also I wouldn’t risk raw food because you have an immune compromised person in the house. I would, however switch to canned food. Also raw food is expensive.

To keep your cats in better shape, you might consider not letting them out. The amount of trouble they can get into goes way up if they get out. I would hate to think if this was a more urgent situation with one of them. Not that this isn’t urgent.
 

stephanietx

TCS Member
Veteran
Joined
Dec 1, 2005
Messages
14,839
Purraise
3,568
Location
Texas
This sounds exactly like asthma. I would either find a new vet or ask your vet to do a chest x-ray to check his lungs. Also, if you can get videos of him doing the gagging, that would be great to show the vet. You can check out Fritz the Brave's website for more info on asthma. Most treatment includes steroids or possibly steroids and a nebulizer (Aerokat). My husband has asthma, so we just use his asthma nebulizer for our asthmatic kitty.

Feline Asthma with Fritz the Brave - your comprehensive resource since 2001
 
Top