People often wonder if cats burp. Humans burp, and it is a natural way of relieving air that is trapped in your upper digestive trap. Although it makes sense to wonder if cats burp, it is actually quite rare. Although people are sure that they have heard their cats burp, it is not common and rarely has an impact on their health. However, if you notice your cat doing something similar to burping, it is important to understand what it could possibly be.
Behaviors Similar to Burping in Cats
Cats breathe through their noses, which is one of the reasons that they don’t burp. There is little chance of air coming in when they are eating. However, cats do make some noises that can resemble a burp.
When your cat coughs or sneezes, it can be confused with a burp. If you notice one of two quick sounds of this nature, it probably isn’t a serious problem. Cats also get hairballs, and a cough could clear their throats and release the hairball.
If you notice your cat retching or swallowing repeatedly, this could mean that there is something going on with the esophagus, and it could be a sign of heartburn. Cats can have heartburn after anesthesia or as a side effect from medication.
Sometimes cats vomit, and they make some noises that could sound similar to a burp before they do. This could also be a sign that your cat has a hairball. If you notice strange noises or strange behaviors, it probably isn’t a burp, and as long as it is quick and then over, it probably isn’t cause for concern. However, if you hear your cat making these noises regularly, you should take it to the vet.
What Causes Hairballs?
One of the sounds that resembles a burp is a sound your cat makes when it has a hairball. Your cat probably spends hours cleaning itself by licking every hair. Some of the hairs come off, and your cat will ingest them. Most of the time, the stray hairs will travel through your cat’s intestinal track and end up in the litter box.
However, sometimes hair will stop in the esophagus or the stomach, and other hair will attach to it. Your cat gets rid of it by vomiting and coughing up the hairball. The hairball is normally shaped similar to a cylinder because the esophagus is narrow. It is perfectly normal for your cat to have a hairball every week or two, and they might range from one inch to five inches long.
When your cat has a hairball, it can make different sounds. Some cats cough and retch a few times before it comes up. Other cats are very quiet and then suddenly retch and vomit the hairball up with very little noise. Although some people think that the cat is burping, it is actually just trying to get the hairball to come up. Most cats make a hacking noise and retch a few times before they cough the hairball up.
Why Do Cats Eat Their Hair?
Your cat doesn’t actually eat its fur. When your cat grooms itself, the loose hairs end up in the cat’s mouth, and they swallow it. Cats’ tongues are rough, which is why they are able to clean themselves and remove the dirt. It also allows your cat to remove loose hair, and that is why cats stay pretty clean without needing people to give them baths. The problem is that cats aren’t able to digest their hair, which is why it either passes through the intestines to the litter box or it has to come back up as a hairball.
Long haired cats such as Persians or Himalayans have more hair and suffer hairballs more frequently than other cats. They seem to be more common in the summer when the cat is shedding its winter coat. However, some cats with short hair spend a lot of time grooming themselves, and they are more likely to have hairballs.
What Else Sounds Similar to a Cat Burp?
When cats get upset, they growl, hiss, and spit. It is hard to confuse these noises with a burp, but cats can make strange noises when they are upset. Cats also make strange noises when they are watching birds, squirrels, or other prey. These noises might sound like some form of burp, but they are more similar to chattering or twittering.
Cats purr when they are happy. This can happen while they are sleeping, eating, or sitting in your lap. Purring has a standard sound that is similar across most cats, but some cats sound different from others. Occasionally, purring could sound like a strange burp.
Why Do People Say That Cats Burp?
Burping happens when you swallow air, and it is the same for cats. However, cats don’t usually inhale air with their food. Cats tend to breathe through the nose, which is why it is rare that they burp. Vets say that cats never burp, but cat owners disagree. Many cat owners say that their cat does burp from time to time.
If you have been sitting next to your cat after it has eaten a meal, it could make a noise and you might smell your cat’s food as you hear the noise. This happens to people, and they say it is no different from a burp. There are some vets who agree, and they say that kittens actually can be burped when they are bottle fed.
Although there are conflicting opinions, if you think you have heard your cat burp, you likely have. However, it is nothing to be worried about. If your cat is retching or vomiting uncontrollably, you might want to go to the vet. One little burp is not a problem, but if your cat is distressed or acting strange, then a trip to the vet is in order. If your cat is repeatedly making burp-like noises, then it is likely something else, and you should go to the vet.