Why Do Cats Gag When They Smell Food

Cats that giddy up at the smell of their food could be allergic to it. This could also indicate underlying medical conditions such as feline allergies or asthma. When deciding if your cat should see a veterinarian or need a diet change, it is important to take into account many factors.

It could be as simple as not liking the smell or an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients. This reaction can be caused by anything, even a food texture that is too soft or hard. Cats will dry their heave when they find something not to their liking. When it comes to food, they are very sensitive.

Cats gag when they smell food for several reasons

It is crucial to understand the cause of gagging. The jacobson’s organ, the vomeronasal Sac (Jacobson’s organ), is an organ of the olfactory sense that is located behind the roof of a cat’s mouth.

Strong sense of smell

The sense of smell that cats have is stronger than ours. The strong smell can cause discomfort and pain for cats.

Unfamiliar Texture

Many wise cats don’t like feeling something slimy against the teeth. Some foods, such as meat, may cause vomiting and gagging reflexes in the cats.

How to eat well

Cats are also accustomed to certain foods from a young age. This is why they vomit when they smell something new. They need to be able to eat new foods slowly, just like humans.


Cats are known for their love for food. But did you know that if they eat too much, it can cause them gag? Cats can vomit or throw up if they eat too much. This is because their stomach cannot take all of the food.


This is the name we give to the clumps of fur, food, and other substances that accumulate in the stomachs and intestines. Although hairballs aren’t harmful, they can make your cat gag or throw up, particularly if you have been grooming too often.

Stomach Troubles

Although it is not always an indication of stomach problems, acid reflux or indigestion may cause your cat to gag at strong smells. It is important to get your cat to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Remember that a diet that works well for one cat may not work for another.

Bad smells in the House

Cats don’t have a limited range of sensitivities. Cats may be irritated by the smells of citrus, flowers, spices, or several houseplants. These scents can be used to discourage cats from clawing or spraying furniture.

Obstructions in the Throat

Your cat should not suddenly start gagging or pawing at its mouth or have trouble breathing.

Gagging due to Bacterial Infection or Inflammation

It is vital for pet owners to be aware of signs and symptoms that may indicate distress in their cat. Gagging and coughing up mucus or phlegm is one sign of a bacterial infection. The first sign that bacteria is causing inflammation in the throat and nose is a upper respiratory tract infection.

Gagging Due To Gastrointestinal Upset

All cats know that they are more than just cuddly friends. They’re curious and cute little creatures that must be cared for. This includes making sure that their stomachs are healthy.

Gagging can be caused by an obstruction in the throat or esophagus. It is important that owners are aware of signs and symptoms so they can get emergency help if needed.

An environment that is free from all forms of discrimination

Gagging is a sign that your cat doesn’t want to eat their food. There are other reasons, however, and gagging can be a sign that something is not right.

When to Take Your Cat to The Vet for Gagging

If you notice a pattern of gagging in your cat’s eyes, it is time to see a vet.

Here are some things to look out for:

  • Cats that have ingested food from the bowl may have visible obstructions
  • You can make repeated trips to the water bowl.
  • Nasal passage debris
  • Dry cough (this could indicate feline asthma).
  • Loud meowing (during or after gagging).
  • Cats eat all their food
  • Cat waste coloration abnormal

Are You Worried When Your Cat Giggles when She Smells Food?

It is not often. Gagging is an instinct she has when she smells a particular scent or pheromone. She will gag and then use her tongue to direct the smell towards the organ.

What Do Cats Hate and Why is It Important to Know

You need to know the difference between gagging when she smells food, and gagging when there is no food or other objects. Gagging and smells of food may not be a problem, but gagging while doing something else or for unspecified reasons is a problem.

Cats are able to sense smell and have an average of 45-80 million smelling receptors, compared to the 5 million human receptors. Knowing which scents your cat dislikes is helpful.

Here are some scents cats don’t like:


Citrus scents like grapefruits, limes, and lemons are widely considered to be unpleasant and repelling for cats.

Menthol, Mint and Wintergreen

Mint plants are part of the catnip family, but they have a pungent scent that cats don’t like.

Cinnamon, Rosemary, and Rue

These plants are loved by humans, but cats hate them. These plants can cause liver damage and even death so do not give them food.


All of us love lavender scents and have used lavender-scented detergents or air fresheners in the past. Cats dislike lavender scent and will avoid it as much as they can.

A Reflex Reaction to Smells

My cat has been known to gag while I cook or give her food. The Jacobson’s organ, also known as the vomeronasal sac, is an essential part of cat reproduction. It detects chemical smells and hunts.


Like us, cats don’t like broccoli. A cat may become irritated by broccoli if it smells.


Coffee grounds are sometimes used to stop cats from ruining their gardens.


Even though we think that the cat’s smoke leaves are absorbed into the skin, some smoke can condense onto floors and fabric. The cat’s fur picks up the smoke and it is ingested while the cat grooms.

Gagging While Eating

It is possible that something is touching her larynx when she eats and then suddenly gags. It could be food chunks or bones.

What is the right time to worry when a cat gags?

Cats can quickly reject anything they have eaten, even if it is harmful. Most of the time, they can quickly eject anything from their mouths and do not require assistance from their pet parents.

Why do cats sneer at the sound of a comb?

Cats can gag for many reasons. Gagging can be caused by hairballs or serious conditions such as inflammation and infections. For proper treatment, consult your veterinarian if you suspect that there may be a medical issue.

They hunt with their keen sense of hearing. They can hear predators and prey close by. Cats react when they hear a sound coming from a comb. Continue reading because cats are sensitive to sounds.

What does it mean if a cat keeps gagging?

Gagging and gulping by cats while grooming is a sign that they have hairballs. The papillae are tiny, spike-like tongues that cat groomers use to pull hair out of the fur and push it back into their mouths.


Cats are extremely picky about what they eat. Most people agree that this is not due to their finicky nature. There are 65 million cat olfactory (smell receptors) which can cause gagging.

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