Why Does My Cat Sound Like A Duck?

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Keeping your cat healthy and happy is essential. If you’re wondering, “why does my cat sound like a duck?” you’re not alone. There are several reasons why your cat may sound strange, a few of which we’ll point out below.


Reason #1. Upper respiratory infection


Cats can get sick just like us, including upper respiratory infections. They are quite common in cats and can affect them from very mild to severe depending on their overall health.

The reason why your cat may sound like a duck as a result of an upper respiratory infection is that they could have difficulty breathing or blocking the nasal passages.


–         Duck sounds when breathing

–         Coughing

–         Sneezing

–         Rapid breathing

–         Loss of energy

What to do:

The market is filled with antibiotics and treatments for all kinds of cat-related illnesses. If your cat has mild symptoms, you can treat them in the home by allowing them to rest. However, if their symptoms are serious, you may need to take them to the vet for a diagnosis and recommendations on treatment.


Reason #2. Asthma


Another common issue that cats experience is asthma. If you live in an area with a lot of pollen or have allergens in your home, your cat could have a higher chance of developing asthma. Because asthma also causes difficulty breathing, your cat could make a weird sound that mimics those of a duck.


–         Wheezing (duck-like sounds)

–         Difficulty breathing

–         Open-mouthed breathing

–         Vomiting 

What to do:

You can treat symptoms of asthma using a number of over-the-counter meds for cats. It also helps to reduce allergens and aerosols in your home, attempting to make it a better place for your cats (and you) to breathe. If symptoms intensify, be sure to give your vet a ring to get to the bottom of it.


Reason #3. Hairball


Cats clean their body with their tongue, licking themselves all over their coat to remove dirt and debris. When they do this, they can gather hair in their mouths which eventually makes its way through their digestive tract. These small hairs can gather and result in a hairball, one that could cause obstruction.

When cats have hairballs, they can sound like a duck while gagging, breathing, or even meowing. If you notice duck sounds and gagging, they may be in the process of coughing up a hairball.


–         Gagging

–         Weird sounds

–         Loss of appetite

–         Constipation

What to do:

In most cases, you just have to play the waiting game, letting your cat’s digestive system run its course. There are some home remedies like petroleum jelly which help to ease the passing. Rub some on your cats’ paws and allow them to lick away, getting rid of their hairball faster.


Reason #4. Their unique sounds


While we all know the typical “meow” sound, there are some cats that just sound different. You could have a cat that was born with an obstruction or that has a different set of vocal cords. If your cat has always had a different “meow,” it could just be their unique set of pipes.


When to get the vet involved?


When your cat sounds like a duck, it could just be something very minor. However, there are some cases where you should talk to your vet, as your cat could be experiencing something serious. When should you get the vet involved? Here are 5 warning signs you need to be aware of.


#1. Abnormal behavior

If your cat is normally social and active, only to start hiding and sleeping most of the day, it could be time to take a visit to the vet. When cats change their character, it’s usually because of something internally, including an illness or an infection.


#2. Different bathroom habits

Your cats’ excrements can say a lot about their internal health. If you notice strange bathroom habits, constipation, diarrhea, or changes in consistency or color without a change in their diet, you might want to take them in to see the vet.


#3. Vomiting

A few of the reasons cats make duck noises are connected to the lungs and breathing, which is why it’s critical to watch for signs of worsening like vomiting.

When cats have an obstruction in their bowels or their esophagus, their body could react by vomiting and trying to get it out. If you notice frequent vomiting, you may need to run your cats in to see their vet.


#4. Lethargy

Many cats are very active, running, jumping, playing, and exploring day and night. If you have a regularly active cat that suddenly stops, it may be having issues. If this behavior persists for a few days, it’s time to take a trip to the vet.

They could have an infection or something going on within their bodies that are keeping them from living their normal, active lives.


#5. Sudden lack of appetite

When your cat doesn’t feel well, it will likely stop eating. While it could be due to something like an upset stomach, you need to monitor and make sure. 

The time when you need to call a vet is if they stop eating and will not touch food for a few days, getting down to the bottom of it so that they don’t lose too much strength in the process.


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