Kittens and Hiccups

Can kittens (and cats) get hiccups?

The answer to that question is -- yes.

After I rescued four two-week-old kittens who were orphaned when their mother was killed, I became the "momma cat" and started feeding them kitten formula with a syringe.

When I took the kittens to the vet clinic for a checkup, the vet asked me if they had gotten hiccups yet.

At that point, they had never shown any signs of it.

"No, they haven't had hiccups," I said.

"They will," the vet said with a smile. "It happens sometimes when they eat too fast."

"Should I do anything to help them if they get the hiccups?" I asked, wondering what in the world I could do for kitten hiccups. Tell the kittens to hold their breath? That's what works for me.

"You don't have to do anything," the vet said. "They'll go away on their own."

Not long after that -- sure enough, the kittens got hiccups. And sure enough, after a while, the hiccups went away.

That was more than 13 years ago. I still have the "kittens" (three of them, anyway; one died in October 2004 from chronic renal failure). And even today, as adult cats, they will occasionally get the hiccups. The hiccups last for a half a minute or a minute and then that's the end of it.

So -- if your kitten (or cat) develops hiccups, don't worry about it. The hiccups will go away sooner or later.

About the Author

LeAnn R. Ralph is the author of the books "Give Me a Home Where the Dairy Cows Roam" (September 2004) and "Christmas in Dairyland (True Stories from a Wisconsin Farm) (July 2003) and "Preserve Your Family History (A Step-by-Step Guide for Interviewing Family Members and Writing Oral Histories)" (e-book; April 2004). For information about the books, visit