When I was younger, my mother used to say that hiccups are a sign that someone might be missing you, then I heard it may be because someone was cussing me off, and being young and impressionable I believed it.

Like many other harmless lies I believed as a kid this was one of them, but this is not the reason your newborn kitten is having hiccups.

All mammals, including cats, have hiccups like humans and the science and the phenomena occurring in our bodies are also similar.

Cats having hiccups is just as normal and as frequent as that in human beings.       

It is also a speculated theory also states that hiccups help the kitten to exercise its respiratory system.

Hiccups in newborn kittens : should I be alarmed?

Do Newborn Kittens Get Hiccups?

Yes, newborn kittens get hiccups frequently as they are not mature enough and maybe swallow air along with their food. Gradually, when they learn how to eat their food this decreases and it is not a common occurrence in adult cats.

Sometimes when you reminisce about your younger age, don’t you feel stupid or foolish looking back on certain decisions?.

Do you question that if I knew about a fact or a trick then, it would have made my life easier or better?

Cats may not remember their young days but they do learn. when a cat is young and is untrained, it may make some mistakes, like hiccups, they are not mistakes but those could be avoided if they are trained properly.

When a kitten eats, it may be eating its food too fast and swallowing a lot of air along with its food. Due to swallowing air, they get hiccups.

If your newborn kitten is being fed, it may not be properly fed and could be consuming air along with its food so that could also be the reason your baby cat getting the hiccups.

A newborn kitten having hiccups is a matter of trivial concern. They actually look pretty cute while they have hiccups and it’s completely standard.

It is also claimed to help kittens develop and exercise their respiratory muscles. But that is just a speculated theory, nothing has been proven.

How To Tell If Your Kitten Has Hiccups?

How to tell if your kitten has hiccups?

You can recognize hiccups in kittens easily as they mirror the human hiccup. The only difference is that hiccups in kittens are more subtle than in human beings.

Kittens get hiccups if they swallow air along  with their food or due to hairballs, you can easily tell that your kitten has hiccups as you may notice spasms around their abdominal region or hear wheezing or squeaking noises while they breathe

They may also sound like something is stuck in their throat. This way you can identify hiccups in your kitten.

If hiccups are frequent and are occurring in a pattern, it may be a cause of something serious which you should get checked out soon.

Diaphragm, a muscle separating the heart and lungs from the abdominal region unexpectedly twitches, which causes a hiccup in a cat.

Humans also experience the same phenomena when they have hiccups.

Have you noticed when you hiccup sometimes you feel it in your chest? That’s your diaphragm. Similarly in cats, a similar process occurs and you can feel and seldom see that movement of muscle in their abdominal region.

Cats being the graceful felines they are, are built in a way that their hiccups are very subtle and not too loud like humans sometimes, but it’s just another feature of their graceful and royal personality.

Why Does a Newborn Kitten Get Hiccups?

Sometimes when you are late for school or work and you had to gobble up your breakfast quickly, you may have spent the day regretting that because you have had hiccups. Have you?

This is one of the reasons why a kitten gets hiccups. Eating quickly, causes them to swallow air along with their food and it may trigger hiccups.

There are other reasons associated with it as :

  1. Hairballs: except for a few species of cats, all of them have fur. While grooming themselves, they tend to swallow hairs as they use their tongue to groom themselves. These hairs get stuck in their throats which causes them to have hiccups.
  2. Nervousness: sometimes when cats get nervous and feel anxious they have hiccups. Adjusting to new spaces, or meeting new people may cause newborn kitten anxiety and stress, which could be yet another cause of hiccups
  3. Not only stress, but some theories also claim that they are associated with excitement When a kitten is excited, hiccups may be a result of that too. But these theories are not proven if you feel something is off don’t overlook the issue.
  4. If they are being fed the formula, there might be issues with the way they are being fed. It could be a possibility that the person feeding them is not doing his/her work properly and feeding the baby cat in the wrong way.

Hiccups are natural and not only in cats but they can be observed in other animals too.

Younger cats are more prone to them than the older cats as the older cats are better trained and experienced, so automatically reasons like improper eating would not be an issue for them.

That’s why hiccups are infrequent in older cats and a common occurrence in younger kittens as eating food the wrong way is one of the main reasons that cause hiccups.

Is It Normal For Kittens To Have Hiccups?

Yes, it is completely normal for kittens to have hiccups. These adorable babies frequently experience hiccups, and it is not dangerous until it’s chronic.

The reasons for your newborn kittens may be very menial and trivial, but on closer observation, you find these reasons to be discerning you should look for other symptoms too.

If you observe a pattern in your kitten when it has hiccups it may be concerning. Normally hiccups subside in a day but if they don’t your cat might be having  the following :

  1. Asthma attack
  2. Parasites
  3. Heart diseases
  4. Tumor
  5. Food allergies

But these are generally observed in older cats, not in kittens, and that too rarely.

That doesn’t mean you won’t be careful. When it comes to sensitive beings like kittens you can never be too careful, just like they say when a human baby is born.

What To Do When Your Newborn Kitten Has Hiccups?

What to do when your newborn kitten has hiccups ?

What is the first thing you do when you have hiccups?

Everyone around us advises us to drink water and that works, most of the time.

That’s also a common remedy for hiccups in water. Drinking water helps the kittens with the hiccups and eases them.

Other things you can do are :

  • Gently comfort the kitten, as it would ease hiccups due to nervousness
  • Give proper care and attention to their diet and the way they eat
  • Moving them around may distract them and stop the hiccups
  • Cuddling also helps reduce the hiccups but only if the kitten is comfortable
  • Hairball treatments, to relieve them of the hairballs and lessen the hiccups

If you feel all these small remedies are not helping you should let it subside naturally. If even that doesn’t work and you observe a pattern in the kitten’s hiccups you should consult a medical professional who could aid you in resolving the issue.

Remember kittens can’t control the hiccups so yelling at them or scaring them is not the solution. Do not do that, ever !!.

Do Newborn Kittens Need To Be Burped?

Do newborn kittens need to be burped?

If you are feeding your kitten the formula you need to get them to burp. When you feed them the formula, the chances of them swallowing air is much higher than when they eat by themselves.  If they are burped, the excess air that they have swallowed would be released.

This would reduce the chances of them having hiccups.

This is also beneficial in other ways as it would help you bond with the kitten better and they would get comfortable around you if they already aren’t.

You should also make sure that they are being fed properly and being fed properly to avoid unnecessary scares and help them digest their food better.

How To Make a Kitten Burp?

The correct way of making a kitten burp is by placing it over your shoulder with its stomach on your shoulder and slowly petting its back until they burp.

This is very similar to how human babies are burped after they are fed.

Make sure you take it easy and gently do the procedure as newborn kittens are as delicate as daisies, if you get even slightly rough it could hurt them.

When they burp you may not hear them, but you would feel when they have as it’s more of a sensation than an action accompanied by sound.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it normal for a kitten to have hiccups after eating?

Yes, it is pretty normal for kittens to have hiccups after eating as they may have swallowed air along with their food. So the excess air may be the reason your kitten might be hiccuping.

Can my kitten have acute illness if it is hiccuping?

No, it is necessary that your kitten has an acute illness if it is hiccuping but, if it is hiccuping in an observable pattern then it may have come down with something serious.


Hiccups in cats especially in kittens are as normal as it is in human beings. The main reasons could be very common like swallowing air with food. They even look cute as a button when they hiccup.

The process is very similar to that of human beings. The diaphragm a muscle separating the chest cavity twitches and causes hiccups.

It is frequent and very customary, it is probably nothing to worry about but you could track the hiccups and if you observe a certain similarity you could seek medical help as it may be a symptom far greater than air or hairballs.

Cat hiccups are uncontrollable and involuntary. They can be eased by various things like monitoring their diets or giving them water to drink or warming them up.

Remember to never scare or startle your kitten if it is having hiccups, it would give them anxiety and lead to other issues.

Would you scare your cat if it has hiccups?

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