Is my cat in serious trouble or just normal hairball trouble?
September 28, 2011 6:34 PM   Subscribe

Cat is weird. She's constantly sticking out her tongue, like there's something caught in her throat, but she's not choking and is relatively calm otherwise. I noticed it this morning as I was leaving for work and she's still doing it tonight. Is it normal hairballness that will soon work itself out, or should I be worried?
posted by mediareport to Pets & Animals (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: When one of our cats was doing that, it turned out that he had an infected tooth. Will she let you look into her mouth?
posted by amarynth at 6:39 PM on September 28, 2011

Best answer: When one of my cats did this, she had an infected abcess under her tongue. The vet lanced it and gave her a course of antibiotics.
posted by not that girl at 7:27 PM on September 28, 2011

Best answer: Look in her mouth. And, is she eating/drinking?
There are all kinds of "normal" but when somebody does something unusual for them it's a sign of something.
Don't pull any string if you see it.
Take her to the vet anyway.
posted by bebrave! at 7:28 PM on September 28, 2011

Best answer: Echoing the advice above.

Look in her mouth and be ready to take her to the vet if things look unusual in any way.

If she's not eating or drinking: vet.

And if things look OK but she's still doing the tongue thing tomorrow morning: vet.
posted by maudlin at 7:41 PM on September 28, 2011

Best answer: Also check out her teeth. Dental disease or losing a tooth can cause kitties to stick their tongues out. So can growths in the mouth or throat.

Or she could just be doing that.

So it's worth it to take a look, or to have the vet do so.

I'd also worry more if this was a new behavior with an older cat than a younger one.
posted by troublewithwolves at 10:05 PM on September 28, 2011

Best answer: Yep, take her to the vet. Doesn't look like a lights-and-sirens emergency, but it could be all sorts of vet-worthy things.

Once, we thought Joey had eaten something poisonous. Not only was he sticking his tongue out, but it was red and swollen and he'd drooled all down his chest, and smelled terrible.

Turns out the little genius had tried to eat some sewing thread, and gotten it knotted around the base of his tongue.
posted by dansdata at 2:02 AM on September 29, 2011

Response by poster: She's eating fine. I'll call the vet today. Thanks, y'all.
posted by mediareport at 2:07 AM on September 29, 2011

Response by poster: Took her to the vet; she has a serious infected cut on her tongue (small possibility it's some sort of tumorous growth, but the vet thinks it's a cut). I'm bringing her back tomorrow first thing so they can put her under and see what they can do to repair it. She's on painkillers and antibiotics tonight and seems better. Thanks, y'all, for encouraging me to quickly take this seriously.

Thank god for emergency money stashed away.
posted by mediareport at 5:29 PM on September 29, 2011 [5 favorites]

Response by poster: It was a severe cut through her tongue and not a tumor; the vet says it might have happened when she caught the tongue on a canine after a fall. Post-stitches and a night of painkillers and syringe feeding later and she just ate half a can of food on her own, gingerly. She's purring and seems ready to forgive and forget the horror of a day at the vet, too.

Thanks again.
posted by mediareport at 2:58 AM on October 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Good to hear that she's getting better! You deserve the purring, too.
posted by maudlin at 4:36 PM on October 2, 2011

Hooray! I'm so glad you got her checked out! And even more glad it's something with a good outcome!
posted by troublewithwolves at 7:31 PM on October 12, 2011

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