Last autumn, after weeks of my cat, Izzy, gagging and throwing up several times a day, I finally realized that he needed to get to the vet. I thought he had a huge hairball stuck in his throat or something so wasn't that worried. But, that was not the case. After a blood test, my vet said he had pancreatitis, a potentially very dangerous illness in cats. He was immediately given an anti-emetic shot and put on Hill's Prescription Diet i/d for feline gastrointestinal health. Now, about six months later, I'm happy to say that everything has cleared up--no more gagging or throwing up. A blood test next month will tell us for sure. I was very, very worried about him. The reason I'm writing this is to bring this condition to everyone's attention. I didn't get him to the vet earlier because, as I said above, I thought it was a hairball. I'm so glad I finally got him to the vet because leaving this condition untreated can cause liver or kidney failure and possibly death. I don't know what I would have done had he died. So, if you have a cat that is doing a lot of gagging, with no hairball being coughed up, along with vomiting, please don't hesitate to get him to a vet, as it could be pancreatitis.
I don't in any way resent having to spend money on the health of my cats, but this turned out to be very, very expensive. In addition to the visits to the vet, and the bloodtests and shot, the Hill's diet is very expensive--$33 for an 8-lb bag. So, if you think this might be a problem with your cat and you can get your cat to a vet early on, you might be able to keep costs down a bit.
In discussing with my vet what might have caused the pancreatitis, she said it is usually caused by what they eat. Since my cats never get any scraps or anything, it had to come from either their dry food or their canned food. I was feeding them Iams dry food, but I did also give them each half a small can of Friskies each day. Mind you, I'm not saying that either of them was the cause of the illness, but I've certainly decided not to give them that same diet again. I think I will go with Science Diet from now on and stick with only dry. I feel that that is the safest. A bit expensive, yet, but I think worth it in the long run.
I hope that what I've written might alert anyone to this problem so you won't have to deal with a very sick kitty.
Best Regards to Everyone, Barbara