Cats are notoriously hard to understand. They don’t meow like other animals, they’re always rubbing up against you for no apparent reason, and their behavior is so erratic that it’s almost impossible to know what they want or how to please them. One of the strangest things about cats is that sometimes they seem as if they’re trying to burp but can’t quite do it.
The reason for cats’ difficulty in “burping” can be explained by what’s going on inside of them. Cats are unable to burp because they don’t have a gag reflex like humans do, which protects the respiratory tract from harm during vomiting but also prevents us from being able to clear our throats and stomachs through forceful exhalation.
Cats lack an esophagus, too (no swallowing food) so it would seem that their ability to regurgitate is limited at best. When this happens- when your cat strains really hard with no success- chances are very good that he or she just needs some water or something else wet and soothing such as milk diluted with warm water; anything liquid will probably work wonders!