From time to time, all cats will vomit. However, frequent or severe vomiting may be a sign that your kitty is suffering from a more serious condition than just an upset tummy. If your cat keeps vomiting, read on to find out when you should bring your pet to your the Pacific Northwest vets.
Similar to people, cats can experience an upset tummy for numerous reasons. There are many potential causes for upset stomach in cats, including parasites and viruses, a reaction to eating something bad or toxic, or more serious conditions such as organ issues or cancer.
If your cat vomits more often than once a month, or keeps vomiting repeatedly, make an appointment to see your vet so the underlying cause of your cat’s vomiting can be identified.
Reasons Your Cat May Be Vomiting
Eating Too Much, too Quickly
If your cat keeps vomiting food, he may be eating too much, too quickly. The likely result: vomiting soon after they eat. Numerous fun cat bowls are on the market that can help slow your cat’s eating if you find your cat is eating too quickly.
That said, throwing up right after eating can also indicate a more serious problem such as dehydration, esophageal issues, digestive tract obstruction or hairballs. If your cat frequently vomits soon after eating, a visit to the vet is needed.
Every cat owner’s bane of existence is fairly common. Hairballs are undigested wads of fur that clump in your cat’s stomach. Especially common in longhaired cats and cats that groom excessively, hairballs can cause your cat to hack. When your cat is trying to rid its stomach of hairballs, spasms commonly accompany vomiting.
While most hairballs are easily brought up, if your cat is having difficulties trying to expel a hairball, you’ll want to book an appointment with your vet. Trapped hairballs can lead to intestinal blockages, which can be fatal.
Other Serious Conditions That Can Cause Vomiting in Cats
- Food allergies
- Intestinal foreign bodies
- Metabolic disorder (i.e. kidney disease)
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Intestinal parasites
When to Worry About Your Cat’s Vomiting
If you notice your cat vomiting periodically or infrequently, avoid providing any food to your cat for about 12 hours. Give your cat a couple of tablespoons of water every 30 minutes or provide them with ice cubes during this brief time of fasting. After 12 hours, start providing your cat with small amounts of bland food. If vomiting stops, gradually return to normal feeding.
Contact your veterinarian immediately if your cat is experiencing repeated bouts of vomiting. Continuous or severe vomiting may be a sign of serious illness and requires immediate treatment. Contact your vet if you see any of these symptoms:
- Repeated vomiting
- Blood in vomit
- Weakness / Lethargy
- Pain / Distress
- Blood in stool
When taking your cat to the vet due to vomiting, it's a good idea to take a sample of your cat's vomit with you. Your vet will be able to examine the sample to help determine the cause of your cat's upset stomach and provide a diagnosis.
- Large amounts of mucus in your cat's stomach could indicate an inflamed intestine
- Undigested food can be an indication of poisoning, anxiety or simply a sign that your cat has eaten too much or too quickly.
- If bile is present in your cat's vomit, it may be an indication of pancreatitis or inflammatory bowel disease.
- Red blood is a sign that your cat's stomach may be ulcerated.
- An intestinal obstruction may cause your cat's vomit to have a strong smell.
Treatment of vomiting in cats focuses on treating the underlying problem. Depending on what has caused your cat's symptoms, treatment can be as simple as temporarily withholding food or as complex as surgery or chemotherapy.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.