While all cats will vomit sometimes, frequent or severe vomiting can indicate that your cat is suffering from a more serious issue. Today, our Rock Springs vets discuss the causes of vomiting in cats, why it won't stop, and when you should seek veterinary assistance.
Just like humans, cats can have an upset stomach due to various reasons. There could be several causes for your cat's upset tummy, such as parasites, viruses, a bad reaction to certain foods, or even more serious conditions like organ problems or cancer.
If your cat vomits frequently or more than once a month, it's important to take them to the vet. This will help identify the underlying cause of their vomiting.
Reasons Your Cat May Be Vomiting
Eating Too Much, Too Quickly
Your cat might vomit soon after eating if they've eaten too much, too quickly. There are some fun cat bowls to help slow your cat's eating if this is true for your feline.
That said, throwing up right after eating might point to a more serious problem such as dehydration, hairballs, digestive tract obstruction, or esophageal issues. If your cat frequently vomits right after eating, they'll need to see a vet.
Hairballs are clumps of undigested fur that accumulate in your cat's stomach. They tend to occur more frequently in longhair cats and those that groom themselves excessively. When cats try to get rid of hairballs, they often experience hacking noises and spasms alongside vomiting.
Usually, cats can easily bring up hairballs on their own. However, if your cat is struggling to expel a hairball, it's crucial to take them to the vet. Trapped hairballs can cause dangerous intestinal blockages that may be fatal.
Other Serious Conditions That May Cause Vomiting in Cats
- Intestinal foreign bodies
- Food allergies
- Intestinal Parasites
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Metabolic Disorder (ie: Kidney Disease)
When to Worry About Your Cat's Vomiting
If your cat is vomiting occasionally or not very often, it's a good idea to withhold food for around 12 hours. During this time, you can give your cat a few tablespoons of water every 30 minutes or offer them some ice cubes.
After the 12-hour period, start giving your cat small portions of bland food and gradually resume their regular feeding routine if the vomiting has stopped.
If your cat is having repeated bouts of vomiting contact your vet immediately. Continuous or severe vomiting could be a sign that your cat is seriously ill and requires immediate emergency treatment. Contact your vet if your cat displays any of the symptoms below:
- 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.
- 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.