Every cat will vomit once in a while however, severe or frequent vomiting could be a symptom of a more serious condition. Here, our emergency vets in Newtown discuss the reasons for cat vomiting and when you should take your kitty to the vet.
Vomiting in Cats
Just like humans, cats can experience an upset stomach for various reasons. There are lots of reasons why your cat could be suffering from an upset stomach such as viruses, parasites, a reaction to something bad they ate, or more serious conditions such as organ problems or cancer.
If you notice your cat vomiting more than once a month or they keep vomiting frequently call your vet so they can diagnose the underlying cause for your kitty's vomiting.
Common Reasons For Cat Vomiting
Hairballs are undigested, wads of fur that clump in your cat's stomach. Hairballs are especially common in longhair cats, and cats that groom excessively. Hacking noises and spasms commonly accompany vomiting when your cat is trying to rid itself of hairballs. Most hairballs are easily brought up by cats, but if your cat is having a difficult time trying to throw up a hairball you need to see your vet. Trapped hairballs can cause intestinal blockages that could be deadly.
Eating Too Much, Too Fast
If your cat eats too much, too fast they will probably vomit soon after they have finished eating. There are various fun cat bowls available that can help slow down your kitty's eating if they eat too quickly. However, throwing up immediately after eating can be a sign of a more serious problem such as hairballs, dehydration, esophageal issues, or a digestive tract obstruction. If your cat frequently vomits right after eating, you need to take a trip to the vet.
Other Serious Issues That Could Cause Vomiting In Cats
- Intestinal Parasites
- Food allergies
- Intestinal foreign bodies
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Metabolic Disorder (ie: Kidney Disease)
When to Take Your Vomiting Cat to the Vet
If your cat is vomiting periodically or infrequently, avoid giving them any food for approximately 12 hours. Provide your kitty with a couple of tablespoons of water every 30 minutes or give them ice cubes throughout their time of fasting. After 12 hours start feeding your cat small amounts of bland food and gradually return them to their normal feeding routine if they have stopped vomiting.
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 treatment. Contact your vet if your cat displays any of the symptoms below:
- Weakness / Lethargy
- Repeated vomiting
- Blood in vomit
- Pain / Distress
- Blood in stool
When you bring your cat to the for vomiting, you should 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 be a sign of an inflamed intestine
- If bile is present in your cat's vomit, it may be an indication of pancreatitis or inflammatory bowel disease.
- Undigested food can be an indication of poisoning, anxiety, or simply a sign that your cat has eaten too much or too quickly.
- Red blood is a sign that your cat's stomach may be ulcerated.
- Intestinal obstruction can make your cat's vomit have a strong smell.
Treating Vomiting in Cats
The treatment used for vomiting in cats will focus on treating the underlying condition. Depending on what is causing your cat's symptoms, treatment could be as simple as temporarily withholding food or as complex as surgery or chemotherapy.