Cat Vomit Color Chart
Pet parents often want to try to diagnose the cause of their cats vomiting based on the color or consistency of the vomit. Unfortunately, the diagnosis is not that simple. The color of a cats vomit can vary depending on what the cat has eaten , any dyes used in the food or treats the cat eats, and a number of other factors.;
Because of this, color is not a reliable way to diagnose the cause of your cats vomiting.;While the following chart may be helpful, you should talk to your veterinarian.
|Cat Vomit Color|
|May occur due to the presence of partially digested food and bile in the stomach.|
|Red or pink||May indicate the presence of blood. Or may be due to ingested foreign material or dyes used in the cats food and treats.|
|Clear or white||May occur due to the regurgitation of saliva from the esophagus or when the cat vomits with an empty stomach.|
|Green||Can sometimes occur due to the presence of bile or because the cat has ingested green foreign material or foods using green dyes.|
|Black or brown||Black or brown cat vomit that looks like coffee grounds can be a sign of bleeding in the digestive tract and should be addressed by your veterinarian immediately.|
It is important to note that this is absolutely not an exhaustive list and your cat must see a veterinarian in order to accurately diagnose the problem.
I Have 2 Kitties And One Of Them Throws Up A Ton I Know People Say That Cats Throw Up; It’s No Big Deal Why Do Cats Vomit
Most cat owners have experienced the unpleasant surprise of finding a pile of cat vomit.; Fortunately, at my house I have two dogs to clean up the mess!; Before we discuss vomiting, we have to discuss the differences between vomiting and regurgitation.; Vomiting is an active process that involves stomach noise, retching and heaving before the food is expelled from your cat’s mouth.; Regurgitation is a passive process where the food just pops out, often undigested in a tube or cigar shape.; There are several reasons for cats to regurgitate or vomit:
- Gorging Cats that eat too much too fast may regurgitate from triggering a stretch reflex in the stomach.; These cats regurgitate right after eating and the food is undigested in a tubular shape. It can also look like a round pile of undigested food.
- Hairballs Cats spend a lot of time grooming.; In the process, they eat a lot of hair.; Some cats are able to pass hair through their digestive tract into their stools.; For other cats the hairball grows in the stomach until it causes irritation and is vomited up.; Hairballs look like vomit mixed with hair.
Grassor other foreign bodies If a cat eats something other than food such as grass, leaves, plastic or a hair band, it may lead to vomiting.; Obviously in this type of vomit you will see some non-food item that was probably the cause of that vomit.
- Constipation Cats that pass a dry hard stool every few days may be constipated and vomit from feeling bloated and plugged up.
What Is The Difference Between Vomiting And Regurgitation
Vomiting is not always vomiting; sometimes it is actually regurgitation, and knowing the difference can be helpful information for your veterinarian to help diagnose the cause.;Regurgitation is often mistaken for vomiting, but unlike vomited food, regurgitated food has not yet been digested by stomach acids.;
Vomiting is when the contents of the stomach, including food, water and/or bile, are ejected. Vomiting is an active process typically accompanied by nausea, retching, and contraction of the abdominal muscles . The cat will often vocalize, drool, or begin retching prior to vomiting.;
Regurgitation, on the other hand, involves only the contents of the mouth or esophagus. Food and/or water or other ingested items do not make it to the stomach before they come back up, and there is no abdominal effort. Regurgitation is a passive process in which there is not vocalizing or retching: the cat just lowers their head and food, or other materials, fall out. Regurgitation often happens within 30 minutes to two hours after eating.;
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Bacterial Infection Of The Gastrointestinal Tract
Another potential reason for acute vomiting is a bacterial infection in the gastrointestinal tract.;Like people, cats have normal, healthy bacteria that live in their gut and help with digestion and nutrient absorption.;
However, if theres an overgrowth of bad bacteria due to an infection, the normal intestinal functions are greatly affected,;leading;to diarrhea and vomiting.
While many bacterial;gastrointestinal tract infections;clear up in about a weeks time, we recommend seeking veterinary treatment for the underlying cause of the infection,;as it may likely resurface if not handled appropriately.
Also, it is important to monitor your cats weight and hydration as the infection clears.
How Is Vomiting In Cats Treated
Treatment usually depends on what was causing the vomiting in the first place. So, in addition to a physical exam, your veterinarian may recommend blood tests and X-rays. This will help your vet get to the bottom of the issue sooner, to prevent dangerous complications and deliver more efficient treatment.
And if all the tests come back normal? Well, then youll have good news and peace of mind.
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Acute Kidney Failure & Acute Liver Failure
Dysfunction of the organs responsible for detoxificationthe liver and kidneyscan cause vomiting in cats. In these cases, vomiting is often considered a non-specific symptom,;meaning that the vomiting is not directly linked;to kidney or liver failure.
However, due to the severity of such failure, it is important for your veterinarian to test for organ function;to;rule out any potential problems.
Treatment For Cat Vomiting
Typically, treatment for cat vomiting will involve withholding food and water until the vomiting has stopped. Then, pet parents will be advised to slowly reintroduce water and then a bland diet.
This treatment, however, is solely for vomiting. It is imperative that pet owners get to the bottom of what is causing the vomit so that the primary issue can be treated as well.
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Chronic And Acute Vomiting In Cats
Throwing up can be separated into two broad categories: chronic and acute vomiting. Chronic vomiting means throwing up with some regularity for a long period of time. The cat usually only vomits once or twice with each occurrence. When a cat who usually doesnt vomit starts vomiting, thats the acute type. This is generally a concern for you and your veterinarian only if the cat vomits multiple times. The diagnostic workup and treatments for acute and chronic vomiting can differ, as does the urgency of when to bring the cat to the veterinarian.
More urgent care is usually required for a cat with acute vomiting. The exception to this is a cat who has only vomited one to three times and is otherwise normal. If the cat still wants to eat and does so without continuing to vomit, is acting normal and seems comfortable, she does not need to be brought to a veterinary hospital unless you know that she ate something toxic.;
A chronically vomiting cat should still be seen by a veterinarian, but its not urgent if the cat is still eating and keeping food down, is not showing signs of weakness and seems comfortable. If these things are not true, a chronically vomiting cat is either an acutely vomiting cat or is having an acute crisis of whatever is causing his chronic vomiting.;
Kidney Failure In Older Cats
A senior cat throwing up can be a symptom of kidney failure. After working 24/7 for 12-plus years, the kidneys begin to wear out. For most cats who live 15 years or more, kidney failure writes the last chapter in the cats medical history.
The kidneys job is not to make urine; it is to get rid of waste products that are in the blood. When the waste products exceed the high end of the accepted normal range, we say the cat is in kidney failure.
To measure kidney function, we often look at two waste products in the blood: creatinine and the blood urea nitrogen. When they become elevated, the cat has lost about 75 percent of kidney function. That is the bad news. The good news is that cats are not small dogs. When dogs lose 75 percent of kidney function, we use the term kidney failure. These poor creatures are in real trouble and usually do not live more than a few months. However, cats are tougher than dogs. They can live quite well when the kidney values are mildly elevated.
The key is to find out about kidney insufficiency early on, so measures can be taken to prolong kidney function. Kidney insufficiency is a stage of life in which normal kidney function has passed, but in which kidney failure does not exist. The cats annual physical examination should include blood tests for kidney function .
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How To Treat A Cat That Is Vomiting
By: Sheldon Rubin;|;Updated: May 12, 2021
Vomiting is one of the most commonly encountered problems in veterinary medicine. It is nature’s way of permitting cats to rid his or her stomach of irritating substances such as spoiled food or other foreign material such as hairballs or plants. But not all vomiting is due to simple irritation.
More serious causes of vomiting are viral infections, obstructions caused by string or other foreign objects, and diseases of the liver, pancreas, or kidney. However, it is important to seek professional help if there are signs of bleeding, or if the cat is depressed and still vomiting after initial efforts at control have failed. If a cat is vomiting, use the following cat care tips:
Step 1: Remove all food for at least 12 to 24 hours. Don’t remove your cat’s water, though. He should always have access to fresh water.
Step 2: If the cat’s vomit contains blood or is frequent, contact the veterinarian immediately. If not, proceed to Step 3.
Step 3: After 12 to 24 hours, feed the cat a mixture of small quantities of boiled chicken breasts, skinned and boned, with rice . Alternately, chicken baby food may be substituted. If this is held down, a transition to a regular diet should take place over the next two days by mixing in regular cat food, reducing the chicken and rice amounts and increasing the regular cat food amounts.
Should I See A Vet About My Cats Vomiting
See a vet if your cat continues to vomit a second day. This condition is known as acute vomiting. Brown vomit in cats is also concerning as it suggests that the cat may be bleeding internally.
Assist your vet by observing and noting any behaviors. This will help a vet make an accurate diagnosis. Concerning behaviors include:
- Lethargy and depression
- Loss of appetite and associated weight loss
- Refusal to drink water
- Traces of blood in the vomit
- Struggling to eliminate or urinate
- Swelling around the abdomen
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Worms & Other Parasites
Gastrointestinal parasites can be found in as many as 45 percent of kitties and can affect cats of all ages. These include worm parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms, as well as single-celled organisms like Giardia.
Vomiting is a common symptom, and you may also want to watch for weight loss and anemia. In most cases, your veterinarian can prescribe medication to get rid of the parasite with just a few doses.
What Causes Vomiting In Cats
Because vomiting is such a common issue in cats it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause. The causes of acute or chronic vomiting can be identical, though there are some exceptions.
Ingestion of foreign bodies or toxic substances is generally a cause of acute rather than chronic vomiting.
Generally speaking, the causes of vomiting in cats can be divided into four categories:
Toxins may include everything from household chemicals to poisonous plants. Drugs that may cause vomiting include chemotherapy treatments, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatories. Diet is one of the most common causes of vomiting in cats.
Many cats have sensitive stomachs, so an acute episode of vomiting could be linked to a sudden change in diet. If youre going to change your cats diet, you should transition him slowly onto the new food to avoid this kind of digestive upset.
Vomiting can also be caused by eating spoiled food, garbage, or a dead animal. It may also be caused by a sensitivity or dietary intolerance to an ingredient in the food.
Here are some of the ingredients most likely to trigger a dietary intolerance or sensitivity:
- Food additives
- Artificial preservatives
- Certain grains
- Common proteins
If toxins, drugs, and diet dont seem to be the issue, your cat may be suffering from an underlying disease or disorder as the cause of his vomiting.
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What Is Scarf And Barf
Basically, this aptly coined phrase means exactly what it says, cats scarf down their food as if its the last meal that theyll ever have and then turn around and barf it right back up. Its a habit that is as unpleasant as its name suggests. On top of that, its probably more irksome for you than your kitty because youre the lucky one that gets to clean up the mess. The ironic part is, once your cat throws up, she wants to eat again because shes still hungry; this is because she didnt even take the time to digest her food before tossing it back up on the rug. So, why does she continue to scarf down her food?
What About Vomiting Thats Caused By Motion Sickness
Does your cat experience nausea and vomiting when you travel with her? This is a common problem, especially among kitties that arent used to traveling.
If you think the vomiting is caused by stress, there are some options to help your pet feel more at ease. For example, to help her feel less anxious when traveling by car, you can try natural remedies, such as feline pheromones and Bach flower remedies. Plus, there are herbs, such as valerian, that might help keep your pet calm as well, but its a good idea to have a chat with your vet to be sure theyre safe to give to your cat.
Reducing the amount of food that you give to your cat before heading out might also be helpful. Feeding your kitty several hours before you plan to leave home may help reduce the odds that she will feel nauseous or throw up.
Of course, theres also the option of talking to your veterinarian about your kittys motion sickness. That way, you can get tips on what you can do to help your cat feel better, and your vet can also discuss medications that might be appropriate for your cat when it comes to combating nausea or anxiety.
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Cat Throwing Up Undigested Food
There is a difference between vomiting and regurgitation. Regurgitation is when cats throw up undigested food, often with little or no effort.
This undigested food may be covered in mucus and shaped like a tube. Regurgitation is often brought on by coughing, difficulty breathing, oesophageal problems or foreign bodies.
If your cat is vomiting foam, its likely to be bile. This is usually yellow or greenish in colour. Blie is an acidic liquid created in the liver and stored in the gallbladder until food has been ingested, when its released into the intestine. Bile helps cats break down food. It can, however, leak into the stomach and cause vomiting. If your cat vomits bile persistently or their sickness is accompanied by other health issues such as diarrhoea, loss of appetite or lethargy, seek urgent advice from your vet.
What Should I Do If My Cat Eats Vomit
Stay calm if your cat eats vomit. This behavior in itself isnt the end of the world, although its best to be discouraged. We recommend cleaning up after your cat anytime they throw up, that way they wont have a chance to eat the remaining cat vomit.
Then carefully watch your cat to determine if you need to call your vet. Has your cat thrown up more than once? Is the vomit not just a hairball? Is there blood in the vomit? Is your cat showing other signs of illness? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you should contact your veterinarian pronto.
Does your cat snarf and barf? Has your cat ever eaten their vomit? Let us know on !
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Cat Vomiting: Types Causes And Treatments
If you have cats, youve probably seen one of them throw up at one time or another. It is common for cats to vomit, but its never normal for them to do so. With that said, it is also not always something that has to be treated, nor does the cat need to be rushed to a veterinarian every time she vomits. In this resource, youll get the scoop on when to take a vomiting cat to the vet, why cats vomit and what treatments are available to help felines feel better.