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My Cat Has Been Throwing Up

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More Serious Causes For Vomiting

Why Do Cats Vomit? A Vet Explains How to Help

These are some of the more serious causes, where vomiting occurs on a more regular basis

Ingestion of foreign bodies

Cats are more particular about what they eat than dogs but we do occasionally see cats with blockages. Cotton or string can cause a blockage or trauma to the gut.

Ingestion of certain toxins

We see fewer toxicities in cats because of their fussy nature, with a few exceptions.

Some cats like to nibble on grass. If unavailable, or out of boredom, they may eat house plants such as Dieffenbachia and lilies which are toxic. Ask your vet before bringing new plants into your house or garden.

Cats like the taste of antifreeze but its especially toxic to them. Never use it in ornamental water features, keep bottles secure and labelled, and wipe up spills immediately. Vomiting, increased thirst, lethargy and lack of appetite may be signs of ingestion. Ingestion is usually not witnessed, partly why its often fatal. Call your vet immediately if you suspect ingestion.

Food allergies or new foods

Not all foods suit all cats and any diet change should be slow, taking at least a week. Its also thought some cats may actually be allergic to certain proteins in foods. If your vet suspects this, they may recommend a hypoallergenic diet using hydrolysed proteins. These are proteins that are broken down into very small pieces so are highly unlikely to cause an allergic reaction.

Parasites roundworms, tapeworms and fleas

What Is Chronic Cat Vomiting

Chronic vomiting, according toPetMd, refers to ongoing vomiting that lasts for more than a couple of days and several times per day.

Chronic vomiting is often accompanied by other symptoms, such as appetite loss, abdominal pain, weight loss, and depression. Unlike acute, chronic vomiting requires veterinary attention and proper management.

Cat Throwing Up Yellow Liquid

Yellow and clear liquids are bile, a fluid that is produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder that breaks down fat and fatty acids so the body can absorb them. However, yellow bile may be a sign of liver disease.

A cat throwing up yellow liquid may be something as simple as eating something yellow.

Remember to think back on what your cat may have gotten into before you completely flip a lid.

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How To Know If Your Cat Is Throwing Up

Your cat can get nauseous before they throw up. They can be restless, salivating, or repeatedly swallowing. Vomiting starts with intense contractions in your cats abdominal muscles. They then expel whats in their stomach or throat.

Coughing in cats can look similar to throwing up. When a cat coughs, theyll crouch down on all four legs and stretch their neck out. They then cough up froth or foam, which they might swallow again immediately.

Theres also a difference between regurgitation and vomiting. Regurgitation takes your cat less effort and usually doesnt involve abdominal contractions. Regurgitation often happens right after eating or drinking and may be a sign of a problem in the cats esophagus.

Showing your vet a video of your cat vomiting can help them differentiate between vomiting, coughing, and regurgitating.

Cat Vomit Color Chart

Veterinary Practice: Vomiting Yellow Bile

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.

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Foreign Material Cat Vomit

If your cat is known to eat things they shouldnt, you may see evidence of this in their vomit.

Some cats will vomit up items ranging from hair ties to candy wrappers, all of which can lead nausea as they attempt to pass.

While some cats will get lucky and vomit up all the foreign material they consumed, this is not always the case.

Bacterial & Viral Infections

Cats arent always the best at telling their pet parents when they feel under the weather. Its helpful to remember that vomiting can be a symptom of many minor infections that can be treated fairly quickly.

Bladder infections, UTIs, upper respiratory infections, and inner ear infections are all common illnesses that can cause your kitty to puke. Uterine infections also cause tummy upset, but this condition is more prevalent in middle-aged and senior cats.

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How Will A Vet Treat Cat Vomiting

Typically, the treatment of cat vomiting involves withholding food and water until to give the upset stomach time to settle. Once thevomiting has stopped, pet parents will be advised to slowly reintroduce water and then a bland diet.

The above-mentioned approach works for cats with acute vomiting. Chronic cat vomiting is a more serious condition that requires veterinary attention finding and treating the underlying cause while providing supportive care.

The treatment for cat vomiting can be costly, especially if the underlying issue is severe. In such cases, it is helpful to have good pet insurance. We strongly recommendOneVet, which provides 24/7 access to licensed vets and up to $3.000 in emergency funds.

Barium Study Ultrasound And Endoscopy

Girl poops in boyfriends dead cats litter box

Often, X-rays do not diagnose the problem , but they help determine if further abdominal studies are needed. These other studies could include a barium study, which will help determine if there are foreign objects in the intestines or if there are motility issues with the intestines. Another study could be an ultrasound to look at the architecture of different organs ultrasound can be used as a means to sample different organs to get a definitive diagnosis.

In addition, an endoscopy may be recommended by your vet. Endoscopy is a way to look for foreign objects in the stomach that do not show up on X-rays, and it can be used to retrieve foreign objects. This procedure also allows viewing of the lining of the stomach and upper intestines to look for abnormalities, and can be used to collect samples of the upper gastrointestinal tract.

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Why Is My Cat Throwing Up

Your veterinarian will ask a variety of questions to determine why your cat is vomiting. These include:

  • Have you switched your cats diet recently?

  • Have you started any prescribed or over-the-counter medications?

  • What diet, including all treats, is your cat on?

  • Do you have other cats in the house, and if so, are they also vomiting?

  • Is your cat indoor and/or outdoor?

  • How often is your cat vomiting, and what does the vomit look like?

  • Is your cat still eating?

  • Is your cat having other symptoms, such as diarrhea and/or weight loss?

  • How long has your cat been vomiting?

There are several possible causes of cat vomiting, and these questions will help guide your veterinarian in the right direction. Possible reasons why cats throw up can be broken into two categoriesgastrointestinal causes and non-gastrointestinal causes.

Other Reasons For Cat Vomit

If your cat barfs, but resumes regular activities, continues to eat and seems otherwise healthy, youmay not have much to worry about. For example, sometimes cats vomit undigested food shortly after eating. This can happen when your pet eats the food too fast. In these cases, you may just need to feed your cat smaller, more frequent meals.

However, in some cases, frequent or excessive vomiting may be the result of a serious condition. A number of different diseases such as kidney and liver disease can cause vomiting. Food allergies, intestinal parasites and infections can also result in vomiting. Testing is needed to help determine the cause and find the best solution to help your cat.

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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.

Short Answer: This Is The Stage In Life When Vomiting Is More Likely To Reveal Underlying Issues

Well, that cat is going to get sick. : trashy

As weve mentioned in previous sections, vomiting can be a red flag for an underlying illness. In older cats, as the effects of their lifestyle or genetics begin to take their toll, these types of underlying chronic illness become more and more likely.

The most common illnesses that afflict older cats and cause vomiting are:

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Your Cat Has A Hairball

To say cats are dedicated to cleaning would be an understatement. They have a reputation for meticulously grooming themselves, and as a result, hairballs can ensue. This occurs because the cat has hook-like structures all over their tongue.

While these are small, theyâre powerful your catâs tongue can catch dead or loose hair. Then, they swallow it. While most hair will successfully pass through the animalâs digestive tract, sometimes it gets trapped in their stomach. Thatâs how a hairball comes about.

Therefore, hairballs may contribute to a cat vomiting undigested food. Theyâre normal, but if youâre noticing that your cat has difficulty passing them or itâs frequently happening, and your cat is experiencing pain, it might be time to intervene.

There are actually over-the-counter supplements available that you can give your cat. These come in chew or gel format. In addition, you can develop a brushing schedule for your pet to help mitigate the hairball risk.

What Does Acute Vomiting Mean

Acute vomiting is vomiting that has been present for no more than two to three days. Most cases will respond quickly to simple symptomatic treatment. The cause of such cases is often never established and may be due to relatively trivial factors such as eating spoiled food or plants. In a small number of cases of acute vomiting, usually because the vomiting is severe and leads to complications such as dehydration, or because a more serious underlying cause is suspected, further tests, specific treatment, and aggressive supportive care will be required.

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Give It Some Water And Bland Food

Initially, you should give them some water and, after 12 hours, feed them a little quantity of bland food. Do this until the vomiting stops completely after that, they can continue with their usual diet.

When they feel unwell, some cats might also have time to drink, in this case, a water or drinking fountain might be useful to help them.

How Pet Health Insurance Can Help

10 Things Your Cats Love!

If your feline friend throws up regularly, you and your veterinarian will need to investigate. Your pal could require blood work, fecal analysis, X-rays, ultrasounds, and even biopsies.

Depending on the diagnosis, your kitty could be facing anything from antibiotics to surgery. Help yourself focus on care and not cost during this process by getting a quote for cat health insurance today.


*Pre-existing conditions are not covered. Waiting periods, annual deductible, co-insurance, benefit limits and exclusions may apply. For all terms and conditions visit Preventive and Wellness Care reimbursements are based on a schedule. Complete Coverage reimbursements are based on the invoice. Levels 1-4 reimbursements are based on usual and customary eligible costs. Products, schedules, and rates may vary and are subject to change. Discounts may vary and are subject to change. More information available at checkout.

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How To Prevent Vomiting In Cats

Depending on why your cat is vomiting, there are a few things you can do to prevent it. If your cat is eating too quickly, feeding them smaller meals more often may help. You should also talk to your veterinarian about verifying your cat is not being fed too much and is getting the nutrition they need. If the vomiting is due to a hairball, try over-the-counter dietary supplements, in either chew or gel forms and a regular brushing schedule. If you suspect food allergies, talk with your vet about a special diet.

When Vomiting In Cats Is Cause For Concern

Repeated cat vomiting should never be ignored, medical attention may be needed for frequent vomiting, and in the short term, repeated vomiting can lead to serious dehydration. But because vomiting is common in cats, how do you know whats normal? A general guideline is that if the cat is vomiting one to three times a month, we consider this normal, says Dr. Folger.

He considers it serious if the vomiting occurs twice daily for two or three days. If your cat stops eating, seems to have stomach pain or retches continuously, or if the vomit is mixed with blood, take them to a veterinarian. And as always, if youre suspicious that a lingering problem could be harmful to your pet, call your veterinarian. A visit to the office can help relieve your cats discomfort and your worries as well.

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Ways To Prevent Cat Vomiting

Wouldn’t all pet parents love to know the secret to eliminating vomiting? Or even a way to train your cat not to do it on your bed or carpet? Unfortunately, there’s no magic word. But there are a few things you can try to ease your cleanup and your kitty’s discomfort.

If your cat is vomiting hairballs, make sure to brush your cat regularly, keeping themactive and feed a food with balanced nutrition that is designed to help cats with hairballs.

To help keep your cats stomach happy, give them the type and amount of food recommended by your vet and have clean, fresh water available at all times. If your cat eats too quickly you can try a puzzle feeder or a dry food with large, crunchy pieces to slow them down. If your veterinarian recommends medications or therapeutic foods, it will be important to follow their instruction in order to keep your cat healthy. \ Be sure your cat sees the vet regularly and discuss your concerns.

Though cleaning up messes and bodily fluids is something all pet parents will experience at some point, following these tips and knowing when to seek the help of a professional can hopefully make these experiences few and far between.

What Could Be The Reason For The Vomiting

Do Cats Eat Grass and Plants Because Theyâre Sick?

Occasional vomiting may be caused by:


Cats often ingest hair while grooming. If it forms into clumps it may irritate the stomach, eventually being vomited up. If your cat vomits hairballs frequently your vet may suggest treatments or diets to reduce hair build-up and grooming your cat regularly to reduce the volume of hair ingested.

Eating too rapidly

Cats that gobble food too quickly may regurgitate. If youve got multiple cats make sure you have separate feeding bowls in separate locations to reduce competition. Try serving dry food in a used egg carton, or putting kibble in plastic bottles with holes that dispense the food as it rolls. These puzzle feeders slow eating, create mental challenge, combat boredom and increase exercise which combats weight gain.

Eating too much at once

Cats naturally eat small amounts and often. While not always practical, specialists suggest 5 small meals a day. Dry kibble absorbs fluid in the stomach and swells which may cause vomiting, especially in older cats.

Eating spoilt food or hunting

Like us, they can be susceptible to the bacteria or spoiled food or something theyve caught. This may result in irritation of the stomach.

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Cat Throwing Up Worms

If your cat is throwing up worms, stop reading this and take them to the vet now!

Roundworms are a very common type of parasite that exists in dogs and cats alike. Most cats will become infected with roundworms in their lifetime, although most cases go undetected.

Kittens and outdoor cats are more likely to become infected and carry roundworms. Preventatives are available from the veterinarian for these pets.

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.

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