Friday, April 12, 2024

What To Do If Cat Throws Up Food

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Is Vomiting Normal For Cats

Why Do Cats Throw Up?

Just like their people, our feline friends can suffer from an upset tummy for a number of reasons.

Some of the most common causes of upset stomach in cats include, a reaction to eating something bad, viruses and parasites, or more serious problems such as cancer or organ conditions.

Pet parents should be aware that if your cat vomits more often than once a month, or keeps vomiting repeatedly, it’s time to see your vet to determine the underlying cause of your cat’s vomiting.

What To Do With Insulin When Your Diabetic Pet Is Vomiting Or Not Eating

Once you have your diabetic pet regulated on insulin its smooth sailing, right? Well, not necessarily. Even a well-regulated diabetic doggie may mischievously get into the trash and subsequently vomit. Or Fluffy might toss up a random hair ball. Just because your pet is diabetic doesnt mean it cant have a dietary indiscretion or gastroenteritis the same as non-diabetic pets!

Even if you are new to having a diabetic pet, if you understand the basics of diabetes you can work your way through a short-term treatment plan. You know that insulin allows sugar to enter our cells. Without food, giving the usual dose of insulin could drop the blood glucose to dangerously low levels. However, if the blood glucose is still quite elevated, you might consider giving a lesser dose of insulin even if a diabetic wont eat. You know your pet Some have a sensitive stomach whereas others might have the constitution as sturdy as a goat. Some have ravenous appetites whereas other pets may be finicky. None of us have a crystal ball when it comes to predicting if a pet will vomit more.

You know I like hearing from our readers. Dont hesitate to email me at .

NOTE: Consult your veterinarian to confirm that my recommendations are applicable for the health needs of your pet.

When Does A Cat Vomiting Need Veterinary Attention

Most cat owners have experienced the unpleasant sensation of cat sick between the toes on a nighttime bathroom trip, or as a nice addition to your favourite rug. Vomiting is the active expulsion of stomach contents, which in cats can be violent, and may have many causes. It needs to be differentiated from regurgitation: where food is brought up with minimal effort from the oesophagus before ever reaching the stomach.

You may see warnings signs such as drooling, swallowing, licking their lips more, or hiding away. Short-term vomiting consisting of one or two episodes, or lasting less than 24 hours, in an otherwise healthy cat is usually nothing to worry about.

  • What will my vet do?
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    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.

    What Does Acute Vomiting Mean

    Why Is My Cat Vomiting and What Should I Do?

    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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    Why Does My Cat Vomit Right After Eating

    Before explaining why your cat may be vomiting after eating, we need to differentiate between vomiting in cats and regurgitation in cats. Regurgitate in cats involves effortless expulsion, while vomiting involves stronger abdominal movements, neck stretching and emitted sound. Vomiting in cats can be acute, repeated frequently within a short period of time, or chronic, occurring sporadically without remitting for weeks.

    Both regurgitation and vomiting require veterinarian consultation. Vomiting in cats causes include intestinal inflammations, tumors, hairballs, ulcers, foreign bodies and systemic diseases. The possible causes can be detrimental to a felines health which is why an accurate diagnosis is necessary. If your cat is vomiting after eating, a veterinarian will likely perform blood tests, an ultrasound and abdominal radio-graphs to find out the cause of the problem.

    Is your cat vomiting up liquids? For more, we recommend reading our article on Why is my cat vomiting white foam?

    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.

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    Special Bowls For Fast Eaters

    There is a special bowl for almost every problem. If your cats are fast eaters, you can get bowls that promote slow eating. This will be an excellent investment and solve your issue. Slow feeder bowls are designed with patterns and obstacles that prevent the cat from wiping down the food in a matter of seconds. They will also stimulate your feline to activate its brain while feeding.

    If you have multiple cats, also be sure to feed them in separate parts of the house. Dont put all bowls next to each other because that way, the fastest-eating cat will have access to the other cats food. Also, try feeding them smaller portions multiple times a day. Instead of giving your furry friends three meals, increase the number to five, but make the portions smaller.

    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.

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    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
  • Diet
  • Disease
  • 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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    Short Answer: If Its Red Or Black Thats Bad Otherwise It Can Be A Lot Of Different Stuff

    • Red vomit: Unless you know for a fact that your cat has ingested a non-toxic substance that has red coloring in it, red vomit usually means blood. Call your vet immediately.

    • Black vomit: Black vomit can be blood from the stomach. It is especially likely to be blood if the consistency of the vomit is like coffee grounds. Call your vet immediately.

    • Yellow or Greenish Vomit: If the consistency is watery,this is usually bile the substance your cat uses to break down food. Bile is supposed to remain in the small intestine, but it can be forced into their stomach while vomiting. It may also have been there before they vomited, which is a sign of an underlying illness. If the consistency is more like a smoothie, in addition to bile, it could just be partially digested food.

    • Pink vomit: This could be blood in trace amounts which you should definitely talk to your vet about. It could also be salmon-colored food if it has a smoothie-like consistency.

    • Green vomit: In addition to bile or partially digested food, this may be digested plant matter.

    • Clear or Foamy vomit: This is usually stomach acid that occurs on an empty stomach. It could also be recently ingested water.

    Of course, its also all supposed to stay in there.

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    One Of The Primary Causes Of Throwing Up In Cats Is An Illness That Affects The Digestive Tract

    There are many different possible causes of gastrointestinal upset in cats, including parasites, bacterial infections, food intolerance, indigestion, gastritis , pancreatitis , or constipation.

    Some cats may vomit because they have ingested a foreign object, such as string or an insect. Other cats may vomit due to a more serious underlying intestinal disease, such as cancer or an autoimmune inflammatory condition.

    Cats can also vomit due to systemic diseases, or conditions that occur outside of the gastrointestinal tract. A number of systemic illnesses can include vomiting as a clinical sign, such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism, chronic kidney disease, liver disease, and others. Toxin ingestion may also trigger vomiting, as well as some neurologic conditions.

    When considering the potential causes of vomiting in cats, it can be helpful to distinguish between acute and chronic vomiting. Acute vomiting is vomiting that has developed recently and suddenly.

    For example, a cat with no previous history of vomiting that vomits several times in one day is experiencing acute vomiting. Chronic vomiting, in contrast, is vomiting that occurs over a prolonged period of time.

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

    Why Is My Cat Throwing Up?

    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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    When To Worry About Your Cat’s Vomiting

    If your cat is vomiting periodically or infrequently, avoid giving your cat any food for approximately 12 hours. Provide your cat with a couple of tablespoons of water every 30 minutes or provide them with ice cubes during this brief fasting time. After 12 hours begin providing your cat with small amounts of bland food and gradually return to normal feeding if 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 treatment. Contact your vet if your cat displays any of the symptoms below:

    • Repeated vomiting

    Do I Need To Bring My Cat To The Vet For Vomiting

    Vomiting in cats is not normal, but neither does all vomit warrant a trip to the vet. Here is a simple diagram to help you decide if a vet visit is necessary.

    The diagram isnt perfect, and if you think your cats vomiting doesnt fit in here, be safe and call your vet.

    The more information we have about your cat the better, but here is a list of some things you can do prior to your visit:

  • Write down your cats feeding habits. What types and what brands of food are you feeding? How much? How often?

  • Take a picture of the puke. Gross? Yes, but incredibly useful.

  • Take note of how many times your cat has vomited in the last week with approximate times after eating if possible.

  • Make sure your kitty has fresh water to drink. Vomiting is dehydrating.

  • Question about the diet

    First, your vet is going to ask you for all of the information in the what should I do before an appointment section. For the most productive visit, come prepared with that information.

    Thorough examination

    Once in the room, your vet will thoroughly examine your cat for signs of blockages, masses, and constipation, unfortunately though, examinations dont tell us much about the state of your cats kidneys, blood glucose, thyroid, or intestines.

    Diagnostic testing



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    Cancer In Cats That Vomit

    According to a study, cancer in cats is prevalent, but treatable. Cats with cancer will have numerous symptoms and digestive issues. They will also have side effects from cancer treatments like weight loss and vomiting. The study adds that 30% of cats that are ten and older will develop cancer. Cancers of the digestive system in cats is not common, and affects around 1% of all cancers in cats. Intestinal tumors spread fast, and are usually malignant. Symptoms may include the following:

    • Vomiting
    • Anemia

    Short Answer: Usually Eating Too Fast Or Too Much If You Cant Fix It Quickly Its Something Else

    How To Help Prevent Your Cat From Throwing Up Its Food – Or Vomiting

    Regurgitation vs Vomit

    Throwing up directly after eating is called regurgitation, and its different from vomiting. Rergurg doesnt involve the physical contraction of the stomach muscles that we typically associate with vomiting. Oftentimes, especially with dry food, it will come back up looking like a tube, completely undigested and looking like what you put in the bowl.

    If regurg doesnt happen immediately after feeding, it may not be regurgitation even though the food looks undigested. The differences can be subtle. Vomiting and regurgitation also have different treatment plans. To be sure which is which, consult your vet.

    Causes and Remedies

    Its usually caused by eating too fast or too much and can be stopped by feeding less at once. Sometimes an open bowl of food left out while youre away for the day is the culprit. Taking that away can solve the issue. If you have multiple cats, separating them during feeding so that no one scarfs down the others leftovers also helps.

    If it doesnt clear up quickly

    Regurgitation should stop almost immediately if overeating is the cause. If it doesnt resolve quickly, there is an underlying, potentially serious issue, and you should contact your vet.

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    There Have Been Dietary Or Food Changes

    Lastly, itâs possible that a dietary or food change could be to blame for throwing up undigested food. When you change your catâs feeding schedule, this impacts them. Therefore, if your pet ate later than typical or missed a meal, they could regurgitate their undigested food.

    Also, think about if you recently switched your cat over to different cat food. If you do this too quickly, this could shock your petâs body and make their stomach sick. Itâs best if this is a gradual process that takes place over a one to two-week period.

    Of course, if you have any nutritional concerns about what your cat is consuming, you can address those with your vet. They will be able to help sort out whatâs going on and give you ways that you can ensure your pet is getting the nutrients they need.

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