How Do I Recognize Vomiting
Vomiting may begin with a stage of nausea, in which the cat appears restless, and possibly anxious. The cat may lick its lips, salivate, and repeatedly swallow. Vomiting itself involves forceful contractions of the abdominal muscles, leading to expulsion of fluid, froth, or food. The severe effort associated with vomiting may be distressing to the cat.
It is important to differentiate this from the abdominal contractions associated with coughing. Cats may cough up some froth or foamy material that they subsequently swallow. Cats usually crouch down on all four legs when coughing with the neck stretched out. It is helpful if you can show a video to your veterinarian of your cat exhibiting the behavior so they can help you distinguish coughing versus vomiting.
“It is also important to differentiate vomiting from regurgitation.”
It is also important to differentiate vomiting from regurgitation, which is usually associated with problems affecting the esophagus and is a more passive process. Features that help to differentiate vomiting from regurgitation include:
- vomiting typically involves abdominal contractions and effort
- regurgitation typically occurs quickly without abdominal contractions
- regurgitation often occurs right after eating or drinking
What To Do If Your Cat Is Throwing Up
If your cat throws up every day or your senior cat throws up frequently, have your veterinarian examine your cat and be honest about the frequency of vomiting. Dont tell your veterinarian that your cat vomits occasionally or pretty often. Keep a log for a month or two, and tell your vet exactly how many times your cat vomited. Tell your vet you want some answers, and, if needed, refer him or her to a study on the subject that I helped author. There is mounting evidence that IBD may transform to lymphoma in some cats, so ignoring the problem will not make it go away and might actually allow it to get worse. If your cat throws up every day or frequently, take the issue seriouslyand to your veterinarian.
Vomiting And Lack Of Appetite In Cats Due To Stress
While we have previously focused on physiological reasons why a cat may be vomiting and not eating, it is possible a psychological problem may be the root cause. Stress in cats has various different symptoms, some of which manifest in behavioral changes, others physical. Both a loss of appetite and vomiting can be symptoms of a stressed cat.
To determine whether the cat is stressed, we need to look at their behavior and environment. Sudden changes to the cat’s routine can cause stress in cats. These may include moving home, the arrival of a new pet, a baby in the family or any significant change. You may also see other symptoms such as urinating outside their litter box or becoming aggressive.
When a physical problem has been ruled out by the veterinarian, then a psychological one is likely. Determining the root cause may be difficult and may require help from a feline educator or ethologist.
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What To Feed A Cat Whos Vomiting
For an occasional mild upset stomach in your cat, Dr. Katz takes an integrative-holistic approach to caring for cats. She identifies these safe home remedies :
Preventing Vomiting In Cats
Just because cats are known to get ill from time to time doesnt mean you have to simply let it happen. There are steps you can take to prevent them from throwing up and keep them from eating things they shouldnt have.
If your cat often gets sick because they eat too fast, take steps to slow down their eating. They will get more nutrition and have less stress on their digestive system. Plus, youll have fewer visits to a Little Rock pet clinic!
You might also want to change your cats diets if a specific food seems to cause problems. Finally, keep problematic items like string, twist ties, paper clips, and other items they might inadvertently eat out of reach.
Finally, take steps to prevent hairballs. You can groom your cat regularly to reduce loose hair and consider hairball products that help hair pass through the digestive track more easily.
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Addressing The Underlying Cause
Its also important to address the underlying cause, as this will direct treatment decisions and help to prevent reoccurrence.
Diagnostic testing is important for figuring out what caused a cat to throw up blood. Tests may include:
- A fecal check for parasites.
- Bloodwork and a urine analysis.
- Blood clotting tests.
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After a physical exam and diagnostic testing, a veterinarian can begin treatment that is targeted at curing or managing any underlying diseases.
For example, a kitty with intestinal worms will receive parasite treatment, while a cat with cancer may begin chemotherapy or be referred to a specialist such as an oncologist or surgeon.
Depending on the severity of a kittys condition, they may be sent home with oral medications, or they may need to be hospitalized for some time. The treatment plan of many pets falls somewhere in the middle.
What Can You Do To Prevent This From Happening
Weve talked a lot about why these things are happening and different types of vomit, etc. Now Im going to talk to you about ways that you can actively prevent this from happening.
One of the biggest issues is your cat eating too fast. Here are some ways that you can get around this to make life easier for yourself
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What To Do When Your Cat Throws Up Pink Vomit With Grass
While all these causes are certainlypossible, you dont have to be alarmed right away. You can remain calm,especially if there are only a few traces of pinkness in the fluid. Cats thathave regurgitated grass are no worse off than others. Nibbling on grass is anormal habit for cats.
Further, it is normal for cats to throw up when they eat grass because they do not have the enzymes necessary for breaking down plant material.
Still, for some reason, they enjoy munchingon natures salad. A few reasons why your kitty may be nibbling away at yourlawn include:
- Since it causes them to throwup, they may do it on purpose to clear their digestive tract. This helps to getrid of any discomfort from blockages that couldnt otherwise be taken care of.
- Grass contains folic acid. Thismineral is essential for supporting a cats ability to produce hemoglobin.
- Grass can act as a naturallaxative for your cat. If they are feeling a bit backed up, they may just needa bit of help to get their digestive system moving normally again.
Nonetheless, you may be a little worried after your kitty has endured a bit of vomiting, especially if it came out pink. To appropriately care for your cat after it has thrown up a pink substance, follow the instructions below:
- Boiled white rice
What Does It Mean When My Cat Vomits Pink Liquid
When a cat vomits pink liquid, the most probableexplanation for the color is that there is blood present in the fluid. Theblood has probably shown up in the regurgitated liquid as a result ofinflammation of the esophagus. The esophagus can become very irritated by theprocess of throwing up. So, this issue is not too much of a reason to worry.
Additionally, your kitty may haveaccidentally hurt itself when eating or playing. If your cat scraped theinside of its mouth during playtime, the traces of blood might have come fromthe cheek or tongue. Cats that have experienced trauma to the lungs, however, mightalso throw up blood.
Still, these are not the only reasons thatblood will show up in your cats throw up. Several factors can cause hematemesis. If your cats vomit is initially pink or has pinkspots in it, and progresses to have more blood, they should be taken to a vet.
Some of the primary reasons why yourkitty may experience blood in their vomit are:
- Ulcers, especially in thedigestive system
- Several different types ofinfections, especially heartworms
- The inability to form properblood clots
- Traumatic accidents
- Recent surgery
Consider your cats history to determinetheir need for a clinical evaluation. Does your fur-baby have any underlyinghealth conditions? Have they recently hurt their mouth during playtime? Couldthey have just been coughing and irritated their throat?
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Splitting Up Cats At Dinner Time
As discussed earlier if there is more than one cat in the household. You may notice them fighting to eat the food. This competition can result in eating too fast.
Instead, consider feeding them separately to avoid this competing. It may be a bit of a hassle setting up two feeding spots, but it will be worth it.
What To Feed A Cat Who Has Been Vomiting
A cat looking ill.
A cat should be fed simple, easily digestable food who has been vomiting. However, they need some time to recover before you even consider doing this. And, its also a good idea to consult your vet if you are unsure.
If its a one off many cat owners will move on from this. But, if it keeps happeing or seems to be chronic vomiting make sure you take it seriously. But, in general, if in doubt, check with your vet.
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What Could Be The Reason For The Vomiting
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.
Strategies For Reducing Hairballs That Cause Vomiting
If your kitty tends to throw up hairballs often, there are some steps that you can take to help reduce this type of vomiting. For example, you can help her out by brushing her daily to remove excess fur that shed otherwise swallow while grooming herself.
You might even consider adding a small amount of olive oil to your pets food. A teaspoon per week may help your kittys digestion and help her pass the hair through her stool, rather than throwing it up. As an alternative, you might try a teaspoon of melted butter added to your pets food, which will serve the same purpose as the olive oil.
Yet another option is pure canned pumpkin, which can also be added to your pets food to help keep her digestion system running smoothly, and to keep those hairballs moving through.
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In Conclusion Theres No Need To Worry If Your Cat Regurgitates Has Hairballs Or Even Vomits Digested Foodoccasionally
But if your cat is throwing up regularly or her vomiting is accompanied by other symptoms of illness, its time to contact the veterinarian. Causes of vomiting range from inconsequential to deadly and it can be hard to know where your cats condition sits on that spectrum.
If you dont have access to a veterinarian, consider getting a free veterinarian consultation from PetCoach.co. Through PetCoachs veterinarian consultation service, you can reach out to verified pet experts and receive personalized advice based on your cats unique situation.
Youll still want to visit an emergency clinic if your cat has been vomiting or having diarrhea for a day or more or exhibits any other symptoms of serious illness.
More resources to help you find out why your cat is throwing up:
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.
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What Should I Do If My Cat Keeps Throwing Up
If your cat keeps vomiting, the first and foremost step is to figure out the ‘why’. Until and unless you know the main reason or the cause of your cat throwing up on a frequent basis, you won’t be able to medically treat your cat. After determining how serious the cause is, you can solve the issue by following the recommendation of a veterinarian. The health-related reason behind cats throwing up food can be food allergies, diabetes, entering of a foreign body, blockage in the digestive tract, cancer or kidney disease.
Hairballs: A Common Cause Of Cat Vomiting
Even as a seasoned cat parent, it is important to understand the reasons behind cat vomiting. As cats age, their bodies change, and their vomit may be a way to tell you if those changes are normal or abnormal.
Although cat vomiting might be due to eating a part of a houseplant or ingesting a piece of a toy, your cat can get an upset stomach from over grooming. This most often resurfaces as a hairball.
Although a cat vomiting up a hairball every so often is normal, there are times when you may need to be concerned. Hairballs shouldn’t be painful, frequent or difficult for your cat to pass. Untreated hairballs can also go the other way and cause painful intestinal blockages in extreme cases, according to The Nest, so keep track of your cat’s normal routine and watch out for signs of constipation, lethargy, and anorexia if she has not passed a hairball in a while. If your cat has a consistent hairball problem, you might want to look into a cat food that is formulated for hairballs.
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Why Is My Cat Vomiting
Hairballs / Furballs
Hairballs are undigested, wads of fur that clump in your cat’s stomach as a result of the cat’s self-grooming. Hairballs are especially common in longhair cats, and cats that groom excessively. Hacking noises and spasms commonly accompany vomiting if your cat is trying to rid itself of hairballs.
In the majority of cases, hairballs are easily brought up by cats, but if your cat is experiencing difficulties when trying to expel a hairball it’s time to see a vet. Occasionally hairballs become trapped and can lead to intestinal blockages which may be fatal.
Eating Too Much & Too Quickly
If your kitty eats too much food, too quickly, vomiting will likely result soon after they eat. If your cat often eats quickly then vomits, there are a number of fun cat bowls available to help slow your cat’s eating and help to prevent vomiting.
That said, vomiting right after eating could be an indication of a more serious health issue such as hairballs, a digestive tract obstruction, dehydration, or esophageal issues. If your cat frequently vomits right after eating, it’s time to visit the vet.
Some Serious Conditions Which Can Cause Vomiting In Cats
It can be tempting to dismiss your cat’s vomiting as normal cat behavior, however vomiting can be a symptom of a serious underlying health condition. A few of the more serious causes of vomiting in cat include:
- Metabolic Disorder