When Should I Take My Cat To The Vet
If you notice any of the following symptoms, your cat needs to be seen by a vet:
- Vomiting several times in an hour or continued vomiting despite withholding food for 12-24 hours. It is important to note that cats should not be fasted for more than 24 hours as this can lead to a life-threatening liver condition called hepatic lipidosis.
- Cannot keep water down
When To Worry About Your Cat’s Dry Heaving
If you notice your cat dry heaving and possibly vomiting periodically, avoid giving them any food for about 12 hours. Give your cat a few tablespoons of water every half-hour or so and give them ice cubes to lick while fasting.
After 12 hours is up, give your cat some bland food. If their dry heaving or vomiting doesn’t begin again you can slowly return them to their normal diet.
If your cat is having repeated bouts of vomiting or dry heaving, contact your vet immediately. Continuous or severe dry heaving 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 / dry heaving
Fasting And A Bland Diet
Withholding water and food for about two hours might be a good place to start if your kitty is vomiting, particularly if your pets stomach is irritated and she keeps vomiting after she eats. Basically, fasting for a bit may allow the stomach to rest.
If youve fasted your cat for two hours and she hasnt vomited, you can give her some water. But if your kitty isnt the type to drink water, you can give her some tuna juice to see if shell drink that to help her stay hydrated. Its important to ensure she keeps drinking, even if you are withholding food for a bit, because you dont want your kitty to become dehydrated as a result of the vomiting.
Once your cat isnt vomiting after consuming liquids, you can offer her a bland diet, feeding her small amounts of the food frequently. As an example, you could boil some fresh chicken yourself, or you could ask your vet about a prescription diet thats worth trying.
Start by giving a small amount of food, waiting an hour to see if theres any vomiting, and then giving a bit more. Then, you can continue providing small amounts of the bland diet every three or four hours. Do this for the first 24 hours, working on slowly decreasing the frequency of the meals while increasing the amount of food given.
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Cat Vomiting: The Bottom Line
We know that your feline companion means the world to you and realizing that something isnt quite right can be extremely nerve-wracking for a doting pet parent.
The first step is recognizing any change as soon as possible. The sooner a symptom like vomiting is noticed, the sooner a diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan can begin. We sincerely hope your four-legged friend feels better soon!
Why Is My Cat Being Sick
Anything that irritates your cats stomach or prevents the contents of their stomach from moving through the digestive tract can cause vomiting. Reasons for a cat being sick include hair balls, eating too much or too quickly, eating new or unusual food, an allergic reaction to food and parasites. Other causes include gastrointestinal conditions, pancreatitis, heat stroke and ingesting poisonous substances. While some of these issues are mild, others will require emergency veterinary treatment.
Why is my cat being sick? is one of the most common questions our vets are asked. Short-term cat vomiting is generally for a mild reason and not a massive cause for concern, especially if your cats health is otherwise fine. This may be down to a mild tummy upset.
Long-term or severe cat vomiting is a far bigger concern and if your cat keeps throwing up or you think its something to worry about you should contact your vet or, out of hours, your nearest Vets Now pet emergency clinic, straight away.
If its not an emergency but you would like some advice you can book an online video consultation with our vets between 8am and 11pm every day. Learn more here.
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Why Do Cats Vomit Yellow Liquid
Yellow-colored vomit is typically made up of stomach acids and bile. Stomach acids are produced in the stomach lining to aid in digestion. Bile is a fluid produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. It enters the duodenum to further assist with digestion.
When cats vomit yellow liquid, it’s often because the stomach is empty. The acids irritate the stomach lining and cause the cat to vomit. This explains why some cats may vomit when they are especially hungry. However, there are many diseases that cause cats to vomit, so don’t dismiss your cat’s yellow vomit. In addition, yellow liquid may not only be stomach acid and bile it could be that your cat ate something yellow in color and is unable to properly digest it.
There are numerous illnesses that can cause a cat to vomit yellow liquid. The following are just some of these:
- Gastrointestinal obstruction
- Dietary indiscretion
- Toxin exposure
- Various types of cancer
What Cat Vomit Can Look Like
Okay, we know that this is gross, but taking a look at your cats vomit to see its color and consistency might help you and your veterinarian figure out the cause behind it. So, before you rush to clean up the mess, take note of its appearance so you can give your vet more details that may be able to shed some light on whether or not the vomiting is a cause for concern.
Below are just some of the things you might find when your kitty vomits. Keep in mind that these are listed here just to give you a basic idea of what might be going on, but talking to your vet is the best way to get answers.
Remember, when you talk to your vet about your cats vomit, dont be reluctant to go into detail about the color, consistency, and overall appearance of it, as well as how much your kitty is vomiting and how often its happening.
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Suitable Protein Sources Include:
- Boiled white rice
- Cooked pasta
Once cooked, cool and serve the home-made diet in small portions. The liquid from the rice cooker can be included in the food to add extra fluid intake for your cat. Always store home-made food in the fridge and try not to prepare more than what is needed in one day so that it stays fresh and tasty for your cat. Warm the food to room temperature before offering it to your cat .
Begin by feeding protein portion to carbohydrate portion in small meals. Feed 3-5 small meals evenly distributed throughout the day. The amount of the portions depends on how much your cat weighs. Talk to your vet about the amount of home-made diet that is right for your cat.
As your cat improves, their meals can slowly get larger and less frequent.
Once your cat has completely returned to normal for a few days, you can gradually re-introduce them to their regular food. Its important to do this slowly to decrease the risk of stomach upset recurring.
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.
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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 Are Probiotics For Cats
With a name that literally translates to life-promoting, probiotics are naturally occurring live microorganisms that inhabit the small and large intestines. They are popularly called good bacteria and are responsible for protecting the intestines from the bad bacteria.
The cats body harbors trillions of live bacteria. Most of them reside within the gut and are collectively referred to as gut flora or microbiome. Every cat has an individual microbiome whose population varies based on health, diet, and lifestyle.
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How You Can Help A Vomiting Cat
While your cat is vomiting, stay out of her way but be sure shes in a safe location. Re-hydration is important after vomiting, but most vets recommend waiting around two hours after an episode of vomiting to offer your cat any water or bland food.
Dont let your cat eat her expelled vomit, even if she tries. If youre unsure what caused the vomiting, consider keeping a sample of the vomit to give to your vet for testing.
If your cats vomiting is severe or frequent, youll want to talk to your vet. She may recommend fluid therapy or anti-emetic medication until your cat feels better. She might also want to test or evaluate your cat for any underlying causes like disease or infection.
When in doubt about your cats vomiting, talk to your vet!
Home Remedies For Cat Vomiting
Its best not to try to treat your cats vomiting at home without consulting your veterinarian first. Many causes of cat vomiting, such as a foreign body or obstruction, can cause severe damage or even death if not appropriately treated right away.
If your cats vomiting is simply due to hairballs, your veterinarian may recommend giving an over-the-counter hairball treatment daily to help the hair pass through your cats digestive tract.
Never give your cat any medicationseither prescription or over-the-counter products unless directed to do so by your veterinarian.
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What Not To Give A Cat Whos Vomiting
Cats have a different, and often more delicate physiology and digestive system than we do, so dont give human over-the-counter products.
You should never give Kaopectate or Pepto-Bismol to your cat, says Dr. Katz, from Holistic Veterinary Center in Illinois. These medications contain substances related to aspirin and may be toxic to a cats kidneys or liver. And dont take away his food for more than a day. Cats can develop hepatic lipidosis if they are forced to go without food for two more or days.
How To Clean Up Cat Vomit
Lets get down to the dirty truth cat puke can leave stains and odors in your carpets. You will want to act fast.
If youre dealing with a particularly bad mess, you may need to bring in a professional carpet cleaner. There are also a lot of store-bought sprays and powders you can try. Look for an enzyme-based product that will help break down the proteins that cause permanent damage.
Here are some cleaning tips that use items you probably already own:
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What Is Vomiting And Diarrhea In Cats
Vomiting is the act of expelling contents from the stomach through the mouth. Diarrhea is the act of having abnormally loose or liquid stools. This can also be associated with an increased frequency of bowel movements. Some cats will have a large amount of liquid or abnormally loose stools once and others will have semi-formed stools frequently with straining.
How Is Gastritis Treated
Treatment is based on the specific cause. Most acute cases resolve without medical intervention.
Non-medical treatment guidelines for acute gastritis include:
- Withhold food for 24 to 48 hours
- Offer small amounts of water frequently during the first 24 hours.
- If there is no vomiting for 24 hours, feed a small amount of a highly-digestible, low-fat food
- Resume feeding with small meals given frequently
- Gradually increase the amount of food over the next two to three days
- If vomiting returns, notify your veterinarian
Medical treatment for cats with gastritis may include:
- Gastrointestinal protectants – such as sucralfate
- Anti-emetic or anti-vomiting medications – such as metoclopramide
- H2 receptor antagonists – used when stomach ulcers are suspected – examples include cimetidine, ranitidine, nizatidine or famotidine
- Proton pump inhibitor – such as omeprazole – used in severe cases with stomach ulceration
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When To Visit Your Veterinarian
If you notice any of the following clinical signs, your cat should be seen by a veterinarian:
- Vomiting several times per hour or continued vomiting despite withholding food for 12-24 hours. Please note: cats should not be fasted for more than 24 hours. This can cause a life-threatening liver condition called hepatic lipidosis.
- Cannot keep water down
- Blood in the vomit or diarrhea
- Increasingly lethargic or weak
- Refusing food for more than 24 hours, or does not want to drink
- Dehydrated and cannot hold down water
- If you know or suspect your cat has swallowed something that could damage the intestine, such as a ribbon or thread. Please note: dont try to pull the thread out. This can cause damage to the intestinal tract.
- If your cat does not improve despite being given supportive treatment at home for 1-2 days .
- If your cat has chronic vomiting or diarrhea , even if its just hairballs.
Emotional Factors: Recognizing Stress And Anxiety
If you notice your cat eats quickly and vomits shortly after meals, you may want to consider his emotional well-being. Stress and anxiety can also be linked to your cats rapid eating patterns and stomach issues.
Rescue cats are especially prone to such behavior, as they may have had to compete for food in the shelter or on the street, especially if they are feral. If you think that your cats eating habits or subsequent nausea is due to a behavioral issue, its best to consult with your veterinarian for insight and advice.
There are certain behavioral techniques that can help ease your pets anxiety, which will in turn help him establish a normal eating routine .
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How To Help A Vomiting Cat
This article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years. This article has been viewed 68,586 times.
Make your vomiting cat comfortable at home if it’s been vomiting. Look at your cat’s vomit and pay attention to your cat’s behavior. If your cat doesn’t improve rapidly and you think an underlying medical condition is causing the vomiting, contact your veterinarian. After examining your pet, your vet will give you a personalized treatment plan to get your cat back on its feet.
If It Is Normal Then How Serious Can Vomiting Be
It depends on the cause of vomiting. Most cases of acute vomiting, when vomiting has been present for less than two to three days, resolve quickly with simple treatment, without the underlying cause being diagnosed. Severe or chronic vomiting is more serious. It can lead to secondary problems, particularly dehydration and disturbances in the levels of electrolytes such as sodium.
Vomiting can be caused by minor intestinal upset, such as from eating plants, spoiled food, or foul-tasting things such as certain insects. However, vomiting can also be a sign of a more serious illness, such as bacterial or viral infection, intestinal obstruction from foreign bodies , urinary tract obstruction, liver disease, thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel disease, or cancer. Left untreated, these illnesses can lead to serious complications, including death.
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