Reasons Your Cat Is Vomiting And When To Be Concerned
Cat owners are not unfamiliar with the unpleasant sound of their cat regurgitating their lunch. Whether because of a hairball or the occasional upset stomach, cats tend to vomit every once in a while. However, these arent the only reasons your cat might be heaving and gagging. Vomiting in cats can be caused by a wide range of underlying problemssome more concerning than others.
Common Causes Of Cat Vomiting
Hairballs, also known as trichobezoars, are one of the most frequent causes of cat vomiting and are caused by a concentration of hair/fur in the stomach of your cat. While they are generally not serious, it is better to prevent them from forming as they create a risk of intestinal blockage. If you have a long-haired cat, make sure you brush them regularly. You can also ensure your cat has a high-fibre diet or ask your vet to prescribe a treatment. Another common occurrence among cats is vomiting shortly after eating . In this case, your cat is regurgitating due to having swallowed their food too quickly. If your cat has a “greedy” side, you can reduce the risk of regurgitation by dividing up their meals even more and by spreading out their food . Raising their bowl by a few centimetres can also yield very good results.
How To Prevent Vomiting
You can also take action to help prevent or decrease the frequency of vomiting in your cat:
- When should I be concerned about my cat throwing up?
If your cat is vomiting for more than 24 hours, or you see something concerning in the vomitlike blood or wormsit’s time to call the vet immediately.
- What do you give a cat that is throwing up?
It really depends on why your cat is vomiting. If it’s routine hairballs, eating too fast, or tummy upset that doesn’t last more than 24 hours, take away your cat’s food and give it small bites till nausea has passed. If, after a day, your kitty continues vomiting, it’s time to call the vet.
- How long does an upset stomach last in cats?
Upset stomachs in cats rarely last more than 24 hours. If they do, Please call your vet.
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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.
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
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Vomiting In Pets: Heres When To Call The Vet
Its a bit gross to talk about, but its a fact of pet ownership: dogs and cats throw up. And it can be difficult to decide when vomiting is serious enough to call the vet.
Cats get hairballs. Dogs chew grass and regurgitate it. These behaviors dont seem too worrisome. But what about vomiting that happens several times in a row? What if your pet also seems sluggish?
Lets take a closer look at when you might need to make a visit to the vet.
Common Causes Of Vomiting In Cats
Cats might vomit for any number of reasons. Some are easy to detect, while others will require a professional diagnosis. Here are some of the most common:
What Do I Do If My Cat Is Sick
If your cat is sick once or twice but appears otherwise well, remove their food for a few hours, then feed small amounts of a highly digestible food such as chicken, or a prescription diet from your vet. Allow them constant access to a small amount of water. After 24 hours go back to your usual routine.
Dietary Reasons For Cat Vomiting
One of the most common reasons behind vomiting is diet. Many cat foods contain rendered animal byproducts, such as bone and various organs, that do not enter the human chain.
You may be wondering why your cat is eating food that isnt safe for humans. As it turns out, these animal byproducts can add important nutrients and healthy proteins to a cats diet.
However, if your cat may vomit if they have trouble digesting these byproducts.
Additionally, a sudden dietary change can cause cat vomiting, along with diarrhea. When switching your cats food, it is important to go slowly. It helps to start by mixing a small amount of the new food into the old food, then slowly increasing the amount of new food until your cat is eating only the new food.
Overall, feeding your feline friend a high quality diet with easily digestible ingredients is key, along with making gradual changes in diet, to avoid upsetting your cats stomach.
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Diagnosing The Cause Of The Vomiting
Vomiting thats considered chronic or severe is a cause for concern, and it can lead to other issues, such as electrolyte imbalance and dehydration, so you should talk to your vet right away. Acute, minor vomiting that only lasts a short while, on the other hand, might not be a serious issue, but you may want to ask your vet to be sure.
Whether or not the vomiting is worrisome will depend on what your veterinarian finds during an examination. Your vet can perform tests, such as a fecal exam and blood test, to figure out if there are any diseases or parasites, or toxicity, thats causing the vomiting. He or she can also order a biopsy to rule out IBD or cancer. And imaging tests like an ultrasound or x-rays can be used to see if there are any ailments of the gastrointestinal tract that might be causing the vomiting, if there are foreign objects in the digestive tract, or if there are masses that are causing problems.
Your Vet Will Know If You Need To Be Worried
Keep in mind that vomiting is a symptom, not a disease. If your healthy kitty occasionally vomits, your vet might say that it isnt anything to worry about. On the other hand, if your cat is vomiting a lot or showing other symptoms, your veterinarian can help by diagnosing the cause and recommending the appropriate treatments to help your pet feel good again.
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Is It Time To Seek Professional Help
Although you might be able to help your cat overcome periodic vomiting due to minor stomach issues, if your cat is experiencing any of the above symptoms, then you might want seek the help of your veterinarian. An experienced veterinarian will be able to determine the best course of action in order to diagnose and then treat whatever ails your fluffy friend. By reviewing your cats medical history and performing a thorough examination, a veterinarian can choose the most appropriate tests to perform to get to the root of the problem.
What Natural Remedy Can I Give My Cat For Vomiting
What can I do if my cat is being sick?
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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.
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.
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.
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Don’t Always Blame The Food
Vomiting is a disturbance in the gastrointestinal system which doesn’t always relate directly to food. Make sure you view the entire picture before deciding what to do next.
Whatever is happening, try to stay calm! This helps you logically assess the situation and not get stressed out. Your cat will appreciate it as well since they can sense your energy.
Cat Throwing Up Foam: What You Need To Know
When you find yourself woken in the middle of the night by the sound of a gagging or vomiting cat, it can be difficult to think clearly. You may go stumbling through the house, looking for signs of vomit, and only find a puddle of clear foam where your cat has thrown up.
There are many potential reasons that cats may throw up foam and each of these conditions requires its own unique diagnostic workup and treatment.
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How Often Do Cats Vomit
We used to think that some cats were just pukers but we now know that chronic vomiting is a sign of an underlying problem. Its normal for cats to have the occasional hairball due to their fastidious grooming behaviors, but vomiting thats not related to hairballs is a sign of a medical issue.
If your cat vomits multiple times in a day or if you notice an increase in the frequency of vomiting, its best to discuss the problem with your veterinarian.
My Cat Keeps Being Sick What Can I Expect At The Vets
Your vet will check your cat over by performing a clinical examination and also ask you questions to see what you have observed at home. Since there are many possible reasons your cat may be vomiting, your vet may need to perform some further tests to work out whats going on. These might include blood tests, urine tests, x-rays or ultrasound.
Treatment will depend on the diagnosis but may include intravenous fluids a drip to correct dehydration or antibiotics if infection is suspected. She may also be given anti-vomiting medication, called antiemetics, and stomach protectants if its appropriate. If a so-called foreign body is suspected, surgery may be performed to remove it.
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What To Do If Your Cat Ate Dog Vomit
If your cat ate dog vomit, the best thing to do is to monitor them closely. Some symptoms to look for include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. If your cat starts showing any of these symptoms, take them to the vet immediately.
Its also a good idea to avoid giving your cat any food or water until youve spoken with a vet.
Why Is My Cat Throwing Up After Eating
Your cat could be throwing up after eating for a number of reasons. Some are benign, like eating too fast, whilst others are a sign of illness that shouldnt be ignored.
Cats might vomit after eating for the following reasons:
- Eating too fast, or too much
- Fur balls
If your cat is vomiting after eating every meal and isnt keeping food down, thats a suggestion of something very serious going on. On the other hand, cats that vomit occasionally after eating but otherwise seem well are less likely to be seriously ill.
Despite this, its important that you keep an eye on your cat even if they seem to be well, as vomiting cats can deteriorate quickly.
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When A Cat Vomits
Asked by: Dr. Jerome Konopelski
Frequent or repeated vomiting is not normal behavior for your cat. Cats can get an upset stomach for many reasons. If your cat vomits often, make an appointment with your vet to find the underlying cause. Your cat may be regurgitating their food, coughing, or having a reaction to something they’ve eaten.
Treating A Cat That Keeps Throwing Up
If your cat continues to vomit or has a history of chronic vomiting, further testing would be indicated as described below:
Gastrointestinal panel: This will test the pancreas enzymes to rule out pancreatitis. It will also look at cobalamin and folate to determine if there is evidence of malabsorption in the small intestines.
Abdominal ultrasound: This imaging modality is very sensitive at identifying smaller foreign objects that x-rays cannot. This ultrasound looks at the pancreas and helps measure the wall of the gastrointestinal tract. It will also help rule out any enlarged lymph nodes that can sometimes be seen with cancer.
Chest x-rays: These may be recommended if it is not clear whether your cat is vomiting, regurgitating, or coughing. Chest x-rays are also recommended in older cats to rule out evidence of cancer.
In some cases, the diagnostics come back normal or do not provide a definitive diagnosis. This can be seen if the disease is at the cellular level of the small intestines.
In this instance, the next step would be obtaining biopsies of your cats gastrointestinal tract to differentiate between inflammatory bowel disease, food hypersensitivity, and gastrointestinal lymphoma. Your veterinarian may try a new diet prior to obtaining biopsies in the event that this is related to a food allergy.
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