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.
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Reasons Why Your Cat Is Throwing Up After Eating
Cat owners sometimes blame a new cat food when their cat immediately throws it back up after eating. The connection seems logical, but other factors could point to a different cause rooted in behavior.
Regurgitation, or expelling swallowed food through the mouth, can occur if your cat really loves a new food or competes with other pets in your home at mealtime.Heres what happens: a cat eats so fast that she swallows food without chewing and ingests a lot of air, too. Large pieces of food and air in the stomach will likely come back up. If your cat throws up a whole kibble shortly after eating, regurgitation is likely to blame.
What to do
If you suspect your cat is eating too fast and regurgitating, take these steps to reduce the risk.
Transitioning to a new cat food too quickly can also cause your cat to throw up. Mix increasing amounts of the new food with decreasing amounts of the old food over a seven-day period to avoid discomfort.
If your cat is showing signs of discomfort after eating or vomits intensely or constantly, see your veterinarian immediately. Its always a good idea to consult your vet before changing cat foods.
What Can I Do If My Cat Is Being Sick
If your cat has been sick once or twice but otherwise appears well:
- Remove food for two hours, but continue to provide water
- After this time, try offering a teaspoon of their usual food or bland low-fat cooked food such as chicken or white fish
- If they keep this down, offer small amounts every few hours for thenext 24 hours
- Then go back to your usual routine
If this does not resolve the sickness and you are concerned about your cat vomiting repeatedly, call your vet or, out of hours, your nearest Vet Now emergency clinic or 24/7 hospital immediately.
You should also contact your vet if:
- Your cat cannot keep water down
- Has blood or unusual material in her vomit
- Has pale or cold gums
- Is displaying signs of listlessness, diarrhoea, fever, or another illness
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When Should I Be Concerned
If your cat vomits several times a day, if there is blood in the vomit, if your cat is lethargic, losing weight or not eating then I recommend taking your cat to the vet as soon as possible.
Usually, a cat that vomits once or twice a month is not a concern. If your cat vomits or regurgitates more often than you feel is normal, I recommend discussing it with your veterinarian.
What Should I Do If My Cat Is Vomiting Undigested Food
Some cat owners may describe their cat as ‘puke-y’, but it should be noted that frequent vomiting is never normal for a cat. Vomiting more than once a week is definitely a sign of problem. If your cat is vomiting up undigested food, begin to feed with puzzle toys and/or feed them smaller amounts more frequently. If you continue to notice your cat is vomiting undigested several times and/or in conjunction with other symptoms such as lack of appetite, weight loss, lethargy, or diarrhea, you should make an appointment with your vet right away.
Your vet will want to start with a physical exam, checking your cat’s vital signs and palpating your cat’s abdomen. After a thorough examination, your vet may also want to run some tests, including blood work and X-rays. Blood work will check your cat’s organ function, making sure that there are no signs of liver disease or kidney disease, as well as your cat’s red blood cell and platelet levels. An X-ray study will check for any fluid in the abdomen that could potentially be blood and it may also show intestinal gas patterns that could be indicative of a blockage.
Depending on what your doctor finds, your cat may require hospitalization for fluid therapy and supportive care, or they may just need outpatient treatments and oral medications to go home on. If your vet suspects your cat has an intestinal blockage your cat may require surgery to remove whatever the blockage is.
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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.
Your Cat Eating Too Fast
Some cats may eat too quickly and this can cause them to regurgitate undigested food. Feeding your cat out of a food puzzle toy can help to slow them down. Food puzzles are a great source of both play and enrichment for your cat. There are more and more manufactured food puzzles available on the market that stimulate both your cat’s predatory and foraging instincts. The added benefit of food puzzles for a cat that chronically vomits their food, though, is that it slows down the chow time so that a cat can’t eat too quickly and then get sick from it. If your cat routinely eats out of puzzle feeders and is still vomiting up their food, talk to your veterinarian.
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Why Does My Cat Puke
My cat throws up multiple times a week. Its gross and Im tired of cleaning up after her. Why is she puking and what can I do to prevent this?
Kitty Cleaner Upper
Dear Kitty Cleaner Upper,
Vomiting is one of the most commonly reported clinical signs noted in feline veterinary exams. While many cat owners fancy their cats as just having sensitive stomachs or simply eating too fast, chronic vomiting is not by any means healthy or normal. In fact, chronic or intermittent vomiting could be from a wide range of reasons from benign to a precursory symptom of larger problems such as Irritable Bowel Disease and even some types of cancer. As always, if your cat is having distress, or experiences these issues often it is best to seek the advice and treatment of your pets veterinarian.
What Are The Main Causes Of A Cat Being Sick
While cats dont have the same reputation as dogs for scavenging, some do habitually eat things they shouldnt.
Common causes of cats being sick include swallowing foreign objects such as pieces of string, rubber bands and ribbons, dangerous human foods such as onions and chocolate, and poisonous substances such as antifreeze, plants and human medications.
Internal parasites and serious diseases such as cancer or diabetes are also reasons for cats throwing up. If your cat is being sick regularly, there may be an underlying problem that will need to be diagnosed by your veterinarian.
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Your Cat Ate Too Quickly
Itâs possible that the reason that your cat is regurgitating food is that they simply ate their meal too rapidly. If you find this is occurring over and over, take note of how long it takes your pet to eat. This observation could be valuable when you bring the issue up to the vet.
Instead, try to give your cat their food by using a food puzzle. This will allow them to slow down and take their time consuming their meal instead of guzzling it down. In addition to that, your cat will find the food puzzle to be enjoyable and amusing.
Sometimes, you can even find a food puzzle that will stimulate the catâs foraging and predatory instincts, too shop around to find the one that is right for your pet. This will also help you sort out if the speed that your pet is eating their food is the culprit. If you have transitioned your cat to a food puzzle and they have slowed their eating speed and are still getting sick, itâs time to chat with a vet.
Acute Or Chronic Vomiting: Illness Or Poisoning
If your cat occasionally throws up due to a hairball or eating too quickly, there is no reason to worry. However, if the frequency of vomiting changes, there may be something else going on. Two possibilities are:
Acute vomiting: There hen a cat suddenly vomits a lot and there are other symptoms of illness, it can be poisoning or illness. In addition to acute vomiting you also see listlessness, your cat has diarrhea, he drinks or eats very little or extra, a lot of pee or difficult pee then there is cause for concern. Call the vet right away the risk of dehydration is high.
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Chronic vomiting: If the cat vomits more and for longer than normal , this may indicate an underlying medical issue. There may be a problem with their organs or there may be an infection . If this happens, call your vet.
When you call the vet, it is important to pass on as much information as possible. Observe your cats behaviour and their vomit before you clean it up, in case the vet should ask for further details or a description of what you see. Read more about when to take your cat to the vet.
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Worried About Your Cat Throwing Up
Don’t wonder. Get a vet’s opinion â for free.
Thereâs a lot to learn about this happening, and if youâre in a situation where your cat is throwing up their undigested food, you might be unsure of where to start. Having a pet under the weather can be overwhelming and anxiety-inducing itâs understandable if youâre stressed trying to decipher how to handle the situation at hand.
This article will give you a holistic understanding of some of the factors that could be at play if your cat is throwing up their undigested food. To begin, you will learn the difference between vomiting and regurgitating, as this is necessary to fully understand the situation at hand.
In addition, this article will dive into some of the reasons that your cat is vomiting undigested food or regurgitating. Once you understand what is causing the problem, you will have a better chance of successfully tackling it. Also, having some ideas about whatâs leading this to occur will be helpful information to provide a vet with, should you choose to have a medical professional give you some advice about your animalâs condition.
Your Cat Is Vomiting And Sneezing
If your cat has acute vomiting and sneezing, they could have contracted a virus . It is not uncommon for cats who become sick to also develop an upper respiratory tract infection. This is because a large portion of cats contract certain viruses, such as herpesvirus, as kittens, and can be acting normal until they are immunocompromised.
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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
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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Kidney Failure In Older Cats
A senior cat throwing up can be a symptom of kidney failure. After working 24/7 for 12-plus years, the kidneys begin to wear out. For most cats who live 15 years or more, kidney failure writes the last chapter in the cats medical history.
The kidneys job is not to make urine it is to get rid of waste products that are in the blood. When the waste products exceed the high end of the accepted normal range, we say the cat is in kidney failure.
To measure kidney function, we often look at two waste products in the blood: creatinine and the blood urea nitrogen. When they become elevated, the cat has lost about 75 percent of kidney function. That is the bad news. The good news is that cats are not small dogs. When dogs lose 75 percent of kidney function, we use the term kidney failure. These poor creatures are in real trouble and usually do not live more than a few months. However, cats are tougher than dogs. They can live quite well when the kidney values are mildly elevated.
The key is to find out about kidney insufficiency early on, so measures can be taken to prolong kidney function. Kidney insufficiency is a stage of life in which normal kidney function has passed, but in which kidney failure does not exist. The cats annual physical examination should include blood tests for kidney function .
Eating Stuff Cats Shouldnt
Kitties are playful and curious, which can sometimes cause them to ingest items that arent meant for cats to swallow. This can include grass and plants, household items like paper clips and rubber bands, pieces of string or other toys, and just about anything else that is within reach and small enough.
In most cases, vomiting solves the problem, but in terms of potentially poisonous plants or sharp objects, its smart to follow up with your veterinarian.
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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.
Reasons For Your Cat Vomiting
No pet parent likes to hear that sound: the hacking noise from the other room that tells you are going to have a mess to clean up. When your cat starts gagging, the first thought that might go through your head is, “Oh no, what did she get into now?” There are many reasons why your cat might throw up, some of them more serious than others. As a new pet parent, it is important to know the types of cat vomit and when an upchuck warrants a visit to the veterinarian.
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Should I See A Vet About My Cats Vomiting
See a vet if your cat continues to vomit a second day. This condition is known as acute vomiting. Brown vomit in cats is also concerning as it suggests that the cat may be bleeding internally.
Assist your vet by observing and noting any behaviors. This will help a vet make an accurate diagnosis. Concerning behaviors include:
- Lethargy and depression
- Loss of appetite and associated weight loss
- Refusal to drink water
- Traces of blood in the vomit
- Struggling to eliminate or urinate
- Swelling around the abdomen