Can A Cat’s Gas Be A Sign Of Serious Health Problems
If your cat has occasional gas or if the gas is triggered by something that they ate, there isn’t a need to worry. The gas will pass on its own.
However, sometimes gas in cats is a symptom of something more serious.
You should if your cat has on-going symptoms such as vomiting, bloating, bloody stool, bad smelling gas, or if they are refusing to eat or drink.
Some significant gastrointestinal problems in cats include:
Eating Something They Shouldnt Have
Cats are curious and will sometimes eat things they shouldnt, like clumps of hair, cotton swabs, toys, or human food. In some cases, theyll just throw them up and be done with it. If your cat seems very ill though, and they havent passed any kind of object, make sure to get them to the vet as soon as possible. Its possible your cat could have eaten something poisonous, or your cat may have eaten a large object that has gotten stuck somewhere in their digestive tract.
Why Is My Cat Throwing Up Clear Liquid
If your cat threw up clear liquid before, you might be wondering whether or not this is normal. A vomiting kitty may be normal for many cases, such as coughing up a hairball or vomiting clear liquid after drinking too much water.
However, there are also special cases when vomiting may be a sign of an underlying medical issue.
If youre wondering why your cat is throwing up clear liquid, or any vomit for that matter, here is a simple guide to knowing whether its normal or if its time to call the vet.
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Why Is My Cat Vomiting The Top 6 Reasons
After I graduated from college, I borrowed one of my familys cats to keep me company in my new apartment. One morning after she had breakfast, she vomited. After supper, she did it again. The next day, the cat vomiting happened again. I freaked out. I called a vet clinic, explained in a shaking voice what was happening I was sure she was dying! and got an appointment the next morning. A quick consultation later, the vet sent me home with a tube of Petromalt, and after the first dose she ejected the biggest hairball Id ever seen. Actually, most cat vomiting is caused by fairly innocuous things, and here are the top culprits.
Upper Respiratory Tract Infections
Almost all cats will catch a respiratory virus at some time in their life. The Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery surveyed 740 cats, finding respiratory viruses in 82% of them.
The symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections are more commonly linked to the common cold. Cats with a respiratory infection will cough and sneeze a lot, usually releasing discharge. The cat will also likely endure streaming eyes.
Some cats struggle with vomiting and diarrhea while battling a respiratory infection. This can be problematic as the cat will also lose appetite. In addition to feeling lethargic and unwell, the cats scent receptors will be blocked. The smell is a huge part of a foods appeal to cats.
Most of the common respiratory infections in cats can be treated with rest. Eventually, the virus will run its course. Antibiotics will aid with this and are advisable in the case of senior cats. Older cats have weaker immunity and are hit harder by respiratory infections.
Cats need to eat when feeling under the weather. The nutrients found in their food will boost recovery. Open your cats sinuses with steam. Closing the door in the bathroom and running a hot tap will do the trick. Once the cat breathes easier, it will regain its appetite.
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Other Reasons For Cat Vomit
If your cat barfs, but resumes regular activities and continues to eat and seem otherwise healthy, you may not have much to worry about. However, in some cases, frequent or excessive vomiting may be the result of a serious condition.
Vomit is vomit, but the color and contents of it can be very telling to what is causing your cat to throw up. For instance, yellow and foamy usually means hairball, but thick yellow bile can be a sign of a serious kidney problem or infection, says Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. If this yellow vomit is accompanied by lethargy, loss of appetite, increase of appetite or abnormal behavior, you should seek medical attention for your cat immediately.
One other scenario in which your cat might vomit is undigested food. Sometimes your pet may just eat too fast and expel her entire meal. This is referred to as regurgitation â it happens with many cats and usually is not an alarming issue. You may simply need to feed her smaller and more frequent meals to convince her to slow down.
In rare cases, internal parasites could be causing vomiting. Your vet may need to take a skin scrape or do blood work to rule out parasites.
How Pet Health Insurance Can Help
If your feline friend throws up regularly, you and your veterinarian will need to investigate. Your pal could require blood work, fecal analysis, X-rays, ultrasounds, and even biopsies.
Depending on the diagnosis, your kitty could be facing anything from antibiotics to surgery. Help yourself focus on care and not cost during this process by getting a quote for cat health insurance today.
*Pre-existing conditions are not covered. Waiting periods, annual deductible, co-insurance, benefit limits and exclusions may apply. For all terms and conditions visit www.aspcapetinsurance.com/terms. Preventive and Wellness Care reimbursements are based on a schedule. Complete Coverage reimbursements are based on the invoice. Levels 1-4 reimbursements are based on usual and customary eligible costs. Products, schedules, and rates may vary and are subject to change. Discounts may vary and are subject to change. More information available at checkout.
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Dry Heaving And Vomiting In Cats
All cats will vomit or dry heave every so often. However, severe or frequent dry heaving may be a sign that your kitty is suffering from a more serious health issue than an upset stomach. Here, our Tracy vets explain some of the causes of dry heaving or vomiting in cats, what conditions may cause them and how they are diagnosed.
Causes Of Vomiting In Cats
The causes of acute or chronic vomiting can be the same, but there are exceptions. Toxins are generally not a cause of chronic vomiting . Ingesting a foreign body is not normally a cause of chronic vomiting, although if the foreign object remains in the stomach, it can be a cause of chronic vomiting.
Unfortunately, vomiting is a very vague symptom, and the causes are extremely varied. In fact, almost any feline illness can result in vomiting. In general, the causes of vomiting can be placed in one of these categories: toxins, drugs, diet , gastric , intestinal, organ dysfunction, endocrine, neurologic , infectious and cancer. In each of these categories are dozens of specific diseases and syndromes. Some of the more common causes are listed below:
- Toxins: Lilies, antifreeze
- Diet: Dietary intolerance to something in food, sudden change in diet, eating a dead thing
- Gastric: Foreign bodies, ulcers, inflammation of the stomach
- Intestinal: Foreign bodies, acute inflammation, inflammatory bowel disease , cancer, constipation
- Organ dysfunction: Liver disease, kidney disease, pancreatitis
- Endocrine: Hyperthyroidism , elevated calcium, diabetes ketoacidosis
- Neurologic: Vestibular disease , encephalitis , cancers
- Infectious: Feline infectious peritonitis, feline panleukopenia, heartworm
- Cancer: Can be a direct cause, such as intestinal cancer, or an indirect cause, such as mast cell tumors in the skin
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What Does Acute Vomiting Mean
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.
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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Diagnosing The Cause Of Vomiting
It can be difficult to diagnose the cause of vomiting in a cat. Most cases of acute vomiting are transient and improve with just symptomatic therapy and time. However, a basic workup is often recommended to ensure that a more serious problem is not going on.
The starting point in determining the cause of vomiting is getting an accurate history. Here are some questions your vet might have:
- Was the cat exposed to plants and other toxins?
- When did the vomiting start?
- What is the cats normal diet?
- Does the cat go outside and if so, does the cat hunt?
- What is in the vomit?
- Is the cat on medication?
- Is there also diarrhea?
- When does the vomiting occur ?
- Is the cat losing weight?
- Is the cat drinking a lot or urinating a lot?
- Does the cat play with string?
Based on the answers to these questions, your veterinarian will have a better idea of which diagnostics, if any, to use. What the vomit looks like does not give a definitive answer about why the cat is vomiting, but it can give the vet a place to begin looking. Though by no means a perfect correlation, the following vomit characteristics can offer some clues:
Reasons Your Cat May Be Dry Heaving
There are a wide variety of reasons your cat may be repeatedly dry heaving, some less serious than others. Here are two of the most common reasons and a list of other, more serious, potential causes for dry heaving in your cat.
Dry heaving, in particular, can be a relatively generic symptom. It is associated with a wide range of conditions and diseases.
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How To Know If Your Cat Is Throwing Up
Your cat can get nauseous before they throw up. They can be restless, salivating, or repeatedly swallowing. Vomiting starts with intense contractions in your cats abdominal muscles. They then expel whats in their stomach or throat.
Coughing in cats can look similar to throwing up. When a cat coughs, theyll crouch down on all four legs and stretch their neck out. They then cough up froth or foam, which they might swallow again immediately.
Theres also a difference between regurgitation and vomiting. Regurgitation takes your cat less effort and usually doesnt involve abdominal contractions. Regurgitation often happens right after eating or drinking and may be a sign of a problem in the cats esophagus.
Showing your vet a video of your cat vomiting can help them differentiate between vomiting, coughing, and regurgitating.
Why Does My Cat Vomit After Eating Dry Food
We must first distinguish whether your cat is vomiting up food or hair. Due to a cats daily grooming routine, it is normal that it will ingest a lot of hair which will sometimes be expelled through vomiting. A diet rich in fiber, regular brushing and the occasional consumption of malt can prevent hairballs in cats from posing a problem. If your cat is excessively vomiting up hairballs, this could be caused by excessive grooming which is a symptom of stress in cats. For more, we recommend taking a look over our article: my cat is overgrooming- causes.
Is your cat vomiting undigested food? If this is the case, you should analyze whether this occurs immediately after eating or some time after eating:
A cat vomiting immediately after eating or within half an hour after eating may indicate both acute and chronic gastritis. A cat vomiting up its food hours after eating could be due to obstruction, slow functioning of the digestive system and/or pancreatitis.
For more, we recommend reading: intestinal blockage in cats.
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Food And Dietary Changes
When there is a change in your cats feeding schedule, if your cat misses a meal or eats later than normal, your cat may vomit up clear liquid.
In addition, you may have switched your cats food too quickly. When changing your cat to a new diet, it is recommended to do it gradually over a one to two-week period gradually decreasing the amount of current cat food while increasing the amount of new cat food.
Your cat may eat too quickly, and this can cause clear vomit or clear vomit with food present. If you cat is a habitual ‘scarf and barf’ cat or if they have intestinal sensitivities, that may be causing them to vomit up partially digested or undigested food. If your vet has ruled out other medical issues and thinks that what your cat is vomiting up is actually food, they may want you to try a commercial, sensitive systems food with your cat. If your cat is still struggling with vomiting food on this special diet, they may then want to put your cat on a strict, hydrolyzed protein diet.
Your vet may also suggest food puzzles for your cat. 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 cannot eat too quickly and then get sick from it.
Why Do Cats Throw Up So Often
Nearly every cat owner is used to regularly finding something their kitty coughed up hidden around their home. Vomiting in cats can happen so often that it’s easy to grow desensitized to the behavior, but veterinarians say that the sight of your cat throwing up should never be ignored. Though it’s usually benign, vomiting may indicate a health problem that needs to be taken care of.
To gauge whether your cat’s puke is a sign of something serious, look for certain clues. According to The Spruce Pets, eating too fast is one of the most common causes of vomiting in cats, and it’s usually harmless. If your cat hacks up undigested food immediately following meal times, that’s likely the culprit. This behavior can be prevented by feeding your pet smaller portions, or adding an obstruction like a medium-sized ball to their bowl that they have to eat around. If the problem still persists, there may be something else causing it.
Hairballs are another potential source of your cat’s retching. They may be just a gross annoyance to you, but to your cat, they can pose a serious health risk. Cats cough up the fur they can’t digest, and if they don’t, it could create a dangerous obstruction in their bowels. One way to help your hairball-prone cat is to brush them regularly. That way, there will be less fur for them to lick up.
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Chronic And Acute Vomiting In Cats
Throwing up can be separated into two broad categories: chronic and acute vomiting. Chronic vomiting means throwing up with some regularity for a long period of time. The cat usually only vomits once or twice with each occurrence. When a cat who usually doesnt vomit starts vomiting, thats the acute type. This is generally a concern for you and your veterinarian only if the cat vomits multiple times. The diagnostic workup and treatments for acute and chronic vomiting can differ, as does the urgency of when to bring the cat to the veterinarian.
More urgent care is usually required for a cat with acute vomiting. The exception to this is a cat who has only vomited one to three times and is otherwise normal. If the cat still wants to eat and does so without continuing to vomit, is acting normal and seems comfortable, she does not need to be brought to a veterinary hospital unless you know that she ate something toxic.
A chronically vomiting cat should still be seen by a veterinarian, but its not urgent if the cat is still eating and keeping food down, is not showing signs of weakness and seems comfortable. If these things are not true, a chronically vomiting cat is either an acutely vomiting cat or is having an acute crisis of whatever is causing his chronic vomiting.
When Should I Be Concerned About My Cat Vomiting
It is best to contact your vet if your cat:
You may ask, How often do cats throw up?
When Vomiting in Cats Is Cause for Concern But because vomiting is common in cats, how do you know whats normal? A general guideline is that if the cat is vomiting one to three times a month, we consider this normal, says Dr. Folger. He considers it serious if the vomiting occurs twice daily for two or three days.
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