Cats, like humans, can get an upset stomach for a variety of reasons. Your cat's upset stomach could be caused by a variety of factors, including parasites and viruses, an allergic reaction to a particular food, or more serious conditions such as organ failure or cancer.
If your cat vomits repeatedly or vomits more than once per month, it's time to see your vet so the underlying cause of your cat's vomiting can be diagnosed.
Reasons Your Cat May Be Vomiting
Eating Too Much, Too Quickly
Your cat might vomit soon after eating if they've eaten too much, too quickly. There are some fun cat bowls to help slow your cat's eating if this is true for your feline.
However, vomiting immediately after eating could indicate a more serious problem such as dehydration, hairballs, digestive tract obstruction, or esophageal issues. If your cat frequently vomits right after eating, they should see a veterinarian.
Hairballs are undigested clumps of fur in your cat's stomach. Hairballs are particularly common in longhair cats and cats who groom themselves excessively. When your cat is trying to get rid of hairballs, hacking noises and spasms are common. Most hairballs are easily brought up by cats, but if your cat is having difficulty expelling a hairball, it's time to consult a veterinarian. Hairballs that become trapped in the intestines can cause fatal blockages.
Other Serious Conditions That May Cause Vomiting In Cats
- Intestinal foreign bodies
- Food allergies
- Intestinal Parasites
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Metabolic Disorder (ie: Kidney Disease)
When To Worry About Your Cat's Vomiting
If your cat vomits on a regular or infrequent basis, do not feed him for at least 12 hours. During this brief fasting period, give your cat a couple of tablespoons of water every 30 minutes or give them ice cubes. After 12 hours, start giving your cat small amounts of bland food and gradually resume normal feeding if the 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 emergency treatment. Contact your vet if your cat displays any of the symptoms below:
- Repeated vomiting
- Blood in vomit
- Weakness / Lethargy
- Pain / Distress
- Blood in stool
It's a good idea to bring a sample of your cat's vomit with you when you take him to the vet because he's vomiting. Your veterinarian will be able to examine the sample to help determine the source of your cat's stomach upset.
- Large amounts of mucus in your cat's stomach could indicate an inflamed intestine
- Undigested food can be an indication of poisoning, anxiety, or simply a sign that your cat has eaten too much or too quickly.
- If bile is present in your cat's vomit, it may be an indication of pancreatitis or inflammatory bowel disease.
- Red blood is a sign that your cat's stomach may be ulcerated.
- Intestinal obstruction may cause your cat's vomit to have a strong smell.
Treatment of vomiting in cats focuses on treating the underlying problem. Depending on what has caused your cat's symptoms, treatment can be as simple as temporarily withholding food or as complex as surgery or chemotherapy.