All cats will vomit occasionally, but frequent or severe vomiting could be a sign that your cat is suffering from something more serious than just an upset tummy. Our Westfield team shares some signs that you should take your cat to the vet.
Like people, cats can suffer from an upset tummy for a number of reasons. There are many possible causes for your cat's upset stomach including, viruses and parasites, a reaction to eating something bad, or more serious conditions such as cancer or diseases of the internal organs.
If your cat vomits more often than once a month or so or keeps vomiting repeatedly, it's time to see your vet. A veterinary professional can help to determine the underlying cause of your cat's vomiting.
Causes Of Vomiting In Cats
Hairballs are undigested wads of fur that clump together in your cat's stomach. Cats that groom excessively or have long fur are more Hairballs are especially common in longhair cats, and cats that groom excessively. Most cat owners are familiar with the unpleasant hacking noises and spasms that commonly accompany vomiting when their cat is trying to rid itself of hairballs. Most hairballs are easily brought up by cats, but if your cat is having difficulties trying to expel a hairball it's time to see a vet. Trapped hairballs may lead to intestinal blockages that can be quickly fatal.
Eating Too Much, Too Quickly
If your cat eats too much too rapidly, they will likely vomit soon after eating. There are a number of fun cat bowls available to help slow your cat's eating, if your cat eats too quickly. That said, throwing up right after eating can be an indication of a more serious problem such as hairballs, dehydration, esophageal issues, or a digestive tract obstruction. If your cat frequently vomits right after eating, a trip to the vet is required.
Other Conditions That 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 is vomiting periodically or infrequently, avoid feeding your cat for approximately 12 hours. Give your cat 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 their bouts of vomiting have 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
- Blood in vomit
- Weakness / Lethargy
- Pain / Distress
- Blood in stool
When taking your cat to the vet due to vomiting, it's a good idea to take a sample of your cat's vomit with you. Your vet will be able to examine the sample to help determine the cause of your cat's upset stomach.
- 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.
- An intestinal obstruction may cause your cat's vomit to have a pungent 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.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.