Common Causes Of Cat Vomiting
Cat vomiting is always a concern to pet owners who wonder if it indicates something serious. Unless you see your cat vomiting bile or blood, however, most causes of cat vomit are relatively easy to treat. Some will require professional treatment by a veterinarian. Here are some of the common causes of vomiting in cats.
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.
Cat Throwing Up: Causes Symptoms & Treatments For Cat Vomiting
Brittany LeitnerFeb 17, 2021â15 min read
As a pet owner, sometimes you will have to deal with difficult situations with your animal. The team at Pawp understands how anxiety-inducing it is when youâre unsure why your pet is unwell.
Itâs one of the worst feelings in the world when your cat gets sick, and youâre not exactly sure what you can do to help them feel better immediately. The most important thing to do is to ensure that you are taking the correct steps to get them the care that they need.
As close as you and your cat are, they still wonât be able to tell you whatâs hurting them, so itâs up to you to figure out a game plan for what to do when your cat is throwing up. Is it serious? Should you be worried? It’s difficult to know.
There are, however, several symptoms that can help clue a concerned cat owner into what is causing their pet distress. Noticing these signs can be pivotal in helping ensure that your pet gets the proper attention that can help restore them to their healthy state.
Unfortunately, there are âmultiple reasons for vomiting in cats, including toxins, foreign body obstructions, kidney or liver failure, gastric inflammation, parasites, cancer, or a blocked bladder,â says Dr. Brooke Shampers, an emergency and critical care veterinarian at the Animal Emergency Service in Brisbane, Australia.
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What To Do When Your Cat Keeps Throwing Up And No It S
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More Serious Causes For Vomiting
These are some of the more serious causes, where vomiting occurs on a more regular basis
Ingestion of foreign bodies
Cats are more particular about what they eat than dogs but we do occasionally see cats with blockages. Cotton or string can cause a blockage or trauma to the gut.
Ingestion of certain toxins
We see fewer toxicities in cats because of their fussy nature, with a few exceptions.
Some cats like to nibble on grass. If unavailable, or out of boredom, they may eat house plants such as Dieffenbachia and lilies which are toxic. Ask your vet before bringing new plants into your house or garden.
Cats like the taste of antifreeze but its especially toxic to them. Never use it in ornamental water features, keep bottles secure and labelled, and wipe up spills immediately. Vomiting, increased thirst, lethargy and lack of appetite may be signs of ingestion. Ingestion is usually not witnessed, partly why its often fatal. Call your vet immediately if you suspect ingestion.
Food allergies or new foods
Not all foods suit all cats and any diet change should be slow, taking at least a week. Its also thought some cats may actually be allergic to certain proteins in foods. If your vet suspects this, they may recommend a hypoallergenic diet using hydrolysed proteins. These are proteins that are broken down into very small pieces so are highly unlikely to cause an allergic reaction.
Parasites roundworms, tapeworms and fleas
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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
Treating Acute Vomiting In Cats
The first step in properly treating your cat for vomiting is identifying the underlying cause. First, your veterinarian will do noninvasive diagnostics. This includes:
A chemistry and CBC to screen for diseases such as kidney disease and diabetes.
A fecal exam to rule out parasites.
Abdominal radiographs to rule out larger tumors or foreign bodies that might be causing an obstruction.
If these tests are normal, and your cat is acutely vomiting, your veterinarian will likely recommend supportive treatments with anti-nausea medications.
Cats that vomit from hairballs can be placed on a special high-fiber diet along with a medication to help ease the passage of hairballs.
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Common Reasons For Vomiting In Cats:
- Stress. Stressful events that can cause vomiting include, but are not limited to, moving, the holidays, a new pet or baby coming into the home, and home renovations.
- Something theyve eaten. Hairballs are a common reason cats vomit, but so is ingesting a foreign body , toxins , or a food theyre allergic to . Certain medications can also cause your cat to vomit.
- Infection. Some common infections that can cause cats to vomit include intestinal worms, a bacterial infection in the stomach, FeLV , FIV , FIP , or Panleukopenia . Even heartworm disease can cause your cat to vomit.
- Other problems within the gastrointestinal tract. This can include stomach ulcers, IBD , or neoplasia .
- Diseases elsewhere in the body. This can include kidney disease, liver disease, heartworm disease, pancreatitis, hyperthyroidism, and more.
Digestive Disorder / Internal Disease
This section is more on the serious side, so please pay close attention to each and every detail! The digestive disorder can refer to stomach inflammation and any sort of stomach irritation due to its failure to digest some sort of food.
Internal diseases can refer to a problem with the internal glands, diabetes, allergic reaction, and even hereditary diseases. This sort of problem requires professional assistance, and the most common symptoms are regular throw-ups.
Solutions to Digestive Disorder
Since your cat needs professional care, the best solution to this problem is to seek a nearby vet. Through various physical examinations and tests, your veterinarian will be able to find the answer that you are looking for!
For any sort of a temporary measure, you can try to implement digestive supplements to add to your cats diet. The probiotics for cats include the necessary ingredients and healthy bacteria that prevent diarrhea and any sort of vomiting.
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Changes In Diet And Food
A sudden adjustment of diet may cause some problems for your cat since it was not allowed sufficient time to get used to the new food. Therefore, you should do this over a couple weeks by gradually lowering the old food amount and replacing it with the new one.
Secondly, when you apply a new feeding schedule for your cats, they will likely miss meals, or eat at a different time of the day from what they normally do. Consequently, your cats can end up regurgitating undigested food.
Home Remedies For Cat Vomiting
Its best not to try to treat your cats vomiting at home without consulting your veterinarian first. Many causes of cat vomiting, such as a foreign body or obstruction, can cause severe damage or even death if not appropriately treated right away.
If your cats vomiting is simply due to hairballs, your veterinarian may recommend giving an over-the-counter hairball treatment daily to help the hair pass through your cats digestive tract.
Never give your cat any medicationseither prescription or over-the-counter products unless directed to do so by your veterinarian.
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When Should You Go To Your Veterinarian
Its hard to know what constitutes as an emergency, but there are some general guidelines to follow for cat vomiting and diarrhea. If your cats vomiting or diarrhea continues over a prolonged period of time, or gets worse, its time to go see your veterinarian. Likewise, if there is blood in either the vomit or feces, see your vet immediately. Several other signs may indicate a medical emergency.
See your veterinarian if:
- There is blood in your cats vomit or diarrhea
- Your cat vomits and has diarrhea simultaneously
- The vomit that looks and smells like stool
- Your cat projectile vomits
- Your cat has sporadic vomit or diarrhea with no relationship to meals
- There are multiple bouts of vomiting or diarrhea over a short period of time
- Ingestion of poison is suspected
- Your cat bloats and tries to vomit, but cannot
- Your cat appears listless, loses weight or shows other signs of illness, such as labored breathing or pain
- Fever and other signs of toxicity
At some point in time, you most likely will encounter a vomiting cat or cat with diarrhea. Knowing how to help treat your cat can be as simple as giving it time, but when things seem more severe, always bring them in to see your veterinarian and get them the professional care they need. As they saying goes: better safe than sorry!
Feline Emesis: What Is Cat Vomiting
Short-term cat vomiting may be occasional, and is usually not associated with other abnormalities. That said, long-term vomiting is usually associated with the following symptoms:
- Weight loss
- Electrolyte imbalance
Short-term cat vomiting can be the result of hairballs, and will occur occasionally. You can tell if a cat is about to vomit if you hear gagging followed by the forceful ejection of food or fluids from the stomach or small intestine.
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Go To The Vet If Your Cat Keeps Gagging
With this information, you should be more prepared to figure out whats causing your cat to gag. You can also talk more with your vet about the potential causes and treatments so you can work together with your vet to find the right solution too.
Remember that, most of the time, gagging every now and then isnt anything too concerning in cats. However, if gagging occurs often, or if your cat seems to be in a lot of distress when gagging, then this may be a sign that something more serious is going on and they need emergency care.
Speak with your vet or an emergency vet for more individual information about your specific cats needs.
Cat Vomiting: Types Causes And Treatments
If you have cats, youve probably seen one of them throw up at one time or another. It is common for cats to vomit, but its never normal for them to do so. With that said, it is also not always something that has to be treated, nor does the cat need to be rushed to a veterinarian every time she vomits. In this resource, youll get the scoop on when to take a vomiting cat to the vet, why cats vomit and what treatments are available to help felines feel better.
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When To Contact Your Vet
It may not be necessary to see your vet each time your cat vomits , but it is important to monitor them and call your vet for advice if they vomit more than once, seem unwell, or have any other symptoms. Contact your vet straight away if your cat has been vomiting for more than 24 hours, is unable to keep food or water down, is very young or old, is otherwise unwell, or has any of the following symptoms:
- Has eaten something they shouldnt have
- Has pale gums
- Is drinking or peeing more than usual
Bacterial Infection Of The Gastrointestinal Tract
Another potential reason for acute vomiting is a bacterial infection in the gastrointestinal tract. Like people, cats have normal, healthy bacteria that live in their gut and help with digestion and nutrient absorption.
However, if theres an overgrowth of bad bacteria due to an infection, the normal intestinal functions are greatly affected, leading to diarrhea and vomiting.
While many bacterial gastrointestinal tract infections clear up in about a weeks time, we recommend seeking veterinary treatment for the underlying cause of the infection, as it may likely resurface if not handled appropriately.
Also, it is important to monitor your cats weight and hydration as the infection clears.
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How To Clean Up Cat Vomit
Lets get down to the dirty truth cat puke can leave stains and odors in your carpets. You will want to act fast.
If youre dealing with a particularly bad mess, you may need to bring in a professional carpet cleaner. There are also a lot of store-bought sprays and powders you can try. Look for an enzyme-based product that will help break down the proteins that cause permanent damage.
Here are some cleaning tips that use items you probably already own:
Cat Vomiting Food: When To Worry
If your cat vomits often, consult with a veterinarian at your earliest convenience. Vomiting is never normal, but there are some specific symptoms associated with vomiting that indicate a potential emergency that requires veterinary intervention as soon as possible:
- Acute vomiting .
- An uptick in chronic vomiting .
- Yellowed skin or whites of eyes
- Fresh red blood in vomit or material that looks like coffee grounds
- Vomiting in conjunction with medication administration
- Worms in your cats stool in addition to vomiting
- Your cat has already been diagnosed with a disease like diabetes or kidney disease.
- You see evidence that your cat consumed something dangerous, such as chewed up hair ties, ribbon, tinsel, poisonous plants or other poisonous substances.
- Your cat is very young or very old.
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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.
Talk To A Vet About Why Your Cat Is Throwing Up
As a general rule of thumb, taking your cat to the vet when they are experiencing nausea or vomiting is an absolute must. Therefore, establish a relationship with a vet that you can reach out to in the event that something is wrong.
Talking to a vet will help you determine the cause of your cat throwing up and whether or not you should seek emergency care. Your vet can easily run further tests and tell you if your catâs behavior is normal or something more serious, which can do wonders in granting you peace of mind.
Before you see your vet, there are several things that you should do. The first is to take inventory of your petâs state. You will want to note how long they have been throwing up, what the vomit appears to look like, and if your pet is exhibiting any other distressing symptoms, like loss of appetite, weight loss, or diarrhea. Be sure to mention these when you chat with your vet these could prove pivotal in helping your vet figure out what is wrong with your pet.
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