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.
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 regurgitate undigested food.
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 regurgitation of undigested food. A cat vomiting due to eating too much is less likely but feeding your cat smaller and more frequent meals may help. You should also talk to your veterinarian about how much you feed to verify your cat is not being fed too much and is getting the nutrition they need.
Diagnosing The Cause Of Cat Vomiting
Since the duration and cause of vomiting in cats vary, it may not be easy to diagnose the root of your pets situation.
But these tips should help:
- Do you remember any toxin your cat may have been exposed to?
- At what time did your pet start vomiting?
- Does your cat hunt or go outside often?
- What is the normal diet of your cat?
- Is your cat on medication?
- What items can you identify from the vomit?
- Is there diarrhoea too?
- Did you observe a loss of appetite afterwards?
These are also the kind of questions that your vet will ask when he is examining your cat.
- A yellow vomit shows possibilities of liver disease, an empty stomach, or your cat may have ingested a yellow substance.
- When the vomit is clear, white, or foamy, it is mostly a regurgitation from the esophagus or an empty stomach.
- A vomit containing blood could be blood from the mouth, gullet, or stomach.
- Where the vomit has a coffee-ground appearance, it reveals bleeding in the stomach or ulcers.
- A brown, smelly vomit shows bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract, or perhaps your cat ate something brown and smelly.
- When you find undigested food in your cats vomit then it means the food never left the stomach. However, have you known Top 10 Cat Health Problems: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment & Prevention
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Moving on, well discuss how you can treat a cat that is vomiting.
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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
Cat Vomiting: 7 Causes And How To Help
- Cats may vomit occasionally from hairballs or mild stomach upset. This is usually benign.
- However, in other instances, vomiting may signal a serious medical problem.
- Cat vomiting may happen due to systemic illness, an obstruction, food allergies, parasites, and more.
- Treatment for vomiting will depend on the cause.
Most cat owners are all too familiar with the characteristic hacking sound of cat vomiting. But just because weve all heard it, doesnt mean it should be a regular occurrence.
Vomiting in cats can often be an early sign of illness, so be careful not to overlook this important change in your cats health.
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Vomiting Acute Vomiting Or Chronic Vomiting
Theres a significant difference between a cat who vomits occasionally, one who is vomiting uncontrollably, and one who seems to vomit all the time. Each kind of vomiting suggests different causes and necessitates a different course of treatment.
Feline Vomiting: Most cats vomit occasionally. For some cats this can happen once or twice a month for others, vomiting might only happen a few times a year.
Acute Feline Vomiting: Acute vomiting is usually very sudden and can be quite uncomfortable for your cat and/or involve a significant volume of vomit.
Chronic Feline Vomiting: Chronic vomiting occurs on a regular basis more than several times a week – and might not even seem to phase your cat.
So Do I Need To Worry If My Cat Vomits Regularly
Whilst it is always sensible to seek the advice of a veterinarian if you are concerned about your cat, there are some innocent reasons why your cat may be vomiting. Watch out for other signs that your cat is unwell, and consider whether your cat may be eating too fast, or having trouble with hairballs. Ultimately, a quick call to the veterinary clinic will help to put your mind at ease if you are unsure.
Want more free vet advice? Check out some of our other Ask-a-Vet posts:
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Do You Need A Prescription Food Or Veterinary Diet
Veterinary diets do exist for sensitive stomach and dietary intolerances, but they arent necessarily the best solution. Many of these products use hydrolyzed protein to minimize the risk of triggering food allergies but they may also contain higher concentrations of carbohydrates than is optimal.
Rather than spending a small fortune on a veterinary formula from Purina One, Hills Science Diet, or Royal Canin, look for a premium cat food made with a single source of high-quality animal protein that is low in carbohydrates and highly digestible.
You may also want to consider fresh or wet food versus dry food.
Though many pet parents prefer dry food for its convenience and affordability, wet food may be a better option to help stop vomiting. Wet food is generally higher in protein, lower in carbohydrates, and richer in moisture than dry food which makes it both more palatable and more digestible for many cats.
Allergic To Food Ingredients
Cats can develop food allergies at any stage of life. Food that was previously fine can suddenly make a cat feel unwell, seemingly without warning.
Vomiting suggests that an ingredient in the meal is to blame. As the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine explains, youll need to check the ingredients of the food and source alternatives with different contents.
It is also possible that your cat has developed an allergy to its bowl. Plastic allergies are common in cats. Serve your pets meal on cardboard or a china plate. If this stops your cat from vomiting, the vessel was the problem.
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When To Make A Vet Appointment
If you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms, there are a few things you should consider.
How old is your cat? How is your cats overall health? Is there any chance they may have ingested something poisonous? How long has your cat been vomiting ?
We firmly believe that it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your beloved four-legged companion. Again, no vomiting should be considered normal.
If you have any reason to believe that your cats vomiting is a sign of something more severe, make an appointment with your veterinarian.
Cat Vomiting: The Bottom Line
We know that your feline companion means the world to you and realizing that something isnt quite right can be extremely nerve-wracking for a doting pet parent.
The first step is recognizing any change as soon as possible. The sooner a symptom like vomiting is noticed, the sooner a diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan can begin. We sincerely hope your four-legged friend feels better soon!
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Why Is My Cat Always Hungry
The Spruce / Adrienne Legault
Your cat will display habitual behavior around mealtime when it is hungry, and many cats can be quite demanding that they are served. But cats aren’t as motivated by food as dogs, so acting hungry all the time, begging, or whining for food between feedings may point to a medical issue. Understanding how and when cats act hungry can help you know when to see your veterinarian and what to report.
My Cat Keeps Throwing Up Are Fur Balls To Blame
Cats often vomit up hairballs. They develop these in their stomach through fastidious grooming. The fur they swallow cant be digested and often ends up forming into a congealed lump. These lumps of hair can be dangerous as they can lead to blockages and irritations. Owners can do their bit to prevent hairballs both being thrown up and being stuck in the digestive tract by introducing a strict brushing regime to remove loose fur.
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Diet And Food Allergies
If your cats stomach is not too happy with their current diet, they might protest by not eating it or throw it up again when they do. You will probably need to change the kittys food. Usually, changing out food requires a transition period because abruptly changing pet food may cause gastrointestinal upset.
However, in this case, your cat might still throw up during the transition because the old food that is the root of the problem is still being ingested with the new food. It might be a good idea to give the fresh food without the transition and weather the storm to see if it settles. If not, your cat might be allergic to something found in both brands, and youll have to go through a process of elimination to find out what that might be.
Bring The Cat To The Vet
Even if you think you know why your cat is throwing up food but acting normal, its always a good idea to take them to the vet. The vet will do several exams, including an X-ray and bloodwork, to figure out the main factor and how to target it. Not only is this great as they can provide effective treatment, but is also great for putting our worrying minds at ease.
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Eating Too Much Too Quickly
If your cat eats too much, too quickly vomiting will likely result soon after they eat. A number of fun cat bowls are 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 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.
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Petcube Care Members Can Try Out Vetted
All 10/30 day Petcube Care members can talk to a vet technician via live chat and phone, powered by Vetted. It’s an easy, convenient way to ask general questions and get some advice on your pet’s well-being and health. The best part? It’s free for up to 5 times a month. Click here and give it a try.
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What Can I Give My Cat For Vomiting
Unless you are certain that your cat is vomiting due to gorging food, it would not be sensible to attempt any home remedies to treat your cats vomiting without seeking veterinary advice. If you are sure that the vomiting is resulting from your cat being a bit greedy and guzzling food, try feeding small amounts frequently rather than larger meals.
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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.
Causes Of Pancreatitis In Cats
Surprisingly, very little is known about pancreatitis in cats. In other species, pancreatitis occurs when the digestive enzymes that the pancreas produces are activated prematurely. These enzymes usually get activated in the small intestine after they travel out of the pancreas through the pancreatic duct, but with pancreatitis, these powerful digestive enzymes are activated in the pancreas earlier than they should be. This leads to the pancreas itself being digested, instead of the food in the small intestines, and causes inflammation as well as the other symptoms. It can also occur with physical trauma to the pancreas. In cats, however, there is no known definitive cause of pancreatitis.
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A Word Of Warning When It Comes To Cat Vomiting
Cat vomiting can also be caused by poisoning or by very serious diseases. If you suspect your cat has eaten something toxic, call your vet right away for first-aid instructions. If your cats vomit is bloody or black like coffee grounds, get to the vet immediately. If your cat is vomiting every day, refusing to eat or drink, acting weird or isnt grooming properly, call the vet and get him in for an appointment as soon as possible.
Tell us: Do you have a cat who frequently vomits? How do you handle cat vomiting? Please share your experiences in the comments!
Thumbnail: Photography by Valery Kudryavtsev/Thinkstock.
This piece was originally published in 2013.
Your Food Obsessed Cat May Have A Medical Condition
An underlying medical condition such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism, parasites, or worms could be the culprit behind your cats ravenous appetite.
While an increase in appetite may be a simple response to boredom or stress, there are accompanying symptoms to look for that signify a more serious medical issue, such as:
- Increased thirst
- Dramatic Weight Gain
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Why Do Cats Vomit
To solve your cats vomiting problem, you begin by finding the cause. And different conditions can cause your cat to vomit including:
In this case, the vomit may reveal undigested food and it usually happens immediately after a meal or a few minutes later.
This point is crucial as several substances in the home are toxic to your pet. Some of them are:
- Human medications
Now that we have seen why cats vomit, how can you know the cause of your cats vomiting? However, have you known 9 Common Cat Eye Problems With Signs & Major Causes Of The Problem
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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.
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