Why Is My Cat Throwing Up All The Time
Why is my cat being sick? Anything that irritates your cats stomach or prevents the contents of their stomach from moving through the digestive tract can cause vomiting. Reasons for a cat being sick include hair balls, eating too much or too quickly, eating new or unusual food, an allergic reaction to food and parasites.
Why Is My Cat Throwing Up Its Food
Vomiting is not normal in cats, and when your cat vomits undigested food, it can be a sign of a serious illness. Vomiting itself is what is considered to be a nonspecific symptom. It could be associated with an array of health concerns. Some of these can include things like hairballs, internal obstructions, pancreatitis, eating too quickly, constipation, indigestion, parasitic infections, poisoning, stress, depression, or even anxiety. But what could be causing your cat to vomit undigested food specifically?
Sharon L Campbell Dvm Ms Dacvim
Dr. Campbell received her DVM degree from University of Wisconsin and completed a residency in internal medicine and a Masters Degree at Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. She was a Clinical Instructor at the University of Tennessee for 2 years, then worked at a private referral hospital for many years before joining Zoetis, where she is a Medical Lead for the pain management, anesthesia, sedation, behavior and anti-infectives portfolio of medications.
Dr. Campbell is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. She is Fear Free Certified and is on the Fear Free Advisory Board.
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How Can I Prevent My Cat Getting Diarrhoea And Vomiting
Avoid giving your cat very salty, spicy or fatty foods, as this may increase the risk of an upset stomach. In order to reduce the risk of problems associated with dietary changes, we recommend introducing new food gradually you can try introducing new food over at least seven days and monitor for any intestinal disturbances. If your cat is sensitive to stress, or a course of antibiotics has been prescribed, then you can feed a probiotic supplement to help reduce the risk of intestinal disturbances. During periods of stress, it may also be helpful to use a soothing pheromone spray or plug-in adapter .
It may be useful to keep probiotics and electrolyte supplements at home, together with some chicken or white fish in the freezer, in case of an emergency. If you know that your cat catches mice or birds then you can send in a stool sample for analysis periodically to see if they need worming. If possible, try to stop them having access to the bird table and the surrounding area to reduce the risk of salmonella. Your cat should be vaccinated against feline parvovirus annually. Parvovirus can, among other things, cause life-threatening stomach and intestinal problems in cats.
Cat Vomiting: Gastritis In Cats
Gastritis incats, characterized by an inflammation of the gastric mucosa, can occur in cats of all ages. A cat suffering from this disease will cause your cat to vomit after eating, although vomiting due to gastritis in cats is not always related to the time of ingestion. A cat suffering from gastritis may even vomit digested food. There are numerous causes behind gastritis in cats. A diagnosis by a veterinarian is required in order to treat the specific case correctly. We recommend reading our article where we discuss all you need to know about gastritis in cats.Gastritis in cats can occur both acutely or chronically. Once a c at begins to recover, veterinarians suggest feeding the cat smaller portions, which are easier to digest.
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Causes Of Cat Vomiting
Cats can vomit for a lot of different reasons, and the reasons vary from cat to cat. In most cases, the vomiting is a short-lived affair and resolves without any treatment. However, there are cases when the vomiting is excessive and requires urgent treatment. A delay in these situations can cause the cats condition to worsen gradually over time and may need urgent medical treatment. So, its always better to be safe than sorry.
Lets have a look at some of the reasons why your cats can throw up constantly
Cat Vomiting Undigested Food Right After Eating: Gastrointestinal Emptying Disorders In Cats
Gastrointestinal disease in cats can cause your cat to vomit undigested food long after eating. In some cases, cats suffering from this syndrome will only vomit gastric juice. This is because the cats stomach is not able to function at its normal pace. In addition, the cats stomach is not able to empty remains correctly, which explains why your cat will vomit after eating.
Gastric retention syndrome in cats can occur due to an injury or a primary or secondary motor disorder. The presence of hairballs can also trigger this syndrome. In addition to finding and treating the cause, you should make sure your vomiting cat is fed a diet rich in fiber, as it facilitates digestion. In more serious cases, surgical intervention may be required. Read over our article about natural remedies for gastroenteritis in cats for more!
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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.
Reasons For Your Cat Vomiting
No pet parent likes to hear that sound: the hacking noise from the other room that tells you are going to have a mess to clean up. When your cat starts gagging, the first thought that might go through your head is, “Oh no, what did they get into now?” There are many reasons why your cat might throw up, some of them more serious than others. As a new pet parent, it is important to know the reasons your cat may be vomiting and when an upchuck warrants a visit to the veterinarian.
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Why Does My Cat Throw Up All The Time
Sporadic vomiting includes those times when your cat may throw up at least once a day, every day, for up to several weeks. While persistent vomiting can be caused by non-life-threatening problems such as hairballs, sporadic vomiting is usually a sign of a more serious health issue. Non-Life-Threatening Causes of Vomiting
A Suggested Feeding Schedule:
- Day 1: give 50% of the recommended daily amount divided into 6-8 portions
- Day 2 and 3: give 75% divided into 4-6 portions
- Day 4 and 5: give 100% divided into 3-4 portions
- Once your cat has been normal for a couple of days you can gradually re-introduce the usual food
Typically, cats need 50ml of liquid per kg of body weight per day. This means about 200ml for a cat weighing 4kg.
Preventing Your Cat From Throwing Up
Cats are curious creatures, and they can accidentally get into things that make them sick. Its best to keep toxic plants, human medications, yarn or string, chocolate, or other small objects out of your cats reach. They may eat or swallow these items and cause digestive complications.
If your cat vomits frequently, youll want your vet to diagnose the underlying causes. Its best to not hesitate to take your cat to the vet if you suspect they are sick.
When Should I Take My Cat To The Vet
If you notice any of the following symptoms, your cat needs to be seen by a vet:
- Vomiting several times in an hour or continued vomiting despite withholding food for 12-24 hours. It is important to note that cats should not be fasted for more than 24 hours as this can lead to a life-threatening liver condition called hepatic lipidosis.
- Cannot keep water down
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How To Prevent Vomiting
You can also take action to help prevent or decrease the frequency of vomiting in your cat:
- When should I be concerned about my cat throwing up?
If your cat is vomiting for more than 24 hours, or you see something concerning in the vomitlike blood or wormsit’s time to call the vet immediately.
- What do you give a cat that is throwing up?
It really depends on why your cat is vomiting. If it’s routine hairballs, eating too fast, or tummy upset that doesn’t last more than 24 hours, take away your cat’s food and give it small bites till nausea has passed. If, after a day, your kitty continues vomiting, it’s time to call the vet.
- How long does an upset stomach last in cats?
Upset stomachs in cats rarely last more than 24 hours. If they do, Please call your vet.
How Do I Get My Cat To Stop Puking
What can I do if my cat is being sick?
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Infectious Feline Viruses With Gi Symptoms
Feline Panleukopenia or “FP”
Highly contagious virus spreads by direct contact with infected animals or their secretions. It is a leading cause of death in kittens. Characterized by loss of appetite, fever up to 105°F, frothy, yellow bile in vomit. Inability to hold down water. Yellow or blood-streaked stool.
Feline Infectious Peritonitis or “FIP”
Caused by certain strains and mutations of the feline coronavirus. Spread through close and continuous contact with secretions. It is a serious condition that should be dealt with by a veterinarian. Upper respiratory symptoms and diarrhea are common. Often fatal.
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.
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My Cat Says I Dont Have Enough Food She Says She Does Not Want It To Go To Waste
Foods left in the stomach after they have not been digested: This is when the stomach doesnt retain these food. Iss it allergy or intolerance to food, obstructions, or anything that is irritating the stomach and upper gastrointestinal tract? Lets see! There is no better way for the cat to sleep than to know when she last ate.
Why Does My Cat Binge And Purge
Whenever a cat is vomiting, they should always be evaluated by a veterinarian. I affectionately refer to these cats that binge and then purge as Scarf & Barf kitties. I find that many of these cats are simply eating faster than their body can handle. They will gobble the food, often barely chewing.
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If It Is Normal Then How Serious Can Vomiting Be
It depends on the cause of vomiting. Most cases of acute vomiting, when vomiting has been present for less than two to three days, resolve quickly with simple treatment, without the underlying cause being diagnosed. Severe or chronic vomiting is more serious. It can lead to secondary problems, particularly dehydration and disturbances in the levels of electrolytes such as sodium.
Vomiting can be caused by minor intestinal upset, such as from eating plants, spoiled food, or foul-tasting things such as certain insects. However, vomiting can also be a sign of a more serious illness, such as bacterial or viral infection, intestinal obstruction from foreign bodies , urinary tract obstruction, liver disease, thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel disease, or cancer. Left untreated, these illnesses can lead to serious complications, including death.
Your Vet Will Know If You Need To Be Worried
Keep in mind that vomiting is a symptom, not a disease. If your healthy kitty occasionally vomits, your vet might say that it isnt anything to worry about. On the other hand, if your cat is vomiting a lot or showing other symptoms, your veterinarian can help by diagnosing the cause and recommending the appropriate treatments to help your pet feel good again.
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A Barfing Cat: Heres What Your Vet Will Do
Your vet will most likely perform various tests such as X-rays, blood tests, sonograms, or a fecal examination to make a diagnosis. This will also depend on your cats age, their medical history, and their specific symptoms.
Veterinarians will typically recommend removing food and water until vomiting has stopped for at least two hours. Then, slowly introduce water followed by a bland diet such as rice, cooked, skinless chicken, and boiled potatoes.
Some situations will require antiemetics-drugs or fluid therapy in order to help the vomiting.
In the event your cats vomiting is due to food allergies, your veterinarian may suggest removing different ingredients from your cats diet in order to find the culprit. If your cat is vomiting up their dry food, your vet could recommend switching foods to see if that helps.
While sometimes scary, cat vomiting is quite common and often harmless. They could be vomiting simply because they are eating too quickly or have a hairball. However, vomiting can also be a sign of something more serious. If they are consistently throwing up or throwing up blood, its time to take your cat to the vet.
Vomiting Associated With Traveling
Like humans, cats can develop motion sickness and gastrointestinal issues related to nausea. If your cat is licking its lips, drooling, urinating or defecating inappropriately, he/she is probably sensitive to travel. Traveling on an empty stomach reduces symptoms of motion sickness.
Common medications for travel-related nausea include:
Only one tablet of acetaminophen can be fatal to cats.
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When Is Vomiting An Emergency
If your cat is experiencing sudden and severe bouts of vomiting, this is a medical emergency and you need to seek immediate veterinary care. Cats with sudden vomiting may have ingested toxins and/or foreign material. They may be severely ill with conditions like kidney disease, intestinal blockage, diabetes mellitus, and other serious medical disorders. Sudden, severe vomiting can progress rapidly and no time should be lost seeking veterinary help.
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.
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How To Test For Dehydration In Cats
If a cat is dehydrated, its skin will become less elastic. Test the hydration level as follows:
Another sign of dehydration is dryness of the mouth. Gums should be moist, but in the event of dehydration, they may appear dry and tacky. Severe dehydration is indicated by sunken eyeballs and the onset of shock.
Veterinarian Examination And Testing
The next step is a thorough physical exam by your veterinarian. The veterinarian can look for things such as abdominal pain, masses in the abdomen or elsewhere, an obvious foreign body , evidence of weight loss, a heart murmur, an enlarged thyroid gland and a fever. Again, the exam can help determine which, if any, diagnostics are needed.
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Suitable Protein Sources Include:
- Boiled white rice
- Cooked pasta
Once cooked, cool and serve the home-made diet in small portions. The liquid from the rice cooker can be included in the food to add extra fluid intake for your cat. Always store home-made food in the fridge and try not to prepare more than what is needed in one day so that it stays fresh and tasty for your cat. Warm the food to room temperature before offering it to your cat .
Begin by feeding protein portion to carbohydrate portion in small meals. Feed 3-5 small meals evenly distributed throughout the day. The amount of the portions depends on how much your cat weighs. Talk to your vet about the amount of home-made diet that is right for your cat.
As your cat improves, their meals can slowly get larger and less frequent.
Once your cat has completely returned to normal for a few days, you can gradually re-introduce them to their regular food. Its important to do this slowly to decrease the risk of stomach upset recurring.