Vomiting in felines is a common concern among cat owners. The issue is usually a symptom of irritation in your kitty’s stomach or gastrointestinal (GI) tract. When a foreign object or chemical irritates your cat’s GI tract, this causes GI immobility which often leads to vomiting. Generally, occasional vomiting in cats is not a major concern. However, when your cat keeps throwing up, consider this an emergency.
Severe vomiting in cats becomes a major concern when accompanied by other symptoms such as restlessness, loss of appetite, and dehydration. Persistent or long-term vomiting in felines may also indicate an underlying condition that needs to be treated immediately. So the next time you see your cat vomiting persistently, follow this guide for the best relief!
Why Cats Throw Up
If you have been a cat parent for a long time, you may have witnessed them vomit more than once. It is common but not necessarily normal, meaning that you should take every case of vomiting seriously. There are several reasons your feline might keep throwing up. Let’s take a look at two of the most frequent reasons for vomiting among cats.
Gastrointestinal Causes of Vomiting in Cats
- Constipation: This is described as irregular pooping, with your cat defecating less frequently than usual. Dry and hard stools might be an indication of GI immobility that can trigger vomiting.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease: IBD is a disorder wherein your cat’s gastrointestinal tract is severely irritated and swollen. Inflammatory cells penetrate the walls of the GI tract, clotting them and interrupting the GI tract’s ability to properly break down and absorb food.
Non-Gastrointestinal Causes of Vomiting in Cats
What should you look for in your cat’s vomit?
As we mentioned, a cat that continuously throws up is not normal. Before you consult a vet, it is best to note the appearance of your cat’s vomit, as diverse forms of diseases may be linked to it. Below are things that may accompany your feline buddy’s vomit and their possible causes:
- Greenish-brown alkaline fluid (bile): Cats tend to throw up this liquid when they have an empty stomach. It is a chemical mixture that helps your cat digest food. Food fuels the gall bladder to decrease in size. When your cat’s stomach is empty, the gall bladder does not shrink, and the bile can climb up its digestive system.
- Reddish fluid: This is an indication of discharged blood. Supposing your cat pukes nonstop, the linings of the stomach and their esophagus can be irritated because of increased acid.
- Vomitus with white lather: This is often associated with inflammation in the stomach lining and small intestines due to several potential causes like indigestion, hairballs, gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, pancreatitis, hepatic and renal insufficiency, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and parasites.
- Clear fluid: Throwing up clear liquid can mean the watery materials of the stomach are being spewed out, or too much water has been taken in. Diabetes and kidney disease are among the reasons why a cat consumes excessive water.
- Brownish vomit: It can be connected with ulcers, foreign objects, or accumulated hair in the intestines.
- Greenish fluid: This frequently shows that the substance came from the small intestines. The green color originates from the combination of puke and bile.
Cat Vomiting with Other Symptoms
Vomiting is often accompanied by other symptoms that might offer some help in your pet’s diagnosis once you visit the vet. A veterinarian can help you determine the best treatment for your feline friend.
Your cat is vomiting and not eating.
If cats feel nauseous, an obvious reaction is that they would not eat or touch their food. A range of conditions can be related to a lack of appetite, including:
- Foreign bodies
- Kidney and liver disease
Your cat is vomiting and has constipation.
Your cat is probably constipated when it hasn’t excreted its wastes for days or is forcing itself to poop. Contents of the small intestines and stomach may accumulate, triggering them to throw up.
Your cat is vomiting and has diarrhea.
When your feline is persistently vomiting and has a loose bowel movement, this could indicate GI inflammation. The parts affected are likely the small and large intestines.
Your cat is vomiting and is sneezing.
It is not unusual for cats who vomit to catch an upper respiratory tract infection. For example, many kittens can become infected with specific viruses and may behave normally until their immune system’s defenses drop.
Your cat is vomiting and drinking too much.
Drinking excess water can cause problems like vomiting. But often, drinking a lot might mean that an illness is penetrating your cat’s body. These illnesses can include:
- Kidney disease
- Diabetes mellitus
Your cat is vomiting and defecates on the floor.
When Should You Call the Vet?
A veterinarian’s assistance will be essential if you have detected the following:
Your cat throws up several times within a day.
Other symptoms — such as not eating and diarrhea — are evident.
Your cat has not consumed anything for 12 hours and has puked two to three times in a row.
Diagnosis with other illnesses (such as diabetes, kidney disease, and hyperthyroidism) are pre-existing.
Your cat has vomited a worm.
Are there any home remedies you can give your cat when they vomit?
The answer is a simple “No.” Over-the-counter medicines that stop vomiting are limited, and other home remedies may comfort your cat but likely won’t stop the vomit.
When your pet starts vomiting, you should not give them any food or beverage for the next few hours. If the throwing up persists throughout the day or repeats for two to three days, take your kitty to the vet.
When is the best time to feed them again?
The most convenient time would be 12 hours after your last feeding time. Gradually give them bland food, about 25% of what you normally feed, and see if they can handle it. Little by little, increase the quantity within 24 hours and see if the vomiting has already stopped. If your cat continues to throw up, the last resort would be a veterinarian’s advice.
How do vets treat cat vomiting?
There are two distinct types of cat vomiting — chronic and acute. Acute vomiting is identified as the early stage of throwing up. On the other hand, chronic vomiting is a more serious case. This happens when your cat throws up more than once per week or has experienced vomiting every once in a while for three or more months. Each of these two requires different treatments.
How is acute cat vomiting treated?
Treatments for acute vomiting in cats may include:
Chemistry and complete blood count: This aids your vet in finding out if there are possible diseases present such as diabetes and kidney disease.
Fecal analysis: This is performed to eliminate parasitic organisms.
Abdominal radiographs: These are done to discover the cause of any abdominal pain or vomiting, plus to discard any tumor or foreign bodies that might impede normal body function.
If the tests all come back normal and your feline friend still can’t stop throwing up, the vet may suggest anti-nausea medication. This is a supportive treatment that can help your cat get through its struggle.
How is chronic vomiting treated?
Chronic vomiting’s treatment is different than acute throwing up. Additional medical examinations are conducted, including:
- Gastrointestinal panels: They are used to test for the presence of pathogenic viruses, bacteria, and/or parasites in your cat’s stool. The panels also help diagnose a GI tract infection.
- Abdominal ultrasound: Aids the vet in assessing the source of possible stomach pain or bloating. It can also check if there are stones in the kidney, a liver malfunction, or a tumor.
- Chest X-rays: Recommended if the vet cannot detect whether your pet is vomiting, regurgitating, or coughing. In older cats, these are essential to rule out signs of cancer.
Sometimes, the diagnostics give out normal results or do not offer a conclusive diagnosis. This is apparent if the disease can still be found in the cells of the small intestines. That is when the vet would obtain GI tract biopsies of your cat to distinguish whether it is IBD, food hypersensitivity, or gastrointestinal lymphoma. As a precaution (because the condition can probably be related to a food allergy), your veterinarian may attempt a new diet for your feline companion.
As a cat parent, you cannot help but feel responsible for everything that may happen to your pet. That is why paying close attention is significant. After all, our cat’s health is just as important to you as it is to your kitty! It’s also important to us at Pet CBD Community, which is why we hope this guide helps you and your cat.
Sure, a cat that keeps throwing up is not a pleasant sight to see. Cleaning up vomit and bodily fluids is not an enjoyable experience either, we have to admit. But following the tips provided and knowing when to seek an expert’s advice can help you and your pet get through this unfortunate condition.