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Vomiting in Cats: Causes and Treatments


Projectile Vomiting

Projectile vomiting is forceful vomiting in which the stomach contents are ejected suddenly, often a considerable distance. It indicates a complete blockage in the upper gastrointestinal tract. Foreign bodies, hairballs, tumors, and strictures are possible causes. Brain diseases that cause increased intracranial pressure also produce projectile vomiting. They include brain tumor, encephalitis, and blood clots.

Home Treatment of Vomiting

If there is any question about the cause or seriousness of the vomiting, seek veterinary help. Vomiting cats can rapidly become dehydrated as they lose body fluids and electrolytes. If vomiting is combined with diarrhea, the likelihood of dehydration increases dramatically. Consult your veterinarian if vomiting persists for more than 24 hours, if the cat becomes dehydrated, or if vomiting recurs.

Home treatment is appropriate only for normal, healthy adult cats who show no signs other than vomiting. Kittens, cats with preexisting health conditions, and older cats are less able to tolerate dehydration and should be treated by a veterinarian.

When the stomach responds promptly, the foreign material is expelled. Afterward, an important initial step is to rest the stomach by withholding food and water for a minimum of 12 hours. If your cat appears thirsty, allow him to lick ice cubes.

After 12 hours, if the vomiting stops, offer sips of water. A pediatric electrolyte solution can be given in small amounts, in addition to the water.

If the water is well tolerated, advance to a strained meat baby food (low in fat and with no onion powder). Offer four to six small meals a day for the next two days. Then return to a regular diet.


WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"

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