Vomiting in Cats: Causes and Treatments
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
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.