What Causes Cats to Vomit?
have probably seen your cat vomit from time to time without much concern.
Vomiting can be a result of something minor, like a cat consuming his meal too
quickly, or it can be a sign of a much more serious condition that requires
immediate medical attention. Usually, a cat vomits because he ate something
disagreeable, ate too much or played too soon after dinner. Vomiting can also
be associated with gastrointestinal or systemic disorders.
Some causes for a sudden episode of vomiting, or acute
- Bacterial infection of the gastrointestinal tract
- Diet-related causes (diet change, food intolerance)
- Gastric or intestinal foreign bodies (toys, hairballs)
- Intestinal parasite
- Acute kidney failure
- Acute liver failure or gall bladder inflammation
- Post-operative nausea
- Toxins or chemicals
- Viral infections
- Certain medications
What Should I Do If My Cat Vomits Frequently?
An occasional, isolated bout of vomiting is normal. However,
frequent vomiting can be a sign of a more serious condition. Please bring your
cat to the vet for a complete examination and diagnosis.
Some causes of chronic (ongoing) vomiting include:
- Diaphragmatic hernia
- Diet related (food allergy or intolerance)
- Foreign bodies
- Gastrointestinal ulceration
- Heartworm infection
- Intestinal obstruction
- Kidney failure
- Liver failure
- Neurological disorders
- Severe constipation
- Toxicity (such as lead)
- Gastric or intestinal tumors
What Other Symptoms Should I Watch For?
The causes of vomiting are so varied that it can be difficult
to diagnose, and so it’s important to consider the circumstances.
What to Watch For:
- Frequency of vomiting. If your cat vomits once and proceeds to eat
regularly and have a normal bowel movement, the vomiting was most likely an
- Blood in vomit
- Weight loss
- Change in appetite and water intake
When Is It Time to See the Vet?
Please see your vet if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned
above or if vomiting persists. Depending on your pet’s age, medical history,
physical examination findings and your cat’s particular symptoms, your vet may
choose to perform various tests (blood test, X-ray, sonogram, fecal
examination) in order to make a diagnosis.
What Are Some Treatment Options?
The most common course of action is to withhold food and water
until vomiting has stopped for 12 to 24 hours. Afterward, water is introduced
slowly, followed by a bland diet. You can baby your cat as you would a sick
child and give homemade food such as boiled potatoes, rice or cooked, skinless
In certain situations your cat may require fluid therapy or
antiemetics-drugs to help control vomiting. You’ll need to see your vet to
determine the proper remedy.