All pets throw up sometimes, but frequent or relentless vomiting could be an indication of a deeper medical issue. Here, our Crystal Lake vets share some potential reasons your cat won't stop vomiting, when you should be concerned, and what to do.
Your cat can experience tummy upset for a number of reasons and, just like humans, this can lead to vomiting.
If your cat vomits repeatedly or vomits more than once per month, it's time to see your vet so the underlying cause of your cat's vomiting can be diagnosed.
Reasons Your Cat May Be Vomiting
Eating Too Much, Too Quickly
Your cat might vomit soon after eating if they've eaten too much, too quickly. There are some fun cat bowls to help slow your cat's eating if this is true for your feline.
That said, throwing up right after eating might point to a more serious problem such as dehydration, hairballs, digestive tract obstruction, or esophageal issues. If your cat frequently vomits right after eating, they'll need to see a vet.
Hairballs are undigested, wads of fur that clump in your cat's stomach. Hairballs are especially common in longhair cats, and cats that groom excessively. Hacking noises and spasms commonly accompany vomiting when your cat is trying to rid itself of hairballs. Most hairballs are easily brought up by cats, but if your cat is having difficulties trying to expel a hairball it's time to see a vet. Trapped hairballs may lead to intestinal blockages that can be fatal.
Other Serious Conditions That May Cause Vomiting in Cats
- Intestinal foreign bodies
- Food allergies
- Intestinal Parasites
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Metabolic Disorder (ie: Kidney Disease)
When to Worry About Your Cat's Vomiting
If your cat is vomiting periodically or infrequently, avoid giving your cat any food for approximately 12 hours. Provide your cat with a couple of tablespoons of water every 30 minutes or provide them with ice cubes during this brief fasting time. After 12 hours begin providing your cat with small amounts of bland food and gradually return to normal feeding if vomiting has stopped.
If your cat is having repeated bouts of vomiting, can't keep food down, or is vomiting daily, you should seek immediate emergency vet care.
- Repeated vomiting
- Blood in vomit
- Weakness / Lethargy
- Pain / Distress
- Blood in stool
When taking your cat to the vet due to vomiting, it's a good idea to take a sample of your cat's vomit with you. Your vet will be able to examine the sample to help determine the cause of your cat's upset stomach.
- Large amounts of mucus in your cat's stomach could indicate an inflamed intestine
- Undigested food can be an indication of poisoning, anxiety, or simply a sign that your cat has eaten too much or too quickly.
- If bile is present in your cat's vomit, it may be an indication of pancreatitis or inflammatory bowel disease.
- Red blood is a sign that your cat's stomach may be ulcerated.
- An intestinal obstruction may cause your cat's vomit to have a strong smell.
To treat a cat for vomiting, the underlying issue causing the vomiting must be treated. Your vet may run diagnostic tests in order to determine the cause of the vomiting and, in some causes, surgery may even be required.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.