Causes of Cat Vomit And Treatment
Causes of Cat Vomit And Treatment

Causes of Cat Vomit And Treatment

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If you have a cat at home, you have probably seen it vomit every now and then. Cats throwing up is something common but healthy cats should not be throwing up too often. If you notice that your cat is puking frequently, it could be because of several reasons. It is best to take your cat to the vet and schedule regular checkups to make sure that any underlying causes are treated in time. 


That being said, you do not have to rush your cat to the doctor when and if it vomits. Occasional vomiting is not a cause of concern, steps for treatment should be taken only when your cat starts to vomit after every meal or every day. Keep reading to know more about why your cat’s throwing up and what you should do to look after it. 


Why do cats vomit? 

Just like us humans, cats can vomit because of various reasons. A cat can vomit if it is exposed to a toxic ingredient. For example, being exposed to a toxic plant that makes your cat vomit can be a reason for chronic vomiting. Cats have a habit of playing with strings and if they ingest any of these toxic bodies, they can stay in its system and cause chronic vomiting. 


Vomiting is such a common occurrence in cats that it cannot point out a particular illness or infection. Almost all feline diseases result in vomiting and to find out the actual cause, you will have to take your cat to a vet. It can be for reasons ranging from intestinal issues, organ dysfunction, gastric issues, diet, infections, cancer, and more. 


Causes of cat vomiting

Here are a few reasons why your cat’s throwing up: 

  1. Hairballs: 

Cats love self-grooming and you will always find them licking themselves. This causes their rough tongue to pull out loose hair out of their coat and swallow it. When a large amount of coat hair accumulates in the stomach and is not easily digested, it leads to your cat throwing up a hairball. Cat hairball vomit is extremely normal and there is nothing to worry about. However, if you notice that your cat is throwing up hairballs too often, it could be a sign of gastrointestinal problems. Get it checked by your vet to be on the safer side.

  1. Gastroenteritis: 

Gastroenteritis is just a fancy term for an upset tummy. This can be caused due to medication side effects, dietary problems, toxins, and more. Most of the time, symptoms of gastroenteritis are mild and resolve on their own while others can be chronic and will need a professional’s attention. 

  • Foreign bodies or obstructions: If your cat has a habit of eating or chewing on the toys it plays with, its GI tract can get blocked and can result in bouts of vomit. When vomiting is induced by a foreign material in your cat’s body, urgent help is required. It’s best to take your cat to the vet immediately and get it looked at. 

  • Food allergies and Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Food cat allergies are not common, but some can cause your cat to vomit. If your cat eats a trigger food, it will immediately start throwing up because of the inflammation in their digestive tract. Sometimes, food allergies can also cause chronic diarrhoea. 

  • Systemic Illnesses: Many chronic illnesses such as pancreatitis, hyperthyroidism, kidney diseases, and more can cause your cat to feel nauseous and throw up. If you notice that your cat is throwing up too much, it is best to get it looked at, so the diagnosis of the above-mentioned diseases is not delayed. 

  • Parasites: Parasites usually cause vomiting in kittens, but it can happen to cats of all ages. Check your cat's vomit for live worms. The only good news about parasite-induced vomiting is that it is 100% curable. 

  • Cancer: Digestive tract cancer is very common in cats. Cancer in other parts of the body can also lead to vomiting. 


Types of cat vomit 

Cats vomit because of many reasons and the appearance of their vomit can help us get an idea about what’s bothering them. It is best to observe or take a look at your cat’s vomit so you can tell your vet about it. This will help them find out the underlying cause and treat your cat accordingly. Here are some common types of cat vomit: 


Yellow vomit

If your cat is throwing up yellow vomit, it could be because of partially digested food or bile in its stomach. 

Clear vomit 

Clear vomit can occur due to an empty stomach or due to the regurgitation of saliva from the oesophagus. 

White, foamy vomit

Hairball-induced vomit on an empty stomach can cause your cat’s vomit to appear white and foamy. 

Bloody vomit 

Bloody vomit can be caused due to inflammation in the stomach, oesophagus, or in the upper intestines. 

Brown and smelly vomit

Brown and smelly vomit can be a sign of bleeding in your cat’s digestive tract. It could also indicate an issue with your cat’s kidney or liver. 


How to prevent your cat from vomiting? 

There are a lot of things that you can do to prevent your cat from vomiting. The best way to rule out any common causes of cats throwing up is to take care of their diet. If your feline suffers from cat allergies, ask your vet for a special diet. This can help your kitty keep chronic vomiting at bay. 

Make sure that you are feeding your cat a balanced and nutritious meal and not giving it too many table scraps. Keep an eye on your cat when it is playing and do not let it eat any of its toys. Rubber, strings, and more can cause your cat to vomit. Lastly, consider over-the-counter cat hairball vomit remedies. If your cat’s coat has long hair, ask your veterinarian to prescribe some products that can help reduce or prevent hairball vomiting. 


Cat vomiting treatments

Many cat parents try to find products that they can give their cats to prevent or stop vomiting. Since there are so many reasons that can cause your cat to throw up, picking a product based on a single issue is extremely difficult. If your cat is throwing up because of organ diseases or cancer, treating the disease should be a priority. If your cat has a mild case of vomiting, your vet may prescribe antiemetic medications or antacids. For gastrointestinal issues, your cat may need to switch to a more gut-friendly diet. 


Veterinarian examination and testing 

Your veterinarian will decide what tests and treatments are necessary for your cat based on these aspects: 

  1. Whether it has fever, is lethargic, or is depressed?

  2. Whether it has a good appetite or lost any weight?

  3. Is it throwing up blood?

  4. Is your cat in pain or is experiencing abdominal discomfort?

  5. Are your cat’s bowels affected?

  6. Is it vomiting too many times in a day or just right after a meal?

  7. Does the vomit stink or have a particular colour?

  8. Did you recently change your cat’s diet or put it on supplements?

  9. Is your cat chewing on any toys or is it eating any other foods?

  10. Are other cats in your house also affected?

Other treatments or diagnostic testing 

If your cat is vomiting too much and some serious symptoms of underlying diseases are suspected, your veterinarian may suggest more tests and suggest more aggressive treatments. If your cat has lost a lot of blood or electrolytes by vomiting frequently, you may need to get it hospitalised. 


Other causes of cat vomiting:

Before you go on to treating your furry friend, you must know the different cat vomiting reasons:

  1. Toxins

  • Ingestion of a toxin from the fur is the most common cause of cat vomiting.

  • Cats have a proclivity for chewing on attractive house plants, which can lead to plant poisoning.

  • If the cat is present when its parent cleans its living space with a high-fume chemical agent, the inhalation of toxic chemicals - such as cleaning agents - can cause poisoning in cats.

  1. Diet

  • If your cat skips a meal or eats later than usual, it may regurgitate the undigested food.

  • Another reason why cats vomit frequently is their rapid change of food. It is recommended that you transition your cat to a new diet slowly over a one to two-week period, gradually reducing the amount of current cat food while gradually increasing the quantity of new cat food.

  1. Gastric problems

  • Dietary indiscretion, pollutants, or medication side effects might cause gastric problems such as an upset stomach.

  • Some cases are minor and can go away on their own, but others can be serious and require medical attention from a veterinarian.

  1. Intestinal issues

  • Ingestion of a foreign object, such as a string or a small toy that becomes lodged in the stomach or intestines, is a common cause of intestinal blockages in cats.

  • An intestinal blockage is a highly serious ailment that requires immediate attention. It can be caused by underlying health concerns such as a tumour or difficulty with intestinal movements.

  • Some of the common signs include your cat puking frequently or its inability to keep down water or food.

  1. Organ dysfunction

  • Prolonged disorders such as pancreatitis, kidney disease, and hyperthyroidism can all cause nausea and chronic vomiting in cats for numerous reasons.

  • Identification of the underlying ailment is required to address many causes of cat vomiting with many of these conditions requiring lifelong therapy.

  1. Endocrine issues

  • One of the most prevalent feline endocrine illnesses is hyperthyroidism (sometimes known as an overworked thyroid).

  • Thyroid overactivity is caused by a tumour (usually benign) in the thyroid gland that pumps too much thyroid hormone into the bloodstream.

  • This increase in your cat's metabolism can result in your cat throwing up. 

When is vomiting in cats a cause for concern?

Repeated cat vomiting should never be ignored because it can lead to dehydration. But because vomiting is common in cats, how do you know what’s normal? “A general guideline is that if the cat is vomiting one to three times a month, we consider this normal,” says Dr Folger.

He considers it serious if the vomiting occurs twice daily for two or three days. If your cat stops eating, seems to have stomach pain, or retches continuously, or if the vomit is mixed with blood, take it to a veterinarian. And as always, if you’re suspicious that a lingering problem could be harmful to your pet, call your veterinarian. A visit to the office can help relieve your cat’s discomfort and your worries as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. When should I be concerned about my cat vomiting? 
  2. If your cat is vomiting way too often, is throwing up blood, or is puking after every meal, it’s best to take it to a doctor. 

  3. What can you give a cat for vomiting?
  4. Feed your cat wet food when it is not feeling its best and throwing up. Since wet food is easy to digest, you can feed it to your cat in small amounts. 

  5. What colour of vomit is bad for cats?
  6. Vomit in general is a cause of concern if it is happening too often. However, if you notice that your cat is puking yellow, brown, or bloody vomit, take it to the vet at the earliest. 

  7. What do you feed a vomiting cat? 
  8. Feed your cat wet and light food in small portions when it is not feeling that great and vomiting too often. 

  • Why Nutrition in Cat Food Is Key for Shiny Coats
    Why Nutrition in Cat Food Is Key for Shiny Coats

    Why Nutrition in Cat Food Is Key for Shiny Coats

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    Why Is Nutrition Important to Skin and Coat Health?

    Nutrients such as protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals are important players in the skin and coat health of dogs and cats. To understand their role, it is necessary to first understand skin and hair.

    The purpose of skin and hair is to block things (such as water or heat) from leaving, or things (such as viruses and bacteria) from entering the body.

    The hair coat is composed almost entirely of protein. If an animal's diet doesn't contain adequate protein quantity and quality, hair may fall out, or become dry, weak, and brittle.

    Skin is made up of squamous cells, which are flat cells tightly packed together. These cells have tough membranes that are composed of proteins and fats. Without proper amounts of these nutrients, cell membranes weaken, allowing water to escape and bacteria and viruses to enter more easily.


    Essential Amino Acids and Fatty Acids in Cat Food

    Proteins are found in both animal-based and plant-based ingredients. Animal-based proteins contain all the essential amino acids cats need, whereas plant-based proteins may contain only some essential amino acids. Cats need animal-based proteins to achieve optimal health.

    Fats also can be found in both animal-based and plant-based ingredients, and they are incorporated into skin cells as fatty acids. There are two essential fatty acids for skin and coat health. Linoleic acid maintains skin and coat condition in dogs and cats. Without enough linoleic acid cats may experience dull, dry coat, hair loss, greasy skin and increased susceptibility to skin inflammation. Cats also require arachidonic acid for normal skin and coat health.

    Both of these essential fatty acids are omega-6 fatty acids and are found in animal tissues such as chicken fat. Linoleic acid is also found in some vegetable oils, such as corn and soybean oils. Most commercial cat diets contain more than adequate amounts of omega-6 fatty acids.

    Because these fatty acids can be converted to compounds that increase susceptibility to skin inflammation, it is important to balance the amount of omega-6 fatty acids in the diet with omega-3 fatty acids, which do not reduce susceptibility to inflammation.

    Omega-3 fatty acids are found in oils from fish and some plants (canola and flax).

    IAMS™ research has found that combining fat sources in the diet at a ratio of five to 10 omega-6 fatty acids to one omega-3 fatty acid results in excellent skin and coat health.


    Vitamins and Minerals

    Vitamins and minerals are essential for the development of healthy skin and hair coat. The best way to provide these nutrients is through a complete and balanced diet containing appropriate amounts of essential vitamins and minerals rather than through supplements.

    Vitamin or Mineral Important for Skin and Coat Health
    Vitamin A Necessary for growth and repair of skin
    Vitamin E Protects skin cells from oxidant damage
    Biotin Aids in the utilization of protein
    Riboflavin (B2) Necessary for fat and protein metabolism
    Zinc Necessary for fat and protein metabolism
    Copper Involved in tissue, pigment, and protein synthesis


    Changes in Coat Condition

    Diet is often believed to be a factor when changes in skin and coat condition are noticed. The most common causes of these changes, however, are season and life stage.

    As cold weather approaches, most dogs and cats grow a thick coat to help keep heat in and cold air out. As the weather begins to warm up, they shed the thick, heavy coat.

    Most kittens are born with soft, fuzzy hair, but as they age, a coarser coat grows. Pregnant or lactating cats also may experience a change in coat condition or hair loss.