Vomiting is common in cats, but frequent or severe vomiting could indicate that your cat is suffering from something more serious than a stomach ache. So, what are the signs that your cat needs to go to the vet?
Cats, like people, can get an upset stomach for a variety of reasons. Viruses and parasites, a reaction to eating something bad, or more serious conditions like cancer or organ problems are all possibilities for your cat's upset stomach.
If your cat vomits more often than once a month or keeps vomiting repeatedly, it's time to see your vet and determine the underlying cause of your cat's vomiting.
Reasons Your Cat May Be Vomiting
Hairballs are clumps of fur in your cat's stomach that have not been digested. Longhair cats and cats who groom themselves excessively are more prone to hairballs. When your cat is trying to get rid of hairballs, it may make hacking noises or have spasms. Most hairballs are easily excreted by cats, but if your cat is having trouble doing so, it's time to see a veterinarian. Intestinal blockages caused by trapped hairballs can be fatal.
Eating Too Much, Too Quickly
If your cat eats too much, vomiting will almost certainly occur shortly afterward. If your cat eats too quickly, there are a variety of fun cat bowls available to help slow him down. Throwing up right after eating, on the other hand, could indicate a more serious issue, such as hairballs, dehydration, esophageal issues, or a digestive tract obstruction. A trip to the veterinarian is required if your cat vomits frequently after eating.
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 vomits frequently or infrequently, don't feed him for about 12 hours. During this brief fasting period, give your cat a couple of tablespoons of water every 30 minutes or give them ice cubes. If vomiting has stopped after 12 hours, start giving your cat small amounts of bland food and gradually return to normal feeding.
If your cat is having repeated bouts of vomiting contact your vet immediately. Continuous or severe vomiting could be a sign that your cat is seriously ill and requires immediate treatment. Contact your vet if your cat displays any of the symptoms below:
- Repeated vomiting
- Blood in vomit
- Weakness / Lethargy
- Pain / Distress
- Blood in stool
It's a good idea to bring a sample of your cat's vomit with you to the vet if your cat is vomiting. Your veterinarian will be able to examine the sample to determine what is causing your cat's stomach upset.
- 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.
- Intestinal obstruction may cause your cat's vomit to have a strong smell.
The goal of vomiting treatment in cats is to address the underlying issue. Treatment for your cat's symptoms can range from as simple as temporarily withholding food to as complex as surgery or chemotherapy, depending on the cause.