Vomiting in cats: What to do?
Vomiting in cats is one of the most common health concerns for cat owners:inside. While the cause may be something as normal as a hairball or a simple stomach upset, cat vomiting could also indicate something more serious that requires veterinary attention.
In this post, we'll help you answer whether your cat needs to be presented to a:m veterinarian:in or how you can also treat your cat at home in mild cases.
Common reasons why cats vomit
There can be many reasons why cats vomit. The most common reasons are the following:
Hair accumulates in the stomach due to grooming especially in domestic cats. These vomit the cat occasionally. This is normal if it does not happen too frequently
The cat has eaten too quickly. This can happen, for example, if two cats eat next to each other and are prone to food envy
Infectious diseases like panleukopenia virus in cats
When your cat eats the wrong thing
Swallowing an object that causes gastric or intestinal obstruction (foreign body)
Stomach and intestinal parasites
Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
Chronic diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or kidney disease
Stress due to moving or other changes in their environment / routine
Sudden onset of kidney disease/failure
Like children, kittens are often susceptible to many types of infections, especially if they have not received the proper vaccines at a young age. These infections, like feline panleukopenia virus, can cause vomiting in kittens and cats. The feline panleukopenia virus is highly contagious. Can be fatal especially in young kittens. Kittens should be vaccinated from 6-8 weeks of age and then 2 – 3 times, depending on the vaccine used, until they are 16-18 weeks old. Once they are adults, they must continue to receive annual vaccine boosters to protect them from these infectious diseases.
If a cat eats something wrong, such as dairy products (milk, cheese, ice cream), grass, dog food or other things, it can cause the cat to vomit. Read more about household foods that can cause a cat to vomit in the following articles:
Cats are predators by nature and enjoy the hunt. This includes even inanimate objects such as string, yarn and thread. When a cat chews and begins to swallow a string, it often swallows it down its entire length even. In the worst case scenario, this will lead to a stomach or intestinal obstruction with signs of vomiting.
Cats also like to eat chicken bones or other animal bones, which can perforate (pierce) the stomach or intestines and thus represent a life-threatening foreign body.
If there is any suspicion that your cat or kitten has eaten any form of string, chicken or other bones and / or is vomiting, a:n veterinarian should be contacted immediately. Please DO NOT attempt to pull the thread out yourself as this can further damage the intestinal tract!
Sudden change of feed
Suddenly changing a cat's food from one day to the next can often lead to vomiting. Therefore, it is important to mix the new food with the old (over a period of 7-14 days). The amount of the new food is steadily increased, while the amount of the old food becomes less and less.
If a cat likes to catch birds, mice or other rodents, it is more susceptible to worms, which often cause vomiting and other symptoms, such as diarrhea and weight loss. Kitten z.B. often have roundworms in their feces. Sometimes you can even spot it in their vomit. B. often have roundworms in their feces. Sometimes they can even be detected in their vomit. often have roundworms in their feces and sometimes you can even see them in their vomit. The veterinarian's office will likely ask for a fecal sample during the initial exams to check for parasites and recommend periodic deworming. Some cats tend to get nauseous when traveling or taking long trips. Vomiting sometimes even while driving. The veterinarian can help with certain medications that stop the nausea and thus the vomiting. This is especially advisable during a long car ride.
Cats are sometimes very sensitive to some common houseplants and other household products.
Signs of diseases such as pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas, can often be subtle and mild in cats. In some cases, however, the cat can become suddenly and seriously ill. Unfortunately, the cause of pancreatitis is often unknown.
Therefore, it is important to monitor your cat's diet and keep a written record of how often the cat vomits (daily, weekly, monthly) and if it has periods when it does not want to eat.
After thorough examination of the cat and complete history, the:veterinarian:in recommends special tests to rule out pancreatitis or other diseases and prescribe appropriate treatment.
Cats love routine. Any change in their daily routine often leads to stress and symptoms such as vomiting. Changes may be environmental, z. B. Moves or renovations of houses or. Apartments or general changes in routine, z. B. a new daily schedule or accommodation.
Read more about stress and anxiety in cats in the following article: Noise anxiety in cats and dogs
Inflammatory bowel disease, chronic liver disease, chronic kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, diabetes and many more show symptoms of nausea and vomiting in cats.
Cats with symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss and decreased appetite need to be examined by a veterinarian to find out the cause and thus the recommended treatment options.
Wait no more than 12 to 24 hours to contact a veterinarian when you first notice your cat not eating, losing weight, and vomiting.
Obstructive urinary tract disease
Cats with urinary tract diseases also have to vomit frequently. Read more about obstructive urinary tract disease in cats here.
If cats are dribbling urine, visiting the litter box more often than normal, but producing little to no urine, be sure to contact a:e veterinarian or go directly to the nearest emergency clinic. Because this could be a life-threatening problem that needs immediate veterinary care!
Cats can also develop a food allergy to an ingredient they may have been eating for months or years. One symptom of this may include vomiting, which is often intermittent.
Other signs of food allergy include weight loss, intermittent abdominal pain, soft feces, diarrhea, bloating, increased amount of feces (more than 3 times a day), scratching/licking around the anus, and recurrent inflammation of the anal glands.
If you are concerned that your cat has a food allergy, feel free to contact one of our veterinarians. They can do the initial consultation regarding your cat's symptoms.
Cats like heat, so they increasingly seek out warm places in the sun to sleep or simply relax. However, like humans, they can suffer heat stroke if exposed to extreme heat for too long. One of the symptoms then is vomiting.
Click on the link below to learn more about the signs and symptoms of heat stroke in cats and how to prevent it:
Signs of severe nausea and vomiting in cats
If you recognize one or more of these following signs, then it may indicate nausea or. may indicate vomiting:
Nausea: salivating, licking lips, excessive swallowing
Vomiting: strong, abdominal contractions and head nodding. Important is the color and amount of vomit, how often and when the cat has eaten the last time
Pale or cold gums, sometimes the gums or the whites of the eyes look yellowish
Quiet or lethargic behavior
Decreased appetite or refusal of food
Why does my cat regurgitate undigested food?? Cats sometimes eat their food too quickly. The result is the renewed regurgitation of the undigested food. In the case of a multi-cat household, the animals should be fed separately to prevent food envy.
A food toy or food machine is also useful so that cats have to "chase" after their food. This also helps distribute small amounts of food throughout the day and provides occupation to prevent boredom.
Frequent vomiting in cats: Why does my cat keep vomiting?
If a cat vomits more than once in a 24-hour cycle, it's time to call a:n vet:in. There, the cat will be thoroughly examined and the proper tests will be done to find out the cause of the vomiting. If vomiting is frequent, your cat may need additional support such as intravenous or subcutaneous fluids, as well as other medications for dehydration, nausea and pain.
Home remedies for vomiting in cats
For cats that appear otherwise healthy, behave normally and do not vomit blood, supportive treatment can be started from home (recipes and feeding recommendations below):
1. Your cat should always have access to fresh water. The average cat drinks about 100 – 150 ml per day per day. Cats and kittens that vomit need much more water to avoid dehydration.
2. Give the cat rest to recover.
3. If the cat has been diagnosed with an illness that may be contagious to other cats, the sick cat should be isolated from the others.
4. Fasting diet for maximum 12 hours.
5. Cats that weigh less than 4 kg or have a pre-existing condition, as well as kittens, should not fast because they are at high risk of low blood sugar.
Gentle food for cats with vomiting
Offer your cat a homemade mild diet in small portions containing high quality protein and carbohydrates or a prescribed intestinal diet recommended by a:r veterinarian:in. By feeding the cat a special diet, you relieve the cat's sensitive stomach.
A suitable diet, can look like this.
Suitable protein sources are z.B.:
Cooked white fish
Suitable carbohydrates are:
Rice pudding cooked with water
Once cooked and cooled, the homemade food should be given in small amounts. The liquid from the cooked rice may even be added to give the cat even more fluids.
Home-cooked food should definitely be stored in the refrigerator and prepared only in small quantities, so that it always remains as fresh and tasty as possible.
Before feeding, it should be at room temperature before being offered to the cat. If a microwave oven is used, make sure that it is not too hot.
At the beginning, feed 1/3 protein to 2/3 carbohydrates in small quantities, but 3-5 times a day. The amount varies depending on how much the cat weighs. Your vet will be able to tell you exactly how much is good for your cat.
As the cat gets better, the portion size may increase (although slowly, gradually), but less frequently per day.
As soon as your cat is well again for a few days, it can slowly be used to its normal food. Here, too, it is important to increase the amount added only slowly, so as not to risk further stomach upset.