Cat Vomiting

The noise and sight of a cat vomiting is enough to put anybody off their breakfast! However, if your cat is vomiting a fair bit it is important that you try and work out what is causing the sickness. This will often involve taking a look at the vomit, which you will have to do anyway when you clean it up.

The look and texture of cat vomit will help you to determine the cause of the problem, as cats can vomit for a range of reasons.

What to look for if your cat is vomiting

Grass: As you may have noticed cats love to graze on grass, and this is because it helps to clean out their systems. However, this can cause them to be sick and you will find 'grass vomit' easy to identify because it is usually clear with bits of grass still in it!

Hair balls: OOften hairballs are mistaken for vomit. Remember, cats clean themselves and lick their fur all the time, and this can result in an accumulation of fur in their system which has to come out one way or another. However, whilst they may make the same noises when regurgitating a hairball as they do when they are vomiting you will see that what comes out is a solidified clump as opposed to sick. Hairballs are nothing to worry about, as it is perfectly natural for cats to do this.

Solid: If your cat is throwing up what appears to be solids (i.e. food) then there could be a couple of reasons. The odd bout of vomiting could be down to something as simple as overeating, which some over-zealous cats are prone to do if they are allowed to do so. However, if your cat is vomiting on a regular basis or whenever it eats there could be an underlying problem, which may need to be treated by a vet. You should therefore make sure that you take your cat in for a check up if it is vomiting regularly so that any problems can be dealt with as promptly as possible.

Cats can also vomit out of stress, nervousness or excitement. These are nothing to be alarmed over.

Dealing With Cat Vomit From Hairballs - To prevent your cat from getting any hairballs you should groom him on a regular basis.

Try giving your cat small amounts of petroleum jelly, to help the stop hairballs. This will help coat your cat's fur when he's grooming, and keep his fur from tangling up. To make it easier for your cat to ingest the jelly, lightly dab some on his paw and let him lick it up.

Petroleum jelly also comes in a malt flavor which most cats seem to take a liking to.

Cat Vomit Brought On From Nervousness & Stress - Cats sometimes can get stressed and nervous from being around other cats during feeding time. They may feel that they are in competition with the other cat. This causes them to eat too fast, since they are afraid of another cat taking their food. This, in turn, results in your cat throwing up.

To prevent this, separate all of your cats have during feeding time.

What You Can Do

Here are some steps you can take to help stop your cat from vomiting. (Do not use these steps if your cat has any serious underlying conditions or symptoms.)

  • Keep your cat away from any food for about a day
  • Give him only a small amount of water. (If you know your cat has a kidney disease don't withhold any water.)
  • Once the vomit stops, reintroduce a small amount of food at a time. Do this four times a day, gradually increasing the amount to your cat's regular diet.
  • When reintroducing water, try using ice cubes instead. This will make it less likely for your cat to throw up any of the water he just drank.

When Cat Vomiting Is Serious

- When a cat vomits, it can be a sign of something more serious. In these instances, care needs to be taken, and your cat will need to be seen by a veterinarian.

Swallowing Anything Poisonous - Cats have a tendency to get into things that they shouldn't. Your cat may swallow a random object, or ingest something that is poisonous, like a plant, antifreeze or a medication meant for humans.

If you do notice your cat swallowing something he shouldn't have, do not attempt to remove it. This could prove to be dangerous. The object should come out naturally, or be taken out by a vet.

Do not let your cat eat any onions or chocolate. These can cause your cat to throw up.

Parasites - Parasites look like little white grains of rice. They will leave your cat feeling weak, and make him susceptible to infection and disease. If you see any parasites in your cat's vomit, you need to take your cat to the vet for some prescribed medication and treatment.

Warning Signs To Look For

Pay attention to any of these potentially fatal signs if your cat has been vomiting.
  • Any blood in vomit.
  • Cat vomit along with diarrhea.
  • Vomiting for more than a day or two, or many episodes of throwing up in a short space of time.
  • You think your cat has swallowed anything that is poisonous.
  • Other signs present - Lethargy, unsteady, seems in pain, trouble breathing.
  • Dehydration

If you are in any doubt call your vet, as it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the health of your cat.

Your cat may become dehydrated from vomiting too much. Look for the following signs:

  • Lethargy
  • Dull looking fur
  • Panting
  • Thirst
  • Visible Third Eye
  • When pinched, the skin behind the neck folds and remains in place longer than usual. This is because the skin loses elasticity when it's dry.

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