Cats are adorable and loving companions, but sometimes they experience stomach troubles that lead to vomiting.
Does your cat vomit a lot? Do you ask often, how can I stop my cat from vomiting? As a responsible cat owner, it’s crucial to understand why your cat may be vomiting and take preventive measures to stop it.
I will explore the common causes of cat vomiting, provide practical tips to prevent it, and offer remedies and treatments to help your feline friend feel better.
Understanding Cat Vomiting
Vomiting in cats is different from regurgitation. When a cat vomits, it forcefully expels the contents of its stomach through the mouth. Regurgitation, on the other hand, involves undigested food being brought up without any force.
Common causes of cat vomiting include dietary issues, hairballs, ingestion of toxic substances, gastrointestinal diseases, and stress.
If your cat’s vomiting is an isolated incident and they seem fine otherwise, it may not be a cause for immediate concern.
However, if the vomiting persists or is accompanied by other worrisome symptoms, such as lethargy or blood in the vomit, it’s essential to seek veterinary assistance promptly.
Preventing cat vomiting starts with providing your feline friend with the right care and attention. Here are some practical preventive measures:
- Good Food: Ensure your cat has a well-balanced and appropriate diet. When switching to a new food brand, do it gradually to avoid stomach upset. Additionally, be mindful of any potential allergens in the cat food that could trigger vomiting.
- Portion Control and Feeding Schedule: Measure your cat’s food portions to avoid overfeeding, which can lead to vomiting. Establish a consistent feeding schedule to regulate their eating habits and prevent gorging.
- Hairball Management: Cats groom themselves regularly, which can result in hairballs forming in their stomachs. Help your cat manage hairballs by grooming them regularly, especially during shedding seasons.
- Safe Environment: Cats are curious creatures, and they might ingest toxic substances accidentally. Keep harmful substances, such as plants, chemicals, and medications, out of your cat’s reach. Additionally, create a stress-free environment for your cat, as anxiety can lead to vomiting.
Vomiting in Cats: When to Be Concerned
While occasional vomiting may not be alarming, certain signs indicate that you should seek veterinary attention:
If your cat is vomiting frequently over a short period, it may signal an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.
Vomiting that continues for more than 24 hours requires immediate attention from a veterinarian.
Have blood in the vomit
The presence of blood in your cat’s vomit can indicate a more serious problem and should not be ignored.
Lethargy or Behavior Changes
If your cat appears lethargic, shows a lack of interest in their surroundings, or exhibits behavior changes, it’s time to consult a vet.
Diarrhea with Vomiting
If your cat experiences vomiting along with diarrhea, it could indicate a more severe gastrointestinal issue. Persistent episodes of vomiting and diarrhea may lead to dehydration and require immediate veterinary attention.
Lethargy and Listlessness
When a cat is vomiting and also appears lethargic and uninterested in activities, it may signify an underlying health problem. Lethargy can be a concerning sign and warrants a visit to the veterinarian for proper evaluation and treatment.
Conditions like Diabetes
Cats with diabetes can experience vomiting as one of the symptoms. If your diabetic cat starts vomiting, it may indicate uncontrolled blood sugar levels or other complications, necessitating a vet checkup to manage their condition effectively.
Cats with kidney or renal disease are prone to vomiting due to the buildup of waste products in their system. If a cat with renal disease starts vomiting, it could be a sign of kidney problems worsening, and medical attention is crucial to prevent further complications.
If your cat is vomiting frequently, with episodes occurring multiple times within a short span, it could indicate an underlying health issue. Persistent vomiting can lead to dehydration and nutrient loss, necessitating immediate veterinary evaluation.
Can’t Keep Water Down
When a cat vomits shortly after drinking water, it may be unable to keep liquids down. Dehydration can quickly occur, making it vital to seek veterinary attention promptly to address the root cause.
Have Eaten Unusually
If your cat has ingested something unusual, such as toxic plants, human food, or foreign objects, and subsequently vomits, it requires immediate medical attention. Swift action is crucial to prevent poisoning or complications.
Having No Meal for More Than One Day
A cat that refuses to eat for more than a day and experiences vomiting may be facing a severe health issue. Lack of food intake can lead to serious complications, and a vet visit is necessary to identify and treat the underlying problem.
Have Cold, Pale, or Yellow Gums
If your cat’s gums appear unusually cold, pale, or yellow, it may indicate a potential health emergency. These symptoms could be signs of a serious underlying condition such as anemia or liver problems, requiring immediate veterinary attention.
Diseases like Pancreatitis
Vomiting can be a symptom of pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas. Cats suffering from pancreatitis may exhibit other signs like loss of appetite and abdominal pain. Timely diagnosis and treatment are essential to manage this condition effectively.
Parasites, Viral, or Bacterial Infections
Vomiting in cats can be a consequence of various infections, including parasites, viruses, or bacteria. These infections may cause gastrointestinal upset and discomfort.
Identifying the specific cause is crucial for proper treatment and preventing the condition from worsening. A veterinary evaluation is necessary to address these issues.
Remedies and Treatments: What to Give a Cat to Stop Vomiting
If your cat experiences mild vomiting without any concerning symptoms, you can try some home remedies:
- Home Remedies: Briefly fast your cat, withholding food for 12-24 hours, and then reintroduce a bland diet. A bland diet can consist of boiled chicken or rice, which is easy on the stomach.
- Hydration: Always ensure your cat has access to fresh water, especially when they are fasting or recovering from vomiting.
For cases where home remedies don’t alleviate the issue, you can consider over-the-counter medications:
- Over-the-Counter Meds: There are anti-nausea medications available for cats that can provide temporary relief from vomiting. Additionally, hairball control products can help minimize hairball-related vomiting.
However, if your cat’s vomiting persists or is accompanied by concerning symptoms, consult a veterinarian for professional guidance:
- Vet Prescriptions: The vet may prescribe specific diets to address gastrointestinal issues or prescribe medications to manage underlying medical conditions.
Related: Best Cat Food to Stop Vomiting
Frequent Vomiting in Older Cats
Some of them may be allergic to protein and carbohydrates in their food. Older cats who vomit frequently on fish-based food might do well on meat food. Some cats pass a dry hard stool every few days may be constipated; vomit from feeling bloated and plugged up.
Cats with long fur pass hair through their digestive tract but some stay in the stomach and cause vomit.
A cat that eats too fast may regurgitate triggering a stretch reflex in its stomach. Cats vomit for some diseases like metabolic diseases, toxins, cancer, and inflammatory bowel disease.
In the case of multiple old cats, they may compete over food and thus create vomiting. If a cat has other than food like grass, leaves, and plastic, it may vomit. You will see something that was probably the cause of the vomit.
There are some psychological issues involved too. A cat may need some time to adjust to a new environment. Sometimes air fresheners can also cause vomit in older cats.
Tips for Administering Medication
Administering medication to cats can be challenging, but with patience and care, it can be done effectively:
- Pill or Liquid Medication: When giving pills or liquid medications, be gentle and use a calm, reassuring tone. Hold your cat securely but gently, and place the pill as far back in their mouth as possible before stroking their throat to encourage swallowing. For liquid medications, use a syringe to gently administer the medicine into the side of their mouth.
- Hiding Medication in Treats or Food: Some medications can be hidden in treats or mixed with wet food to make the process less stressful for your cat. Ensure they consume the entire treat or meal to receive the full dose.
Cat vomiting is a common issue, but it’s essential to take preventive measures and address it promptly when necessary.
By providing your cat with a balanced diet, managing hairballs, creating a safe environment, and seeking veterinary attention when needed, you can help your feline friend lead a healthy and happy life.
Dr. John Morris, DVM is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine who has seven years of experience in feline medicine, dermatology, and behavior. He also enjoys volunteering at a local NGO that supports literacy programs for children and adults. In his free time, he enjoys fostering kittens, traveling, vegan cooking, hiking, and biking. Learn more about Justin here.