Vomiting in cats: causes and treatment

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 01.06.2018

All iLive content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable media sites, academic research institutions and, whenever possible, medically peer reviewed studies. Note that the numbers in parentheses ([1], [2], etc.) are clickable links to these studies.

If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please select it and press Ctrl + Enter.

The most common cause of vomiting in a cat is swallowing hairs of wool or other inedible material, such as grass, which irritates the stomach. With most cats, this happens from time to time. Intestinal parasites can also cause irritation of the stomach.

Other common causes of vomiting in a cat at home are overeating or too rapid absorption of food. When kittens quickly eat food, and then immediately play actively, there is a possibility of vomiting. Such vomiting is not dangerous. This can occur as a result of the fact that several kittens are fed from one bowl, which contributes to fast food intake. Dividing kittens or giving them smaller portions, you can often get rid of this problem.

If the cat vomits once or twice, but it looks absolutely normal before and after that, the problem is not serious, and this can be handled at home. Vomiting, not associated with food, is often a sign of an infectious disease, kidney or liver disease, as well as a disorder of the central nervous system. The diseases that are often associated with vomiting include panleukopenia of cats, tonsillitis, sore throat, inflammatory bowel disease and uterine infection (acute metritis). There are other signs of the disease. In young cats, sudden vomiting and fever may indicate panleukopenia.

It is often possible to understand what a cat is sick, noticing how and where it tears. Pay attention, or it repeats, and if so, or it's sporadic or persistent vomiting. How soon after a meal does this happen? Is this vomiting a "fountain"? Look, whether there are no vomit blood, feces or foreign bodies.

Persistent vomiting in a cat

The cat vomits, then continues to push, spewing a foamy, clean liquid. This can indicate spoiled foods, grass, lumps of wool, other indigestible objects, as well as certain diseases, such as infectious enteritis, in which the lining of the stomach is irritated.

Sporadic vomiting in a cat

Sometimes a cat vomits from time to time for a few days or weeks. There is no connection with food intake. Appetite is bad. And the cat is emaciated, she is sluggish. It can be a liver or kidney disease, as well as diseases such as chronic gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, lumps of wool, severe worm infestation and diabetes mellitus.

Another possible cause of vomiting in the cat of the house is a foreign body in the stomach. In older cats, this can be a swelling of the stomach or intestines. A vet should be examined.

Blood in vomit

Red blood in the vomit indicates active bleeding somewhere between the oral cavity and the upper part of the small intestine. Most often this is caused by a foreign body. A substance that looks like a coffee grounds is old, partially digested blood. This also indicates a bleeding point between the oral cavity and the upper part of the small intestine.

Any cat that tears blood is a serious disease, and it should be immediately shown to the vet.

Faeces in vomit

Cats that tear off a stinking substance that looks and smells like feces are most likely to suffer from intestinal or peritonitis clogging. Another reason for the presence of feces in the vomit is a dull or penetrating stomach injury. Contact your veterinarian for immediate medical attention.

trusted-source[1], [2]

Vomiting "fountain" in a cat

Vomiting "fountain" - a strong vomiting, in which the contents of the stomach erupt suddenly, often a considerable distance. This indicates a complete blockage of the gastrointestinal tract. Possible causes - foreign bodies, lumps of wool, tumors and narrowing of the canal. Diseases of the brain that cause increased intracranial pressure, also cause vomiting "fountain". These include brain tumor, encephalitis and thrombi.

Treatment of vomiting in a cat at home

If you have questions about the cause and severity of vomiting in a cat at home, ask your veterinarian for help. Cats that tear can quickly become dehydrated, as they lose fluid and electrolytes. If vomiting is combined with diarrhea, the likelihood of dehydration is significantly increased. Consult a veterinarian if vomiting lasts more than 24 hours, if the cat is dehydrated or vomiting recurs.

Home treatment is only possible for normal, healthy adult cats who have no other symptoms other than vomiting. Kittens, cats with previous diseases and elderly cats who are more difficult to tolerate dehydration, should be treated by a veterinarian.

When the stomach responds to irritation quickly, remove the foreign material. Then, an important step is to rest your stomach without giving the cat food and water for at least 12 hours. If the cat wants to drink, let it lick ice cubes.

After 12 hours, if vomiting has stopped, give her a little sip of water. Together with water, a small amount of a children's solution of electrolytes can be given.

If the water is well tolerated, go to the purified meat baby food (low in fat and without onion powder). Give 4 to 6 small servings per day for the next two days. Then go back to your regular diet.

You are reporting a typo in the following text:
Simply click the "Send typo report" button to complete the report. You can also include a comment.