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Common Causes for Cat Vomiting


cat_vomitting.jpgFew things are more upsetting to a cat owning household than hearing, or seeing, your cat vomiting. It often causes owners to panic and wonder if something serious is wrong, however if your cat is not vomiting bile or blood, most causes are easy to treat. Only a few will require veterinary care. The top reasons cats may vomit are:

Eating too fast
Eating Indigestibles
Diet Change
Food Allergies and Intolerances

If your cat is vomiting hairballs, consider switching to a hairball food or using a laxative remedy such as petroleum jelly on their paw. This will coat the hair and help to ease its passage through the stomach and intestines. If they eat too much too fast, consider putting a little less food in their bowls during feeding time, or adding a second bowl if you have more than one cat. The goal is to slow down the fast eater so if there is less to eat or an obstacle in the bowl to eat around it will take them a tad longer to over-fill their stomach. Be sure you have cat/ kitten-proofed your home. Make sure plastic bits, shiny foil wrappers, tissue and strings are up off the floor. Curiosity can certainly kill your cat if they eat something that gets lodged in the intestine.

If you change your cats diet you may have switched foods too fast. Try going back to the old food and making the transition a little more slowly. If the vomiting continues, consider that your pet may have an allergy to something in the food and simply eliminate it altogether.

If any of the following occur, contact your vet immediately:

Persistent Vomiting: The cat vomits and then continues to heave, bringing forward clear, frothy fluid. It could signal infectious enteritis.

Sporadic Vomiting: If the cat vomits on and off over a period of days, and there is no relationship to meals but the cat appears haggard and listless get them to the vet. This could signify liver or kidney problems, or diseases such as chronic gastritis, IBS, heavy worms, or diabetes.  Check around your house as well, is it possible they ate something that has gotten stuck?

Vomiting Blood: Red blood indicates a bleed somewhere between the upper part of the small intestine and the mouth. If your cat vomits something that looks like coffee grounds, this is old and partially digested blood. The most common cause of both is often a foreign body. Any cat that vomits blood should be taken to the Vet without hesitation.

Vomiting Feces: If your cat vomits foul smelling material that looks like feces it is likely suffering from an intestinal obstruction or severe peritonitis. Seek immediate Veterinarian help.

Projectile Vomiting: This is a forceful vomiting where the stomach contents are suddenly expelled, often going a great distance. It indicates a severe blockage in the digestive system and in some cases brain disease.

If vomiting persists for more than 24 hours, is foul smelling, or bloody seek veterinary attention immediately. If your cat starts to vomit, remove food and water for a minimum of twelve hours. If your cat appears to be thirsty, allow him to lick ice cubes. If the vomiting has stopped for 12 hours, offer sips of water. You can include something like Pedialyte or other pediatric electrolyte solution in small amounts as well. If the water is tolerated, begin offering a strained, meat only, baby food (low fat and no onion powder) four to six times a day for two days and then return your cat to its regular diet.



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