Vomiting Frequently in Cats

Veterinarian examining black cat.

Some cats experience frequent vomiting, and determining the cause can be challenging. It can be the result of hairballs or a major sickness. Cats occasionally vomit on a semi-regular basis for no apparent cause. Frequent vomiting can lead to esophageal discomfort and malnutrition, thus this problem shouldn't be disregarded. An accurate diagnosis and available treatments can be determined by a complete veterinary examination.

Warning

If you suspect that your cat has eaten a poisonous substance, call your vet or the Pet Poison Helpline immediately.

What Is Frequent Vomiting?

Frequent vomiting is a general condition in which a cat vomits several times in a short period of hours or days, or in which a cat vomits chronically on a semi-regular basis (such as after meals).

Symptoms of Frequent Vomiting in Cats

Vomiting is the main symptom of this illness, as the name suggests. Determine the underlying reason by noting when the vomiting happens and any distinctive symptoms. Discover the cause of your cat's stomach issues by looking for these signs:

Symptoms

  • Vomiting food after meals
  • Expelling hairballs
  • Vomiting bile
  • Vomiting repeatedly over the course of hours
  • Frothing saliva
  • Dry heaves (no vomit)

Causes of Frequent Vomiting

There are numerous potential causes of frequent vomiting in cats, some of which are benign and easy to treat. Other causes may require medical investigation and more intensive treatments.

  • Eating Too Fast: One common cause of frequent vomiting is eating too much food, too fast. This can happen to any healthy cat. You will notice your cat vomits barely digested or undigested food immediately after eating.
  • Food Allergies: The most common food allergens in cats are beef, fish, and chicken. Other ingredients can lead to allergies as well. Cats with food allergies are treated with special diets containing non-allergenic ingredients.
  • Poisoning: Sudden vomiting can also be caused by poisoning, which is an emergency. There are several sources of toxins in the average home, including antifreeze, human medication, household cleaners, pesticides, and .
  • : This condition is usually accompanied by diarrhea and weight loss. This disease can occur anywhere in a cat's intestinal tract, including the stomach (gastritis), the small intestine (enteritis), or the large intestine (colitis).
  • Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas, which is part of the endocrine and digestive systems, can cause vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, fever, and an unwillingness to drink water or eat.
  • Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD): Signs of CKD include vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, weight loss, and increased water consumption.
  • : Vomiting is common and often one of the first signs something is wrong. Other signs include increased thirst, hunger, and urination as well as weight loss and muscle weakness.
  • Hyperthyroidism: Frequent vomiting along with increased appetite and weight loss are also indicators of or an overactive thyroid gland, which is part of the endocrine system. You can also look for signs such as irritability, diarrhea, weakness, and excessive thirst. Additionally, your cat's fur may appear as if it's not being groomed as normal.
  • Hairballs: Although are common in cats, they're no laughing matter. Hairballs that are not vomited up can cause a bowel obstruction. Surgery is required to remove the obstruction.
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Diagnosing Frequent Vomiting in Cats

Call your veterinarian if your cat vomits many times in one day or sporadically for more than two days in a row. Your veterinarian will ask for a complete history, including information on your cat's current and previous food, feeding habits, exposure to toxins, and temperament because there are so many different potential reasons of recurrent vomiting (excessive grooming or eating too fast). Your veterinarian may choose to do laboratory blood and urine panels as well as a fecal test to look for anomalies or parasites if a diagnosis cannot be reached solely based on the history and physical examination. If a blockage is thought to exist, X-rays or ultrasounds can be required. Sometimes a diagnosis is made by altering the diet to determine if a food allergy or intolerance was the cause of the vomiting.

Treatment

The underlying reason of your cat's vomiting will determine the course of treatment. For instance, medicine is used to treat feline inflammatory bowel disease. Your cat has to eat a diet with few ingredients if it also has food allergies. Your veterinarian might advise taking blood pressure medication and drinking more fluids if your cat has renal illness. Surgery and medication are two options for treating hyperthyroidism. Your veterinarian will walk you through your alternatives and assist you in making a well-informed choice based on your cat's individual requirements.

Prognosis for Cats with Frequent Vomiting

Most cats with regular vomiting have a favorable prognosis since all it takes is a simple food modification. The prognosis for each cat depends on the specific situation, but toxic exposures and illnesses are more dangerous and harder to treat.

How to Prevent Vomiting

You can take action to help prevent or decrease the frequency of vomiting in your cat in various ways, including:

  • Feed frequent small meals.
  • Spread food on a plate rather than piling it in a bowl.
  • Try an automatic feeder that dispenses a specific amount of food at a time.
  • If you suspect food allergies, talk with your veterinarian about different options. Be sure to read the ingredient list carefully.
  • To prevent the possibility of poisoning, keep toxic chemicals, medications, and other potentially hazardous away from your pet. Remember, cats are curious and can get into or jump on things you might not suspect. Make sure there are no antifreeze spills on your garage floor or driveway. Keep your cat out of the garage. Pet-proof your home regularly.
  • To prevent hairballs, brush your cat and prevent it from over-grooming. Frequent use of a high-quality cat brush can go a long way toward preventing a veterinary emergency. You can also try hairball-reducing food that includes more fiber.
If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know the pet's health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet.

CITATION

"Vomiting. Cornell University College Of Veterinary Medicine," ;

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