Why Does a Cat Vomit?
What is it?
How is it Treated?
No specific breeds are predisposed to vomiting in cats as it is a symptom rather than a disease. However, vomiting can occur in any cat breed due to various underlying conditions.
Bella, an adorable calico cat, had always been a healthy and lively companion to her owner, Kate. However, when Bella started to vomit frequently, Kate became increasingly worried about her beloved pet’s health. Concerned for Bella’s well-being, she took her to the veterinarian for an evaluation.
There are several types of vomiting in cats, depending on where the vomitus exits the cat’s body. Sometimes, the vomitus travels down the esophagus and out of the mouth via the nose. This type of vomiting is called regurgitation. If the vomitus moves up toward the throat, it is called retching. Finally, if the vomitus travels directly upward, it is called heaving.
There are two types of vomiting in cats, Chronic and acute.
- Acute vomiting is usually caused by food poisoning. This type of vomiting occurs quickly and lasts for just a few hours. If you notice your cat vomiting frequently, you must immediately take him to the vet. A cat who vomits several times a row is likely experiencing acute vomiting. In addition, he may have eaten some spoiled food.
- Chronic vomiting in cats occurs when they repeatedly vomit without apparent reason. Gastric ulcers, food allergies, parasites, intestinal blockage, kidney disease, liver problems, pancreatitis, heart disease, thyroid disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, or neurological diseases usually cause it.
Causes of Vomiting in Cats
Vomiting can be caused in many ways, including poisoning, illness such as food allergies, stress, and other health issues. If you notice your cat vomiting frequently, you must immediately take them to a veterinary clinic. Cats vomit for several reasons; some require immediate care, while others do not.
Some common causes of vomiting include:
- Poisoning – Cats often eat items that aren’t good for them, like plants, berries, and even household products. They might also ingest something toxic accidentally, like cleaning chemicals or medications.
- Illness – Some illnesses can make cats feel sick, causing them to vomit. These include viral infections, bacterial infections, parasites, and certain types of cancer.
- Stress – A stressed cat may become ill and throw up.
- Food Allergies – Some foods can cause a reaction in a cat’s stomach and lead to vomiting.
- Other Medical Conditions – Certain diseases can cause your cat to vomit, including liver disease, pancreatitis, kidney failure, and intestinal blockages.
What are the Symptoms of Chronic Vomiting in Felines?
Vomiting in cats is usually accompanied by abdominal heaving (excessive retching) and drooling. Drooling may be due to stress or anxiety. Abdominal heaving is often associated with vomiting.
The most common symptoms include:
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive drinking
- Urination/defecation outside of standard patterns
Diagnosis of Cat Vomit
Ultrasounds use sound waves to create pictures of internal organs. Endoscopes allow doctors to view the body through small tubes inserted through the mouth or anus. X-rays expose the cat to radiation. And blood tests measure the number of certain chemicals in the blood.
The most accurate method for diagnosing vomiting in cats is an ultrasound. This involves inserting a probe into the stomach via the mouth or rectum. An ultrasound machine sends sound waves at different frequencies, allowing the doctor to identify abnormalities within the abdomen.
Endoscopies are another option for diagnosing vomiting in pets. They involve inserting a tube down the throat and into the esophagus (the line leading from the back of the mouth to the stomach). Once inside the esophagus, the doctor examines the lining of the esophagus and looks for signs of inflammation or tumors.
X-rays detect foreign bodies, such as coins, bones, or plastic toys, lodged in the digestive tract. X-rays are safe when done correctly, but some veterinarians may recommend avoiding them because they may cause cat allergic reactions.
Blood tests are often performed after an ultrasound, endoscopy or X-ray. These tests measure certain chemicals in the bloodstream, including white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets, hemoglobin, and bilirubin. In addition, these tests help determine infection or bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract.
Treatment for Acute Vomiting in Cats
There are several different treatments available for vomiting in cats. Some of the options include medication, dietary changes, and surgery. Medication is typically used to treat mild cases, while surgery is reserved for severe cases. Nutritional changes are generally recommended for moderate patients.
- Medications can be administered orally or via injection. Oral medications can be given in liquid form or as tablets. Liquid forms are easier to help, but pills are more effective.
- Dietary changes are another option. These include eliminating certain food types, including oniony foods, and feeding special diets with less irritating ingredients.
- Surgery is rarely needed unless the cat vomits repeatedly or becomes severely dehydrated. Then, surgery involves opening the abdomen and removing whatever is causing the problem.
How to Prevent Severe Vomiting in Cats?
While vomiting is usually harmless, it can lead to dehydration and other health problems. Fortunately, there are several preventative measures that you can take to avoid having your cat vomit.
The first thing to consider is whether or not your kitten is eating enough food. Kittens who aren’t appropriately fed tend to eat less, leading to weight loss and eventually vomiting. After waiting several hours, you can give your cat about 25% of what you would typically feed to see if it can keep it down. Ensure your kitten gets plenty o food, dry food, and treats. Also, try giving them water in smaller amounts every few hours instead of in large quantities.
Next, make sure that your kitten is drinking enough water. Most cats drink about 1 cup of water daily, although some can consume much more. If your kitten seems thirsty, offer them water frequently.
Lastly, make sure that your cat is receiving adequate veterinary care. Veterinarians can detect signs of illness early on, allowing you to intervene before your kitten becomes seriously ill. If you notice any symptoms of sickness, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions
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