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Vomiting in Cats

Vomiting in Cats

Are you worried because your pet cat is vomiting? Read on to know the reasons behind the condition and the treatment options at your disposal.
Girija Shinde
Cats make wonderful pets. They have a mind of their own, they won't run behind you like a dog, but will surely occupy their rightful place on your lap when you come home everyday. They consider themselves a part of the family. Since they are choosy about what they eat, it is difficult to keep a track of their dietary habits. Is your cat vomiting often? Here's may be why and what you can do to help your cat.

Why Cats Vomit
The main cause that cats vomit is because of hairballs or trichobezoar in medical terms. Cats have very soft fur and they also love grooming themselves. In fact, they spend most of their time doing just that. Due to these two reasons, their loose fur or hair gets ingested. The digestive (gastrointestinal tract) system is designed to tolerate this fur, as other waste materials are pushed out of the body through stool. But sometimes, the fur does not get completely ingested. This fur is then ousted from the body by vomiting. Excessive hair loss can also result in the inability of the cat's system to ingest it. Some cats have delicate stomachs and cannot digest the fur that they imbibe.

Some other reasons which cause cats to vomit apart from swallowing hairballs are given below.
  • Eating improperly is the most common cause of vomiting in a cat. Eating too fast, frequent dietary changes, overeating, eating plants, rodents or lizards, or consuming rotten food makes the cat throw up.
  • Diseases of the inner ear can cause vomiting. Tilting the head and uncoordinated movements is also seen along with vomiting.
  • Diseases like heartworms can also cause a cat to throw up. This may be accompanied by weight loss, coughing, and depression.
  • Elevated thyroid function or hyperthyroidism in cats, also causes vomiting.
  • Poisonous substances like toxic plants, cleaning agents, human medicines, fertilizers, lead paints etc., can induce vomiting in cats.
  • One of the symptoms of kidney failure in cats is vomiting.
  • Gastric and intestinal diseases like enteritis, ulcers, gastritis, constipation, fungal disease, cancer and irritable bowel syndrome can also cause cats to throw up.
  • One more reason for feline vomiting is metabolic diseases such as hormone imbalances, sepsis, feline pancreatitis, acidosis, feline hyperthyroidism, etc.
  • Even infections like abscess, pyometra, and salmonella can be responsible for vomiting.
When to Worry?
Vomiting once in a while is not a thing to be worried about, but if the cat keeps vomiting, and this is accompanied by other symptoms like dehydration, abdominal bloating, etc., then it is advisable to consult a vet immediately. Finding blood or worms in cat vomit is also a serious issue. Blood in the vomit can be a sign of internal bleeding and worms can be a sign of roundworms in cats and so, should be reported to the vet. If your cat is throwing up every other day on and off, along with loss of appetite and restlessness, it can be a serious problem.

Treatment depends on the cause of vomiting. The vet will usually give antiemetic injections, and if the cause is not detected, he may suggest a blood test. Feeding the cat easily digestible, small quantities of food and making him drink lots of water to prevent dehydration is essential. The best food to be fed to the cat if it is suffering from vomiting, is plain chicken without skin along with mashed rice or potatoes. It is very important to make sure that the cat does not eat any other food, as it can worsen his condition.

It is not possible to keep a constant eye on the cat, but you can make sure that it is given the right diet, as it is very important for the cat's health. You can consult with your vet to ensure that you feed him a proper, well-rounded diet.