Help! My Cat is Throwing Up! Possible Causes of Feline Vomiting
You vomit, I vomit, your cat vomits. We all vomit. Now that I have your attention, allow me to continue! If your cat begins to vomit, don't panic as there are many reasons why your kitty may be feeling a bit under the weather. Did you know that when it comes to your feline, vomiting is one of the most common non-specific symptoms you are likely to encounter? While the good news is that vomiting is common in kitties…the bad news is that it can be difficult to figure out what has your cat's stomach in such an uproar. Sometimes cats vomit…well, because they can. While other times they are ill or have ingested something they shouldn't have.
Cats vomit more easily than other animals. If you have ever witnessed a cat vomiting…then you know it is not a pretty sight. They extend their neck and begin to make a horrible, harsh, gagging sound (similar to when they cough up a hairball). The most common reason cats vomit is due to the fact that they have swallowed too much hair. As you probably know (especially if you own a cat) they groom themselves…a lot! As they groom, they tend to swallow hair. Too much hair can upset the stomach…hence the reason they throw it up. Outdoor cats that eat grass also have a tendency to throw up due to the fact that grass is irritating and can easily upset the stomach. Cats that eat too much or too fast also run the risk of throwing up. Therefore, if you have more than one cat, you should always feed them from separate bowls. Serving meals in separate bowls will keep your cats from competing for food…therefore; they will eat at a slower pace. If your cat vomits once or twice but otherwise appears normal…don't worry, the situation is most likely not serious.
In Brief - Different Types of Feline Vomiting
- Persistent Vomiting: If your cat vomits and then begins to retch, bringing up a clear, frothy liquid then most likely, he has eaten something bad. This vomiting behavior suggests that your cat's stomach is not happy and that kitty most likely ate some spoiled food, grass or too much hair. If persistent vomiting is accompanied by diarrhea and does not get better within a day or so…it would be wise to take your cat to the vet. As I always say…better to be safe, than sorry!
- Vomiting Blood: If your cat is vomiting up bright red blood this indicates active bleeding somewhere between the mouth and the upper small bowel. This is most commonly caused by a foreign body that your cat has ingested. Vomiting blood can be quite serious and is most certainly an indicator that something is definitely WRONG! Any cat that vomits blood should be examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
- Projectile Vomiting: Thankfully, I have never witnessed my cat Norman projectile vomit. THANK GOODNESS, I can only imagine how lovely that would be. In any event, projectile vomiting is, in a nutshell, forceful vomiting in which the cat's stomach contents are ejected suddenly and often a considerable distance. Now I have seen a child projectile vomit…but never a cat. Projectile vomiting is often an indicator that a foreign object of some sort is completely blocking the upper gastrointestinal tract. Foreign objects, large hairballs and tumors are possible causes. Brain diseases such as a brain tumor, encephalitis and blood clots can also cause a blockage that would cause your kitty to projectile vomit. Projectile vomiting can be an indicator or a serious problem, therefore, a trip to the veterinarian is in order.
- Vomiting Feces: As previously mentioned, I have never seen my cat Norman projectile vomit. I am also VERY HAPPY to report that I have never seen him vomit feces either. To be completely honest, if I had to choose, I would rather see projectile vomiting rather than the feces option. Can you say GROSS? As yucky as it sounds (and it does sound yucky) vomiting feces is a very serious matter. A cat that vomits foul material that looks and smells like feces is most likely suffering from intestinal obstruction or peritonitis. Trauma to the abdominal area can also be the cause. If your cat vomits feces it is VERY IMPORTANT that you seek professional treatment as soon as possible as vomiting feces is a clear indicator of a VERY SERIOUS problem.
- Sporadic Vomiting: Cats sometimes vomit off and on over a period of days or weeks. If the vomiting is accompanied by lethargy, an over-all haggard appearance, and loss of appetite your cat may be suffering from liver or kidney disease. Other problems that can cause sporadic vomiting include irritable bowel disease, chronic gastritis, worm infestation or even hairballs. If your cat has been vomiting off and on for several days a veterinary check-up is in order so that a correct diagnosis can be made.
All cats, at one point or another, vomit. Therefore, there is no need to panic if your kitty throws up. However, it is very important that you keep an eye on your pet to make sure that they don't have a serious illness or condition that is causing them to be sick. Monitor your cat for two or three days…if they are still vomiting, take them to the vet. Of course, if you are really worried about your furry friend, take them in sooner. If you would like to read more about hairballs, please read my HUB Page: Hairballs, a Natural Part of Your Cat's Life. If you have a few minutes to spare, please visit my other cat related HUB Pages as well. Meow!
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