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Cat Health Problems: Why Is My Cat Throwing Up

Updated on July 18, 2013

If you own a cat, or more accurately, if a cat owns you, then sooner or later you're going to find yourself cleaning up cat vomit. That doesn't mean your cat's health is in jeopardy. There are a lot of things that can cause cat vomiting, and most of them are not threatening to a cat's health. It's often caused by eating too much, eating too fast, or playing too soon after eating. Some cats are even subject to motion sickness that can be set off during a ride in the car.

Hairballs and Vomiting Cats

Hairballs are one of the most common causes of feline vomiting; especially if you have a medium or long haired cat. It's not a big threat to cat health, but it's also not pleasant for the cat or the owner. As your cat grooms herself, hairballs occur naturally, but there are a few things you can do to help control them.

Outdoor cats eat grass. It not only helps to bring up hairballs, but provides vitamins, and roughage to aid digestion. But, with more cat owners making the responsible decision to keep their cats indoors, that's not always an option. For indoor cats, there are hairball formula cat foods that are effective on some cats. For the best chance of success you should stick to high quality brand, like Science Diet or Iams. You can also try high fiber cat treats; but they're not always completely effective.

One of the best ways to control hairballs is with petroleum jelly. Spread a tiny bit on your cat's paw once a week, and he'll instinctively lick it off. The Jelly coats hair that gets swallowed during grooming, and helps to keep it from forming balls. If Kitty won't take the plain petroleum jelly, it's also available in a malt flavor that most cats will eat.

Why Is My Cat Throwing Up

If your cat is suffering from chronic vomiting, or the vomiting is accompanied by diarrhea or blood, you should definitely get him to a veterinarian. These can be signs of serious cat health issues. Vomiting and diarrhea can quickly lead to dehydration, which can be deadly for cats; so don't wait too long.

Keep an eye on your cat's behavior, as well. It's important to give detailed information to help the veterinarian diagnose the cause of your cats vomiting. Some questions the vet is likely to ask include:
• How has the cat's health been, in general?
• Is the cat lethargic?
• Is he losing weight?
• Does your cat vomit after eating? If so, how long afterward?
• Is he coughing or having trouble breathing?

These questions are designed to help your vet determine whether your cat is vomiting, or regurgitating, which is entirely different. Feline regurgitation is usually a result of a gastrointestinal disorder.

Reasons That Cats May Vomit
Reasons That Cats May Vomit

More Serious Causes Of Cat Vomiting

Intestinal parasites not only cause vomiting, but can be a serious threat to cat health. Along with vomiting, parasites can cause diarrhea and numerous other symptoms. You may even see your cat vomit up a worm. Other signs of intestinal parasites include:
• Potbelly
• Weight loss
• Loss of appetite
• Poor coat condition

Some worming medications can also cause vomiting, so keep your vet up to date on any changes in your cat's behavior and diet.

Chemical Hazards Could Be The Reason Your Cat Is Throwing Up.
Chemical Hazards Could Be The Reason Your Cat Is Throwing Up.

Foreign Objects and Cat Health- Cats are notoriously curious. Sometimes they get a little too curious, and swallow something they shouldn't. Often, the object will pass naturally. But sometimes a foreign object can cause vomiting and, if it's large enough, can result in an intestinal obstruction. This happens more often with kittens than adult cats but, regardless of your cat's age, it's best to err on the side of caution. Keep small objects put away where your cat can't get to them.

Poisons- This is another good argument for indoor cats. Some poisons, like anti-freeze, taste like candy to some cats. Since they like to eat grass, they're also vulnerable to eating weed killers, pesticides, and other chemicals that are often sprayed on lawns. These can all cause cats to vomit or worse.

Older Cats- For elderly cats, vomiting tends to be more frequent. Like humans, aging cats' organs become less efficient. They often have digestive problems, and near the end of their lives, failing kidneys can also cause nausea and vomiting.

A Healthy Cat Is A Happy Cat
A Healthy Cat Is A Happy Cat

Know Your Cat

Cats can be playful, loyal companions from kittenhood, right on through their golden years. If you pay attention to their habits, you can usually tell when something isn't quite right so you know when to take action. They have a way of communicating with you when they want to be loved, when they want to be left alone, and when they're not feeling well. It's up to you to learn their language, and by doing so, you'll keep your furry little buddy happy, healthy, and in charge of your house for many years.

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