Why Is My Cat Vomiting So Much, And What To Do About It?

Aug 5, 2023 | Cat Health, Cats

Is your furry friend turning into a living, breathing vomit machine?
It can be incredibly distressing to see your beloved cat constantly spewing their stomach contents. But fear not, because we’ll explore the reasons behind why your cat may be vomiting excessively and what you can do about it.

Excessive vomiting in cats can have various causes, ranging from mild to severe. It could be something as simple as hairballs or eating too quickly, or it could indicate a more serious underlying health issue. Understanding the potential causes and seeking appropriate treatment is crucial for ensuring your cat’s well-being.

So buckle up and get ready to uncover the mystery behind your feline’s projectile puke sessions while discovering effective solutions to tackle this messy situation head-on!

Chronic And Acute Vomiting In Cats

Chronic and acute vomiting in cats can be a distressing issue that pet owners must address promptly. Acute vomiting refers to sudden episodes of vomiting that may be caused by various factors such as dietary indiscretion, ingestion of toxic substances, or gastrointestinal infections. It’s crucial to identify the underlying cause of acute vomiting in order to provide appropriate treatment.

On the other hand, chronic vomiting occurs over a prolonged period and may indicate an underlying medical condition such as inflammatory bowel disease, kidney disease, or pancreatitis. Treatment for chronic vomiting typically involves identifying and managing the underlying cause through diagnostic tests and medication.

Preventing vomiting in cats starts with providing them with a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs. Avoid feeding them table scraps or foods that are known to trigger digestive issues. It’s also important to ensure they have access to fresh water at all times to stay hydrated. If your cat has a history of recurrent vomiting, it’s advisable to feed smaller meals more frequently throughout the day rather than one large meal.

Home remedies for occasional cat vomiting include withholding food for 12-24 hours but ensuring they still have access to water, offering bland foods like boiled chicken or white rice after the fasting period, and gradually reintroducing their regular diet once they’re feeling better. However, if your cat’s vomiting persists for more than 48 hours or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms like lethargy or loss of appetite, it’s essential to consult with a veterinarian as these could be signs of a more serious condition requiring immediate medical attention.

Calico cat vomiting after eating grass likely trying to get rid of hair balls

Common Causes Of Vomiting In Cats

Frequent vomiting in cats can have various causes. One common factor is dietary triggers. Cats can have sensitive stomachs, and certain foods may not agree with them, leading to an upset stomach and vomiting. Pay attention to your cat’s diet to identify specific ingredients or foods that consistently cause vomiting.

Another potential cause is food allergies. Cats can develop allergies to certain ingredients, which can lead to gastrointestinal issues and vomiting. Consult a veterinarian to determine the ingredient causing the allergy and get suitable dietary recommendations.

Hairballs are another culprit. Cats ingest loose hairs while grooming, and these hairs can accumulate in the stomach, forming hairballs that are expelled through vomiting.

Gastrointestinal issues like inflammation or infections can also cause frequent vomiting. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an example of a condition that can lead to chronic vomiting. If your cat has persistent or worsening vomiting, seek veterinary attention for diagnosis and treatment.

Understanding the common causes of vomiting in cats will help you identify triggers and take appropriate action. Monitor your cat’s diet, address food allergies, manage hairballs, and seek veterinary care for gastrointestinal issues. These steps will promote your cat’s well-being.

How To Diagnose The Cause Of Vomiting In Your Cat

Have you ever wondered how veterinarians diagnose the cause of your cat’s vomiting? When cats frequently vomit, diagnosing the cause involves several steps.

It starts with gathering a comprehensive history from the owner and conducting a physical examination of the cat. To eliminate potential toxicities, parasites, and metabolic diseases, bloodwork and fecal examination are performed. If no abnormalities are found, additional tests such as X-rays and ultrasounds can help detect masses, foreign objects, and gastrointestinal tract issues.

In cases where these tests yield no conclusive results, a biopsy of the intestinal tract may be recommended to rule out cancer or inflammatory bowel disease.

What To Expect When You Take Your Cat To The Veterinarian For An Examination And Testing

Cute scottish fold cat being examined by a pet doctor

When your cat experiences vomiting episodes, it’s important to take them to the veterinarian for a thorough examination and necessary testing. Your veterinarian is trained to diagnose the underlying cause and offer the best treatment recommendations.

During the visit, your vet will conduct a physical examination to check for abnormalities like enlarged organs or masses. They may also recommend further tests such as blood work, X-rays, or ultrasounds for a clearer understanding of the underlying issue.

Based on their findings, your veterinarian will discuss treatment options with you. This may include medications to alleviate nausea or inflammation or dietary changes to eliminate potential allergens or irritants. It’s crucial to closely follow your vet’s recommendations and monitor your cat’s response to any prescribed medications or dietary changes.

While there are some home remedies that may provide temporary relief for mild cases of vomiting, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian before attempting them. Your vet can guide you on appropriate home care measures and advise against potentially harmful remedies.

Remember to monitor symptoms closely and promptly report any changes in frequency or severity of vomiting episodes to your vet. By working closely with your veterinarian and following their recommendations, you can help identify the cause of your cat’s vomiting and find an effective treatment plan tailored specifically for them.

Blood Work And Abdominal X-rays To Diagnose Vomiting

To determine the cause of your cat’s vomiting, your veterinarian may recommend blood work and abdominal X-rays, which can help provide valuable information for diagnosis and treatment.

These diagnostic tests are essential in identifying underlying health issues that could be contributing to your cat’s frequent vomiting.

Here’s what you can expect from these procedures:

Blood work: This involves taking a small sample of your cat’s blood to analyze various parameters such as red and white blood cell counts, liver and kidney function, electrolyte levels, and thyroid hormone levels. Abnormalities in these values can indicate potential causes for vomiting, such as organ dysfunction or hormonal imbalances.

Abdominal X-rays: X-rays allow the veterinarian to visualize the internal structures of your cat’s abdomen. They can reveal abnormalities like masses or foreign objects that might be causing irritation or obstruction in the digestive tract. Additionally, X-rays can show signs of inflammation or fluid accumulation within the abdominal cavity.

Once the results of these tests are obtained, your veterinarian will carefully analyze them to identify any potential underlying causes for your cat’s vomiting. This thorough evaluation will help guide appropriate treatment options tailored to address those specific causes. Keep in mind that additional testing may be necessary depending on the initial findings.

Incorporating blood work and abdominal X-rays into the diagnostic process is crucial when determining why your cat is experiencing excessive vomiting. By obtaining a comprehensive understanding of their health status through these tests, veterinarians are better equipped to develop an effective treatment plan targeted at addressing the root cause(s) of their symptoms.

Cat Having Ultrasound Scan At Vets

Performing A Barium Study, Ultrasound, And Endoscopy To Diagnose Vomiting

For a more in-depth evaluation of your cat’s vomiting, veterinarians may perform a barium study, ultrasound, or endoscopy to visualize any abnormalities within the digestive system.

A barium study involves administering a contrast material called barium orally or through an enema. This substance coats the walls of the gastrointestinal tract and allows for better visualization on X-rays. By observing how the barium moves through your cat’s digestive system, veterinarians can identify any blockages, strictures, or abnormal motility patterns that may be causing the vomiting. Additionally, this diagnostic test provides valuable information about the overall structure and function of the gastrointestinal tract.

Ultrasound is another useful tool in diagnosing vomiting in cats. It uses sound waves to create images of internal organs and can help identify abnormalities such as tumors, inflammation, or changes in organ size. Ultrasound is non-invasive and generally well-tolerated by cats. Its accuracy depends on the skill and experience of the veterinarian performing it.

In some cases where abnormalities are detected but require further examination, an endoscopy may be recommended. During an endoscopy procedure, a small flexible tube with a camera attached (endoscope) is inserted into your cat’s esophagus and guided down to their stomach and intestines. This allows veterinarians to directly visualize these organs and obtain biopsies if necessary for further analysis.

It’s important to note that while these diagnostic methods can provide valuable information regarding your cat’s vomiting issue, they are not always necessary for every case. Alternative diagnostic methods such as blood work and abdominal X-rays may already provide sufficient information for diagnosis in many instances. The decision to pursue more advanced testing options will depend on several factors, including the severity and frequency of your cat’s vomiting episodes, response to initial treatment attempts, or suspicion of underlying conditions based on previous tests’ findings.

The cost of diagnostic testing can vary depending on various factors like geographical location, veterinary clinic, and the specific tests performed. It’s best to discuss the potential costs with your veterinarian beforehand so you can make an informed decision about which diagnostic methods are appropriate for your cat’s situation.

Performing Exploratory Surgery To Diagnose Vomiting

Performing exploratory surgery can provide valuable insights into the cause of your cat’s vomiting. While there are alternative diagnostic methods available, such as barium studies, ultrasounds, and endoscopies, sometimes surgery is necessary to get a definitive diagnosis.

Here are some key points to consider when it comes to performing exploratory surgery:

1. Risks: Like any surgical procedure, exploratory surgery carries inherent risks. Anesthesia complications, bleeding, infection, or damage to surrounding organs are possible risks that should be discussed with your veterinarian beforehand.

2. Cost: Exploratory surgery can be more expensive compared to other diagnostic methods due to the complexity of the procedure and the need for specialized equipment and skilled veterinary surgeons. It is important to discuss the cost involved with your veterinarian prior to making a decision.

3. Recovery and complications: After the surgery, your cat will require appropriate post-operative care and monitoring. The recovery process may vary depending on the specific case but typically involves pain management and restricted activity for a certain period of time. Complications can occur following any surgical procedure; therefore, close communication with your veterinarian during this time is crucial.

While exploratory surgery is not always needed for diagnosing vomiting in cats, it can provide valuable information when other diagnostic methods fail to yield conclusive results. Discussing all options with your veterinarian will help determine whether this approach is necessary for finding the underlying cause of your cat’s vomiting while considering potential risks and costs associated with it.

Treatment Options For A Cat That’s Throwing Up

When it comes to treating a cat that’s throwing up, there are several options available.

First, your veterinarian may recommend administering fluids to help hydrate your cat and prevent dehydration. They may also prescribe anti-vomiting medication to alleviate the symptoms and provide relief.

Additionally, diet changes may be necessary to address any underlying dietary issues causing the vomiting. In some cases, your vet may even prescribe prednisone to reduce inflammation and assist in resolving the vomiting problem.


Although it’s concerning, excessive vomiting in cats can be a red flag that their body is like a dried-up riverbed in need of replenishing fluids. Fluid therapy is an essential component of treatment for cats that are throwing up excessively. The goal is to prevent dehydration and restore the cat’s electrolyte balance.

There are several options for administering fluids to your feline friend. Subcutaneous fluids, for example, involve injecting fluids under the skin using a needle and syringe. It’s a relatively simple procedure that can be done at home with proper instruction from your veterinarian. Subcutaneous fluids provide hydration over time and can help maintain your cat’s fluid balance.

In more severe cases, where immediate hydration is crucial, intravenous (IV) fluids may be necessary. This method involves placing a catheter into a vein so that fluids can be administered directly into the bloodstream. IV fluids allow for rapid rehydration and are typically administered at the veterinary clinic.

In addition to these methods, oral rehydration solutions may also be used if your cat is able to tolerate oral intake. These solutions contain electrolytes and water, which help replace lost fluids and prevent further dehydration. It’s important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the best course of action for your cat’s specific condition. They’ll assess the severity of the vomiting and recommend appropriate fluid therapy options tailored to your cat’s needs.

Remember, addressing excessive vomiting promptly through fluid therapy is essential in preventing dehydration and ensuring your cat’s well-being. If you suspect that your furry companion is dehydrated or experiencing severe vomiting episodes, reach out to your veterinarian as soon as possible for guidance on how to proceed with fluid administration techniques such as subcutaneous or intravenous fluids or oral rehydration solutions. It’s important to address dehydration and severe vomiting promptly, as they can be signs of a serious underlying health issue and can lead to further complications if left untreated. Your veterinarian will be able to assess the situation, diagnose the cause of these symptoms, and recommend the most appropriate fluid administration technique for your furry companion’s specific needs.

Anti-Vomiting Medication

If your feline friend can’t seem to keep their food down, anti-vomiting medication may be the solution you’re looking for. These medications are specifically designed to help control and reduce vomiting in cats. They work by targeting the underlying causes of vomiting, such as gastrointestinal irritation or inflammation.

When it comes to anti-vomiting medication for cats, it’s important to follow the dosage instructions provided by your veterinarian. Giving the correct amount at the right time is crucial for your cat’s safety and the effectiveness of the medication. It’s common for these medications to have potential side effects, although they’re usually rare and mild. Some possible side effects may include drowsiness or changes in appetite. If you notice any unusual behavior or adverse reactions in your cat while on the medication, it’s important to consult with your vet.

While anti-vomiting medication can be effective in managing vomiting episodes, there are also alternative treatments and natural remedies that you can discuss with your vet. These options might include dietary changes, probiotics, or herbal supplements that promote digestive health. Additionally, long-term use of anti-vomiting medication should be carefully monitored by a veterinarian since prolonged use may require adjustments in dosage or alternative treatment methods. Your vet will guide you through the best course of action based on your cat’s specific needs and overall health condition to ensure the medication’s effectiveness and minimize any potential side effects or complications.

Regular check-ups and monitoring of your cat’s condition will be necessary to evaluate the medication’s ongoing efficacy and determine if any changes are needed. It’s important to follow your veterinarian’s guidance and communicate any changes or concerns you may have during the long-term use of anti-vomiting medication for your cat.

Diet Changes

If anti-vomiting medication hasn’t been effective in managing your cat’s frequent vomiting, it may be time to consider making some changes to their diet. Feeding patterns and dietary sensitivities can play a significant role in causing gastrointestinal upset in cats. By addressing these factors, you can help alleviate your feline companion’s discomfort and reduce the frequency of their vomiting episodes.

One option to explore is modifying your cat’s feeding patterns. Rather than free-feeding them throughout the day, try dividing their meals into smaller, more frequent portions. This approach can aid digestion and prevent overeating, which is known to trigger vomiting in some cats.

Additionally, pay attention to any specific dietary sensitivities your cat may have developed. Cats can develop allergies or intolerances to certain ingredients commonly found in commercial cat food. Identifying and eliminating these triggers from their diet can greatly improve their digestive health.

In addition to feeding patterns and dietary sensitivities, nutritional deficiencies could also be contributing to your cat’s excessive vomiting. Homemade cat food recipes tailored to meet all of your feline friend’s nutritional needs may be worth exploring under the guidance of a veterinarian or veterinary nutritionist. Alternatively, if you prefer using commercial cat food, opt for high-quality brands that are specifically formulated for cats with sensitive stomachs or digestive issues. These brands often contain easily digestible proteins and limited ingredient lists that minimize the risk of triggering a vomiting episode.

To summarize:

1) Modify feeding patterns by offering smaller, more frequent meals.
2) Identify and eliminate any potential dietary sensitivities.
3) Consider homemade cat food recipes or high-quality commercial options formulated for sensitive stomachs.
4) Ensure that the chosen diet meets all of your cat’s nutritional requirements.

By implementing these dietary changes with careful consideration for your cat’s unique needs, you can support their digestive health and potentially reduce the frequency of vomiting episodes they experience. However, it’s always advisable to consult with a veterinarian before making any significant changes to your cat’s diet.

Prescription Of Prednisone

Prescribing prednisone can be like giving your cat a powerful shield to help combat the effects of inflammation in their body. Prednisone is a corticosteroid medication that’s commonly used in veterinary medicine to treat various conditions, including vomiting in cats. It works by suppressing the immune system and reducing inflammation, which can help alleviate symptoms and provide relief for your furry friend.

When it comes to prednisone for cats, it’s important to follow the prescribed dosage as directed by your veterinarian. The dosage will depend on your cat’s specific condition and weight. It’s crucial not to exceed the recommended dose or duration of treatment, as long-term use of prednisone may have potential side effects such as increased thirst and appetite, weight gain, and decreased immune function.

Regular monitoring by your vet will ensure that your cat’s health is closely monitored during treatment with prednisone.

Prednisone can be an effective tool in managing vomiting in cats due to its anti-inflammatory properties. However, it should only be used under the guidance of a veterinarian and with strict adherence to the prescribed dosage. Monitoring for any possible side effects is essential when considering long-term use of this medication.

Your vet will be able to provide you with further information and guidance on how best to manage your cat’s condition while using prednisone as part of their treatment plan.

Cat Vomiting Frequently Asked Questions

Can I give my cat over-the-counter medication to stop the vomiting?

No, it is not recommended to give your cat over-the-counter medication without veterinary advice. Vomiting can have various common causes, such as dietary changes, and natural remedies should be explored after consulting with a veterinarian.

Are there any home remedies that can help with my cat’s vomiting?

To address your cat’s vomiting, consider natural remedies like dietary changes and hydration methods. Probiotics for cats and holistic treatments can also be beneficial. Consult with a veterinarian for professional advice.

How long does it typically take for a cat to recover from vomiting?

Typically, cat recovery time from vomiting varies depending on the underlying cause. Causes can range from hairballs to more serious health issues. If your cat’s vomiting persists for more than 24 hours or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it’s best to consult a vet. They can provide guidance on dietary changes and recommend appropriate treatment options.

Can stress or anxiety cause my cat to vomit?

Yes, stress and anxiety can cause your cat to vomit. Stress-related vomiting triggers can include changes in routine or environment. It’s important to manage anxiety in cats with natural remedies and identify signs of stress to prevent vomiting.

Are there any long-term effects of chronic vomiting in cats?

Long-term health effects of chronic vomiting in cats can include dehydration and nutrient deficiencies. Dietary changes, veterinary care, hydration management, and identifying potential underlying causes are crucial for addressing this issue effectively.

The Tail End

If your furry feline friend has been experiencing frequent episodes of vomiting, it’s crucial to address this issue promptly. Chronic and acute vomiting in cats can be caused by various factors such as dietary indiscretion, hairballs, or underlying medical conditions.

To determine the cause of your cat’s vomiting, it’s recommended to take them to a veterinarian for a thorough examination and testing. During the veterinary visit, the veterinarian may perform blood work and abdominal X-rays to help diagnose the underlying cause. In more complex cases, additional diagnostic procedures like a barium study, ultrasound, or endoscopy may be necessary. In rare instances where other methods fail to provide a diagnosis, exploratory surgery might be required.

Once the cause of your cat’s vomiting has been identified, appropriate treatment options can be determined. This may include changes in diet, medication administration, or even surgical interventions if needed. It’s vital to follow your veterinarian’s advice and closely monitor your cat’s condition throughout the treatment process.

Remember that addressing your cat’s vomiting promptly can help alleviate their discomfort and prevent any potential complications. So don’t hesitate – reach out to your veterinarian today for professional guidance on how best to manage this concern for your beloved feline companion!

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