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My cat won't stop vomiting: what to do and when to worry

My cat won't stop vomiting: what to do and when to worry

While all cats will vomit sometimes, frequent or severe vomiting can indicate that your cat is suffering from a more serious issue. Today, our Cumming vets discuss the causes of vomiting in cats, and when you should seek veterinary assistance.

Cat Vomiting

Just like humans, cats can have an upset stomach due to various reasons. Your cat's tummy trouble can stem from different causes, including parasites, viruses, food reactions, or more serious conditions like organ problems or cancer.

If your cat vomits frequently or more than once a month, it's important to take them to the vet. This way, the vet can identify the underlying cause of your cat's vomiting and provide an accurate diagnosis.

Reasons Your Cat May Be Vomiting

Eating Too Much, Too Quickly

Your cat might vomit soon after eating if they've eaten too much, too quickly. There are some fun cat bowls to help slow your cat's eating if this is true for your feline. 

That said, throwing up right after eating might point to a more serious problem such as dehydration, hairballs, digestive tract obstruction, or esophageal issues. If your cat frequently vomits right after eating, they'll need to see a vet. 

Hairballs 

Hairballs are clumps of undigested fur that can accumulate in your cat's stomach. They are particularly common in longhaired cats and those who groom themselves excessively. When trying to eliminate hairballs, cats often exhibit hacking noises and spasms along with vomiting.

In most cases, cats can expel hairballs on their own without much trouble. However, if your cat is struggling to expel a hairball, it is essential to seek veterinary care. Hairballs that become trapped can cause intestinal blockages, which can be life-threatening for your cat.

Other Serious Conditions That May Cause Vomiting in Cats

  • Intestinal foreign bodies
  • Food allergies
  • Poisoning
  • Intestinal Parasites
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Metabolic Disorder (ie: Kidney Disease)

When to Worry About Your Cat's Vomiting

If your cat experiences occasional or infrequent episodes of vomiting, it's recommended to withhold food for about 12 hours. During this fasting period, you can offer your cat a few tablespoons of water every 30 minutes or provide them with ice cubes to prevent dehydration.

Once the 12-hour period has passed without vomiting, you can introduce small portions of bland food and gradually transition back to their regular diet if the vomiting has ceased.

If your cat is having repeated bouts of vomiting contact your vet immediately. Continuous or severe vomiting could be a sign that your cat is seriously ill and requires immediate emergency treatment. Contact your vet if your cat displays any of the symptoms below: 

  • Repeated vomiting
  • Blood in vomit 
  • Weakness / Lethargy
  • Pain / Distress
  • Fever
  • Blood in stool 

Diagnosis

When taking your cat to the vet due to vomiting, it's a good idea to take a sample of your cat's vomit with you. Your vet will be able to examine the sample to help determine the cause of your cat's upset stomach.

  • Large amounts of mucus in your cat's stomach could indicate an inflamed intestine
  • Undigested food can be an indication of poisoning, anxiety, or simply a sign that your cat has eaten too much or too quickly.
  • If bile is present in your cat's vomit, it may be an indication of pancreatitis or inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Red blood is a sign that your cat's stomach may be ulcerated.
  • An intestinal obstruction may cause your cat's vomit to have a strong smell.

Treatment

Treatment of vomiting in cats focuses on treating the underlying problem. Depending on what has caused your cat's symptoms, treatment can be as simple as temporarily withholding food or as complex as surgery or chemotherapy.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Has your cat been vomiting consistently? Contact our Cumming vets to book an appointment.

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Animal Medical Center of Cumming is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Cumming companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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