Even the healthiest cat is prone to vomiting now and then. In most cases, there's nothing to be concerned about. But if your cats vomit more often than once a month, or keep vomiting repeatedly, a visit to the vet is certainly in order.
Vomiting can be caused by minor intestinal upset, such as from eating plants, spoiled food, or foul-tasting things, and a wide variety of gastrointestinal conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, constipation, or obstruction due to an ingested foreign object.
Here are some of the most common reasons cats might vomit:
If your cats eat too much, too fast, vomiting will likely result soon after they eat and the food is un-chewed and undigested in a tubular shape. Consider giving them smaller, more frequent portions, and a number of fun cat bowls are available to help slow your cats' eating.
That said, throwing up right after eating can be an indication of a more serious problem, such as hairballs, dehydration, esophageal issues, or a digestive tract obstruction. If your cats frequently vomit right after a meal, a trip to the vet is required.
Rapid food changes can lead to vomiting in cats. If you initiate a food change, do so gradually, if you can, by mixing in less and less of the old food.
When cats have a food allergy, they are allergic to either the protein or the carbohydrate in their food. The most common food allergens in cats are beef, fish, and chicken. Other ingredients can lead to allergies as well. Talk to your vet about recommended foods.
To prevent the possibility of poisoning, keep toxic chemicals, medications, and other potentially hazardous away from your cats. Remember that cats are curious and make sure your cats can't get into food, plants, or other household hazards that cause vomiting or, worse, are toxic. Cat-proof your home regularly. See our lists of foods that are toxic to cats, and more info on common household dangers.
Cats that pass a dry hard stool every few days may be constipated and vomit from feeling bloated and plugged up.
Inflammatory bowel disease
Inflammatory bowel disease is another cause of vomiting. It is usually accompanied by diarrhoea and weight loss. This disease can occur anywhere in a cat's intestinal tract.
Kidney disease is common in older cats. Kidneys filter waste from the blood. They balance nutrients and play a role in controlling blood pressure. Signs of Kidney disease include vomiting, lethargy, diarrhoea, weight loss, and increased water consumption.
Diabetes is another endocrine disease. Vomiting is common and often one of the first signs, and other signs include increased thirst, hunger, and urination as well as weight loss and muscle weakness.
Frequent vomiting along with increased appetite and weight loss are also indicators of hyperthyroidism. You can also look for signs, such as irritability, diarrhoea, weakness, and excessive thirst. Additionally, your cats' fur may appear as if it's not being groomed as normal.
Featured image by Jenna Hamra