If you’ve been a cat parent for quite a while, you’ve probably caught your cat vomiting at least once. Usually, seeing your cat puke once or twice isn’t supposed to raise alarm bells, but if you’ve noticed that your cat has been vomiting periodically, something must be up!
Because cat vomiting can indicate a severe disease or a simple food error, it’s critical to see a veterinarian for a physical exam and testing to determine what’s causing it.
Here are 15 possible causes of your cat throwing up:
1. Your Cat’s Diet Has Recently Changed
Cats’ stomachs can be pretty sensitive. If you’ve recently changed your cat’s food, introduced new foods, or begun a feline medicine course, nausea and indigestion may occur. If this is the underlying cause, the vomiting should gradually stop.
Abrupt changes in your cat’s diet can cause gastrointestinal disturbance, resulting in diarrhea, vomiting, and even a loss of appetite. Your cat would transition to the new diet within a week.
2. Your Cat Is Allergic to a Certain Food
Cats with food allergies may experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and skin complaints. These cats may develop scooting due to irritation around the rectum. Food allergies in cats can cause frequent bowel motions and straining while defecating.
An elimination diet trial is the most reliable technique for identifying food allergies in cats. This test entails providing your cat with a meal with no proteins. This meal will help to determine what food causes an allergic reaction.
3. Your Cat Ate Something Bad
Grass, carpet, and toilet paper can fascinate a curious cat! These are some items that cats may consume, digest, and then vomit. Other items range from innocuous, like spoiled food and bitter plants, to potentially lethal such as human medications, poisonous chemicals, string, or yarn.
This vomiting is a defense mechanism, nature’s method of fast cleansing out your cat’s system when they ingest something they shouldn’t. Depending on what your cat discovers and consumes, curiosity can cause more severe complications than vomiting. Various items being lodged in the stomach or intestine will cause vomiting and extreme pain.
4. Your Cat Was Eating Too Quickly
Eager cats can sometimes make the mistake of eating too quickly in one sitting. If your cat overeats food too rapidly, it will most likely vomit shortly after eating. If your cat frequently eats speedily and then vomits, a variety of exciting cat dishes are available to assist slow your cat’s eating and prevent vomiting.
Cats have a habit of overeating too quickly. When the stomach wall swells too quickly to contain all that food, it signals to the brain, resulting in regurgitation rather than vomiting.
5. Your Cat May Have Adrenal Gland Issues
Vomiting can be a symptom of issues surrounding the Adrenal Glands. One common disease for cats is Addison’s Disease. Also known as hypoadrenocorticism, Addison’s Disease is characterized by an adrenal gland hormone shortage. It is uncommon in cats. The cause is largely unknown, but it could be an autoimmune disorder in which the body kills some of its tissue.
Other disorders, such as cancer in other body parts, can also kill the adrenal gland. The primary mineralocorticoid hormone, aldosterone, is secreted less, affecting blood potassium, sodium, and chloride levels. In extreme cases, potassium gradually accumulates in the blood, causing the heart to slow down or beat erratically.
6. Your Cat May Be Constipated
Cats can become constipated for various causes, ranging from stressful conditions to medical difficulties. A cat may begin to vomit if they’ve been constipated for quite some time. To rule out any health-related causes or underlying disorders, you should always see your veterinarian within 24 hours.
Constipation is characterized by infrequent or difficult urination, which can result in firm stool, massive, unpleasant pellets, or no poop production. Cat constipation is a temporary issue. If your cat is straining to poop in the litter box, take them to the vet. If left untreated, the underlying cause could become serious or fatal.
7. Your Cat Could Be Choking on Hairballs
Hairballs are wet, undigested clumps of hair that practically all cats get. Hacking noises, spasms, and, of course, the expulsion of a ball of fur typically accompany hairball vomiting. Hairballs can be possible obstacles in the intestines or throats of cats. Hairballs are particularly common in longhair cats and cats who brush themselves excessively.
In most situations, cats quickly expel hairballs, but if your cat has difficulty removing a hairball, it’s time to consult a professional. Hairballs can become stuck and cause intestinal obstructions, which can be fatal.
8. Your Cat Could Be Experiencing Heatstroke
Contrary to popular belief, cats do not tolerate heat better than humans. Panting or sweating on their foot pads are a few ways a cat’s body can dispel heat. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke will occur as the cat’s body temperature rises. If the body temperature is not immediately reduced, significant organ damage or death may occur.
One of the main symptoms of heatstroke in cats is vomiting. Other symptoms include having restless behavior to find a spot to cool off, panting, sweaty feet, excessive grooming, drooling, and having a considerably high rectal temperature. Severe cases will reflect rapid breathing, lethargy, stumbling, and redness of the tongue and mouth.
9. Your Cat May Have Gastroenteritis
Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of your cat’s gastrointestinal tract, which includes the stomach and intestines. Infection with germs, viruses, parasites, drugs, or even new foods can cause it. The illness frequently results in vomiting. Aside from vomiting, your cat may experience abdominal pain, diarrhea, and other clinical symptoms.
Most cats with gastroenteritis will have bouts of vomiting and diarrhea. After their cat eats or drinks, many owners notice ‘dry heaving’ or gagging. Large amounts of diarrhea are generally produced multiple times per day.
10. Your Cat Has Pancreatitis
Pancreatitis is a disorder that occurs when the pancreas gets inflamed. The pancreas is a vital organ located on the right side of the belly, next to the stomach. It generates enzymes to aid digestion and hormones such as insulin, which helps your cat regulate their blood sugar.
Vomiting or your cat throwing up is a common symptom for cats suffering from this disease. Pancreatitis can occur in cats on occasion. It is frequently accompanied by intestinal and liver inflammation in the abdominal cavity when it develops.
11. Your Cat Could Have Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Vomiting can happen if your cat has Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD. IBD in cats is a condition in which the cat’s gastrointestinal tract becomes chronically irritated and inflamed. Inflammatory cells enter the GI tract’s walls, thickening them and interfering with the GI tract’s capacity to digest and absorb food properly.
While the exact etiology of IBD is unknown, current data suggest that a complex aberrant interaction of the immune system, nutrition, bacterial populations in the intestines, and other environmental variables causes it.
12. Your Cat Is Infected With Parasites
Vomiting can be caused by parasites, bacteria, and viruses in your cat’s digestive tract. A gastrointestinal parasite may cause frequent vomiting in a cat unable to process food properly. Gastrointestinal parasitism is a widespread problem in cats, with prevalence rates reaching up to 45% in some populations.
These parasites can take the form of worms or single-celled protozoans. They typically cause symptoms including a dull coat, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, mucous-like or bloody feces, loss of appetite, pale mucous membranes, or a plump appearance.
13. Your Cat May Have Liver Issues
Because the liver is involved in many essential functions, a cat suffering from liver illness may exhibit a wide range of symptoms, including vomiting. Aside from vomiting, liver problems in cats can cause lethargy, lack of appetite, weakness, jaundice, weight loss, diarrhea, and abnormalities in behavior.
Hepatic lipidosis is a common liver problem in cats. When many cats are brought to the hospital, they are dehydrated and anorexic. Dehydration is treated with intravenous fluids. Most cats with hepatic lipidosis will not eat, yet intensive feeding is the only method to reverse their liver from accumulating fat.
14. Your Cat Could Have a Neurological Disorder
A neurological disorder can cause cat vomiting. Although it is only the size of a ping-pong ball, your cat’s brain is just as intricate and, in critical situations, just as capable as your brain. A cat’s brain and other neurologic system components are used to satisfy requirements and desires that are frequently different from yours.
Unfortunately, a cat’s neurologic system mimics yours in the wide range of severe illnesses with which it can be afflicted, often fatally. These neurological disorders include complex circuitry, neoplastic disorder, epilepsy, congenital conditions, trauma from infectious diseases, and being senile due to old age.
15. Your Cat May Have Tumors
Unfortunately, vomiting can be a possible symptom of complications due to cancer. Cancer in cats is deceptive because it can be a very well-concealed sickness. We usually only see lumps and bumps on the outside.
Vomiting and diarrhea are common gastrointestinal lymphoma symptoms. Breathing difficulties might be a warning indication since some tumors create lung fluid. When we observe cancer in cats, it is usually in a more aggressive form. Though interestingly, cases of cat cancer are not as many as those of dogs.
Vomiting in cats can be caused by something completely natural, such as those pesky hairballs, or by something extraordinary and more serious. Your cat and your cat’s doctor are counting on you to recognize and seek aid if this occurs.
You can treat your cat at home in less severe cases. In some cases, you can provide fluids and specific solutions at home. You must be patient, administering modest amounts at regular times. Call your veterinarian for further instructions if the home treatment causes your cat distress.