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What To Do If Your Cat is Throwing Up

If you have a cat, chances are good that you’ve seen them vomit from time to time. But how much vomiting is normal for a cat? When should your cat’s vomiting become a cause for concern? If your pet is vomiting more than usual, it’s important to call us right away. In most instances, we treat vomiting and diarrhea immediately and send your pet home with medications. When hospitalization or surgery is necessary, we refer you to a 24-hour specialty hospital with lab work and x-rays in hand, saving time and money. Our first concern is always what is best for you and your pet.

If your cat is vomiting, the potential causes can range from simple and benign to dangerous and life-threatening. Most commonly, a cat will vomit because she ate too much or too quickly, was too active too soon after eating, or ate something that disagreed with her stomach. Other causes can include:

  • Change in food
  • Foreign body (like a hairball) or a foreign body obstruction
  • Bacterial infection of the gastrointestinal tract
  • Kidney failure
  • Parasites
  • Pancreatitis
  • Liver failure
  • Gall bladder inflammation
  • Viral infections
  • Toxins or chemicals
  • Reactions to medication or post-operative nausea
  • Heartworm infection
  • Colitis
  • Gastritis
  • Gastric or intestinal tumors
  • Neurological disorders

It’s normal for a cat to occasionally vomit or experience a bout of vomiting. But, if your cat is vomiting frequently or regularly, call our office. Because the causes vary, diagnosis can be difficult. Watch for other signs of trouble to help narrow the possible causes of your cat’s vomiting. Let us know if your cat is also experiencing:

  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss
  • Blood in the vomit
  • Change in appetite or water consumption
  • Dehydration (watch for sunken eyes, dry mouth, decreased skin elasticity, or panting)

In this case, it’s important to get them to us as quickly as possible. We can’t keep your pet for overnight stays, and we’re not equipped to handle cases that require hospitalization or advanced surgical care. If we diagnose a serious condition, we’ll discuss other options with you, including the possible need for an immediate transfer to a 24-hour emergency hospital.