How to Treat a Cat That Is Vomiting

By: Sheldon Rubin  | 

sick cat
Before you take you cat to the vet for vomiting, try a few care techniques at home. Kristina Strasunske/Getty Images

Vomiting is one of the most commonly encountered problems in veterinary medicine. It is nature's way of permitting cats to rid his or her stomach of irritating substances such as spoiled food or other foreign material such as hairballs or plants. But not all vomiting is due to simple irritation.

More serious causes of vomiting are viral infections, obstructions caused by string or other foreign objects, and diseases of the liver, pancreas, or kidney. However, it is important to seek professional help if there are signs of bleeding, or if the cat is depressed and still vomiting after initial efforts at control have failed. If a cat is vomiting, use the following cat care tips:

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Step 1: Remove all food for at least 12 to 24 hours. Don't remove your cat's water, though. He should always have access to fresh water.

Step 2: If the cat's vomit contains blood or is frequent, contact the veterinarian immediately. If not, proceed to Step 3.

Step 3: After 12 to 24 hours, feed the cat a mixture of small quantities of boiled chicken breasts, skinned and boned, with rice (50:50 mixture). Alternately, chicken baby food may be substituted. If this is held down, a transition to a regular diet should take place over the next two days by mixing in regular cat food, reducing the chicken and rice amounts and increasing the regular cat food amounts.

Step 4: Vomiting can be a sign of many diseases. Do not be fooled into thinking that it is just fur balls. If vomiting continues on a frequent basis, professional help must be sought.

©Publications International, Ltd.

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Originally Published: Sep 25, 2011

Cat Throwing Up FAQ

Why is my cat throwing up undigested food?
The most common reason for cats throwing up is overeating. This can trigger a stretch reflex in their tummies that results in the regurgitation of food.
When should I take my cat to the vet for vomiting?
Seek professional help if there are signs of bleeding, or if the cat is depressed and still vomiting after initial efforts at control have failed. It never hurts to check with your vet if you are worried about your cat's health.
What to do when my cat is vomiting too often?
If your cat is throwing up often, it may be because of less threatening problems such as the presence of hairballs. In worse-case scenarios, this may be an indication of having ingested toxic substances or serious illnesses. Consult with your vet if you're not sure or have concerns.
Why is my cat's vomit yellow?
Yellow vomit is an indication of bile. Bile isn't necessarily cause for concern and is often seen in cat vomit. Blood in vomit, however, is cause for concern.

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