If you own a cat, you’ve probably dealt with cat vomit. But have you wondered why cats vomit? Just as with people, cats vomit for a variety of reasons, and they run the gamut from isolated incidents to a serious underlying cause. So when should you worry?
If your cat vomits once and then resumes normal eating and “bathroom” habits, you generally don’t need to call or visit your veterinarian. Chronic cat vomiting, however, can be a sign of a more serious issue. Also, while cats love to groom themselves and then tend to vomit up hairballs, it’s important to try to reduce the amount of hair your cat swallows. A cat hairball can cause blockages and gastric problems for your four-legged friend.
There are numerous reasons why cats vomit, and they include:
- Food allergies or intolerance
- Snack allergies or intolerance
- Hairballs and other blockages
- Eating too fast
- Eating a full meal on an empty stomach
- Motion sickness
- Kidney issues
- Ingesting chemicals or poison
- Gastritis or colitis
As you can see, some of these causes, such as a blockage or exposure to poison, require immediate medical attention. If your cat is vomiting continuously, has diarrhea, gags, seems lethargic or doesn’t want to eat or use the litter box, call or visit your vet immediately.
If your cat just vomits once, remove food and water for a few hours and monitor him or her. If all else seems normal and your pet resumes eating and drinking when you return the bowls, everything is probably fine. If your cat vomits a second time in that timeframe, you can call your vet for advice and to see if a visit is warranted.
Finally, if your cat tends to vomit hairballs, try brushing him or her on a regular basis. Salmon oil or coconut oil can also help with hairballs. Check with your veterinarian or pet nutritionist first. If you see your cat self-grooming, you can bring a toy over as a distraction.
Cat vomit is not a pleasant topic, but it’s a common issue for owners. Just remember that many of the reasons cats vomit are not serious and are easily treated. Keep a close eye on your cat and call the vet if you see any other warning signs or if your cat vomits continuously or frequently.