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My Cat Won't Stop Vomiting: What can I do?

Vomiting is an issue that occurs occasionally with most cats, and while being gross, there is generally no need to worry. Today, our Rancho Cucamonga vets talk about why your cat keeps vomiting, the diagnosis and treatment options, and when it might be a serious issue.

My cat keeps vomiting, why?

Just like humans, cats can have an upset stomach due to various reasons. There could be several causes for your cat's upset tummy, such as parasites, viruses, a bad reaction to certain foods, or even more serious conditions like organ problems or cancer.

If your cat vomits frequently or more than once a month, it's important to take them to the vet. This will help identify the underlying cause of their vomiting.

Reasons Your Cat May Be Vomiting

One of the first questions that you may ask yourself at the sound of your cat catching is why they are doing so, and if it might actually be a hairball.

Your Cat Ate Too Much

If your cat keeps vomiting food, there is a chance that they ate far too much and too quickly. There are some fun cat bowls to help slow your cat's eating if this is true for your feline. 

That said, throwing up right after eating might point to a more serious problem such as dehydration, hairballs, digestive tract obstruction, or esophageal issues. If your cat seems to be vomiting after eating often, you should bring them in to see a vet.

Your Cat Has Hairballs 

Hairballs happen when your cat brings up balls of undigested fur and hair. They tend to occur more frequently in longhair cats and those that groom themselves excessively. When cats try to get rid of hairballs, they often experience hacking noises and spasms alongside vomiting.

Cats can usually manage hairball expulsion without much of an issue and you shouldn't need to step in (except for cleanup). However, if your cat is struggling to expel a hairball, it's crucial to take them to the vet. Trapped hairballs can cause dangerous intestinal blockages that may be fatal.

More Serious Conditions That Can Cause Vomiting in Cats

  • Intestinal foreign bodies
  • Food allergies
  • Poisoning
  • Intestinal Parasites
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Metabolic Disorder (ie: Kidney Disease)

When to be Concerned About Vomiting

If your cat is only experincing occasional vomiting you may want to try withholding food for about 12 hours. During this time, you can give your cat a few tablespoons of water every 30 minutes or offer them some ice cubes.

After the 12 hours, start giving your cat small portions of bland food and gradually resume their regular feeding routine if the vomiting has stopped.

If your cat keeps vomiting and doesn't seem to be stopping, you should bring them to your vet or nearest emergency vet clinic right away. Continuous or severe vomiting could be a sign that your cat is seriously ill and requires immediate emergency treatment. Contact your vet if your cat displays any of the symptoms below: 

  • Repeated vomiting
  • Blood in vomit 
  • Weakness / Lethargy
  • Pain / Distress
  • Fever
  • Blood in stool 

Diagnosing Cats That Won't Stop Vomiting

When taking your cat to the vet due to vomiting, it's a good idea to take a sample of your cat's vomit with you. Your vet will be able to examine the sample to help determine the cause of your cat's upset stomach.

  • Large amounts of mucus in your cat's stomach could indicate an inflamed intestine
  • Undigested food can be an indication of poisoning, anxiety, or simply a sign that your cat has eaten too much or too quickly.
  • If bile is present in your cat's vomit, it may be an indication of pancreatitis or inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Red blood is a sign that your cat's stomach may be ulcerated.
  • An intestinal obstruction may cause your cat's vomit to have a strong smell.

Treatment Options for Vomiting in Cats

Treatment of vomiting in cats focuses on treating the underlying problem. Depending on what has caused your cat's symptoms, treatment can be as simple as temporarily withholding food or as complex as surgery or chemotherapy.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Does your cat keep vomiting? Contact our Rancho Cucamonga vets to book an appointment.

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Rancho Regional Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Rancho Cucamonga companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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