Oh, No! Why Is My Cat Throwing Up Again?
It's a myth that cats are "supposed" to throw up often. If your cat is vomiting, take a look at all the reasons why cats throw up. The solution may be as simple as brushing more often or changing your cat's diet, but it's also possible your cat needs medical care.
That hacking sound you hear when your cat is trying to bring up a hairball is gagging or retching, not coughing. Veterinarian Race Foster says hairballs are a digestive issue — hair accumulates in the cat’s stomach or intestines — not a respiratory problem.
While a cat throwing up hairballs is not a medical emergency, hairballs can block the intestinal tract, making it impossible for the cat to either eliminate or vomit, Foster says on the website Pet Education.com.
To prevent hairballs...
Home remedies for hairballs include...
A swallowed string, tumor or severe constipation can all cause frequent vomiting and require immediate medical care. Even hairballs can cause an impaction so serious the cats needs surgery.
Eating Too Fast
A cat throwing up undigested food is often a sign that the cat is eating too fast. Free feeding wet food or offering your cat several small meals a day will keep the cat from getting so hungry he gulps down his food and vomits it back up.
Change In Diet
A sudden change in diet causes many cats to throw up. To avoid stomach upset, change your cat’s diet gradually over several days. If you're changing his dry food, add just a bite of the new food to the old and slowly increase the amount of the new food until he’s no longer eating any of the old. If you're introducing new wet food, give him just a bite of the new food in a separate dish and gradually increase the amount over several days.
Food sensitivities often cause vomiting, diarrhea or both in cats. Even one ingredient in a cat's food can be enough to cause stomach upset. Ingredients most likely to cause a food sensitivity and vomiting are corn, soy, wheat gluten, artificial colorings and preservatives, fish and beef. The solution may be as simple as switching your cat's brand of dry food to one that contains no grains, or transitioning him to an all-wet-food diet.
Since food sensitivities develop over time, it's a good idea to feed a variety of brands with a variety of ingredients. That could prevent your cat from becoming sensitive to one particular kind of food.
Bladder stones and crystals, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, kidney disease, pancreatitis and liver disease can all cause frequent vomiting. If your cat throw up often and you've ruled out the other causes of vomiting, he needs to see a vet.
Vomiting is a side effect of many antibiotics and some pain medications. Methimazole, the drug used most often to treat hyperthyroidism in cats, can also cause vomiting. If your cat throws up frequently while on medication, discontinue the medicine and contact your veterinarian.
Probiotics for cats or even a spoonful of plain yogurt added to wet food can help with the vomiting caused by antibiotics.
Toxins And Parasites
Many plants, antifreeze, some household cleaners and air fresheners can all be toxic to cats and can cause vomiting. If you suspect your cat is throwing up because he ate a toxic plant and you don’t know the name of the plant, take a leaf with you when you go to the vet so it can be identified.
Intestinal worms and heartworm disease can also cause vomiting. Different parasites respond to different treatments, so seek veterinary advice before treating a cat who's throwing up for worms.