vet with cat vomiting

Why is My Cat Vomiting?

Veterinary Emergency Group

Feb 29, 2024

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The age-old fable claims that cats have nine lives, and as pet parents, we certainly try to ensure that they live long healthy ones. So, when you find your cat vomiting, you’re understandably worried. 

What’s good to know is that just like humans, cats can vomit for various reasons. While many causes resolve on their own, in other instances it could be a sign of underlying health issues. Let’s chat about your cat and what to do if your feline friend is vomiting! 

Cat Splat: What Vomiting in Felines Looks Like

We’ve seen it and dread it: the crouching down and dramatic retching that makes your cat look possessed. Cats tend to move forward and back, dry heaving before expelling the contents of their stomach. Is your cat sick or is it just a furball? The result, (along with a mess that nobody wants to clean) is bewilderment: they sometimes walk away like nothing happened! 

Common Triggers for Cat Vomiting

We see a lot of pet vomit at Veterinary Emergency Group! And that’s good, because it means pet owners are taking a proactive step in caring for their little furry friends. From simple stomach upset to more serious health concerns, there are a few reasons why a cat might throw up, like:

  • Change in diet
  • Ingesting a foreign object/intestinal blockage
  • Overfeeding or eating too fast
  • Poisoning
  • Stress
  • Urinary blockage (inability to urinate)
  • Kidney disease
  • Inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal tract

The Difference Between Vomiting and Regurgitation

While vomiting and regurgitation are often perceived to be the same, they’re not. When a cat vomits, it’s usually an active process that involves retching/dry heaving motions. On the other hand, regurgitation usually happens quickly and without much warning. The expelled material often includes undigested food and is usually tubular in shape, unlike vomit, which can be a more liquid consistency.

When to Seek Veterinary Assistance 

Regurgitation is not typically serious, but if it occurs frequently or is accompanied by other symptoms then you should seek veterinary care. 

If you’ve determined that your cat is indeed vomiting, not just regurgitating, there are certain symptoms to look for. Any of these should prompt you to pick up the phone and call your nearest vet hospital or VEG location immediately:

  • Blood in vomit: This is a serious symptom that you should never ignore. 
  • Frequent vomiting: If your cat vomits multiple times in a single day, it’s time to consult the experts.
  • Other symptoms: If vomiting is accompanied by lethargy, diarrhea, inappetence, straining in the litterbox, or other changes in behavior, don’t wait—get help right away. 

Your cat’s health and well-being are too important to leave to chance. If you’re concerned about your cat’s vomiting, don’t hesitate to call VEG immediately. We’re here 24/7 for you and your feline family members!