This article on cat vomiting is a presentation of thoroughly researched sources. Treatments are not mentioned as this is for a veterinarian to decide on the symptoms. References in the text are to 5 books listed at the base of the page numbered 1 –5. I have made a reference to the books this way because if the same information comes up several times from different books this lends support to the fact that it is sound information. Infrequently, I have also referred to online sources which are embedded in the text (these tend to be less useful than a good book).
Vomiting is a common occurrence in cats. It is the result of stimulation of the “vomiting center of the brain” by receptors in the digestive tract (1). Sometimes the cat will yowl before or after vomiting (2).
It can be due to regurgitating at will to relieve indigestion (4). This is a passive act in contrast to the harsh gagging sound when vomiting (1). Sometimes undigested food is brought up with little effort. This is probably not serious (5). If the cat vomits 1 – 2 times and is otherwise in good health cat vomiting is not considered serious (1). The question is whether it is serious. It can be caused by (see more causes below):
The way the cat vomits can help in diagnosis(1). Clearly this depends a bit on knowing our cat’s lifestyle. For instance does she go out? Does he tend to chew on odd objects etc. An outdoor cat that starts to vomit should be kept in for observation of behaviour and stools and to prevent further problems that may have occurred outside:
|Type of cat vomiting or material vomited and symptoms (1 – unless stated otherwise)||What it indicates (1 – unless stated otherwise)|
|Repeated – vomiting, retching, bringing up frothy clear liquid|
|Chronic & Episodic|
|Chronic & progressive – weight loss? – depression? – stomach distended? (2)|
|Acute to occasional (2) – kittens – worms – potbellied? – diarrhea?|
|Acute to sporadic – cat eating plants? – cat is a hunter – eats prey? – drooling – lethargy (2)|
|Frequent & Acute – history of eating non-food things (2)|
|Rapid onset & Acute – diarrhea? – anemia? (2)|
|Sporadic – not continuous and unrelated to eating – appetite also poor – listless|
|Occasional – long haired cat?|
|Blood – serious condition|
|Fecal – vomiting stuff that looks/smells like feces – serious|
|Foreign objects||These can be:|
|Motion sickness||This is what humans get sometimes. Apparently vets can prescribe medicine to minimize the effects. Best to travel on an empty stomach.|
Cat vomiting – possible causes:
|Type of Gastritis – symptoms||Cause|
|Acute – severe, continuous vomiting – lethargic – possible diarrhea||Swallowed:|
|Chronic (“something that continues or persists over an extended period of time” – Medline Plus) – long term problem with sporadic vomiting – lethargic – lose weight||Common cause:|
A cat vomiting will be a serious illness if (4):
Cat Vomiting – Sources: As stated in text plus these medical sources:
Cat Vomiting – Photo: Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic – the picture is cropped as allowed under the license. The cat wearing soft paws.
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