Categories: cats in emergencies

How can I make my cat sick (vomit)?

A cat owner might want to make their cat vomit to prevent poison absorption. I think this is quite technically difficult to achieve so it should be done with caution. I’m referring to veterinary advice in the book Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook. The authors say that you should induce vomiting by giving the cat hydrogen peroxide.

Hydrogen Peroxide.

They write that a 3% solution is the most effective. You should administer one teaspoon (5 mL) of hydrogen peroxide per 10 pounds (4.53 kg) body weight of the cat, with a limit of 3 teaspoons. If the cat fails to vomit after the first dose you can repeat the process every 10 minutes up to 3 times until the cat vomits.

You should also, if possible, get your cat to walk around or shake him gently in your arms after he has ingested the hydrogen peroxide. This helps to stimulate vomiting. After he has vomited and the poison has been cleared from his stomach you can give him activated charcoal to bind any remaining poison and prevent further absorption.

You can buy oral charcoal for home use in 5 g tablets. These tablets are recommended in a home emergency medical kit. The dosage should be one tablet per 10 pounds of cat bodyweight. The authors recommend the tablet version which also comes in a liquid or a powder which can be made into a slurry. They say that it is extremely difficult to administer these alternative versions at home with a syringe or medicine bottle.

This is because it is gooey and too dense and cats hate to swallow it voluntarily. It can be administered with a stomach tube and veterinarians will do this.

If you don’t have activated charcoal you can coat the cat’s intestines with milk and egg whites. You should use a quarter cup of egg whites together with a quarter cup of milk. It is mixed up and given to the cat by mouth in 2 teaspoons. The liquid should be placed into the cat’s cheek pouch using a plastic syringe. Alternatively you can be added to food. When a syringe is used it should be administered slowly to avoid it going into the cat’s lungs. If this happens it can cause aspiration pneumonia.

As I read it, the above steps should be taken as a matter of emergency by a cat owner but the cat must then be taken to a veterinary clinic for the full range of veterinary techniques under the circumstances. These include intravenous fluids to support circulation, to treat shock and to protect the kidneys. Corticosteroids may be given by a veterinarian because they reduce inflammation. Tracheal intubation may be carried out if the cat is in a coma and in addition there is artificial ventilation if the cat’s respiration is depressed.

When taking your cat to your veterinarian it is advisable to bring a sample of the cat’s vomit and/or the actual poison. It may be necessary to administer CPR if your cat is unconscious or not breathing. Seek the advice of your veterinarian on this topic.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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