My cat has a loose stool and is vomiting – is he sick?

I have a male cat. He’s fixed, and about 6 years old.

Lately I have noticed that he has loose stool and been vomiting. There are times he can not make it to the bathroom. Other than that he’s a normal active cat.

What could be wrong with him?



Hi Emily…. thanks for visiting and asking. Cats do vomit from time to time and if it is “one off” and occasional we know it is just normal behavior – perhaps some grass chewed that is irritating, for example.

But when it lasts it is a different matter. “If the cat vomits once or twice but appears perfectly normal before and after, the problem is not serious and can be treated at home…”1.

On that basis, judging by your description, the problem is serious for your cat and a visit to the vet is required quickly I would suggest as a cat can become quickly dehydrated if vomiting and has diarrhea – a serious state of affairs. The key is that you say, “There are times he can not make it to the bathroom..”. This is weakness through not getting nourishment and sickness including dehydration, I suggest.

Diseases associated with vomiting include:

Feline panleukopenia, tonsilitis and a sore throat. Another possible cause is poison. This is something that I would suspect in this case particularly if it has come on suddenly, which appears to be the case. Please see Cat Poison.

Feline panleukopenia is also called feline distemper. It comes on quickly and has cat poison like symptoms. It could be this. If so it requires urgent veterinary care – sorry. However, only a vet can diagnose accurately with the patient in front of him/her.

This page discusses feline distemper in detail:

Feline distemper symptom

This page discusses cat vomiting in lots more detail:

Cat Vomiting – the different types of vomiting can give clues as to what the cause is.

This page covers cat diarrhea and its treatment in detail:

Treating Cat Diarrhea

Conclusion: Please take him to the vet. Thanks and good luck.


1. Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook by Drs Giffin and Carlson.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I am 70-years-of-age at 2019. For 14 years before I retired at 57, I worked as a solicitor in general law specialising in family law. Before that I worked in a number of different jobs including professional photography. I have a longstanding girlfriend, Michelle. We like to walk in Richmond Park which is near my home because I love nature and the landscape (as well as cats and all animals).

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  • Monty was having loose stools and vomiting awhile ago and the vet determined it really was just hair balls. He gave sub-Q fluids and a medicine to suppress vomiting. We brushed Monty really carefully several times also and the problem stopped. It was right around the start of warm weather and he just was shedding heavily and ended up with hair balls. So vomiting and diarrhea don't necessarily mean the worst or even a big vet bill. However, dehydration is serious and hard on the kidneys, so I chose to get him to the vet if only to prevent future problems. You don't want a small problem turning into a big one.

    Monty also had chronic diarrhea on and off for a long time and we figured out it was chlorinated city water causing it. He gets Dasani now and unless he gets really bad hair balls or eats way too much grass he never gets diarrhea. Before it was two or three times a week.

    If I feed Monty those fancy meals with hunks of real chicken he'll do a frothy vomit. He does not chew his food! When he gets big hunks of unchewed food in his system (dry biscuits sometimes are problematic also) he will vomit a frothy liquid. I won't give him those chicken appetizers anymore. They are food for cats, but really high grade cuts of meat. He just doesn't chew it enough.

    So it's possible to have a cat vomiting because he hovers his food instead of chewing it.

  • I have a 5 yr old male cat who in the past 2 days has thrown up clear and then a little brownish/yellow he also has loose stool makes it too the litter box but leaves some on the floor when he comes this something serious?

      • I THINK I HAVE 3 CATS BUT HE IA THE ONE THAT HAS THROWN UP YESTERDAY TWICE TODAY ONCE AND HE WENT POTTY AND HE IS BRINGING SOME OUT OF THE LITTER BOX WITH HIM.I had to clean him bum oh sorry for the caps I don't want to rewrite what I had He seems ok not lethargic or anything

          • Hi no it wasn't after eating his food although I did catch him eating the dogs wet food the other day.I have another cat that pukes right after eating.Thanks

          • Lori please take no chances, go and see the vet because the longer you leave it if there is something wrong, the longer the recovery time will take.
            (Retired vet nurse)

          • Lori, I'll respond fully soon - in about 6 hours. However, my gut feel is that there is an underlying, serious illness which needs veterinary care asap.

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