The only thing that cat owners need to know about cat vomiting
avatar

A lot of cat owners go online to find out why their cat is vomiting. I can tell because there are hundreds of thousands of articles about it designed to be read by cat owners. The online DIY vet market is vast. Cat guardians need to be cautious though because these are complicated topics.

Cat vomiting

Cat about to vomit. Credit: Two crazy cat ladies website.

The problem is that cat vomiting is normally too complicated to diagnose online by a cat owner and it should not be attempted unless, and this is the important bit and the only thing that cat owners need to know about cat vomiting, “if a cat vomits once or twice but appears perfectly normal before and after, the problem is not serious and can be treated at home.1

So you can treat cat vomiting at home only if your cat vomits once or twice but appears perfectly normal otherwise. Domestic cats are good vomiters. They are expert at it! For instance, a cat might vomit after eating dry cat food and I have discussed this in an earlier article or to throw up a hairball and grass.

I could stop there really because that’s the advice but I will add a little more and say the following:

“Vomiting unrelated to eating is frequently a sign of an infectious disease, kidney or liver disease, or a central nervous system disorder”.2

You can see that the cause can be very serious. There’s a long list of potential reasons why a cat might vomit and the only way forward is a proper diagnosis by a veterinarian. Let’s remind ourselves that vomiting is a symptom. In fact it can be a very common non-specific symptoms of an illness.

Vomiting kicks off with the stimulation of the vomiting centre in the cat’s brain. Receptors in the cat’s digestive tract and elsewhere send signals to the brain. When the cat receives the signals she might appear anxious and seek reassurance. There is a simultaneous contraction of the stomach muscles and the abdominal wall. There is an intra abdominal increase in pressure and, simultaneously, a relaxing of the lower oesophageal sphincter (the circular muscle immediately above the top end of the stomach). The contents of the cat’s stomach goes up the oesophagus and out of the mouth. The cat will extend her neck and make a harsh gaming sound which is all too familiar to us.

1. Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook 3rd ed. at page 267.

2. Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook 3rd ed. at page 267 and 268.

Note: I have written pages on cat vomiting and the causes but I disagree with this now as it encourages cat owner diagnosis which can be a bad decision with respect to a cat’s health and welfare.

Facebook Discussion
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , by Michael Broad. Bookmark the permalink.

About Michael Broad

Michael is retired! He retired at age 57 and at Aug 2018 is approaching 70. He worked in many jobs. The last job he did was as a solicitor practicing general law. He loves animals and is passionate about animal welfare. He also loves photography and nature. He hates animal abuse. He has owned and managed this site since 2007. There are around 13k pages so please use the custom search facility!

Comments

The only thing that cat owners need to know about cat vomiting — 1 Comment

  1. Yeah, it can be merely a symptom of a multitude of very serious and complex medical conditions. I wonder how vet feel about DIY pet owners… though I have a lot of experience with many of my own cats’ illnesses, my effort to help the vet diagnose what may be wrong by looking stuff up online sometimes doesn’t help at all. It does help me understand more, but the best thing one can do is keep track of everything your cat does and report it to the vet. Make notations.

    I put up a big white board in my kitchen to keep track of things they do that might turn out to be symptomatic, and when I give them their medicines.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Please try and upload photos that are small in size of max 500px width and 50 KB size. Large images typical of most default settings on digital cameras may fail to upload. Thanks. Comment rules: (1) respect others (2) threatening, harassing, bullying, insulting and being rude to others is forbidden (3) advocating cat cruelty is forbidden (4) trolls (I know who they are) must use real name and upload a photo of themselves. Enforcement: (1) inappropriate comments are deleted before publication and (2) commenters who demonstrate a desire to flout the rules are banned. Failure to comply with (4) results in non-publication. Lastly, please avoid adding links because spam software regards comments with links as spam and holds them in the spam folder. I delete the spam folder contents daily.