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What To Do When Your Cat Vomits: A Guide To Understanding Cat Vomit


As a cat owner, it's common to find your feline friend coughing up hairballs or vomiting occasionally. But how do you know when it's a sign of a more serious problem? In this article, we'll discuss what to do when your cat vomits, what causes cats to vomit, and what the different colours of cat vomit mean.




What should I do if my cat is vomiting?

If you notice your cat vomiting, the first step is to remove their food and water for a few hours to give their stomach a chance to rest. Then, offer small amounts of water frequently to prevent dehydration. However, if the vomiting persists, or if your cat is showing other signs of illness, such as lethargy or loss of appetite, it's essential to seek veterinary care.



Cat Vomit Process Flowchart

(Source: Cat Vomit: Two cat vets answer all of your questions.




What causes cats to vomit?

Cats can vomit for many reasons, including hairballs, dietary indiscretion, and illness or disease. However, some of the most common causes of vomiting in cats are food allergies, gastrointestinal issues, and infections.


When should I be concerned about my cat vomiting?

If your cat is frequently vomiting, vomiting blood, or showing signs of dehydration, such as sunken eyes or lethargy, it's essential to seek veterinary care immediately. Other signs that your cat's vomiting may indicate a more severe issue include weight loss, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain.



Cat being pet by veterinarian


Is it normal for cats to vomit?

Occasional vomiting is regular for cats, especially if they've ingested something that doesn't agree with them or if they have a hairball. However, frequent or persistent vomiting is a cause for concern.


What does the colour of cat vomit mean?

Now let's take a closer look at the different colors of cat vomit and what they might indicate:


Clear or white: If your cat is vomiting clear or white liquid, this might simply mean that they have an empty stomach. However, it could also indicate the presence of hairballs, which are a common issue in cats. If your cat continues to vomit clear or white liquid for more than a day or two, it's a good idea to take them to the vet for an exam.


Yellow: Yellow vomit might indicate the presence of bile, which is a substance produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. If your cat is vomiting yellow liquid, it could be a sign of a liver issue or bile duct obstruction.


Green: Green vomit might indicate that your cat has ingested something toxic or eaten grass. Ingesting grass can help cats get rid of hairballs, but it can also cause vomiting. If your cat has been vomiting green liquid and you suspect they might have ingested something toxic, it's important to seek veterinary care right away.


Red: If your cat is vomiting red liquid, this can be a sign of a serious issue. Red vomit might indicate the presence of blood, which can be caused by a range of issues including gastrointestinal ulcers, trauma, and cancer. If your cat is vomiting red liquid, it's important to seek veterinary care immediately.


How can I settle my cat's stomach?

If your cat is vomiting, it's important to withhold food for a few hours to give its stomach a chance to rest. After that, you can frequently offer small amounts of water to prevent dehydration. Once your cat's vomiting has stopped, gradually reintroduce its food.


How many days cat vomit is normal?

Occasional vomiting is normal for cats. However, if your cat is vomiting frequently or for several days, it's important to seek veterinary care.



Cat looking said lying on its side on bed


Should I feed my cat after vomiting?

It's best to withhold food for a few hours after your cat has vomited to give their stomach a chance to rest. Once their vomiting has stopped, gradually reintroduce their food.


Do cats drink water after vomiting?

Some cats may drink water after vomiting, while others may not. It's important to offer small amounts of water frequently to prevent dehydration.


Why is my cat throwing up food but acting normal?

If your cat is throwing up food but acting normally, it could be a sign of a minor issue such as eating too quickly or hairballs. However, it could also indicate a more serious issue, such as an obstruction in the digestive tract or an underlying health problem. If your cat is frequently vomiting after eating, it's important to seek veterinary care to rule out any potential health concerns.


Conclusion

In conclusion, while occasional vomiting is normal for cats, it's important to be aware of the different colours of cat vomit, what they indicate, and the signs of a more serious issue. By taking the appropriate steps, such as withholding food and seeking veterinary care when necessary, you can help keep your feline friend healthy and happy.




Cat wrapped in towel



Reference and further reading

  1. RSPCA Australia: https://www.rspca.org.au/cats/health-and-behaviour/vomiting-cats

  2. Australian Veterinary Association (AVA): https://www.ava.com.au/pet-owners/health-care-issues/vomiting-in-cats/

  3. Vetwest Animal Hospitals: https://www.vetwest.com.au/pet-library/vomiting-in-cats

  4. Greencross Vets: https://www.greencrossvets.com.au/pet-library/articles-of-interest/cat-vomiting-when-to-be-concerned/

  5. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA): https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/common-cat-behavior-issues/vomiting-cats

  6. Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine: https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/vomiting-cats

  7. WebMD: https://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/cat-vomiting-causes-and-treatment

  8. PetMD: https://www.petmd.com/cat/emergency/common-emergencies/e_ct_vomiting

  9. The Spruce Pets: https://www.thesprucepets.com/cat-vomiting-4163906

  10. Vetstreet: https://www.vetstreet.com/cats/vomiting

  11. International Cat Care: https://icatcare.org/advice/cat-health/vomiting-cats/

  12. Catster: https://www.catster.com/cat-health-care/cat-vomiting-what-to-know-and-what-to-do-about-it

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