Vomiting in cats: causes and treatment
In case cat’s vomit is bloody, yellowish or contains particles of food, bile or mucus –something is wrong with your pet’s body. On the other hand, cats can easily make themselves vomit to get rid of “heavy stomach” feeling. The main task of the owner in this case is to be able to tell pathology from the natural desire to clear the stomach and to know possible causes of vomiting in cats for rendering timely help.
Vomiting can often be a symptom of an illness. It is hardly possible to list them all, as retching in cats may occur, for example, due to the stress caused by the ailment. Vomiting accompanies the majority of viral infections, gastrointestinal diseases, worm infestation or poisoning of any kind (food, medicines, pesticides, etc.). Typically, in such cases, frequent vomiting in cats is associated with other symptoms: diarrhea, coughing, lethargy, convulsions, loss of appetite, unusual discharge, a rise or fall in temperature. In this case the pet should be examined by the vet as soon as possible.
Profuse vomiting in cats after eating (when the food wasn’t digested) is a sign of too rapid food ingestion followed by intentional regurgitation. It’s a behavior pattern of many cats living crowded: they eat quickly (the competition is high), then hide, vomit and eat their food in a relaxed atmosphere. Such pets should be fed with modest servings several times a day, the feed should be ground. However, the causes of vomiting in cats immediately after eating may be more serious: bowel obstruction, digestive dysfunction, or volvulus. Therefore, if there are other symptoms or cat vomits more than once, it would be wiser to consult a vet.
Single vomiting with hairballs is a normal thing for cats. Taking care of its coat the cat swallows a number of hairs, which form a hairball in the stomach. Such a hairball may cause stomach irritation or even clog the intestinal lumen. So a clever cat usually gets rid of harmful hairs vomiting with them. In this case, the reason for cat vomiting is lack of care. In order not to harm the health of your pet, you should comb the coat very often, especially during molting. To make it easier for the cat to vomit the hairball, it would be useful to give it a spoonful of vaseline oil.
Some cats may vomit under stress. Many pets don’t tolerate long trips – in such cases they may have travel sickness. In order to prevent travel sickness in cats you should consult your vet. In general you may apply a light plant-based sedative. If the trip is planned in advance, do not feed your cat 8 hours before it. The same applies to stressful situations, such as a new pet in the house or rearranging the furniture – it would be wiser not to feed the cat at all for this day.
Vomiting with impurities
Often vomit mass consists not only of half-digested food, but also contains something of indeterminate color and consistency. In most cases, such vomiting indicates a serious problem, so you should appoint a visit to veterinary clinic as soon as possible. To make the diagnosing easier, the owner should provide the vet with the following information:
- the time of first retching and first vomiting;
- the frequency of vomiting, the amount of vomit mass;
- the consistency of vomit mass;
- whether there is an appetite loss, whether the cat drink water or not;
- the time of last meal;
- whether there are other symptoms;
- whether the cat could eat something bad or swallow something inedible;
- whether a cat suffers from a chronic disease;
- details about vaccinations.
YELLOWISH VOMITING in cats means that some bile got into the stomach, which normally should not be there. Delicate stomach wall instantly gets irritated after the contact of the stomach mucous with bile, which leads to vomiting. Sometimes vomit mass is yellowish when the cat is fed with dry feed. But there is a serious difference between these two conditions: in case there is bile in the vomit, the color is bright and rich, and in case it’s just vomiting with dry feed – the vomit mass is grayish-yellow. Recurring vomiting in cats containing bile usually indicates a chronic disease of the gall bladder, liver or intestines. Such vomiting may be a sing of difficulties with digestion – exceed of fats or feeding with bad food, overfeeding with eggs, rapid ingestion of large pieces.
GREENISH VOMITING in cats means there is a large amount of bile or intestinal content in the stomach. Sometimes green vomit is a symptom of a serious infection. In any case, the pet needs to be examined by the vet. However, if the pet has recently eaten even a small amount of dried or fresh herbs, greenish vomiting is okay.
VOMITING WITH MUCUS in cats is an alarming symptom. Mucus present in vomit in case cats suffer from erosive and chronic gastritis, intestinal diseases and some viral infections. Parasitic infestation can be another reason for vomiting with mucus; in this case mucus can be also found in feces.
REGULAR VOMITING AFTER EATING can be a sign of intestinal obstruction, gastrointestinal diseases or infections. Owners may ignore a single vomiting, and only if there are no other symptoms of a malaise. If vomiting is repeated regularly and/or the owner notices that the cat loses its appetite, is less active and generally doesn’t feel well – the cat should be examined at the veterinary clinic.
VOMITING WITH WHITE FOAM in cats is conditionally normal if it happened once. Whitish foam is formed in the empty stomach: the food is already in the intestine, and the stomach wall secretes mucus to protect itself from the remaining gastric juice. When the gastric juice is mixed with some air and mucus – it turns into a whitish mass. In case vomiting with white foam happens on a regular basis – it may be a gastric disease.
VOMITING BLOOD in cats comes in two types: with the traces of red blood or with brownish thick mass. In the latter case it can be gastrointestinal bleeding (foreign object, tumors, ulcers, liver disease, exacerbation of gastritis, renal failure, etc.). Brownish clots are blood after interaction with the gastric juice. If vomiting blood contains scarlet blotches – it may be bleeding in the esophagus or mouth. The cat should be examined by the vet immediately.
VOMITING IN PREGNANT CATS can be a symptom of toxicity. Normally vomit mass doesn’t contain impurities and consists only of undigested food. Sometimes there may be small whitish or yellowish specks of foam. Such vomiting usually occurs once, immediately after eating or after waking up. To make sure everything’s okay it is better to visit the veterinary clinic.
First of all the owner should stop feeding the cat for a day. Leave some water, but only if drinking doesn’t provoke new retching. Treatment should be appointed by the vet. Drugs for people can’t be used (without a vet’s recommendation).
The owner should know how to induce vomiting in cats. This is necessary, for example, if the pet has swallowed something inedible or stale. However, it is forbidden to induce retching, if the cat swallowed some dissolvent, acid, turpentine, alkalis or other irritating substances. In this case, you need to give your pet a sorbent and immediately deliver the cat to the vet clinic. Do not induce vomiting in case the pet has swallowed a sharp object that can injure the esophagus and stomach walls: give it a tablespoon of vaseline oil deliver the cat to the veterinary clinic immediately.
A safe way to induce vomiting in cats is a tablespoon of salt put in a glass of warm water. Give this solution to the cat till you get the desired result. Do not use hydrogen peroxide, as it leaves burns on the larynx and esophagus mucous membranes. You can try introducing your finger in the cat's mouth, to the tongue root or a little deeper (the cat should stand or should lie on the side).
The main danger of vomiting is rapid dehydration. To prevent deterioration, visit the vet as soon as possible. It is better to spend a day in vain for a clinic visit than to risk the life of your pet, because dehydration can kill a cat in just a couple of days, even if the cause of vomiting is harmless.
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