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How to Treat a Cat That Is Vomiting

Many cats vomit from time to time. Less than once per month is normal for your kitty. However, if your cat is vomiting on a more regular basis, it could be a sign of a digestive issue or disease, which is why it’s important to take your cat to the vet to get checked out.

Vomiting is one of the most common problems in veterinary medicine. It is a natural method that allows cats to rid their stomach of troublesome substances such as spoiled foods or other foreign substances such as hairballs or plants. But not all vomiting is due to minor irritation.

Causes of vomiting in cats
The most serious causes of vomiting are viral infections, obstructions caused by strings or other foreign bodies, and diseases of the liver, pancreas, or kidneys. However, it is important to seek professional help if there are signs of bleeding, or if the cat is depressed and is still vomiting after the initial control efforts fail. If your cat vomits, use the following cat care tips:

1. Remove all food and water for at least 12 to 24 hours.

2. If the cat’s vomit contains blood or is frequent, contact the veterinarian immediately. If not, proceed to Step 3.

3. After 12 to 24 hours, feed the cat a mixture of small quantities of boiled chicken breasts, skinned and boned, with rice (50:50 mixture). Alternately, chicken baby food may be substituted. If this is held down, a transition to a regular diet should take place over the next two days by mixing in regular cat food, reducing the chicken and rice amounts and increasing the regular cat food amounts.

4. Vomiting can be a sign of many diseases. Do not be fooled into thinking that it is just fur balls. If vomiting continues on a frequent basis, professional help must be sought.

What to Feed a Cat Who is Vomiting:

Feeding your cat
Depending on the issue that your doctor finds, you are going to feed your cat different foods. Since you don’t know whether or not your cat’s food is causing the problem, you need to call your vet and ask whether or not to take it away and let your cat have a break from food. During this waiting period, it’s critical to keep your cat’s water bowl full, since dehydration occurs along with vomiting and could make the issue worse.

Your vet may recommend a special home-cooked diet or advise you to simply feed your cat bland food for the meantime. Eventually, you may be able to go back to your cat’s normal food, but for now, the foods have to be easy to digest, high in carbohydrates and low in fat, fiber, and protein. Bland diets promote regular stool formation and calm down the gastric system.

A bland diet from your vet may consist of boiled lean chicken with no bones or skin, and boiled rice. You may also substitute the lean chicken with a pork loin or egg whites. As for carbohydrates, you can substitute rice with potatoes if you prefer.

Your vet will likely recommend that you take it slow with getting your cat back to their normal diet. For instance, over the course of a week, you may feed your cat 75% bland food and 25% regular food and keep increasing the amount of regular food until your cat is healthy again.

RELATED: All you need to know about feeding your Kitten

Treatments for vomiting cats
If you’re dealing with a more serious issue, your veterinarian may advise you to give your cat prescription medicine. Some common prescription treatments include maropitant citrate, which is also called Cerenia, metronidazole (Flagyl), and famotidine (Pepcid).

While a bland diet and prescription medicine are the typical treatments, if these don’t clear up your cat’s vomiting problem, you may need to go in for additional tests. By being proactive and heading to the vet as soon as possible, you are protecting your kitty from further harm and ensuring she gets the help she needs to feel better.

Signs Vomiting in cats
So what changes should you look out for? If you notice any of the following signs occurring in your cat it is important to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible:

  • Change in drinking pattern (eg. drinking more water)
  • Change in toilet pattern (eg. diarrhea or increased frequency of urinating)
  • Blood in the vomit
  • Weakness/lethargy
  • Any other signs of ill health or change in behaviour
  • Any changes in grooming (eg. grooming more often)
  • Continued vomiting (occurs multiple times throughout a day or continues for more than one day)
  • Not keeping any meals down
  • Change in appetite (eg. not interested in food)