Written By : M Samy

My Cat Is Throwing Up, Why and What To Do?

If your cat is throwing up, start by removing her food for a few hours and leaving her with only her water bowl. You will then monitor his behavior to see if you should take him to the vet, give him temporarily some non-flavored baby food or boiled chicken, or permanently change his eating habits and diet to an easily digestible diet.

Cats usually vomit their hairballs, grass, or from eating excessively or quickly. It can also be a symptom of an illness like an inflammatory bowel disease with probable abdominal pain that needs to be worried about and quickly treated. How to react when your cat is vomiting will in fact depend on many factors and conditions.

How To React Immediately When Your Cat Is Throwing Up?

my cat is throwing up what should I do ?

You can’t react during vomiting! when he stops vomiting, you will of course remove his food bowl and prevent him from eating for a few hours (more than 2 hours) and only allow him access to water so that he can hydrate and compensate for the loss of fluids caused by vomiting.

If your cat seems fine after that, you will try to find out what caused the vomiting, which may lead you to switch his diet.

If your cat seems weak and exhausted, it’s usually just due to dehydration, so consider encouraging her to drink water and if that doesn’t help, take her to a vet.

Should I take my cat immediately to the vet after vomiting? 

You can answer this question yourself by taking this simple quiz: 

  • Do you have a kitten or a cat? 
  • Is this the first time your cat has vomited?
  • How many times has your cat vomited in the last week?
  • What is the color and texture of your cat’s vomit? 
  • Does your cat have any other symptoms besides vomiting? 
  • Have you recently changed your cat’s diet? 
  • Did he eat a new food the day he vomited? 
  • Did your cat eat more than usual or eat more quickly on the day of vomiting? 
  • Does your cat also have diarrhea?

The texture of the vomit, the color, and some of the symptoms and conditions associated with this situation are what will help you decide whether to take your cat to a vet or not (we’ll see the answers to this quiz in the next few paragraphs).

What should cat vomit look like and what it shouldn’t? 

You can find out if your feline’s vomit is so dangerous or not based on its texture and especially the color. 

1. Cat vomiting undigested food

Cats vomit food for several reasons: 

  • They ate too fast
  • They have eaten too much 
  • They have an allergy or intolerance to a substance contained in the food eaten (Undigested food in the vomit)
  • They suffer from anxiety or psychological disorder.
  • They may be ill.

2. Cat throwing up hairballs 

Cats like to groom themselves, and that’s normal because it’s a natural act that they learned from their moms at birth. However, if you don’t take care of their long hair by brushing it daily, it can become dangerous as they swallow it.

Once the hair gets into their bodies, it becomes like a foreign substance and they throw it up. 

In this case and if your cat continues to vomit for the next few days, you may want to consider changing his food to Cat food with hairball formula

3. White cats’ vomit ( usually in kittens) 

This kind of vomiting often occurs in kittens. This means that it is regurgitation and not vomiting. When a kitten drinks milk in a bad position, fast or a large amount, they will regurgitate the milk and this is very normal and common in kittens. 

If an adult cat is vomiting “white foam”, it may be due to an inflammation of the stomach lining or intestines. In this case, you should see a veterinarian before it gets worse.

4. Clear liquid (like water) 

Usually, a cat will vomit a clear liquid while coughing. This is a reaction that has resulted in a clear, fluid cough. it can be a simple flu, coryza, or a lung disease such as pleural effusion. When your cat is not breathing well, it can be lung edema. 

Coughing and vomiting this liquid is just the body’s automatic reaction to release it. However, it will be dangerous if the cat fails to do this properly. So if you notice these symptoms, you need to take her to a veterinarian immediately. 

5. Blood in your cat’s vomit

Vomiting blood is a veterinary emergency and the common causes may be : 

  • Ulceration of the stomach or esophagus
  • Poisoning
  • Some cases of cancer

6. Cats’ vomit containing worms

If your cat is vomiting worms, a sample of the vomit should be taken to a veterinarian so that he or she can study it and determine the cause. 

7. Yellowish cat vomit

Yellow vomit is usually not an emergency. The yellow color is bile. Bile is a secretion of the liver when the stomach is empty.  It usually happens when you start a diet for your cat, or if he goes more than 20 hours without eating anything. 

8. Brownish vomit

The brown color of the vomit can also be due to ulceration, digested blood, or it is just the color of the food he took. The same goes for the yellow color, it is not always bile. He may have digested food that has a yellow color like egg yolk. 

9. Green vomit

The green color of vomit can be either green bile or grass. 

Sometimes the bile instead of being yellow as I have already explained, it can be green when there is a bad absorption of fat (in case of pancreatitis)

It also becomes green when it moves very quickly in the body. But this is not always the case!  Check his vomit because it can also be grass.

As the smell of grass is among the smells loved by most cats, from time to time they can’t resist and they swallow some grass, but unfortunately, their body can’t digest it and they throw it up.

5 main reasons why your cat is throwing up 

1- Excessive and hasty eating 

When a cat puts too much food into its small stomach by eating quickly, instead of contracting to digest the food, the stomach will reject the food bolus because it is too full and doesn’t have enough time to digest it. In this case, you will notice that the texture of the vomit is food.

2- Switching your cats’ diets 

If your cat is vomiting, it may be because you have introduced a new product that is not adapted to your cat’s digestive system, which may have caused an intolerance to the food or an allergy. 

Or perhaps you have tried to fast your cat for more than 20 hours. Fasting in cats can cause bile vomiting (yellow or green vomit) as I explained above. 

Be sure to keep your cat’s diet low in fat and high in protein by combining it with vegetables, and you can give him temporary boiled chicken (without salt or other seasonings).

You can then try giving him Royal Canin Gastrointestinal or Hill’s ID cat food, a food specially created for this kind of situation.

3- When a cat eats expired food 

Always check the expiration date of any product or food before giving it to your cat. Any ingestion of expired food induces vomiting and is usually associated with diarrhea. 

4- Swallowed the wrong thing! or a foreign object (poisoning) 

A toxic additive or an allergen. Always check the composition of food and ban from your cat’s diet any product containing an additive that may cause a reaction or allergy in your cat.

Among the things that he should not swallow: His hairballs, grass, plastics, wood, insects already dead, and chocolate. 

Also, to avoid food poisoning, you must be careful about food hygiene. 

5- Your cat may be sick 

Throwing up in cats can also be a symptom of a disease like inflammatory bowel disease. The vet can prescribe an antiemetic medication and even stomach protectants. 

What disease let your cat throw up? 

  • Parasite infections
  • Allergies
  • Food Intolerance
  • Stress & Anxiety
  • Anorexia
  • Liver disease
  • Neurological disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney failure
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Pancreatitis

How to determine the reasons why your cat is vomiting?

You can get an idea of why your cat has been vomiting by observing the color and texture of the vomit and by checking his food or if he has eaten something he shouldn’t.

But if your cat keeps throwing up for no apparent reason, you should take her to the vet for a complete checkup.

Do all cats throw up?

Yes, most cats do throw up, and it doesn’t have to be abnormal. It’s a very common occurrence in cats and dogs. But sometimes it can be a cause for concern, especially if the cat vomits frequently.

How often is it normal for a cat to throw up? 

A cat can normally throw up for 5 days in a week and then stop. Once the cat has emptied the irritating contents of its intestines and stomach, it should stop vomiting. If he continues to vomit for more than a week, then you should be concerned.

You may also encounter a cat that vomits once a week for a long period of time (up to a month). Vomiting that stops and comes back frequently, even if not regularly, is also cause for concern. 

But this is not an exact science, there is no exact frequency, it is enough to guess the dangerousness of vomiting according to the conditions you have already explained above: color, texture, presence of a disease or other symptoms such as masses in the abdominal area, enlarged thyroid gland or even a rapid weight loss.

On the other hand, persistent vomiting may require surgery in some cases if the veterinarian discovers through abdominal X-rays that your cat has swallowed a foreign object that must be removed. Some cancers can also cause chronic vomiting in cats and only surgery can help cure your cat.

Throwing up with other symptoms in cats meaning 

Usually, vomiting is associated with other symptoms, and these signs can give you a clue as to why your cat is vomiting. 

1- My cat is vomiting and not eating

Lack of appetite and not eating after throwing up in cats is very normal as it is the effect of vomiting. What can be said is that lack of appetite is a symptom of a symptom. So it can’t help you guess the reason why your cat is vomiting. 

Note: it does exist but it is very rare that vomiting does not affect a cat’s appetite, on the contrary, it will be very hungry and want to eat. But in some cases, like when a cat is infected by rabies virus, it will lose its appetite and quickly a lot of weight.

2- My cat has diarrhea and vomiting 

This is a sign of poisoning (expired food) or a microbial infection. It can also be a food intolerance or a food allergy. 

3- Throwing up with sneezing

A cough, lack of breathing or only a sneeze associated with vomiting is a sign of a viral infection.

4- Throwing up with constipation 

In this case, constipation is the reason for the vomiting.  If your cat suffers from constipation and has not defecated for more than 3 days, the food bolus that he has taken will stay in the stomach for a long time and due to lack of intestinal movement, it will go up from the stomach to the mouth causing a throwing up. 

5- Vomiting with red patches

The reasons are common: usually, it is flea infection, food allergy, or intolerance. As it can be due to stress, or depression due to immunosuppression. 

Is throwing up a risk to cats’ health?

Yes. vomiting is very acidic and if vomiting is repeated frequently, this acidity will damage the lining of the stomach or esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth and stomach). and the inflammation of these organs, if not treated or stopped, can become an ulcer. 

What’s throwing up treatment? 

There is a treatment for chronic vomiting (which lasts more than 3 months), and a treatment for acute vomiting. This includes blood tests, x-rays, and fecal tests. Once the cause is confirmed, the veterinarian will prescribe the appropriate treatment. 

Treatment is based on age, sex, and your cat’s condition, so avoid buying medication without veterinary advice.  

Can I help my cat when he’s throwing up without going to the vet?

Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment for vomiting. In order for it to go away, the cause must be treated. You just have to let them fast for at least 18 hours without eating or drinking anything.

Then you decide whether to take your cat to a vet depending on how dangerous the cases are. 

When your cat resumes feeding, you should get rid of products containing poor-quality protein. And be sure to reduce the fat on his plate. 

When should my cat resume eat after throwing up? 

Cats can go long without eating, so you should wait between 2 hours and 20 hours without giving him anything to eat, just water.

After that, try to give him a small amount of food compared to his usual daily intake.

  • If he tolerated his food well and did not regurgitate it, resume his usual diet. 
  • If he did not tolerate it, wait another 4 hours (24 hours in total), and resume his usual diet. 
  • If he continues to vomit, take him to see a vet. 

What diet after throwing up in cats? 

  • Don’t feed your kitten until after a few hours of vomiting. 
  • Decrease fat intake.
  • Increase his protein intake
  • Avoid poor quality proteins, products and foods too. 
  • Pay attention to the hygiene of the food. 
  • Do not fast your cat. 

Your cat should continue to take small food intakes throughout the 24 hours. 

If your cat has a tendency to eat quickly, put his food in the feeder so he eats slowly.

What to do if my cat refuses to eat after throwing up? 

It is normal for your cat to wait 24 hours after throwing up without eating anything. A lack of appetite is often associated with vomiting. After 24 hours, try introducing very small amounts of food. If he keeps ignoring its food, take him to the vet. 

Are there any drinks that prevent vomiting in cats?

Baking soda is effective. Since vomiting is acidic, bicarbonate will help neutralize the environment in a cat’s stomach and get rid of the acidity induced by vomiting.  Put a teaspoon of baking soda in about a glass of water, and administer it occasionally and drop by drop with a syringe to your cat. 

Note: Baking soda is an alkaline food (with a ph above 7). Once it enters the body irritated by the acidity of vomit, it neutralizes it. 

Difference between kittens & cats throwing up 

In kittens, we talk a lot more about regurgitation. This is a reflex when a kitten drinks a lot of milk or overeats food quickly. But this does not mean that kittens do not vomit, but with them, regurgitation is more frequent than throwing up. 

Final Thoughts 

Finally, throwing up is a normal reflex in cats, but if it goes beyond the normal range, you should be worried. Several factors can explain and even define the cause of your cat’s vomiting, such as color, texture, an eventual disease if associated symptoms, as well as your cat’s psychological state. 

M Samy pet blogger and author at famillypet

About Author

Hey! M. Samy here , Welcome to my Blog I'm an animal lover, especially pets and Really concerned about their well being ; I've been around and caring for all my life and Now ; a full-time Pet blogger at your service . My motto here at Famillypet is: "Pets First" ... Read More