When you have a pet cat it’s inevitable that sometimes you’ll find the unwelcome surprise of a pile of cat vomit. Cats are hunters and scavengers, no matter how well they’re fed and they’ll explore, pick up infections or parasites, or sample spoiled food found in the garden. Hairballs are also a natural consequence of grooming and sometimes need to be dealt with. All of these causes can lead to occasional bouts of vomiting, which often solves the problem!
If you find yourself complaining ‘my cat keeps vomiting’, then you might have more cause to worry. Long term vomiting can be a symptom of some serious illnesses, and it can be a risk to your cat in itself. If they can’t hold down food or water then they are at risk of dehydration and starvation, so you need to know how to control your cat’s vomiting. It’s part of being a reliable, responsible pet owner.
When to Go to the Vet
Most instances of feline vomiting aren’t serious and will clear up on their own in a matter of days if not hours. You need to know how to spot the serious cases as early as possible so you can get your cat the help it needs.
One of the most serious symptoms that can emerge alongside vomiting is finding blood in the vomit (or faeces). This can indicate some serious internal problems for your cat, and you should make an appointment with your vet right away.
You should also look out for other symptoms of illness – sluggishness, uncharacteristic aggression which can indicate pain, being shy or withdrawn. If these start to mount up, then a visit to the vet shouldn’t be far away.
The most important thing you can do is help your cat control the vomiting: every time they vomit they lose fluids and nutrients, and it leaves them weaker and more vulnerable.
You shouldn’t put a cat on a complete fast: this can lead to them developing liver damage. What you can do is provide a diet of small portions of easily digestible food. Boiled rice and chicken is an easy option – giving them small portions more regularly than their normal meals will provide all the nutrients they need, and hopefully stimulate the reflex to vomit less.
The most important thing you can do is keep them hydrated: make sure they have plenty of water available. If they don’t show any improvement after two to three days of this reduced diet, consider making an appointment with the vet, as they may need additional medical help to recover.