Does your cat vomit? Is it anything to worry about?? That depends …

How often your cat vomits is important. Once a month or less is probably not a medical problem. Vomiting more than once a week needs to be discussed with your vet.

It is also helpful to know if the vomit was food, hairball, or phlegm.

When the vomit happens (overnight? After breakfast?) also helps. Remember to let your vet know when you feed your cat too.  Keeping a “vomit log”, or a record of what, when and anything different that day is very beneficial to your vet.

What is causing the vomit? They are not getting back at you for going out for dinner last night. Some common reasons are eating too fast, food intolerance / allergy, gastritis (upset stomach – caused by stress, infections, medications), IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), pancreatitis, kidney disease, liver disease, altered gut motility (the movement of the intestines to get food from the stomach to the colon), parasites (roundworms, etc), viruses (panleukopenia can be fatal if a cat is not vaccinated), intestinal blockage, and cancers.

Does your cat have any other symptoms? If your cat is vomiting AND has diarrhea, lethargy, pain, or is not eating normally it may be a much more serious problem. Call the vet ASAP.

Blood tests can detect some of the causes of vomiting – liver or kidney disease, some viruses, and some cancers. Radiographs will show some conditions (intestinal blockage, constipation, some cancers). IBD, pancreatitis and most cancers require and ultrasound or surgical biopsies to be certain.

Treatment will vary greatly depending on the cause of the vomiting. An intestinal blockage requires surgery. Some patients with food allergy or gastritis respond to a change in diet. Other patients need medication (antacids, motility modifiers, and steroids to name a few).

Please talk to your vet about your cat’s vomiting. IF your cat is vomiting more than once a week and they don’t think it is worth discussing, get a second opinion.

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