10 Reasons Why Your Cat Is Vomiting

Learn the difference between cat vomiting because of hairballs and vomiting due to a severe health problem. Discover how to prevent vomiting in cats.

No one wants to hear their favorite being vomiting. So, what to do when your feline starts vomiting? Cleaning is probably the very first thing that comes to your mind. However, cleaning is the easy part.

The tricky part is to understand why your feline is going through this condition in the first place.

Reasons for cats vomiting may vary, while some are more serious than others. This is even more important to understand if you are a new pet owner.

Knowing the types of cat vomiting and when you should call your veterinarian immediately is crucial. That being said, let’s explore the most common causes of cat vomiting.

1. Hairballs: A Common Cause of Cat Vomiting

This is the most common reason for cat vomiting. Still, there are things that you should know about this occurrence. Just like humans, as cats age, their bodies are changing, and vomiting can tell you if the change is good or not.

The next thing that you should know is that cats do vomit frequently in a small amount to their grooming moves. Cats are known as extremely clean animals, and they spend hours daily grooming themselves. When they are overgrooming, their stomach gets upset, and the final result is a hairball. So, this type of vomiting is usually normal, but it has its limits, as well.

Simply said, there are some times when you need to be concerned. In general, hairballs are not painful or frequent. However, it would help if you still treated them because untreated hairballs can lead to numerous health problems. That’s why it isn’t a bad idea to serve your cat a food that will minimize hairballs or to have grass for your feline.

Special grass for cats should be located inside the home, in a place with enough sunlight. By eating grass, your feline will actually minimize the hairball.

If you notice hairballs often, make sure that you keep track of the cat’s regular routine, and watch out for signs of lethargy, anorexia, and constipation. Furthermore, if you notice that your cat has a consistent hairball problem, you might want to incorporate in cats diet, food formulated for hairballs.

2. Eating Too Fast

Yes, if your feline eats too fast, she may experience vomiting. Overeating can lead to obesity eventually, while eating too fast can create stomach disturbance. This can even happen to a healthy cat. Vomiting is not always a sign of severe underlying medical issues.

3. Food Allergies

After hairballs, this is the most common reason why cats vomit. A cat can be allergic to several things, including food. Therefore, the most common allergies in cats are fish, beef, and chicken.

As you know, or you can probably guess, cats with mild or severe food allergies are treated with special diets. These special diets are filled with specific ingredients they haven’t been exposed to before.

4. Poisoning

Sudden vomiting, sadly, can be a sign of poisoning. If this is the case, this is a big emergency. You may not think about it, but your home is actually a place for numerous household hazards.

Not only that certain food should be kept away from your feline, but some home-based items are toxins, such as:

  • Antifreeze: this items holds a really poisonous ingredient, called ethylene glycol. It tastes sweet, and that’s the main reason why cats and dogs are attracted to it. The most common and most obvious signs of poisoning include vomiting and nausea. If you have top hold antifreeze at home, make sure it’s non-toxic, with propylene glycol. This antifreeze is labeled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as non-toxic.
  • Recalled cat food and treats: Make sure that you follow pet-related news. So, when the news of a pet food recall breaks, make sure that you take notice. Check your house-based treats and cat food. Read about affected products, and if you have them in your home, toss them for good. Make sure that you follow the recall instructions.
  • Other home and yard toxins: some household items should be far from cat’s reach. So make sure that you keep human medications, insect sprays, toxic cleaners, and even garden and yard sprays well kept in a safe place. Potentially this item could harm and poison your pet.

Severe Health Conditions That Can Lead To Vomiting In Cats

Of course, in some cases, vomiting in cats can be a reason for underlying health problems. That’s why its crucial to monitor cats’ behavior and act accordingly.

1. Feline Inflammatory Bowel Disease

This condition often appears in cats, and it’s usually followed by vomiting. This condition is usually accompanied by weight loss and diarrhea. This disease can occur in any breed, at any age, and gender. Moreover, it can occur anywhere in a cat’s intestinal tract.

2. Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. As you may know already, pancreatitis is part of the digestive systems and endocrine.

If your feline suffers from pancreatitis, she may demonstrate lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and she may even refuse to dring water or even refuse to eat.

3. Chronic Kidney Disease

CKD or Chronic kidney disease is common in senior cats. Kidneys have a vital role in both humans and cats’ bodies. Kidneys filter waste from the blood.

They are responsible for balancing nutrients, and they play a huge role in controlling blood pressure. Common signs for this disease are:

  • increased water consumption
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • weight loss, and
  • lethargy

It’s important to note that CKD is a progressive disease.

4. Feline Diabetes

As you may know, diabetes is a severe health condition. In cats, diabetes can occur due to numerous reasons. Here is vomiting, a common sign. Moreover, vomiting is the first sign that something is wrong. Some other signs are:

  • hunger
  • urination
  • muscle weakness
  • weight loss, and
  • increased thirst

5. Hyperthyroidism

If your feline is frequently vomiting, but she still has increased appetite, something might be wrong. This should be an alarming sign for you to contact your veterinarian.

If she also constantly loses weight, no matter how much she eats, your feline may suffer from hyperthyroidism or an overactive thyroid gland. Common signs here are:

  • diarrhea
  • weakness
  • excessive thirst
  • irritability

On top of this, your feline’s fur may look as if it’s not being groomed as usual.

6. Hepatic Lipidosis

Hepatic lipidosis is also known as ‘fatty liver disease.’ This is not a primary cause of vomiting, but it can lead to hepatic lipidosis. Moreover, this disease can be fatal. Luckily, if it’s discovered fast, it can be quickly treated.


If your cat vomits two days in a row, make sure that you contact your veterinarian. Moreover, write down any unusual symptoms that you have noticed in past days. The treatment for your cats’ vomiting depends on the underlying cause.

For example, if your cat suffers from food allergies, and she vomits, she might need a limited-ingredient diet.

On the other hand, if your feline suffers from kidney disease, your veterinarian may recommend blood pressure medication and increasing fluid intake. Other conditions, such as hyperthyroidism, can be treated with surgery in most cases. This condition can also be treated with radioactive iodine and medication.

It is essential to listen to your veterinarian and follow the given instructions.

Make sure to follow up if needed. Furthermore, make sure to ask your veterinarian for the emergency number in case the cat’s condition worsens.

Can You Prevent Vomiting

Luckily, you can always take certain actions to help prevent or even decrease the frequency of vomiting in your feline. Here is what you can do:

  • If your cat eats too fast: serve her smaller, but more frequent meals. You can also think about automatic feeders dispense.
  • If your cat vomits after eating too fast: make sure that you place inedible objects, such as a golf ball, in her bowl. This way, she will have to move around to pick out the food.
  • If your cat suffers from allergies: if your cat has a proven history of various allergies, you need to change her diet. Moreover, you need to make sure that your feline eats only food that won’t hurt her.
  • Keep toxic household items away: make sure that you keep medications, chemicals, and other potentially dangerous hazards away from your feline. Also, keep your feline far from your garage, and feel free to pet-proof your home.
  • Often hairballs: brushing your cat is a must. This regular activity will keep hairballs away, and you will have an opportunity to check your feline for fleas, or any skin trouble. To include more fiber you can try to include hairball-reducing food.

The Bottom Line

Make sure that you feed your cat accordingly. Always provide high-quality food if possible, and stick to recommended portions.

If your is allergic to something and specific food is mandatory, make sure that you follow veterinarians’ guidelines.

Also, brush your cat regularly because it can lead to fewer hairballs. If you notice that your cat vomits frequently, make sure that you contact your veterinarian.

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