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7 Common Reasons For Cat Puking

Why Your Cat is Throwing Up

By Meredith Alling. December 09, 2013 | See Comments

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    PetCareRx Staff Veterinarian

    DVM

A Cat Laying On The Floor

As a pet parent of a cat, cat puking is probably all too common. Whether it's hairballs or a little food finding its way to the floor, vomit is usually nothing to get overly concerned about. Learn about the most common causes behind cat puking.

It is not unusual for a cat to throw up every now and then. Many cats throw up after eating too quickly, or as the result of hairballs caused by grooming. However, if you see your cat puking more than once a week, or if the puking is accompanied by other symptoms, it could mean something more serious. Read on to learn the most common reasons for cat puking.

#1 Eating Habits

A cat who eats too quickly or overeats may end up puking. This problem is common in multi-cat homes where cats are fed together and feel like they need to compete for the food bowl. Puking can also be the result of an abrupt diet change, or vigorous activity following a meal.

#2 Consuming Indigestibles

This may be the most common reason for a cat puking. When a cat consumes any indigestible substance -- be it a houseplant, grass, toilet paper, part of a toy, or even their own fur — their body rejects the material and it is often vomited up in the form of bile.

#3 Allergies

Food allergies are an all too common problem in pets. A cat who is allergic or intolerant to one or more ingredients in their food may throw up. The most common cat food allergens are beef, fish, eggs, wheat, and milk. Even if your cat has been eating the same food for a long time without any problems, food allergies can still develop.

#4 Infection

Bacterial and viral infections — including but not limited to salmonella and giardia — can lead to vomiting.

#5 Certain Diseases

Vomiting is a symptom of a number of diseases. Among them are liver failure, kidney disease, irritable bowel disease, gastritis, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, adrenal gland disease, and cancer.

#6 Parasites

Internal parasites — such as hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and whipworms — can cause a cat to vomit, often excessively.

#7 Poisons

When a cat eats something poisonous, their body’s protective mechanisms kick in to get rid of the toxin, usually through puking. Common poisons include certain human foods, certain plants, human medications, insecticides, and certain chemicals. 

How to Deal With a Cat Puking

While your cat’s puking might be the result of something minor, it could also be tied to a more serious issue. If your cat’s vomiting does not seem related to eating habits or the consumption of something indigestible, visit your veterinarian to determine if your cat is suffering from a medical condition. A cat who is vomiting blood always requires immediate veterinary attention.

The treatment for your cat’s puking will ultimately depend on the cause, but there are ways to help your cat avoid tummy upset, including offering smaller portions, providing plenty of fresh water, and withholding certain ingredients.

Your cat depends on you to stay healthy. Don’t ignore vomiting, and always contact your veterinarian if you suspect that your cat is unwell.

More on Cat Health

Signs Your Pet Needs New Food
5 Common Cat Problems and Health Issues
9 Signs of a Sick Kitten - And What To Do

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.

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Cat Puking at a glance

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  • 1It is not uncommon for cats to vomit from time to time
  • 2Vomiting can be caused by something minor or something more serious
  • 3If you cannot determine the cause of your cat’s puking, contact your veterinarian
  • 4A cat who is vomiting blood needs immediate veterinary attention