What to Feed a Cat Who is Vomiting

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Many cats vomit from time to time. Less than once per month is normal for your kitty. However, if your cat is vomiting on a more regular basis, it could be a sign of a digestive issue or disease, which is why it's important to take your cat to the vet to get checked out.

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Learning about the causes of vomiting and how to treat your cat that is feeling sick are important. Armed with the right information, you can help your cat recover from her bout of sickness in no time.


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Causes of cat vomiting

There are many reasons why your cat may be throwing up. Some range from run-of-the-mill problems to more serious health issues. They include allergic reactions to food, eating too quickly, worms in the stomach, tumors, heat stroke, liver disease, food intolerance, adrenal gland disease, dislocation of the stomach, an obstruction in the esophagus, gastroenteritis and a metabolic disorder like kidney disease.


Testing your cat

When you take your cat to the vet, the doctor will decide what types of tests need to be done based on the symptoms. For example, your cat may be vomiting but still eating, or might have a fever. Your cat could have lost weight recently or has been acting depressed and lethargic.


Some common tests include blood tests, which will show if your cat has diabetes or liver or kidney problems, or an ultrasound, which will tell the doctor whether or not your cat has abnormalities in her stomach or esophagus, there are blockages in the stomach or your cat has tumors. X-rays, an endoscopy or a laparotomy may be necessary as well.


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Feeding your cat

Depending on the issue that your doctor finds, you are going to feed your cat different foods. Since you don't know whether or not your cat's food is causing the problem, you need to call your vet and ask whether or not to take it away and let your cat have a break from food. During this waiting period, it's critical to keep your cat's water bowl full, since dehydration occurs along with vomiting and could make the issue worse.



Your vet may recommend a special home-cooked diet or advise you to simply feed your cat bland food for the meantime. Eventually, you may be able to go back to your cat's normal food, but for now, the foods have to be easy to digest, high in carbohydrates and low in fat, fiber and protein. Bland diets promote regular stool formation and calm down the gastric system.


A bland diet from your vet may consist of boiled lean chicken with no bones or skin, and boiled rice. You may also substitute the lean chicken with a pork loin or egg whites. As for carbohydrates, you can substitute rice with potatoes if you prefer.

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Your vet will likely recommend that you take it slow with getting your cat back to their normal diet. For instance, over the course of a week, you may feed your cat 75% bland food and 25% regular food and keep increasing the amount of regular food until your cat is healthy again.


Other treatments for vomiting cats

If you're dealing with a more serious issue, your veterinarian may advise you to give your cat prescription medicine. Some common prescription treatments include maropitant citrate, which is also called Cerenia, metronidazole (Flagyl) and famotidine (Pepcid).


While a bland diet and prescription medicine are the typical treatments, if these don't clear up your cat's vomiting problem, you may need to go in for additional tests. By being proactive and heading to the vet as soon as possible, you are protecting your kitty from further harm and ensuring she gets the help she needs to feel better.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.


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