Why Does My Cat Throw Up Dry Food?

By Ticara Gailliard

Many cats are known to vomit up their dry food after eating. The cause of the vomiting may seem like a mystery at first, but there are several common reasons why this behavior happens. Observe your cat's actions during and after eating to narrow the cause down.


Cats that eat only dry food oftentimes regurgitate the food almost as soon as they finish eating. Once the dry food mixes with the contents of their stomach, it expands and causes discomfort.

Eating Too Fast

Eating a meal too quickly makes some cats vomit the food back up. By not chewing the food well enough, the cat increases its chances of throwing up.


Cats can throw up their food because there is an excessive amount of hair in their stomachs. This hair is the result of grooming sessions and can be a bigger problem for long-haired cats.


Stress and anxiety may make your cat become ill after eating. There may be a change in the cat's diet or the home environment that causes stress.

Allergies or Illness

There may be an ingredient within the dry food that your cat is allergic to. Other, more serious reasons for a cat vomiting after eating dry food include parasitic infestation, stomach ulcers or diabetes.

How To Help

For cats that are regurgitating or eating too fast, try wetting the dry food with some warm water and feeding smaller amounts per meal. Hairballs can be treated with small amounts of petroleum jelly added to the diet or specially-formulated dry food. Stress can be treated by observing the stressor and trying to lessen it. For illnesses, see your veterinarian, as excessive vomiting can be a sign of something more serious.