Why Is My Cat Throwing Up Yellow Stuff?

By Michelle Renee

A common concern among cat owners is why his cat is vomiting yellow substances. There are a number of reasons why a cat may expel the yellow foam or fluid known as bile. Sometimes this may be an indication of a serious condition, such as cancer or kidney failure, and other times it may be as simple as the animal having eaten too fast.

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When To Call A Veterinarian

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When a cat vomits bile once or twice in a day, or the condition subsides within 24 hours, it usually does not call for much concern. However, if the condition persists beyond one full day or the vomit contains blood, is accompanied by lethargy, diarrhea, loss of appetite or a bloated abdominal section, seek veterinary attention for your pet at once.

Hairballs

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Cats have a natural desire to groom themselves frequently by licking their fur for extended periods. Large amount of hair are often ingested that can eventually form a build up of hair in the digestive system. Yellow bile is produced to assist the animal in expelling the hairball. If your cat periodically vomits a yellow bile substance followed or accompanied by a wet wad of hair, this is a natural habit for felines, and there is little to be concerned about.

Eating To Quickly

Cat with food dish
Cats that eat too quickly often experience vomiting.
credit: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Some cats--kittens in particular--have tendencies to eat so fast that they hardly chew their food, and significant amounts of morsels are swallowed whole. This may cause an upset to the digestive system as it becomes more difficult to properly digest food. The feline body will then produce bile to expel the undigested meal. A yellow foamy substance expelled with what looks like uneaten cat food may be an indication that your cat is eating too fast.

Intestinal or Heart Worms

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Internal parasite conditions, such as intestinal worms or heart worms, are also known to cause yellow vomiting in felines. If you have not vaccinated your pet against these parasites, there is the possibility that his vomiting is due to internal parasites. Though these are serious conditions, many cats can make a full recovery from these conditions with the proper veterinary treatment.

Abrupt Change In Diet

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A cat that has been abruptly transferred from one type of food or diet to another may experience vomiting that includes bile. Cats have very sensitive digestive systems, and new or foreign meals may upset their stomachs when there is no gradual introduction to new foods. When making changes to your cat's diet, a gradual transition is recommended to avoid nausea and vomiting.