Why Is My Kitty Throwing up Undigested Food?

Don’t you think that cats are the most endearing creatures on the face of the planet? It is extremely relaxing to have a pet cat at home who will become your friend whenever you do not want to go out to socialize.

However, owning a pet, particularly a cat, comes with several challenges, including worries about the cat’s health and nutrition, among other things. If you’ve had a cat for a long time, you’ve had the experience of your cat vomiting after eating something.

Having your cat throw up undigested food is not normal in cats, and it may indicate a more serious health problem in your feline companion. Vomiting is considered to be a nonspecific symptom because it does not have a specific cause. Hairballs, internal obstructions, eating too quickly, constipation, pancreatitis, indigestion, parasitic infections, poisoning, stress, depression, and anxiety are just a few things that can go wrong.

But, more specifically, what could be causing your cat to vomit up undigested food?

Cats can suffer from upset stomachs for a variety of reasons. If your cat vomits regularly, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to determine the underlying cause. Your cat may be regurgitating their food, coughing, or experiencing a reaction to something they’ve consumed. It is vital to monitor them and ensure they have not been exposed to a hazardous chemical or have something trapped in their throat.

Difference Between Vomiting and Regurgitation

It is critical that you distinguish between these two phenomena, vomiting and regurgitation, because it will provide the veterinarian with additional information when identifying the reason. The question is, what are the distinctions between vomit and regurgitation?

In general, vomiting is defined as the process through which the contents of your cat’s stomach, which can include water, food, or bile, are expelled from its body. To put it another way, the acid in its stomach has digested and processed the contents of its digestive tract.

On the other hand, regurgitation occurs when your cats vomit up anything they have previously taken but has not yet digested completely. These are frequently the contents of their esophagus, a tube that transports liquids and food from their mouth to their stomach or mouth to their stomach.

Furthermore, although the cat’s vomiting is an active functioning action of its body, regurgitation is a passive process. The cat just lowers its head and allows whatever is within its mouth to fall out of its mouth. The occurrence of a cat regurgitating undigested food normally happens 2 hours after the meal has been consumed.

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Two Types of Vomiting

Chronic vomiting and acute vomiting are the two primary forms of vomiting that may be distinguished. Chronic vomiting is defined as throwing up on a regular basis (once a day) for an extended period of time. In most cases, the cat will only vomit once or twice throughout each occurrence. The acute sort of vomiting occurs when a cat that normally does not vomit begins to vomit. However, this is usually only a source of concern for you and your veterinarian if the cat vomits many times. The diagnostic workup and therapies for acute and chronic vomiting, as well as the urgency with which the cat should be sent to the veterinarian, might differ between the two conditions.

When a cat is vomiting violently, it is typically necessary to seek more immediate medical attention. A cat that has vomited one to three times and otherwise appears to be in good health. If the cat wants to eat and can do so without vomiting, is acting normally, and seems in good health, she does not need to be sent to a veterinary facility unless you know she has consumed anything harmful.

If your cat vomits more than two times, cannot keep food down, or appears exhausted, she should be seen by a pet veterinary doctor as soon as possible. However, if she is suffering from something more serious, she should seek medical attention immediately. Unless the cat is in severe distress or cannot walk, she will not be required to travel to an emergency clinic under typical circumstances. Nevertheless, if her condition appears to deteriorate rapidly over the night, an urgent visit is suggested. Cats that are constantly vomiting and are unable to keep food down are at risk for a variety of secondary alterations, the most serious of which is liver disease, and delaying treatment can be quite deadly for them.

The veterinarian should still be consulted in the case of a continuously vomiting cat, but it is not necessary to do so if the cat is still eating and keeping food down, is not displaying indications of weakening, and appears to be comfortable. If none of these options are true, a persistently vomiting cat is either an acutely vomiting cat or is experiencing an acute crisis of whatever it is that is causing the cat’s chronic vomiting.

It used to be that having a cat who vomited a few times a month was considered normal, but nowadays, that view is changing. There is even speculation that a cat that regularly vomits hairballs may be suffering from a gastrointestinal ailment that usually prevents the hairballs from passing through. Although therapy for a continuously vomiting cat may not be necessary, an examination and workup should be performed to confirm that the cat is comfortable and does not require any intervention at that time.

Reasons Why Your Cats Vomit or Regurgitate

However, while the symptoms of vomiting might be obscure, the underlying reasons can be quite varied. It is even more stressful to learn that practically any disease your cat may be suffering from will eventually result in her vomiting. However, many contributing factors may be divided into five major categories, further examined in the following sections.

  1. Your Cat Eats Too Quickly or Consumes Too Much Food

One of the most common reasons your cat’s stomach does a poor job of digesting food is that it consumes the food too quickly, leaving the stomach with insufficient time to complete the digestion process properly.

Your cat will likely vomit up more undigested food than you can imagine once it becomes accustomed to this behavior. As a result, you should discuss the best training strategy with your veterinarian to avoid this behavior from recurring.

There are various strategies you may attempt, and the simplest is to feed your cat in small amounts at a time.

You may either feed your cat by hand if you have lots of time to do so, or you can acquire an automatic slow feeder that will put your cat through a struggle to receive the food he needs. These feeders can be in the shape of a puzzle, requiring your cat to exert considerable effort to obtain food.

As an alternative, and more cost-effectively, you may keep the cat food contained on a big plate rather than a bowl. Because the food will be moving around the dish more, it will be more difficult for your cat to consume due to this. It is suggested that you have to consult with your veterinarian and inquire about the most appropriate feeding options.

  1. Food Allergies

Throwing up undigested food after eating it might be caused by a cat’s highly sensitive stomach. In this situation, it is preferable to consult your veterinarian for guidance on the type of food your cat should consume.

If your veterinarian finds that the source of your cat’s vomit is their food, you may wish to introduce your cat to commercial cat food that is designed for a delicate system like your cat’s. Furthermore, you should consider changing out the cat food.

An interesting aspect to note is that most cats are more sensitive to protein sources than other nutrients. As a result, providing your cat with nutritious food will be extremely advantageous to his or her overall health.

Your cat’s immune system will not recognize protein in this situation because the protein in the meal has been broken down into amino acid components. As a result, the likelihood of your cat experiencing an allergic response will be lower as a result of this.

  1. Hairballs 

Your cat is vomiting up undigested dry food is a concern, but it is much more alarming if your cat has hairballs in his or her throat. We are all aware that cats are immaculately clean, and they take pleasure in grooming themselves for the better part of the day.

It is possible that the small “hooks” on your cat’s tongue will mistakenly transfer loose hair from the outside of their body and inside of their body while they are grooming themselves.

If hair is shed, it will not be a significant issue. If the hairballs form within your cat’s stomach, on the other hand, it is something you should be concerned about.

It is recommended that you offer your cat certain dietary supplements as the final answer to this problem. As an additional precaution, it is proposed that you brush your cat’s fur regularly to eliminate any dead hair that the cat may have ingested during grooming.

  1. Dietary and Food Modifications

It is possible that a quick change in diet can cause complications for your cat since it will not have had sufficient time to become used to the new food. As a result, you should do this for several weeks, gradually reducing the amount of the old food and progressively increasing the amount of the new food.

Second, when you change the feeding schedule for your cats, it is likely that they will miss meals or that they will eat at a different time of the day than they are accustomed to doing. As a result, your cats may regurgitate food that has not been adequately digested.

  1. Gastritis 

Although your cat may be a finicky eater, there is a potential that they will consume something that they should not have. This causes their sensitive stomach to become irritated, and your cat’s puking results from their body’s protective mechanism.

For example, while your cats are playing in the garden, they somehow manage to swallow grass and get it into their bodies. The length and shape of the grass, on the other hand, will cause a gag reflex, which will encourage the cat to expel the foreign body.

How to Know if My Cat Is Throwing Up?

Your cat can become nauseous before throwing up. They can be agitated, salivating, or swallowing repeatedly, among other things. The spasms of your cat’s abdominal muscles are the beginning of the vomiting process. This is followed by the expulsion of whatever is in their stomach or throat.

Coughing in cats might appear to be comparable to vomiting up in humans. When a cat coughs, it will kneel on all four legs and stretch its neck out in front of them. At this point, they cough up froth or foam, which they may swallow again quickly after that.

Taking Care of Your Cat If She’s Throwing Up

If your cat is vomiting due to hairballs, you should consider switching their food to one that has a hairball formula. Cat food formulated with a hairball formula helps prevent hairball formation by breaking down hairballs with specific enzymes.

For example, if your cat is vomiting because they are overeating, you may need to monitor and adjust the amount of food you are providing to him or her. You can purchase a bowl that forces your cat to work for their food and consume it more slowly. Try giving your cat smaller portions more frequently throughout the day as an alternative to larger portions.

However, suppose your cat throws up several times a day or for several days in a row. In that case, they may be suffering from another medical condition that requires treatment by a veterinarian. Your vet-doc will perform tests to determine the underlying cause of the problem and prescribe medication to alleviate it.

  1. Make Sure Your Cat Gets Enough Fluids

Suppose your veterinarian does not notice any severe signs during the physical exam. In that case, he or she may administer some fluids to your cat in order to detoxify his or her body. Additionally, because your cat has been vomiting a lot, this procedure will help to keep your cat hydrated.

Administering fluids to any cat vomiting is the most frequent treatment for the condition, regardless of the cause. This is because cats lose a significant amount of water through their vomit, they get quickly dehydrated, which causes them to feel unwell for an extended period.

  1. Medication

Your cat’s vomiting symptoms may be so severe that the vet will prescribe them some medicine to halt the vomiting immediately. These medications also help alleviate the cat’s discomfort while encouraging it to consume more food. In addition, if the veterinarian believes it is essential, pain medications will be administered.

  1. Dietary Modifications

Your cat’s food sources might be a huge source of concern when he or she is feeling under the weather. As a result, if something is aggravating your cat, you should consider substituting it with a different type of cat food. Once again, your veterinarian is the most qualified source of information.

  1. Prednisone

Some cats may vomit due to an inflammatory bowel condition, which is rare. Prednisone is widely used in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. We do not suggest that you provide prednisone to your cat without first doing a thorough diagnostic procedure. Prednisone has several adverse effects, including increased thirst and urination, a weakened immune system, and weak muscles. Some causes of vomiting in cats (such as pancreatitis, diabetes, and renal illness) can be exacerbated by administering prednisone to them. On the other hand, a trial of prednisone may be recommended if your cat’s blood tests and X-rays are typical and you do not desire to explore additional diagnostics. A detailed talk with your veterinarian regarding the hazards is very recommended at this point.

What Can I Get My Cat to Stop Throwing up Food?

You should not feed your cat for a few hours after it has vomited (but ensure they have access to fresh, clean water). You may then gradually integrate their regular food into their diet by offering them little amounts of bland food and seeing whether they can keep it down. If your cat vomits regularly but otherwise appears healthy, you may want to consider switching to a more delicate diet. If this doesn’t work and your cat continues to vomit regularly, it’s advisable to get them checked out by a veterinarian.

Preventing Your Cat From Throwing Up

Cats are curious creatures, and they have been known to ingest substances that have made them sick mistakenly. Avoid allowing your cat to have access to harmful plants or human pharmaceuticals. Also, avoid letting your cat have access to thread or string, chocolate, or other tiny things. These products may be consumed or swallowed by them, resulting in digestive difficulties.

If your cat vomits regularly, you should consult your veterinarian to determine the underlying problem. You should not delay taking your cat to the veterinarian if you feel that he or she may be ill.

FAQs

 

What Home Remedies Can You Use to Keep Your Cat From Throwing Up?

You may help your cat by feeding them bland food in little amounts and frequently, as well as encouraging them to drink. Using home treatments is not recommended because if your cat vomits, they may inhale part of the contents of their stomach and oesophagus, leading to more serious issues like pneumonia. If home remedies have been prescribed, they may make the procedure more difficult. Cats also metabolize medications differently from that of humans (and dogs), and some medications can be hazardous to cats even when they are not poisonous to other species.

Is It Normal for a Cat Throwing up Daily?

No, it is not. Vomiting is not normal and indicates the presence of an underlying condition such as food intolerance, minor obstruction, or anatomical abnormality in the digestive tract.

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