You’ve noticed your cat vomiting. You’re not sure if it is something serious or not. This depends on the timing, the frequency, and what your cat is bringing up. Here is some information so you know when to see the vet when your cat is vomiting.
One consideration to think about is the timing of your cat vomiting when considering seeing the vet. When is your cat vomiting? Does your cat eat and then vomit? Does your cat vomit after playing outside? Did your cat get into the medicine cabinet, or under the sink where the cleaning supplies are?
How many times during the day does your cat vomit? If your cat is vomiting two or three times in an hour, this is when to see the vet. If your cat is vomiting over days constantly this is another sign of frequent vomiting. Another sign is when your cat vomits in succession.
Symptoms of cats vomiting are varied, and are from many causes. Symptoms such as blood in vomit, vomit which looks or smells like a stool sample, or vomit in combination with diarrhea are signs of when it is time to see the vet. You should suspect an illness or poisoning if your cat is vomiting sporadically without relationship to meals. If you notice your cat trying to vomit but not succeeding, you should take the kitty to the vet. If your cat is vomiting more than two days in a row, there is an internal issue and you should see a vet. Weight loss, listlessness or labored breathing along with vomiting are signs of serious illness.
Some Immediate Actions You Can Take
If you notice your cat vomiting, when you see the vet may depend on their schedule. What do you do in the meantime? There are options you can take with the approval of your vet; you should ask your vet what recommendations they would consider until they can see your cat. Withhold food for six or eight hours to allow your cat’s stomach to settle. Provide an easy digestible bland diet; this can be in the form of boiled chicken or fish, or cooked rice mashed or canned tuna (in water) at room temperature and minced as much as possible. Feed your cat small quantities. Do not feed your cat normal cat food or any other type of food. Make sure your cat has access to water to stay hydrated.
What the Veterinarian Will Do
Your veterinarian will conduct diagnostic testing to find the reason for your cat vomiting. Most cases can be treated well after proper diagnosis. Your vet will use blood tests to check for infections and kidney or liver problems. X-rays will help show abnormalities in the esophagus or stomach. Barium may be used with x-rays to identify tumors, ulcers, blockages and foreign objects. An endoscopy may be conducted so your vet can see what is inside your cat’s stomach. If a blockage is suspected, a laparotomy (which is a type of exploratory operation) will be used.
Dr. Sue A. Whitman DVM
Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins DVM
Nelson Animal Hospital