Cats Cat-at-the-vets

Published on August 11th, 2014 | by Debbie Martin


What Should You Do If Your Cat Is Being Sick?

If your cat has been vomiting, should you be concerned for their health? What should you do in this situation?

In some cases your cat will be sick occasionally and it is nothing to worry about. However, in some situations this can be a sign of a serious problem. Usually cats are less likely to become sick and vomit, because they tend to be pickier about what they eat than a dog would. Sometimes when your cat is being sick it is a sign that something is badly wrong with them and that they need to receive medical treatment as soon as possible.

Warning Signs

If your cat is about to vomit, they will likely be drooling excessive, swallowing a lot, licking their lips or even crying out or yowling. You will then see your cat’s stomach contract and their head bob up and down before they throw up. If your cat is being sick, you should pay attention to what they vomit up, how much it is, what colour it is and how often. You might even want to take a photo with your phone for a reference so that you can show the vet later.

Reasons Why Cats Vomit

When your cat is being sick it can be a result of anything that is irritating their stomach and preventing their stomach contents from naturally moving forward along the digestive tract. This can include parasites such as worms, infection, fur balls, plants and toxins, foreign objects, pancreatic, liver or kidney disease or cancer.

Sometimes your cat will throw up hair balls, which are clumps of wet hair. Your vet might recommend that you use a laxative preparation that can help the hair to pass through the digestive tract. Another reason some cats vomit is because they have a dry diet. When they eat too many kibble or biscuits they will swell up in their stomach and the cat will vomit up the excess.

What You Should Do

If you see that your cat has been sick, here are some steps that you can take:

  • Examine your cat for other symptoms, such as fever, diarrheoa, lethargy, pale and cold gums, etc.
  • Try to find the food item that caused the vomiting.
  • Remove your cat’s food for the next two hours, but make sure that they have water to drink.
  • After two hours if they have not vomited again, offer a teaspoon of the ordinary food. If the cat doesn’t vomit again, you can keep giving it small amounts of food every few hours. After 24 hours you can go back to the normal feeding routine.

These are a few things that you can do to help your cat if they have vomited. However, it they continue to vomit, if there is blood or unusual materials in their vomit, if they cannot even keep water down or if you have seen your cat eat something they shouldn’t have – you should call the vet immediately. If your cat is exhibiting these symptoms, there might be something wrong with them and they will likely need medical treatment.

What Will the Vet Do?

When you take your cat to the vet, they will check over the cat and perform a clinical examination, as well as ask you about what you have observed at home. There are many reasons why the cat might be vomiting, so your vet will need to run a number of tests – including ultrasounds, x-rays, urine tests and blood tests.

The treatment that your cat receives will depend on the diagnosis. However, your vet might offer your cat intravenous fluids, antibiotics, a drip to correct dehydration, anti-vomiting medication and a stomach protectant if that is applicable. If your cat has swallowed a foreign body, they might need to have an operation to remove it. Your cat might need other specific treatments that are relevant to the case of the vomiting.

Can I Prevent My Cat From Vomiting?

It is not always possible to prevent your cat from getting sick, as this can happen for a number of reasons. However, if you can remove any potentially harmful foods or objects from the reach of your cat this will certainly minimise the risk of them eating something they shouldn’t. Keep a close eye on the health of your cat and monitor any changes.

With these tips, you will know how to respond when your cat is being sick so that you can get them the medical treatment they need.

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About the Author

Debbie Martin has worked at Beeston Animal Health for over five years, having previously worked as a nurse in equine and small animal practice. Although generally involved with aspects of marketing these days and putting her psychology degree to good use, she still has a great depth of up to date knowledge in all creatures great and small. Debbie lives at home with her partner and two children and spends much of her spare time looking after her horses, dogs and cats or at the home farm with the cows, sheep and turkeys.

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