Puking Cat? What to Do and What to Avoid

Posted by Dr. Jessica on

Puking Cat? What to Do and What to Avoid

Cat vomiting is something that all cat parents deal with now and again. But how does a pet parent know whether to worry about a cat throwing up or just offer them some extra TLC? 

What Are Signs of Kitty Illness?

If a cat throws up once or twice and isn’t showing any other symptoms, the pet parent can often chalk it up to the cat eating something funny. But if the cat seems sick otherwise, something more serious might be going on. Consult with a veterinarian if the cat is showing signs of:

  • Belly bloating
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy

Too much appetite may also be a concern, especially if a cat started wanting more food at about the same time as they started vomiting. Check with a Fuzzy veterinarian if you have any concerns your pet may be suffering from some type of illness. Inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, or parasites may be difficult to recognize by symptoms alone.

What Could Be the Cause of Cat Vomiting?

Here are some situations to watch out for, especially if a pet parent is worried about their cat suddenly and more frequently.

Potential Ingested Objects

Sometimes, ingested objects get lodged in the cat’s system, and they start puking to try and bring it up.

A cat in this situation will usually seem pretty uncomfortable. They might be lethargic, unwilling to eat, or reluctant to have their belly touched. Consult with a veterinarian if the cat shows any of these symptoms.

Potential Illness

Systemic illness like kidney disease and diabetes can cause vomiting in cats as well. If pet parents notice any change in their weight or increased frequency in vomiting they should seek veterinary care or an evaluation as soon as they can as cat illness severity can escalate quickly if left untreated.

Hair Balls

Some cats vomit hairballs because the hair gets stuck in their small intestine, so their system sends it back up again. If a cat’s vomit has a lot of hair in it, ask a vet about possible hairball treatments.


If there are small worms in a cat’s vomit, the cat and other pets in the household will need deworming treatment as soon as possible. 

What Shouldn’t You Do When a Cat’s Vomiting? 

Pet parents can be too worried about their cat’s digestive health, and end up doing the wrong thing. 

Don’t Give Your Cat Pepto

Many human medications, including Pepto Bismol, can be highly toxic to cats. It contains aspirin, which can damage the liver and kidneys and make the cat’s stomach problems worse.

Don’t Change the Cat’s Diet Abruptly

Even if the culprit could be something in the cat’s food, sudden dietary changes can upset a cat’s system more. The exception is when a vet recommends an immediate change to the cat’s diet.

What to Do When Soothing a Kitty’s Upset Stomach?

As long as the cat isn’t showing other symptoms and has only thrown up once or twice, it’s okay to try feeding them food again after a few hours. Give them about a quarter of what they would usually consume in a meal. If they keep it down, slowly add more over the next day or so.

If the vomiting comes back, consult with a veterinarian about cat nausea medicines. Several different prescription medications can help.

Consider giving cat digestive health supplements to improve their gut health. Joint health supplements for cats are ideal for older cats, while probiotics are particularly helpful for maintaining cat digestive health at any age.

Need to Talk With a Vet?

Cat vomiting may not be serious, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to fur babies. Become a Fuzzy member today and get on-demand access to 24/7 Live Vet Chat with our a Fuzzy Veterinary Support Team. 

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