Should you be alarmed of cat vomiting? It is actually normal for felines to vomit every now and then. It allows them to expel irritants or excess food that may be making them ill. However, you should be concerned if it happens too frequently or if the content of the vomit is of a certain colour.
Cat Vomiting-White/Brown/Dark Grey, Stringy, and Clumpy
A hairball is fur that has accumulated in the digestive tract of your feline pet. When she grooms, her tongue catches the loose hair and ingests it as she cannot spit it out. Over time, all the fur she has ingested piles up and gradually becomes a minor obstruction. As such, it is normal for her to vomit to get it out.
Hairballs do not necessarily look like a ball of fur, it can be tubular and compact, or they can be long and stringy. Without the stringy appearance, which would indicate the presence of hair, this vomit type indicates a different condition. The colour of a hairball vomit can also depend on the coat colour of the feline itself.
- You can help your cat minimise hairballs by brushing her often, especially if her coat is long or of medium length.
- If she is in the throes of vomiting a hairball, you can give her a mild laxative. This can make the process easier for her. You can consult a veterinarian on which product to give your pet. Alternatively, you can also give her a spoonful of coconut oil.
- Feed your cat special food formulas that can minimise shedding and reduce hairballs.
- If your feline is a compulsive groomer, teach her to engage in other fun activities to redirect her attention.
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Cat Vomiting-White and Foamy
Worry Meter: (if the frequency is once in a blue moon)
Cause: May be due to overproduction of gastric juices, skipped meals, changes in the diet, overeating, or gastric diseases. Examples could be inflammatory bowel disease and enteritis. The latter is usually accompanied by other symptoms, such as lack of energy, weight loss, and diarrhoea.
- Let your cat go on a 24-hour fast to let the inflammation subside and let her stomach rest. Once the 24 hours are up, start feeding her bland food. After 48 hours, give her the usual food. If she is still not all right after 2 days, continue to give her bland food until the 72-hour mark.
- At regular intervals, give your cat a tablespoon of cooled-down peppermint tea to soothe her stomach.
Cause: An inflamed gut, chronic gastritis, viral infections, parasitic infestation, or intestinal diseases.
Sometimes, clear vomit accompanied by mucus may be due to a skipped meal or an incoming hairball expulsion. However, if this type of vomit is accompanied by lethargy, weight loss, diarrhoea, and other unusual symptoms, you should be worried. This is especially if your feline friend vomits after every meal.
- Stop feeding in the meantime (for about 24 hours).
- Put out water when your cat wants to drink.
- Bring your cat to a veterinarian for a check.
Cat Vomiting-Yellowish or Greenish
Cause: Presence of bile in the stomach
Yellowish or greenish vomit means that the cat is heaving on an empty stomach. The hues are due to the bilirubin content in bile. Normally, bile comes in when food gets into the duodenum from the stomach.
However, if it goes into the stomach abnormally, the bile will irritate the delicate stomach lining, resulting in vomiting. This condition is called bilious vomiting syndrome.
What does it mean when your pet vomits bile? If this is a recurring event, it may indicate gall bladder, liver, or intestinal disease. It can be digestion difficulties due to overfeeding or ingestion of unsuitable or large pieces of food. It can also be a sign of feline pancreatitis, which requires immediate veterinary attention.
If your cat has recently ingested some grass or herbs, it is normal for her vomit to be greenish and even clumpy.
- Feed your cat small meal portions frequently throughout the day at regular intervals. Liquefied food or canned high-protein diets may be beneficial as these do not linger in the stomach.
- If your cat vomits in the morning, you should feed her before bedtime and again first thing in the morning.
- Bring your pet to the veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Cat Vomiting-Pinkish, Reddish, or Dark Brownish
Cause: Presence of blood in the vomit
Does the vomit look dark and thick or like black coffee grounds? It is likely that your cat is affected by gastrointestinal bleeding. It could be due to liver disease, foreign debris, ulcers, severe gastritis, tumours, renal failure, or a parasitic infestation.
The brighter the red colour, the closer the problem is to the mouth. The trouble spot may be in the oesophagus or the stomach, for example. If the colour is maroon or darker, it is possible that the problem is in the lower part of your pet’s digestive tract.
- Bring your cat to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
To help in the diagnosis, take a picture of the vomit and also take a sample of the vomit and bring it with you to the veterinarian. Follow the vet’s recommendations and observe your pet for the duration of the treatment. Contact the vet right away if her symptoms do not improve.