What should I do if my cat vomits? Why does a cat vomit? What to know in different situations?

What should I do if my cat vomits? Why does a cat vomit? What to know in different situations?
When walking at home, a sudden warmth came from the feet, and you then discovered that it was cat vomit. Many novice cat parents have no ideas what to do when they encountered this situation for the first time. But in fact, the cat's natural vomiting mechanism is relatively developed, which is sometimes an instinctive self-protection mechanism. Today, I’m going to show you what we can do when facing cats vomiting.

Why does the cat vomit?

There are many possibilities for cats to vomit. It can be divided into physiological vomiting and pathological vomiting. Only by correctly distinguishing the difference between the two types of vomiting can we prescribe the right medicine.

Physiological vomiting

A. Gastric juice (yellow bile/white bubbles)

The cat’s gastric juice is very sticky, and if it has white foam, it is most likely caused by too long an empty stomach or excessive gastric acid secretion. If the cat vomits too violently, it is likely to vomit out along with yellow bile.

B. Gastric juice (with hair)

This is the most common vomit in cats. It may be a mixture of gastric juice and hair. Because the cat’s tongue is barb-shaped, both long-haired and short-haired cats may eat hair during self-care. The accumulation in the esophagus or digestive tract cannot be eliminated. The cat will expel the hair bulb through the vomiting mechanism. Although it is a normal phenomenon, if the hair accumulates for a long time without proper discharge, it will eventually develop into "hairball syndrome".

C. Completely undigested/semi-digested food

-Completely undigested:
If the original pieces of food (meat, feed) can be clearly distinguished from the vomit, most of them are vomiting after indigestion caused by cats eating too fast.
-Semi-digested food:
In addition to eating too fast and too much, cats are very excited just after they are full, chasing and jumping around; or changing to new foods, gastrointestinal incompatibility; or the food is not fresh or the cat is low in food allergy.

D. Foreign body

A small number of cats have pica or accidental eating, and have abnormal preferences for plastic bags, craftsmanship, wool, human items, etc. Most of these foreign objects are indigestible and may even get stuck in the digestive tract. Some items may cause serious bowel obstruction. When it is found that the cat has eaten a foreign body or retching, first confirm whether it has been vomited completely. The cat may only vomit a small part and there are foreign bodies remaining in the body. Some foreign bodies may even absorb gastric juice and expand, hindering the functioning of the digestive tract. Cats frequently vomit or constipate.

Pathological occasional vomiting:

E. Parasitic infection

When cats are infected with parasites, they sometimes cause vomiting (tapeworms, roundworms, whipworms, hookworms, etc.). The body and eggs of the parasites will lurch in the digestive tract, and sometimes they may even spit out "white translucent threads". Parasites", and may be accompanied by diarrhea, listlessness, abdominal swelling, weight loss, etc. When you see parasites in the cat's vomit, it means that there are a certain number of parasites in the digestive tract, and you must seek medical treatment immediately for internal and external deworming; if it is a family with multiple cats, remember to isolate the cats.

F. Blood

If you see blood or blood clots in your cat's vomiting, you must take it to the veterinary hospital for diagnosis as soon as possible. Generally speaking, there are three possibilities for cats to vomit with blood. The first is accidental ingestion of sharp foreign bodies; the second is gastrointestinal ulcer or internal bleeding; and the third is that repeated vomiting may cause gastrointestinal mucosal damage.
It is necessary to learn to observe the cat’s vomit before the cat’s parents can judge what to do. Otherwise, the cat’s parents will usually get into a state of whether to take the cat to the doctor immediately due to excessive stress. Therefore, in addition to judging the vomit, Also observe whether the cat continues to vomit, mental condition, appetite, etc. There are too many possibilities for cats to vomit. If vomiting is found to be too frequent, and the cat's mental and physical condition is obviously abnormal, it is recommended to ask a professional veterinarian to make a detailed diagnosis for the cat.

What should I do when a cat vomits?

It often costs thousands of dollars to go to the hospital for a check-up, so evaluate the situation on your own first! If it really can't be improved, then consider whether to go to the veterinary hospital!
When the cat is vomiting, observe the following points
  1. Has the vomiting started for a while?
  2. Is there any change in your usual diet, whether to change your diet, or appetite?
  3. Have you taken any medications recently?
  4. Does the cat usually go out (or stock)?

Observe the cat's vomit and color

As mentioned earlier, the appearance and color of the vomit is very important, and it will be of great help to the follow-up veterinarian's diagnosis. It is best to take a photo and record the moment the vomit is found.

The vomit is transparent and contains a lot of hair

Ways to improve:
Regularly comb the cat's waste hair, especially during the moulting season.
Can effectively reduce the amount of hair the cat licks; and there are also available on the market
Many hair removal products, such as hair removal cream, hair removal powder, etc., can also be selected
It is rich in cellulose or added cat grass, etc., which can help cats’ gastrointestinal peristalsis.
Then smoothly discharge the hair balls.

Vomit with white foam

Ways to improve:
change the cat’s diet to small and frequent meals to allow time for meals
The interval is shortened to allow the cat to maintain normal gastric secretion.

The vomit contains food lumps or residues

Ways to improve: try to give a small amount of meals, or feed
Change to small particles or change ingredients, if it is fresh food or wet food, pay more attention
Keep fresh time, if you don’t finish eating within two hours, you must remove the food
In order to prevent cats from eating spoiled feed. You can also buy slow food bowls to slow down
Cat eating speed (Slow food bowls are not suitable for all cats-refer to the link).

Vomit mixed with non-food foreign objects

Ways to improve: The most fundamental solution is to keep the environment clean and tidy.
Especially the things they like to bite the most, if the vomiting condition is severe,
Be sure to take the cat to the animal hospital for examination,
See if you need surgery to remove the foreign body.

Vomits with blood or parasites

Improvement method: It is always recommended to arrange for the cat to be diagnosed in the veterinary hospital.

Should I bring the cat to the veterinary hospital

If the cat is in a lifestyle that goes outside, more likely the vomit happened due to contact with allergic plants or other toxins, leading to frequent vomiting and even diarrhea or severe vomiting and bleeding.
In this situation, it is highly recommended that cats should be taken to the veterinary hospital for evaluation immediately.
If it is just a simple food allergy, diarrhea after taking medicine, hungry for too long, vomiting hairballs, vomiting yellow bile, vomiting after eating too fast, etc., these can still be observed for a day or two, if there are still symptoms of continuous vomiting , It is recommended to take it to the veterinarian for evaluation, because these symptoms are not very urgent.