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Why Your Cat is Throwing Up and What To Do

Every cat will throw up and vomit on occasion, however, if your cat is frequently vomiting they may have a serious condition that is making their stomach upset. In this blog, our Stockton vets discuss some of the reasons why your cat may be throwing up and vomiting and how you can help them.

Cat Vomiting

Similar to people, cats can experience an upset stomach for various reasons. There is a wide range of reasons why your kitty's tummy can get upset from viruses and parasites, a reaction to something they ate, or a more serious condition such as cancer or organ problems.

If your cat starts throwing up more than once a month or vomits continuously, you should take them to see a vet as quickly as possible to diagnose the underlying cause of your cat's vomiting.

Reasons Why Your Cat May Be Throwing Up


Hairballs are undigested, wads of fur that clump in your cat's stomach. Hairballs are very common in cats that have long fur, and cats that excessively groom. Hacking noises and spasms usually accompany vomiting when your cat is trying to throw up hairballs. Usually, cats can throw up hairballs fairly easily, however, if your cat is having difficulties trying to bring up a hairball you need to take them to a vet. Trapped hairballs can cause intestinal blockages that could be deadly.

Eating Too Much, Too Quickly

If your cat eats too much, too quickly they will probably vomit soon after they eat. A number of fun cat bowls are available to help slow your cat's eating if your cat eats too quickly. That said, throwing up right after eating can be an indication of a more serious problem such as hairballs, dehydration, esophageal issues, or a digestive tract obstruction. If your cat frequently vomits right after eating, a trip to the vet is required.

Other Serious Reason Why Cays May Throw Up

  • Poisoning
  • Intestinal Parasites
  • Food allergies
  • Intestinal foreign bodies
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Metabolic Disorder (ie: Kidney Disease)
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Diabetes

When You Should Worry About Your Cat's Vomiting

If your cat is continuously vomiting or throwing up at infrequent intervals avoid feeding them any cat food for roughly 12 hours. Give your kitty a couple of tablespoons of water every 30 minutes or give them ice cubes during this time of fasting. After 12 hours start giving them small amounts of bland food and gradually return to normal feeding if they have stopped vomiting.

If your cat is having repeated bouts of vomiting immediately call your veterinarian. Continuous or severe vomiting can indicate a serious illness that requires immediate veterinary treatment.  Contact your vet if your cat exhibits any of the following symptoms: 

  • Repeated vomiting
  • Blood in vomit
  • Pain / Distress
  • Weakness / Lethargy
  • Blood in stool
  • Fever


When you bring your cat to the vet for vomiting, You should bring a sample of your cat's vomit with you. Your vet will be able to examine the sample to help determine the cause of your cat's upset stomach.

  • Large amounts of mucus in your cat's stomach could indicate an inflamed intestine
  • Undigested food can be an indication of poisoning, anxiety, or simply a sign that your cat has eaten too much or too quickly.
  • If bile is present in your cat's vomit, it might be a sign of pancreatitis or inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Red blood is a sign that your cat's stomach could be ulcerated.
  • Intestinal obstruction might make your cat's vomit have a strong smell.


The treatment for your cat's vomiting will focus on treating the underlying problem. Depending on what is causing your cat's symptoms, their treatment could be as simple as temporarily withholding food or as complex as surgery or chemotherapy.

If you notice your cat displaying any signs of a chronic or severe condition call our Stockton vets at Bear Creek Veterinary Hospital immediately or bring them to the nearest after-hours emergency animal hospital.

New Patients Welcome

New Patients Welcome

Bear Creek Veterinary Hospital is welcoming new patients! Our compassionate vets are experienced in caring for Stockton companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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