Reasons Why Your Cat May Be Vomiting Its Food

by johnsmith

Reasons Why Your Cat May Be Vomiting Its Food

Reasons Why Your Cat May Be Vomiting Its Food – If you notice that your cat is vomiting undigested food, it could be a sign of a health problem. There are several reasons why a cat may throw up food, including hairballs, internal obstructions, pancreatitis, constipation, indigestion, parasitic infections, poisoning, stress, depression, or anxiety. Before going to the vet, it’s critical to determine the specific reason your feline is vomiting and how to deal with it.

Reasons Why Your Cat May Be Vomiting Its Food

Vomiting Vs. Regurgitation

Regurgitation and vomiting are similar, but it’s essential to differentiate the two so that your veterinarian can diagnose the cause. Regurgitation occurs when food or water is discharged from the mouth or esophagus without getting digested in the stomach. In contrast, vomiting involves forceful contractions of the stomach, with stomach contents, including bile, water, and food, being ejected.

What is Vomiting?

Vomiting is characterized by the forceful discharge of the stomach’s contents, which can be accompanied by nausea and contraction of the abdominal muscles. A cat will be vocal, drool, or start retching before vomiting.

Reasons Why Your Cat May Be Vomiting Its Food

On the other hand, regurgitation is a passive process that doesn’t involve abdominal effort or vocalizations. It generally occurs 30 minutes to two hours after eating, and the cat just lowers its head, and food or other materials fall out of its mouth.

Common Causes of Vomiting or Regurgitation in Your Cat

Eating Too Fast

If your cat wolfs down its food, it can regurgitate undigested food. Using a food puzzle can help slow your cat down. These puzzles are available in stores and stimulate your cat’s foraging and predatory instincts while slowing down its eating process. If your pet still vomits despite using a food puzzle, consult your veterinarian.

Food Allergies

If your cat has food allergies, it may vomit up undigested or partially digested food. If your vet rules out other issues and confirms that the cat is vomiting food, they may recommend special diets or commercial sensitive systems food. For chronic vomiting, a vet may prescribe a diet with hydrolyzed protein, which prevents your cat’s immune system from considering the food as an allergen.


When cats groom themselves, they swallow loose hair that passes through their digestive system. However, hairballs can form when the hair stays in the stomach. Hairballs can cause regurgitation of undigested food, which can be painful or frequent. To prevent this, you can use over-the-counter supplements or regularly brush your cat.

Reasons Why Your Cat May Be Vomiting Its Food

Dietary Changes

Switching food brands suddenly or missing a meal can cause your cat to regurgitate its undigested food. Gradually switching to a new diet over one to two weeks can help prevent vomiting. If your cat eats too quickly, feed it smaller, more frequent meals and verify with your vet that your cat is receiving the right amount of food.


Gastritis can occur when your cat ingests something that irritates its stomach. If your cat exhibits signs of vomiting blood and undigested food, decreased appetite, lethargy, or dehydration, it may be due to gastritis, and you should see a vet.

Other causes of vomiting include motility disorders, esophageal irritation, parasites, constipation, ingestion of foreign objects or toxins, and plants.

What to Do If Your Cat Is Vomiting Undigested Food?

If your cat vomits undigested food more than once a week or exhibits other symptoms, such as lack of appetite, weight loss, lethargy, or diarrhea, you should make an appointment with your vet. Your vet will check your cat’s vital signs, abdomen, and consider running tests, such as blood work, fecal sample, and X-rays, to diagnose the cause.

Treatment and Prevention

The treatment for vomiting depends on the cause of the symptoms. Some cats may require hospitalization, fluid therapy, and surgery. However, preventative measures such as feeding smaller meals or using food puzzles, monitoring your cat’s food intake, brushing its fur, and slowly switching to new diets can help prevent vomiting.

If you think your pet is sick, contact your vet immediately. If you have any pet health-related questions or concerns, consult your veterinarian as they know your pet’s medical history and can make the best recommendations.

Why is my cat vomiting its food?

There are several reasons why a cat may vomit its food, including eating too quickly, overeating, food allergies or sensitivities, gastrointestinal blockages, infections, and more serious medical conditions.

Should I be concerned if my cat vomits its food occasionally?

Occasional vomiting may not be a cause for concern if your cat is otherwise healthy and the vomiting is not accompanied by other symptoms. However, if your cat is vomiting frequently or experiencing other symptoms, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian.

What should I do if my cat vomits its food?

If your cat vomits its food, remove the food and water for a few hours to give their stomach a break. After that, offer small amounts of water and then small amounts of food. If the vomiting continues or is accompanied by other symptoms, such as lethargy or diarrhea, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian.

Can I give my cat medication to stop vomiting?

It’s not recommended to give your cat medication to stop vomiting without first consulting with a veterinarian. The medication may not be appropriate for your cat’s condition or could have adverse effects.

How can I prevent my cat from vomiting its food?

To help prevent your cat from vomiting its food, you can try feeding smaller, more frequent meals, providing a quiet and stress-free eating environment, avoiding feeding your cat table scraps or foods that may upset their stomach, and making sure they have access to plenty of clean water.

Can certain foods cause my cat to vomit?

Yes, certain foods can cause cats to vomit, such as foods that are high in fat or spices, dairy products, and foods that your cat may be allergic or sensitive to.

Can vomiting be a sign of a more serious medical condition?

Yes, vomiting can be a symptom of a more serious medical condition, such as kidney disease, liver disease, or cancer. If your cat is vomiting frequently or experiencing other symptoms, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian.

What should I do if my cat vomits blood?

If your cat vomits blood, it’s important to seek immediate veterinary care. This could be a sign of a serious medical condition that requires immediate treatment.

Can stress cause my cat to vomit its food?

Yes, stress can cause cats to vomit their food. If you suspect that stress may be a factor, try to identify and remove the source of the stress, and provide your cat with a calming and comfortable environment.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment