Most cats vomit occasionally which in an otherwise healthy cat is generally not a reason to worry. Feline vomiting that persists for over 72 hours with or without signs of illness can indicate a more severe problem and should be addressed. The fluids lost during vomiting result in dehydration which if not corrected can be potentially life threatening. In certain cases, the food, acids and other material expelled during vomiting can be lifesaving. Since cats are naturally carnivores, vomiting is also a protective reflex used to eliminate bones, for example, after consuming a bird or rodent.
Causes of Cat Vomiting
- Hairballs are the most common cause of periodic cat vomiting.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is the most common cause of chronic cat vomiting. Note that vomiting cat hairballs daily is often the predominant sign of IBD in cats.
- Eating linear foreign objects – ribbon, tinsel, string are holiday favorites
- Parasites – round worms in kittens can cause vomiting
- Cancer – certain types of cancer such as stomach cancer may cause vomiting which may contain blood. The vomit may be blackish in color with a fowl odor because of the blood.
- Liver disease can cause stomach ulcers
- Chronic kidney failure
- Poisons – aspirin, antifreeze, plants, pesticides, cleaning agents, lead, herbicides, and heavy metals.
- Distemper virus in un-vaccinated kittens
Home Remedies for Cat Vomiting
Withhold food and water for ~6-8 hours to let the body recover. This often controls most mild cases of vomiting.
- Giving food and/or water at this time usually makes vomiting worse.
- Gradually reintroducing small frequent meals several times daily over the next 2-3 days resolves most cases.
Homeopathic Cat Vomiting Remedy’s
- Nux Vomica 6c – Use for cats that acts moderately ill and want to be left alone or are hiding. No food 10 minutes before or after treatment.
- The dosage is 1 pellet every 4 hours until the signs are gone. Discontinue if cat is not better after 24 hours. Continue up to 5 days if the cat is responding.
- Pulsatilla 6c – Use for cats reluctant to drink. Use same dose as for Nux Vomica.
Herbal Cat Vomiting Remedy’s
- Chamomile Tea – This herb is soothing and relieves nausea. Use for mild stomach upsets.
- Recipe: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 TBSP of the flowers, steep 15 minutes, strain and dilute with an equal amount of water. Give a teaspoon at a time after food and water have already been withheld for the first 12 to 24 hours.
FACT: Peppermint tea also relieves nausea but unlike dogs and people, most cats don’t like mint.