Options for Treating a Vomiting Cat

Vomiting in a cat happens from time to time and usually isn't a big deal. There are several options for treating occasional feline vomiting at home, but if your cat continues vomiting for more than 24 hours it might indicate a more serious issue. Here are some of the things you can do to help ease acute cat vomiting symptoms.

Take Away Your Cat's Food and Water

You should take away your cat's food for 24 hours after vomiting symptoms appear. Often, cats vomit because of something they've eaten, so taking away the food may eliminate the problem. If your cat objects to having his food taken away, it's a sign that the illness probably isn't severe.

Take away your cat's water until the vomiting stops. Once your cat has stopped throwing, reintroduce water slowly by giving your cat a bowl of ice cubes to lick instead of liquid. Keep an eye on your cat over the next 24 hours, and, if vomiting recommences, withhold water again until it stops.

Identify Possible Causes of Vomiting

There are several common, but not serious, causes of cat digestive problems. Intestinal parasites, hairballs and Irritable Bowel Disorder (IBD) are all some of the things that can make cats throw up.

You can identify intestinal parasitical infection by examing your cat's fecal matter. A cat suffering from intestinal worms will display white, rice-like specks in his fecal matter. Often, some of these specks might be moving; they are discarded segments of intestinal tapeworms. They may also appear in your cat's vomit.

If you see big clumps of fur in your cat's vomit, he's suffering from hairballs. Hairballs occur when your cat grooms himself and swallows fur. The fur lumps together in his stomach until the lump grows so big that he must vomit it up. Hairballs are normal, and usually aren't serious, but if a hairball grows too big inside your cat's stomach, he might need surgery to remove it.

You can help prevent hairballs by grooming your cat regularly. If your cat doesn't like being brushed or combed, you can remove a lot of loose hair from his coat by rubbing his fur while wearing a rubber glove. Give your cat a spoonful of mineral oil about once a week to help ease hairballs through his digestive tract.

Feed A Bland Diet

One cause of chronic feline vomiting is Irritable Bowel Disorder (IBD). Cats with IBD may suffer from recurrent bouts of feline vomiting. You can treat IBD at home by withholding food for 24 hours, as discussed above, and then replacing your cat's usual diet with a bland diet for about three days.

A bland diet can consist of cooked chicken, without the skin, rice and chicken broth. Your vet may also recommend Feline I/D, a Hill's Prescription Diet sold in most veterinary clinics. After three days, you can begin to return your cat to his normal diet. Do this slowly by mixing his regular food with the bland food, steadily increasing the amount of regular food over a period of several days.