Why Is Your Cat Throwing Up?

A cat throwing up may signal that he has eaten something disagreeable to his digestive system, or may be a symptom of a more serious illness. It's important to monitor your pet if he's throwing up, so as to be able to determine if the cause is severe or if he simply needs to get rid of a hairball.


Cats ingest a lot of hair while grooming and licking their own fur. The hair gathers in the cat's stomach and may be coughed up or vomited. Hairballs are normal for cats, and vomiting these is a normal process. Cats may eat grass to stimulate vomiting.

Eating Problems

If your cat eats too quickly he may end up vomiting the contents of his stomach. If your cat eats too much he may also vomit. This is not a cause for concern, but make sure you keep an eye on your cat's diet and try to slow him down if he's eating too quickly.

Dietary Changes

If you have recently changed the diet of your cat, his stomach may not be used to the new ingredients and this can result in vomiting. This is the reason why, when transitioning to a different diet, the transition should be slow and gradual.


Tapeworms, as well as other intestinal parasites or worms, can cause vomiting. Parasites also cause symptoms such as diarrhea, lack of appetite, weight loss or lethargy.

A dewormer medication may cause vomiting, immediately after ingestion.


If your cat has ingested something that is toxic, such as plants, chocolate, chemicals, coffee, human drugs or antifreeze, he may vomit. Vomiting is a sign of poisoning, so if you notice that your cat is also having seizures, fast breathing, diarrhea, is weak or has blood in the vomit or feces, you need to take your cat to the vet.

Medication Overdose

If you have accidentally given too much of your cat's medication, he may vomit.

Gastro-Intestinal Problems

Cats with gastro-intestinal problems may also present chronic vomiting. Visit the vet if the cat is vomiting for more than 24 hours or if the vomiting is recurrent.

Bacterial and Fungal Infections

Bacterial and fungal infections, or infections with some foods that contain Salmonella, can make your cat throw up. Make sure you get fresh food for your cat to prevent food infections.

Heat Stroke

Cats don't sweat through their skin. They release heat through their paws, and spending time in the heat can cause heat strokes. Cats that have suffered from a heat stroke will throw up. Make sure you cool down your cat's body temperature.

Vomiting can be caused by some other more serious conditions including:

  • Cancer
  • Tumors
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Kidney and liver disease
  • Ulcers
  • Colitis
  • Gastritis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Sepsis

An occasional throw up is normal, but if your cat's vomiting is chronic and he also has lack of appetite, diarrhea or other symptoms, visit your vet for an accurate diagnosis.