What Makes a Cat Throw Up after eating?

What Makes a Cat Throw Up after eating?

All pet parents love their feline friends. No pet parent loves to hear the hacking noise from the cat telling you that he or she might throw up, leaving you a mess to clean. The issue is not the mess necessarily but the reason why the cat is vomiting. When the cat starts gagging, the first thought that races in the owner’s mind is, “what could be wrong with my cat” However, your cat might be perfectly healthy but throw up sometimes. The puking becomes a problem if it becomes a trend and the cat throws up way too many times and sometimes too often.

There are different reasons why your cat might start throwing up. Some of them are serious, while others are normal. As a good pet parent, it’s good to know the type of puking that warrants a visit to the vet and the normal puking. Let’s take a better look at what makes a cat throw up and learn how to help your cat in that situation.

What Makes a Cat Throw Up?


This is the most notorious culprit when it comes to vomiting in cats. Hairballs aren’t painful for the cat and it is a common reason for vomiting in that most pet parents tend to attribute all vomiting to hairballs. Did you know that your cat might get stomach upsets due to over-grooming? Cats are sensitive beings and sometimes, even the case with hairballs becomes a concern. Hairballs vomiting shouldn’t be painful, frequent, or difficult for the cat to pass. If any of these happens, it is high time you consider taking the cat to the vet.

In extreme cases, untreated hairballs go the other way and cause painful intestinal blockages. This means that passing a hairball is normal for the cat and is essential to the cat’s health. Keep track of your cat and her routine and watch out for signs of lethargy, constipation, or anorexia, which could be caused by not passing a hairball.

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Eating Too Fast

Eating too much too fast can also cause your cat to throw up. When a cat eats too fast, the stomach wall expands too quickly, and a signal is sent to the brain that something might be wrong and the brain causes regurgitation. In such a case, the mess left on your carpet is from regurgitation, not the actual vomiting. When a cat starts to regurgitate, she will bring up food and fluid from her esophagus through her mouth. This is different from vomiting, which involves retching and gagging, but most pet owners don’t see the difference.

The confusion is because the regurgitated food is still formed and might even smell fermented. According to Dr. Sara Stephens, cats that eat too fast because they are stressed by food-bowl competition or they are gluttonous can even regurgitate right after eating. However, not every case of regurgitation is a cause of eating too fast. It can also be a case of esophageal problems, hairballs, obstruction in the digestive tract, or dehydration. If you note frequent regurgitation, force the cat to eat slowly and if she still is experiencing problems, it’s time to see a vet.

Consuming indigestibles

One thing with cats is they are a curious lot. They can chew on carpet, grass, toilet paper and other indigestible substances and later vomit them. Here, the vomiting is a protective mechanism. It is the body’s natural way of cleansing the cat’s system. This curiosity can however lead to more severe problems. Toy parts, strings, and feathers are some of the favorites for a playful cat and can easily lodge in the stomach, causing repeated vomiting and serious distress. If you note any of these, take your feline friend to the veterinarian immediately. The cat might require surgery to remove the obstructing object. Most of the time, you can’t keep some of these items away from the cat especially If you have a playful cat and playful children. Take a closer look at what your cat ingests and keep your cat well fed all the time.


Get to know your cat well before feeding her alien food. Food allergies are a common occurrence in pets. Your cat might be intolerant to one or more ingredients in the food you are feeding her and they may throw up after eating. The most common food allergies in cats are eggs, beef, fish, milk and wheat. Food allergies can develop after some time. This means your cat might have been eating the food for a long time, but vomiting problems begin when the allergy develops.

How to prevent your cat from vomiting

Cat owners sometimes accept that the pet’s vomiting is a natural part of their life. Though this might be true, there comes a time when the vomiting is too much and you have to look for options. Never ignore the cat’s vomiting especially if it becomes a frequent thing. It can lead to serious issues later on.

Help your cat eat slowly

Get your fast-eating cat to eat slowly or eat less. The problem is usually eating too much too fast, which makes the stomach wall expand quickly. Try feeding the cat with smaller portions, put an object in the dish, or elevate the cat’s food dish. This way, the cat is forced to eat slowly around the object or without straining, slowing down her intake. If you have many cats, you might need to reduce competitive eating to reduce the stress and fast food intake.

Just like with any other cat’s health issues, you have to get to the bottom of it and know the cause. Treatment of vomiting in your cat will focus on treating the cause or the underlying problem. Depending on what is causing your cat to throw up, treatment ranges from temporarily withholding food to stop the cat from overeating or as complicated as surgery or chemotherapy. If the cat shows severe or chronic symptoms of illness, call your family vet.

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What Makes a Cat Throw Up after eating? FAQ

  • Why is my cat throwing up?

Any of the above reasons could be behind your cat’s vomiting. Take a closer look at your cat and her diet to determine if it’s vomiting or regurgitation.

  • If vomiting is normal, when should I be concerned about my cat’s vomiting?

Vomiting every once in a while is a normal part of the cat’s behavior. However, it becomes a problem when it becomes too much. Repeated vomiting can cause dehydration and weakens the cat in due time. If the cat stops eating, retches continuously, seems to have stomach problems, or the vomit is mixed with blood, take her to the veterinarian immediately.

  • How many times should a cat vomit?

Vomiting is essential in cats to get rid of hairballs. If the cat is vomiting one to four times a month, this is normal. However, if the cat vomits every day, there is cause for concern, and you should see a vet.

  • How can I prevent my cat from vomiting?

Start with getting the cat to eat slowly or less. If you have changed her diet, go back to the regular diet and check if the cat will still vomit. If any of this doesn’t work, take her to the vet.

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