Health and Safety

Is Vomiting After Meals a Cause for Alarm?

Your cat may seem healthy and has a voracious appetite, but you notice something strange after he eats. Your cat may suddenly vomit after eating a whole bowl of food and yet show no outward signs of any other type of illness. Cat vomiting is common, but it should be watched for signs of additional problems. The cause can be anything from something minor such as a change in your cat’s diet, hairballs or more serious issues such as intestinal difficulties, thyroid problems or even cancer. There is no need to jump to the worst conclusions if you notice your cat is not keeping its food down. Review the common causes of cat vomiting, and if the problem continues, discuss the issue with your veterinarian.

One of the most common reasons for cat vomiting is something within the control of most owners. Diet can be a factor in causing cats to bring up their food. Part of the blame may lie in poor quality cat food. It may be tempting to save money and purchase a cheaper form of cat food at the supermarket without realizing that you may be giving your cat things that it cannot digest. Think of some of the things you have heard about human food, such as poor quality deli meats that have certain parts of the animal ground up. Cats may be eating food that is rendered, meaning food that contains low-quality ingredients. The contents may include whatever is left over on the floor of a typical slaughterhouse, including unpalatable items such as bird beaks, feathers, and animal skins. Your cat may not be able to digest these items, and they can lead her to vomit after eating.

Food allergies are suspected if otherwise your cat is maintaining a normal weight and seems healthy. It may seem odd to think of your cat is having a food allergy if he or she enjoys eating the same food on a daily basis and doesn’t like switching. Cats can go to extremes with their diet and may want to eat the same thing over and over again and resist any variation. On the other hand, they may suddenly decide to go off the food they once enjoyed for no apparent reason. It is important to follow your cat’s cues and at the same time guide them towards healthy eating habits. There is not much you can do if your cat absolutely refuses to eat something, but don’t be so quick to give in to your cat’s whims and encourage them to eat what is in their bowl. However, your cat’s sudden desire to switch foods could be a sign that his or her body is getting tired of the same thing over and over again and needs to change.

Human beings need a varied diet. Cats, unlike humans, do not need to eat fruits and vegetables, but they should have a variety of proteins, including moist foods that are protein rich as well is dry foods that give them necessary carbohydrates. It is also important to keep your cat from being overly dependent on certain types of protein at the exclusion of others. For instance, some cats will only eat seafood whereas the occasional meat or chicken in cat food are good for variety. You can try mixing foods or adding other types of proteins and treats to introduce them to new types of foods.

Your cat may be vomiting because his body is tired of the same type of protein, and yet his taste buds won’t follow suit. You can tempt your cat with tasty treats or give them a chicken-based food if they are seafood addicts and resist giving in until he finishes the bowl. It is a good idea to switch your cat’s food now and again for variety to prevent food allergies and vomiting that can result. Some people incorporate human foods into the cat’s diet, such as pieces of chicken, but make sure your cat doesn’t get spoiled and insist on only human food. The reason for this is not just convenience or economy, but specially made cat foods contain the nutrients that cats need. Also, invest in higher grade cat foods that do not contain rendered ingredients that are leavings from the slaughterhouse and can affect your cat’s digestion.

Treats are a way of adding variety and extra nutrition to your cat’s diet, but make sure that your treats are as high quality as the food. Avoid giving treats that contain strange chemicals, artificial colors and emulsifiers and any other unfamiliar products. While many people believe the cats love milk and will lap it up with delight, it is important to give mammals milk from their own species. Even though animals enjoy milk, that doesn’t mean that it’s good for them or that their bodies can digest its. If you know someone who is lactose intolerant, they might say that they love eating ice cream and cheese, but they feel ill afterward and may have an upset stomach or diarrhea. Your cat is similar. She may love drinking milk, but you might not notice that the cat has diarrhea and vomits not long after drinking the milk. If you must give your cat milk, try sheep’s milk or goat’s milk which is more digestible for many mammals than cow’s milk, but it is better to avoid dairy altogether.

If you notice that your cat eats ravenously and then throws up, his style of eating may be to blame. Keep in mind that cats, unlike humans, eat in a horizontal position. This can cause food to back up into the esophagus and cause vomiting. Think about why your cat might be eating too fast and try to coax him to slow down. If you have more than one cat, it might have a territorial instinct regarding food and feel that it needs to gobble it up as fast as it can. If your cat is eating quickly to get ahead of the other feline competition, it is a good idea to feed your cats in different parts of the house and make your cat feel that his bowl belongs only to him. Pet your cat and get him into a relaxed state of mind before feeding him so that he doesn’t run to the bowl and start snarfing down the food. Human beings need 20 minutes to eat food in a way that will be digested properly. This is true even though human beings eat sitting straight up, and is even truer of cats who are eating horizontally. While you can’t give your cat lessons in mindful eating, you can get him into a relaxed situation where he is eating in solitude. If the problem isn’t competition for food, give your cat more meals in smaller portions to make sure your kitty doesn’t eat too fast.

Feeding your cats at regular intervals is important not just so your cat knows what to expect, but so its body is ready to release hydrochloric acid and gastric juices for digestion. If your cat is fed at regular times, its body will release chemicals at the wrong time, and this may cause him to throw up. Releasing hydrochloric acid when there is no food to digest can cause regurgitation and stomach irritation. It might help to coax your cat with treats to get the stomach acids moving so they have something to work on and so chemicals are not released on empty stomach

There are a number of medical issues that might cause your cat to throw up regularly. One is pancreatitis. This is an inflammation of the pancreas and is caused by a deficiency in lipase, protease, and amylase which are enzymes released by the pancreas. Veterinarians are trained to recognize this problem and report that it is quite common in cats. A preventative measure is to add enzymes to your cat’s food. Your kitty might not need these enzymes, but it’s better to have them just in case.

Hairballs are another cause of frequent vomiting and cats. One way of knowing whether your cat’s hair might be causing nausea is to inspect the vomit and see if you can detect traces of hair. This problem is quite common in long-haired cats and is yet another reason why these cats need frequent grooming. We all notice that cats enjoy grooming themselves and are quite self-sufficient when tending to their own hair. However, grooming can force them to ingest a large number of hairs that can cause them to regurgitate their food. Brush cats on a regular basis with the high-quality brush to remove all snags and keep hair from ending up in the throat, in their stomach and eventually on the floor. Adding fiber your cat’s diet can also prevent hairballs from developing. In many pet stores. You can also find treatments for hairballs, but make sure that they are all natural and do not contain harmful ingredients such as petroleum.

Just as with humans, food poisoning can be a common cause of vomiting. You may know how it feels when you eat something that you know could’ve been spoiled and you can’t keep anything down for a day or so. This is one reason why you should avoid feeding your cat raw meat. The uncooked food could remain in the bowl and your cat might eat it when is already contaminated. If you give your cat raw meat, make sure that the cat eats it immediately and do not leave any leftovers in the bowl, particularly if the weather is hot and the food can spoil quickly.

Cats can experience a negative reaction after eating houseplants. If you love growing indoor plants and having cats as pets, you might have some difficulty with your cat eating toxic plants. Not only is this not good for your houseplants, but your cats could become sick as a result. Cats may enjoy eating roughage and greens, and if this is the case, invest in cat grass or wheatgrass that your cat can snack on. Wheatgrass is a favorite ingredient in healthy smoothies and you can consume some as well. The benefit of wheatgrass is that it grows very quickly and your cat can enjoy this grass that is free of herbicides and pesticides. It also provides an additional amount of fiber which is healthy for your cat. In more serious situations, your cat may have ingested a poisonous potted plant. If you fear this is the case, call your local poison control center immediately.

If your cat is vomiting because it is ingested something toxic, nausea should disappear after a few days. However, if your cat is vomiting chronically and you have ruled out food allergies or toxins, you should look into other causes such as irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis, colitis and chronic G.I. inflammation. One of the worst-case scenarios is G.I. cancer which is characterized by vomiting. Your cat might also be suffering from organ disease and a malfunction in the liver or the kidneys.

While there is no reason to panic if you notice your cat vomiting once in a while, it is important to be vigilant and practice the process of elimination to try to identify the cause. If your cat continues to vomit even if everything else is been tested, it is time to take your cat to the veterinarian to look for some internal issue. A vet should test for hyperthyroidism and kidney disease. They may also test for G.I. problems which could include a disorder of the small intestine or other organs. Make sure your veterinarian does the proper tests and doesn’t just offer some pills to deal with the symptoms. Cats can also develop ulcers which may lead to vomiting and inner ear problems, which can also cause nausea. The veterinarian should check the cat thoroughly and ask you all the necessary questions, including whether or not there is blood in the vomit.

While vomiting is a cause for concern, not every instance of cats bringing up food is vomiting. A pet owner should make the distinction between regurgitation and vomiting. One of the key differences is that vomiting involves retching and heaving. Vomit will contain mainly bile which is usually yellow and will be mostly liquid with some undigested food and it. Regurgitated food seems mainly undigested and can look somewhat similar to the food that you placed in its bowl. When a cat regurgitates, it will just lower its head and bring up the food without a lot of struggle. Whether the contents that are brought up are vomit or regurgitation, you may want to bring a sample of it into the veterinarian for him or her to check. Your veterinarian will ask you about your cat’s eating habits, how often it exercises, its energy level and how much it sleeps. You will need to describe any medicines your cat is taking. You will also be asked about granule-like formations in the vomit. If your cat’s vomit contains granules, that can be a sign that he or she is vomiting blood which could indicate cancer or ulcers.

Your cat could be vomiting because it has a serious cough. It is not uncommon for human beings who are not otherwise nauseous to cough so much that they end up vomiting. If your cat is throwing up because it has a cough, your veterinarian will look at its teeth to see if there dental problems and will check its esophagus to make sure there isn’t something stuck there.

The type of treatments your veterinarian will suggest for vomiting depends on the cause. In the best case scenario where there are no serious underlying health problems, the doctor may suggest changes in diet. Your cat may simply have a food allergy that can be corrected by a new regimen of eating. If you have discovered that houseplants are the cause of the vomiting, you will want to place your plants up higher so your cat cannot reach them and give your pet wheatgrass as an alternative. You may want to opt for all-natural cat food without rendered items that it cannot digest. In addition, avoid feeding your cat raw meat that can spoil and cow’s milk. A veterinarian may give your cat medication to stop the vomiting, but if this is the case, ask your veterinarian about the underlying cause in addition to simply stopping the vomiting. If your cat is suffering from a bacterial ulcer, you may need to give her antibiotics. Corticosteroids will be prescribed if your cat has serious inflammatory bowel disease. If cancer is the cause the vomiting, your cat may have to undergo surgery. Cats who are treated for cancer may have radiation treatment that can cause vomiting. In this case, as with humans, anti-nausea medication may be prescribed to deal with the side effects of the radiation treatment.

No cat owner wants to hear that their dear pet has a tumor, organ failure or inflammatory bowel disease. While cancer is not uncommon in cats, there are other ailments that are more treatable that could be causing the vomiting. Hyperthyroidism may be also an issue if the cat develops and unusually heavy appetite because of metabolic irregularities and can wolf down their food more quickly than they can actually swallow and digest it. Your cat may also have a problem with worm infestation. As with metabolic irregularities, parasites can give your cat and unusually ravenous appetite. The reason for this is that the parasite needs to be fed and feeds off of the host. Your cat is not only eating to sustain himself but to support the worms or the other parasites. This situation could lead your cat feeling unusually hungry and cause him to gobble down his food too quickly. As the result, the food will get clogged in the esophagus and it will be regurgitated. This only exacerbates the problem, because it means that the cat is not getting the food and the parasites are still draining the nutrients out of its body. This is one reason why parasites, which are so common among cats particularly those who like to be outdoors part of the time, have to be treated immediately. Your cat may seem generally healthy even if she suffers from parasites but it won’t be long before she may be drained from the infestation and find it difficult to maintain her strength.

Human Food Is Not Cat Food

Since there are so many causes of vomiting and regurgitation and cats, there are a number of things that should be ruled out if the vomiting is frequent. Most of the time, the vomiting may be the result of a temporary irritation, something a cat ate that was a bit spoiled or hard to digest or a hairball that got stuck in the throat. If your cat seems lively and generally healthy, you could probably assume that occasional vomiting might be caused by these things. If your cat is vomiting more frequently, it is important to make sure that its food is high quality and it is not developing an allergy as the result of lack of variation in its diet. Encourage your cat to try new things with healthy alternatives that are made of ingredients it can digest. Have your cat checked out by a veterinarian on a yearly basis to make sure it has up-to-date vaccines. Remember to also have it checked for parasites and worms, especially if it goes outside.

Hyperthyroidism and pancreas problems are not uncommon cats, and it is important that you let your veterinarian know if your cat is vomiting so it can be checked for these problems. Enzymes can be added to your cat’s food to aid digestion and extra fiber in the form of wheatgrass can provide needed roughage to help its digestion. Irritable bowel syndrome and gastrointestinal problems can be treated with medication the way they are with humans. Blood in the vomit may indicate an ulcer or even cancer, and tests should be done to rule out this extreme case. Vomiting does not have to be scary in cats, but it should be paid attention to and an appropriate cause should be identified. Discuss the issue of vomiting with your veterinarian to make sure that your cat remains healthy and that bringing up food is only an occasional or rare occurrence.

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