Cat Vomiting

By: Talin Seta Shahinian

We love our cats as cherished members of our families. It’s tough to see them sick and not know why. Unlike a child, we can’t ask what’s bothering our kitty, so we have to figure it out ourselves. If a cat has a tummy ache or throws up, it can be very distressing to see them vomiting. While it’s certainly a cause for concern, here’s how to know when it’s appropriate to allow them to recover at home or when it’s necessary to take them to the vet.

Types of Vomiting in Cats

Chronic vomiting is when your cat throws up regularly. That means they throw up over a long period of time, at least once a month, or it can be a more frequent occurrence, even up to vomiting daily. In these cases, the cat vomits once or twice each episode. This can indicate a condition that could be serious and require ongoing monitoring and treatment.

Acute vomiting is when vomiting begins suddenly in a cat who usually doesn’t vomit regularly. This is cause for concern if she vomits multiple times. If this is the case, you should take your kitty to visit your veterinarian for diagnostic tests. The testing and treatments differ for chronic or acute vomiting. The urgency of when to take her to the vet is also different. A case of acute vomiting is considered more urgent, and you should seek vet care for her as soon as possible.

Treatment Exceptions for Acute Vomiting

The exception to the rule is if your cat has vomited one to three times, is otherwise behaving normally, and seems comfortable. If your cat still has an appetite, is eating as usual, and continues to eat without another instance of vomiting, you can wait on a vet visit. In the meantime, continue to monitor your cat at home and watch for signs of discomfort, changes in eating habits, and any further instances of vomiting.

Another exception is if you know your cat has eaten something toxic, whether part of a Lily plant, a household chemical, or pesticide-treated grass. In that case, you should take him to an emergency veterinary hospital for immediate treatment.

Signs to Seek Care

If he vomits more than three times, can’t keep down his food, and seems tired or listless, he should be seen by the vet promptly. He could just have a case of temporary nausea, but if it continues and seems to be more serious, he should get tested and start treatment quickly. If he doesn’t appear to want to move and isn’t in severe discomfort, a vet visit won’t be necessary.

However, if he shows signs that his condition has deteriorated quickly overnight, seek emergency vet care. In the case of frequent, continuous vomiting and the lack of ability to keep food down, the risk of delaying treatment can be liver disease, so don’t wait. Even a cat who vomits hairballs regularly can have a gastrointestinal disease because hairballs should be able to pass naturally out of your cat along with his waste. See a vet to make sure this isn’t cause for concern.

If you live in NW Wisconsin, Purple Cat Mobile Vet Clinic is here to help you keep your cat healthy and happy. We’re a high-quality, high-volume, low-cost spay/neuter clinic. We see cats exclusively. Find information for scheduling on our website. You can also look on our Facebook page for more helpful information on all things feline!


All cat spay/neuter appointments are made on this website. We post new clinic dates 6 weeks ahead of time. Check back often if you do not see a date that works for you.

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