Reasons Why Cats Vomit – Why is my cat vomiting?

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There can many varied reasons why a cat vomits, from a serious illness to eating something disagreeable. An occasional, isolated episode of vomiting is usually normal.

As a rule of thumb, if your cat throws up once or twice or infrequently and then goes on to eat normally, play normally, pee and poop normally and shows no signs of ill health then there probably is no reason for concern.

If your cat has chronic vomiting. (Chronic means persistent and lasting. Continuing for a long time; lingering; habitual.) then medical advice should be sought. Always check with your vet if vomiting is severe or persistent. You should also take into consideration other factors. How is your cat’s general health? Is he well? Is he lethargic? Does he have other symptoms for example diarrhea or no appetite? Because vomiting in cats could signal a serious underlying disorder your vet will ask you many questions and may run tests in relation to the vomiting to determine the cause.

Below are some of the reasons why cats vomit. Some are temporary and minor and others indicate an underlying serious illness.

Hairballs may cause vomiting

Hairballs are one of the most common reasons for vomiting in cats especially in long haired cats. Keep in mind that when a cat vomits all the contents of it’s stomach are expelled including hair. Because you see hair in the vomit don’t always assume that hairballs are the reason the cat is vomiting as there could be other causes.
More reading on Hairballs in Cats

Eating Problems

  • The cat eats too quickly or overeats.
  • A change in diet.
  • Food intolerance
  • Eating grass or plants
  • Eating food that has gone off
  • Eating rodents, birds, lizards or other foreign material.

Worms can cause your cat to throw up

An infestation of worms and other intestinal parasites can cause your cat to vomit. You may even notice your cat vomiting up worms. If your cat is vomiting worms you should give him de-worming medicine as soon as possible. Read more on Worming your Cat or Kitten & Symptoms of Worm Infestation

Your cat may also vomit after giving him de-worming medication.


Toxic plants, anti-freeze, lead paints, cleaning agents, human medications, coffee, weed killer, fertilizers and many other poisonous substances found around the home.

Accidental over dosage of medications.

Gastric and Intestinal Problems

Colitis, Cancer, Constipation, Enteritis, Fungal Disease, Gastritis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Obstruction, Tumours, Ulcers.

Metabolic diseases

Acidosis, Diabetes, Feline Hyperthyroidism, Hormone Imbalance, Kidney disease, Liver disease, Pancreatitis, Sepsis


Salmonella, pyometra (infection of the uterus), abscess

Other Causes

Feline Urinary Syndrome, Heat Stroke, Motion Sickness.

Vomiting can be caused by many feline disorders and it must be stressed that this article is for information purposes only and is in no way intended to replace veterinary advice.

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