While cat vomit is common among cats, it is not always normal. A vomiting cat can be a complex problem, while hairballs are common for grooming cats, chances are that isn’t the reason your cat is vomiting.

Stop using the excuses:

  • “It’s just a hairball-it is normal.” You will know if it is indeed a hairball because they will vomit all hair.
  • “He eats too fast.” While this could be the case there could be other reasons why he is eating fast and causing him to retch.
  • “He/she has a sensitive stomach so it is normal that he/she vomits all the time.” This is not normal and needs to be looked into further. Many times a diet change, or addition of medication can help with sensitive stomach issues.
  • “That’s just the way he/she is.” If you vomited twice a week you wouldn’t think this is normal. So why do you for a cat?

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Many diseases, such as gastrointestinal disease, renal failure, inflammatory, or other liver diseases, pancreatitis, and even lymphoma can cause chronic vomiting.

Vomiting that isn’t chronic may be a sign of poisoning. Here are a few things that can cause poisoning; in home items such as house plants, over the counter medications, prescription medications, dietary supplements, vitamins, human foods, household cleaners, topical flea/tick treatments, essential oils, and insecticides/rodenticides.

So I take my cat to the vet what will happen?

Your veterinarian will begin with an exam. The exam will consist of feeling your cat’s abdomen, looking in their eyes, ears, nose and mouth. Then they will determine if your cat is actually vomiting or just regurgitating, which can seem the same if you are not aware of the differences. You will need to pay close attention to your cats vomiting to be able to answer questions that your veterinarian will ask. Pay attention to how frequently your cat vomits, as well as how soon after eating he/she vomits. You should also pay attention to what the vomit looks like.

So what is the difference between retching and vomiting?

Vomiting is when your cat retches and heaves from the abdomen. Many times, the food will be partially digested accompanied by some liquid. Yellow fluid called bile will be present.

Regurgitation is when a cat lowers his head and the food is expelled without a lot of effort. Food will typically be undigested and covered in a slimy mucous.
Your veterinarian will want to know about your cat’s activities, habits, what medications they are on and surrounding environment.


Keeping a log of your cats daily activities, including medication administration times, eating and sleeping times, as well as times your cat vomits, will be helpful for you to answer any questions your veterinarian has.

Once your veterinarian determines a cause for your cats vomiting, they will be able to come up with a treatment plan. Does your cat vomit multiple times throughout the week? Give us a call to schedule an appointment 717-957-3991.