Why Does My Cat Keep Throwing Up? Find Causes
why does my cat keep throwing up

Why Does My Cat Keep Throwing Up? Find Causes

As a cat parent, you know that few things are more distressing than seeing your furry friend vomit. The worry and helplessness that wash over you in those moments are hard to describe. You try to reassure yourself, hoping it’s just a one-time incident, but when it happens again and again, you can’t help but wonder, “Why does my cat keep throwing up?”

It’s a question that plagues many cat owners, and the answers may not always be straightforward. Understanding the underlying causes of your cat’s frequent vomiting episodes is the first step in finding a solution. By pinpointing the reasons behind this unsettling behavior, you can provide the right care and relief for your beloved feline.

Throughout this article, we will delve into the various factors that can contribute to your cat’s recurrent vomiting. From common causes such as dietary issues and hairballs to more complex medical conditions, we will explore the possibilities so that you can uncover the truth behind your cat’s distressing symptom.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding the causes of your cat’s vomiting is essential for proper care.
  • Frequent vomiting can be attributed to various factors, including hairballs, diet, and medical conditions.
  • By identifying the underlying cause, you can take appropriate steps to help alleviate your cat’s vomiting episodes.
  • Some common remedies and preventive measures can assist in managing and reducing cat vomiting.
  • If your cat’s vomiting persists or worsens, it’s important to seek veterinary assistance for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Common Causes of Cat Vomiting

If you’ve ever found your cat throwing up, you may wonder what could be causing this unpleasant behavior. Understanding the common causes of cat vomiting can give you valuable insights into your feline friend’s health. In this section, we will explore several potential reasons, including bile, food, white foam, yellow liquid, and even blood.

A cat throwing up bile can be a sign of an empty stomach. When your cat hasn’t eaten for a while, the buildup of stomach acid can cause vomiting. It’s important to ensure that your cat maintains a regular feeding schedule to prevent this.

Another reason for your cat’s vomiting may be related to their food. Sometimes, cats can eat too quickly or overindulge, leading to regurgitation. It’s essential to monitor your cat’s eating habits and consider measures such as using food puzzles or feeding smaller, more frequent meals.

If your cat is vomiting white foam, it might indicate an irritation in their throat or esophagus. This foam is often the result of excessive saliva production when the stomach is empty. Providing moist food or adding water to dry food can help alleviate this issue.

Yellow liquid vomit in cats can be a sign of bile reflux. Bile is a digestive fluid produced by the liver, and when it enters the stomach, it can cause irritation and vomiting. If you notice your cat throwing up yellow liquid, it’s a good idea to consult your vet for further evaluation.

Cat throwing up blood is a serious concern that requires immediate attention from a veterinarian. It could indicate an injury, internal bleeding, or a severe gastrointestinal condition. If you observe any signs of blood in your cat’s vomit, seek professional help right away.
Potential Cause Description
Bile Vomiting when the stomach is empty
Food Overeating or rapid consumption
White Foam Irritation in the throat or esophagus
Yellow Liquid Bile reflux from the liver
Blood Potentially serious condition – seek veterinary assistance

Examining the symptoms and potential causes of your cat’s vomiting episodes can help you determine the best course of action. In the next section, we will explore the prevalent issue of hairballs and their impact on feline vomiting.

Hairballs: A Common Culprit for Cats

Hairballs are a common issue for cats, particularly those with long hair. If you’ve ever witnessed your feline friend coughing up a hairball, you know it can be unpleasant and concerning. In this section, we will explore why hairballs occur in cats and provide some remedies you can try at home to help prevent and treat them.

When cats groom themselves, their tongues catch loose hairs, which they swallow. While most of the hair passes through their digestive system without causing any issues, sometimes it accumulates in their stomach, forming a hairball. When the hairball becomes large enough, your cat may experience discomfort, leading to vomiting as a way to expel it.

Preventing hairballs is essential to your cat’s well-being. Regular brushing can help reduce the amount of loose hair your cat ingests during grooming. Plus, it’s a great bonding activity! Consider using a cat brush designed specifically to minimize shedding. By removing loose hairs before your cat can swallow them, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of hairball formation.

Remedies for Cat Vomiting

If your cat is consistently throwing up hairballs, there are a few remedies you can try at home:

  1. Change your cat’s diet: Providing a high-fiber cat food can help promote healthy digestion and reduce hairball formation. Look for cat foods specifically formulated to prevent hairballs or consult your veterinarian for dietary recommendations.
  2. Offer hairball remedies: A variety of over-the-counter hairball remedies are available in the form of gels, pastes, or treats. These products help lubricate your cat’s digestive system, making it easier for the hairball to pass through. Always follow the recommended dosage instructions on the packaging.
  3. Incorporate more moisture: Hairballs are more likely to form when your cat’s digestive system is dry. Increase your cat’s water intake by providing wet cat food or adding water to their dry food. Additionally, make sure your cat always has access to fresh water.
  4. Provide regular exercise: Encouraging your cat to engage in physical activity can help stimulate their digestive system. Play with interactive toys, engage in laser pointer games, or set up a cat tree or scratching post to keep them active and reduce hairball issues.

By implementing these remedies and preventative measures, you can effectively manage hairballs and reduce your cat’s vomiting episodes. However, if your cat continues to experience frequent or severe vomiting, it’s important to consult a veterinarian for further evaluation and guidance.

Dietary Reasons for Cat Vomiting

Your cat’s diet plays a crucial role in their overall digestive health. In this section, we will explore the potential dietary reasons behind cat vomiting and provide practical remedies to help alleviate these issues.

1. Food allergies or sensitivities: Just like humans, cats can develop allergies or sensitivities to certain ingredients in their food. These allergies can manifest as vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach upset. If you suspect that your cat may have a food allergy, consult with your veterinarian to determine the best course of action.

2. Sudden diet changes: Cats are creatures of habit, and sudden changes in their diet can lead to gastrointestinal disturbances, including vomiting. If you need to switch your cat’s food, do so gradually over the course of several days, mixing the new food with the old to allow their digestive system to adjust.

3. Poor quality or expired food: Feeding your cat low-quality or expired food can cause digestive issues, including vomiting. Ensure that you provide your cat with high-quality, nutritionally balanced cat food that is appropriate for their life stage.

Tip: Look for cat food brands that are specifically formulated to address digestive health issues, such as sensitive stomach formulas or limited ingredient diets.

4. Overeating or rapid eating: Cats that eat too quickly or consume large quantities of food in one sitting are more prone to vomiting. Consider using puzzle feeders or slow-feed bowls to encourage slower eating and help prevent overeating.

5. Hair ingestion: Cats groom themselves regularly, and during the process, they may accidentally ingest some hair. This hair can accumulate in their stomach and form hairballs, leading to vomiting. Providing your cat with regular brushing and using hairball prevention remedies can help reduce hair ingestion.

6. Feeding inappropriate human food: Some human foods, such as chocolate, onions, garlic, and dairy products, can be toxic to cats and cause digestive upset, including vomiting. It’s essential to avoid feeding your cat any foods that are not specifically formulated for feline consumption.

By addressing these potential dietary causes of cat vomiting, you can help improve your feline companion’s digestive health. However, if your cat’s vomiting persists or worsens despite making dietary changes, it is important to consult with a veterinarian for further evaluation and guidance.

Medical Conditions and Cat Vomiting

In addition to dietary and hairball-related causes, cat vomiting can also be a symptom of underlying medical conditions. It’s important to be aware of these potential health issues that may be responsible for your cat’s frequent vomiting episodes.

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Cats may experience vomiting due to gastrointestinal disorders such as gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, or inflammatory bowel disease. These conditions can cause inflammation and disrupt the normal functioning of the digestive system, leading to vomiting.

Renal and Kidney Disease

Cats with renal or kidney disease may develop kidney stones, infections, or other renal complications that can result in vomiting. These conditions require prompt veterinary attention to manage and treat effectively.

Liver Disorders

Liver diseases, including hepatitis, gallbladder issues, or liver tumors, can cause cats to vomit. These conditions often require specialized testing and treatment by a veterinarian to address the underlying liver problem.

Metabolic Disorders

Metabolic imbalances such as hyperthyroidism or diabetes can affect your cat’s overall health and may contribute to vomiting. Managing these conditions requires careful supervision by a veterinarian and may involve medication and dietary modifications.


In some cases, frequent vomiting can be a sign of cancer in cats. Tumors located in the gastrointestinal tract, liver, or other organs can disrupt normal digestion and cause vomiting. If you notice persistent or unexplained vomiting, consult a veterinarian for further evaluation.

When your cat exhibits recurrent vomiting, it’s essential to seek veterinary assistance promptly. A thorough examination by a veterinarian can help identify the underlying cause of your cat’s vomiting and determine the most appropriate course of treatment.

cat vomiting causes

Seeking professional help is crucial to ensure your feline companion receives the care and treatment needed to address any medical conditions contributing to their vomiting. With the guidance of a veterinarian, you can find remedies and solutions to improve your cat’s health and reduce their vomiting episodes effectively.

Managing Cat Vomiting at Home

If your cat frequently experiences vomiting episodes that are not severe, there are several steps you can take at home to help alleviate the issue. By implementing practical tips and remedies, you can manage cat vomiting and promote your cat’s overall well-being.

1. Adjusting their Diet

One common cause of cat vomiting is dietary issues. Ensure that you are feeding your cat high-quality, balanced cat food that meets their nutritional needs. Consider consulting your veterinarian to determine if your cat has any food sensitivities or allergies that could be triggering the vomiting.

2. Feeding Routine

Establish a regular feeding routine for your cat. Divide their daily food portions into smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. This can help prevent overeating and reduce the chances of vomiting.

3. Prevent Hairballs

Hairballs can cause cats to vomit. Regular brushing helps to remove loose hair and reduces the formation of hairballs. Additionally, specialized cat treats or oral gels can aid in the elimination and prevention of hairballs. Consult your veterinarian for suitable hairball remedies.

4. Offer Plenty of Water

Ensure your cat has access to fresh water at all times. Staying hydrated can help maintain proper digestion and reduce the risk of vomiting. Consider providing different water sources, such as a cat fountain or multiple water bowls, to encourage your cat to drink more.

5. Stress Reduction

Stress and anxiety can worsen gastrointestinal issues in cats, leading to vomiting. Create a calm and secure environment for your cat by providing hiding spots, engaging in regular playtime, and using pheromone diffusers or calming aids if necessary.

6. Monitor Eating Habits

Observe your cat’s eating habits to ensure they are not consuming foreign objects or toxic substances that can lead to vomiting. Keep small objects, toxic plants, and human foods that are toxic to cats out of their reach.

Note: If your cat’s vomiting episodes persist, worsen, or if you notice other concerning symptoms, it is crucial to consult with a veterinarian for further evaluation.

By taking these measures, you can effectively manage cat vomiting at home and improve your cat’s digestive health. Remember, each cat is unique, so it may be necessary to experiment with different remedies and seek professional advice if needed.

When to See a Vet for Cat Vomiting

If your cat is vomiting frequently, it’s crucial to know when to seek professional help. While occasional vomiting may not be a cause for concern, persistent or severe vomiting can indicate an underlying health issue. Recognizing the signs that warrant a visit to the vet is essential for your cat’s well-being.

Here are some red flags that indicate it’s time to consult a veterinarian:

  1. If your cat is vomiting more than once a day.
  2. If the vomiting is accompanied by other symptoms such as diarrhea, lethargy, or loss of appetite.
  3. If your cat is unable to keep anything down, including water.
  4. If there is blood in the vomit or the cat appears to be in pain.

Remember, cats have a natural instinct to hide signs of illness, so persistent vomiting may be an indication of a more serious problem. It’s always better to err on the side of caution and seek professional advice if you’re concerned.

When you take your cat to the vet for vomiting, the examination will typically involve:

  1. A thorough medical history, including any recent changes in diet or environment
  2. A physical examination to check for any abnormalities
  3. Possible diagnostic tests such as blood work, X-rays, or ultrasound to identify the underlying cause

Based on the findings, the veterinarian will provide a diagnosis and recommend an appropriate treatment plan. Early intervention can often prevent further complications and help your cat recover more quickly.

Remember, it’s always better to consult a vet if you have any concerns about your cat’s health. They are trained professionals who can provide the best care and advice for your furry friend.

cat vomiting causes
Signs that indicate a visit to the vet is necessary: What to expect during the examination:
Frequency of vomiting more than once a day A thorough medical history
Vomiting accompanied by other symptoms such as diarrhea, lethargy, or loss of appetite A physical examination to check for any abnormalities
Inability to keep anything down, including water Possible diagnostic tests such as blood work, X-rays, or ultrasound
Blood in the vomit or signs of pain A diagnosis and recommended treatment plan

Diagnosing and Treating Cat Vomiting

When your cat’s vomiting becomes a cause for concern, a visit to the vet is essential. During this visit, your veterinarian will perform various tests to diagnose the underlying cause of your cat’s vomiting episodes. By identifying the root cause, your vet can prescribe appropriate treatments to alleviate your feline friend’s discomfort.

The diagnostic process usually involves a combination of physical examinations, blood tests, and imaging studies such as X-rays or ultrasounds. These tests help your vet evaluate your cat’s overall health and identify any abnormalities that may be contributing to the vomiting.

Common Diagnostic Techniques

  • Bloodwork: A comprehensive blood panel can provide valuable insights into your cat’s overall health and rule out any underlying medical conditions.
  • Diagnostic imaging: X-rays and ultrasounds can help visualize any abnormalities in your cat’s organs, such as blockages or tumors.
  • Endoscopy: This minimally invasive procedure uses a flexible tube with a camera to examine your cat’s digestive tract for any abnormalities.
  • Biopsy: In certain cases, a small tissue sample may be taken for examination to determine if there are any cancerous or inflammatory changes present.

Once the cause of your cat’s vomiting has been identified, treatment options can be tailored to address the specific underlying condition. Treatment may include:

  • Dietary changes: Switching to a specialized diet or eliminating certain ingredients that may be triggering the vomiting.
  • Medications: Your vet may prescribe medications to alleviate symptoms, manage inflammation, or treat underlying infections.
  • Fluid therapy: Providing intravenous fluids can help restore hydration and correct any imbalances caused by vomiting.
  • Surgery: In some cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to remove blockages, tumors, or other physical abnormalities.
  • Management strategies: Your veterinarian may recommend lifestyle changes or additional supportive care measures to help prevent future episodes of vomiting.

Remember, each cat is unique, and the treatment plan will depend on the underlying cause of their vomiting. Your veterinarian will guide you through the process and provide appropriate recommendations for your cat’s specific needs.


In conclusion, it is crucial to understand the reasons why your cat keeps throwing up for their overall health and well-being. By identifying the specific causes, you can take appropriate measures to address the issue and provide relief to your feline companion.

When your cat experiences frequent episodes of vomiting, it is essential to consult a veterinarian for proper evaluation and guidance. They can conduct necessary tests to diagnose any underlying medical conditions and offer appropriate treatment options.

Remember, implementing remedies such as adjusting their diet or using hairball prevention methods can help reduce vomiting episodes. However, persistent or worsening symptoms require professional veterinary care to ensure the well-being of your cat.


Why does my cat keep throwing up?

There can be various reasons why your cat is vomiting frequently. It could be due to dietary issues, hairballs, medical conditions, or other factors. Exploring these causes can help determine the underlying problem.

What are some common causes of cat vomiting?

Cat vomiting can be caused by factors such as bile, food intolerance, eating too quickly, consuming foreign objects, gastrointestinal issues, or certain medications. Identifying these causes can aid in finding appropriate solutions.

Why is my cat throwing up bile, white foam, or yellow liquid?

Vomiting bile, white foam, or yellow liquid can indicate various issues, including an empty stomach, hairballs, gastritis, gastrointestinal obstructions, or infections. Consulting a veterinarian is recommended for proper diagnosis and treatment.

What should I do if my cat is throwing up blood?

If your cat is vomiting blood, it could be a sign of a severe condition such as gastrointestinal bleeding or ingesting a toxic substance. Seek immediate veterinary attention to ensure prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

How can I prevent and treat cat hairballs?

Hairballs are often a common cause of cat vomiting. Regular grooming, feeding specialized hairball control diets, providing sufficient hydration, and using cat-friendly hairball remedies can help prevent and manage hairballs.

Are there dietary reasons for cat vomiting?

Yes, certain dietary factors can contribute to cat vomiting. These include sudden dietary changes, food allergies or intolerances, spoiled or contaminated food, or overeating. Adjusting your cat’s diet and feeding habits may alleviate the issue.

When should I consult a vet for my cat’s vomiting?

It is recommended to consult a veterinarian if your cat’s vomiting is persistent, increasing in frequency or severity, accompanied by other concerning symptoms, or affects their overall health and behavior. A vet can help determine the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment.

How is cat vomiting diagnosed and treated?

Your veterinarian will perform a physical examination, review your cat’s medical history, and may conduct tests such as bloodwork, X-rays, ultrasounds, or endoscopy to diagnose the cause of your cat’s vomiting. Treatment options may include dietary changes, medications, or surgery, depending on the underlying condition.

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