Why Does My Cat Throw Up?

Cat Throw Up

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We’ve all seen it happen before. Our cats are acting normal, eating right, and acting like well, a cat, and then suddenly, they just vomit everywhere.


Why does my cat throw up, and how can I prevent it? Well, we’ll talk about why it happens, the means to help prevent and why in some cases, it’s perfectly normal.


Vomiting Vs. Regurgitation

Vomiting is actually vastly different from regurgitation. Typically, when your cat throws up, it actually may not be throw up but it’s actually regurgitating food.


Vomiting typically is what happens when your stomach doesn’t want something that it swallowed, and it forcefully throws it up.


Regurgitation is a way for cats to literally push the half-digested food that they had before.


Some signs of vomiting include the following:

  • It’s more physical with lurching and motions
  • It’s very audible, with a lot of gagging
  • You tend to see the cat extending their neck
  • They might seek you out to do this for attention or help


With regurgitation, it’s a bit more of gastric irritation, and it happens with the following characteristics:

  • They have whole food usually
  • It is less bile and more of just food that they threw up
  • They tend to be fine afterward

The final part is a big one. Usually, the regurgitation can also include hairballs as well.


Can Be Stress

Stress is actually a big reason for this. Cats don’t respond to stress in the same way that humans do, and they tend to act out a bit.


Some of the ways cats react to stress include the following:

  • Hiding
  • Acting skittish
  • Eating too much or not eating
  • Throwing up their food

This is actually very common if you’re moving to a new place or have big changes.


Cats are terrible with change, worse than some humans are, and if you notice your cat throwing up, it could be a sign of stress and anxiety in a cat as well.


throwing up cat


Does your Cat Just Eat too Fast?

One very simple reason is the cat might just be eating too darn fast. Your cat walks on four legs, with a horizontal rather than a vertical esophagus.


What does that mean? Well, for cats, this can include the following:

  • The food slaps against the lower part of the esophageal sphincter
  • Regurgitation happens, with whole, undigested foods happening a few minutes after it gets consumed

The best way to prevent this is to feed the kitties in different rooms so that the other one doesn’t see that cat eating. The reason for this is that usually, the means behind throwing up is because they feel there is competition there.


You should give your kids 20 minutes to eat and then put the bowls up so that it stops the gobbler and prevents them from getting fat, and try to portion the meals too.


Milk and Treats are Commonly a Culprit

Milk is actually not that good for your cat and treats and milk cause the cat to throw up sometimes.


When looking at treats, you should look to make sure that they’re natural and don’t contain the following:

  • Red #4
  • Propylene glycol
  • Chemical Dyes
  • Surfactants, or other chemicals you can’t say

The good rule of thumb is that if you can’t say it, don’t give it to your cat, and that’s because these are basically junk food that causes GI inflammation, and in turn vomiting.


Milk is your second culprit. Most mammals will drink milk, but it has to be from the same species.


If you give a cat cow’s milk, for example, it actually causes a major issue.


When you do, the following happens:

  • Since cows are different species than cats, they have different milk
  • The kitty doesn’t have the enzymes to break down the milk
  • The pancreas doesn’t secrete the lactase needed to break it down
  • It then causes secondary GI symptoms, which include vomiting

So don’t give your cat milk. Even though lots of media shows this, it’s actually not good for your furry little friend.


Look at the diet

Finally, look at the diet, since a poor quality meal that’s rendered is a big culprit of it.


Rendered food is actually very bad for you, and they’re proteins that shouldn’t be consumed by humans. The problem with this is that it causes issues in the kitties through the following:


  • The food is actually made of slaughterhouse leftovers, including the eyes and heads of animals
  • Your cat can’t digest and assimilate this
  • This causes vomiting, and it can even be intermittent as an allergy


Food allergies are actually a big part of why cats throw up, and they happen when cats are given the same food again and again.


The best thing to do is to give your cat really good food that works for them, and some of the best ways to do it are the following:


  • Move to organic kitty food
  • Move to human-grade cat food
  • Move to a raw food diet if at all possible


It isn’t always ideal to do this, but here’s the thing, you need to give your cat the variety of foods that they need because they do get food allergies like how we do, and you don’t want to subject your cat to that, right?


When to see a Vet

Vomiting usually is pretty normal, but if there are other symptoms, you should consider seeing a vet.


If you notice there is blood within the vomit, is more yucky than usual, smells and looks like poop, or if your cat is throwing up a lot and seems a bit listless and puny, then you should definitely go see a vet.


Usually, vomiting is a natural part of cats, and while yes, it’s pretty gross, knowing why your cat throws up can sometimes help make you feel relieved knowing that they are okay.

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