cat keeps throwing up after eating
Cat Health and Wellness

Why is My Cat Vomiting Undigested Food Hours After Eating?

Cats bring a lot of joy to our lives, but they can develop some worrying health concerns. One of these is frequent vomiting after meals. Not only is this unsightly and unpleasant to clean, but it can be very frightening for the owner. Nobody likes to think that their cat is feeling unwell.

The most common explanation is overeating. Cats can eat quickly and beyond the point of fullness, especially if they share food. As their stomachs are small, excess food will be purged to increase comfort. In other cases, the food may have been too cold to digest. Constant, unexplainable vomiting could be a sign of a health condition with the stomach.

There are many possible reasons why a cat may vomit. You may be familiar with some of them, but others will be new information. The good news is that cats prone to vomiting can be helped with some lifestyle changes. By following this advice, you will make life more comfortable for your cat. Remember that humans foods can make a cat sick so, be careful what you feed your pet.

Cat Regurgitation vs. Vomiting

These terms are used interchangeably, but there are some fundamental differences. Mercola provides a detailed analysis, but in summary:

Regurgitation is a passive, involuntary process that takes your cat by surprise. They will open their mouths, and the contents of their stomach will be expelled.

There will be no warning, and your cat will not heave or retch. Regurgitation also tends to be solid, almost looking like a tube. You’ll often be able to see whole chunks of undigested food in the regurgitation.

Vomiting comes with many warning signs. Your cat will feel uncomfortable and sick for a few moments. They may start to pace, or lick their lips.

When a cat vomits, they are expelling the contents of their stomach. This means that you’ll see food, sometimes partly digested, mixed with stomach bile. Tiny parts of the small intestine may also be purged. This is why vomit tends to congeal into a pool, and has a strong odor.

Vomiting is very common in cats, and does not always mean a health concern. Cats tend to vomit frequently. Regurgitation, however, is rarer and should be taken seriously.

If your cat is regularly regurgitating food, they are not managing to digest it. This could point to a problem with their intestines that requires the attention of a vet. Here are some of the reasons why cats vomit a brown liquid.

My Cat Keeps Throwing Up After Eating

If your cat is regularly vomiting after they eat, there is something amiss. Cat vomit is not an uncommon occurrence, but this does not mean that it’s healthy.

Before you rush your cat to the vet, however, take a look at some of these habits. Some lifestyle changes could solve the problem.

  • Are you feeding your cat too much? This sounds simplistic to the point of being insulting, but it’s an easy mistake to make. Cats will rarely feel that they have eaten enough, and they’ll often demand food regularly. If you’re also providing complimentary treats, it could be more food than their stomachs can handle.
  • Does your cat eat very quickly? This is a common cause of vomiting. Cats sometimes worry about food, especially if there is more than one feline sharing the bowl. As these animals are territorial by nature, they may fear missing out on a meal. If you have multiple cats that eat faster than is recommended, feed them in separate rooms.
  • Are you feeding your cat its food straight from the refrigerator? This could be to blame. Cats struggle to digest cold food. Leave the food out for a while to reach room temperature before serving to your cat.
  • Does your cat take a big drink of water straight after eating? If so, they may be swelling and expanding their stomach. This could become a problem if they then start to play or climb before digesting appropriately. Keep your cat’s water supply in a different place to their food.
  • Have you tried changing your cat’s diet? It could be a matter of sensitivity to one or all of the ingredients. Alternatively, a sudden change in diet can upset your cat’s stomach. If you are changing their food, do so steadily and in small doses. Mix with the new food with familiar ingredients until they adjust.

If you try these amendments and your cat still vomits after eating, speak to a vet. There may be a health concern that explains the problem.

cat throwing up food but acting normal

Some of the problem that includes vomiting as symptoms include:

  • Diabetes
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Heatstroke
  • Kidney failure
  • Gastrointestinal problems, including a twisted gut
  • Cancer
  • Issues with the pancreas
  • Hairballs caused by grooming
  • Consumption of something toxic, or a foreign object that’s tough to digest. For example, chewing a plastic bag.

My Cat is Throwing Up Food But Acting Normal

If your cat shows no other signs of discomfort, try not to worry. The occasional, solitary episode of vomiting is to be expected. There is every chance that one of the lifestyle changes previously outlined will solve the problem.

In the immediate aftermath of a cat vomiting, follow these steps:

  • Remove any food. They may go back and start the process again!
  • Encourage your cat to drink a little water. Vomiting can cause dehydration, which is very dangerous to cats.
  • Monitor your cat for any signs of discomfort and distress.
  • If they continue to act normal, offer a small amount of food after around twelve hours. Try not to provide another full meal on the same day as the vomiting.

If your cat shows no signs of being sick outside vomiting their food, it will probably be quickly resolved. As always, it may be worth consulting a vet just case, but try not to panic.

My Cat is Vomiting Undigested Food and Has Diarrhea

If your cat has diarrhea as well as vomiting, the problem is much more severe. The first risk that your cat faces in such a scenario is dehydration.

The symptoms of cat dehydration as follows:

  • Refusing to eat
  • Lethargy
  • Dry and discolored gums
  • Skin tenting. Pinch the skin at the base of your cat’s neck; it should return to normal immediately. If the skin remains suspended and lacks elasticity, your cat is dehydrated.

If you suspect that your cat is dehydrated, they will need veterinary attention. It’s possible that they will require intravenous fluids.

Of course, you will also need to learn why your cat has diarrhea. The cause could be the same as the vomiting. It’s entirely possible that your cat has eaten something toxic, such as a poisoned mouse or toxic plants. Your vet will run tests to find an explanation.

My Elderly Cat is Vomiting Undigested Food

As a cat starts to grow older, they will become increasingly susceptible to health concerns.

Many older cats begin to develop a chronic habit of vomiting. If this applies to your pet, keep a detailed log of their episodes. Update this over the course a few days, weeks and months.

Once you have a good sample size of data, make an appointment with your vet. This information will greatly assist them in making a diagnosis.

Cats tend to be pretty tough animals. You may get more time with an older feline, even if they do start vomiting regularly. Just be completely honest with your vet, and follow their advice.

why does my cat keep throwing up its dry food

My Kitten is Vomiting Undigested Food

Much like with older cats, kittens are very vulnerable. This means that a regularly vomiting kitten should see a vet straight away.

It may be something simple, like a young cat not yet learning to control their appetite. However, if there is a health concern, it will need to be investigated and resolved ASAP. With kittens, a minor ailment can become a life-threatening condition quickly.

Why Does My Cat Keep Throwing Up Its Dry Food?

Dry food is more likely to result in vomiting than wet food.

Some of the reasons for this include:

  • If your cat has an irritable bowel, dry food is likely to aggravate it. Wet food is less likely to cause problems. Look for food that’s high in protein and devoid of grains.
  • Obstructions in your cat’s intestines. It takes a cat a long time to break down dry food. If they have a blockage in their digestive tract, food will make its way back up. Soft, wet food may be able to circumvent these blockages.
  • Dry food expands in the stomach. If your cat eats quickly, this will be a problem. Gobbling down a meal can lead to it becoming twice as large in the stomach.

Discuss your cat’s diet with a vet, and assess whether wet food would be better. Remember, though, if you do change your cat’s diet, it will have to be gradual. A sudden switch will just upset their stomach further.

Start with a 75/25 ratio in favor of familiar dry food. Throughout two weeks, steadily increase the wet food component until it reaches 100%.

What Cat Food Will Prevent Vomiting?

Every cat is different, and will have a different relationship with their food. What is healthy for one feline may be too rich for another.

Overall, however, it is always best to look for a nutritionally balanced, high-quality food. You need food that is high in protein, and contains little to no grain. Many cats struggle to process this. Organic is always best wherever possible.

Some reputable cat food brands include Honest Kitchen, Natural Balance, ZiwiPeak, BLUE, and Hound & Gatos. These products are costlier than a supermarket own-brand food, but far superior regarding nutrition.

Home Remedies for Cat Vomiting

Some of your options include:

  • Let your cat’s stomach settle. Try to convince your cat to fast for around twelve hours so their tummy can heal. Make their next meal as bland as possible to prevent any further aggravation.
  • Rub a little pancake syrup on your cat’s gums. It will provide an energy spike, and help perk your cat back up.
  • Drop a little Vaseline onto your cat’s paws. They will lick this off, but this is not a problem. Alternatively, purchase Laxatone from a pet store. It will rid your cat’s stomach lining of any lingering irritations, such as hairballs.
  • Provide your cat with Pedialyte to prevent dehydration. Do not exceed two drops every ten minutes, and cap the treatment at two hours.

Vomiting is an unpleasant experience for cats, but they will usually feel much better afterward. Whatever has been irritating them must be removed from their stomach.

As long as the problem isn’t chronic, it shouldn’t be too much to worry about. Never delay in seeking the advice of a vet if you’re worried.