Why your cat is throwing up and what to do about it

October 17, 2014

Some foods which are edible for humans, and even dogs, are dangerous for your cat. Their metabolism is unique, and the wrong foods can cause illness and vomiting in cats, or even death. Be sure to avoid these dietary pitfalls.

Foods to never feed your cat

  • Tuna. Some tuna is okay in moderation, but avoid feeding your cat a regular diet of tuna, which is made for human consumption.
  • Onions, chives, and garlic. These foods (whether raw, cooked, or powdered) can cause your cat’s red blood cells to break down which leads to anemia.
  • Milk and other dairy products. Most adult cats are lactose-intolerant and their digestive system cannot process dairy.
  • Alcohol and caffeine. No type of alcohol is good for cats, and it has the same effect on them as it does on us. It just takes far less of it to cause damage in cats than in humans. Caffeine in large quantities can be fatal to cats.
  • Grapes and raisins. These can cause kidney failure in cats. Even a small amount can cause cats to throw up.
  • Chocolate, candy, and gum. As with dogs, chocolate can be deadly for cats. Candy, gum and other artificially sweetened foods will cause your cat’s blood sugar to drop.
  • Raw eggs, fish, and meat. These can carry bacteria that cause food poisoning, additionally, an enzyme in raw fish can destroy essential B vitamins in cats that lead to neurological problems.
  • Dog food. A little won’t hurt, but dog food isn’t a substitute for cat food. A steady diet of dog food can leave your cat severely malnourished.

Other causes of vomiting in cats
Monitoring your cat’s diet may not always prevent vomiting as there are other factors to consider. Bacterial infection, intestinal parasites, kidney failure, post-operative nausea, chemicals and certain medications can also cause your cat to throw up.

When is the right time to take my cat to the vet?
If vomiting persists, see your veterinarian. Depending on your cat’s age, medical history and current symptoms, your veterinarian may choose to perform various tests. These can include X-rays, blood tests or a sonogram for proper diagnosis.

How can I treat vomiting symptoms?
Withhold food and water until the cat has stopped vomiting for two hours. If symptoms stop, slowly introduce water, followed by a bland diet. You can also try giving your sick cat homemade foods like boiled potatoes, rice or cooked skinless chicken.

Why your cat is throwing up and what to do about it
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