system works fast. The stomach
has usually emptied out six to eight
hours after the cat’s last meal. If he’s
urping up food when his tummy
should be empty, his stomach may
be blocked. Projectile vomiting? Cats
who suddenly spew forcefully over
what can be a surprising distance
may well have a complete blockage
of the upper gastrointestinal tract.
Senior cats who vomit frequently
for no apparent reason should be
tested for kidney disease. That’s
especially true if they also drink a
lot more water than usual and flood
the litter box with urine. Blood
work and a urinalysis can determine
whether your cat’s kidney function
is declining, a common problem in
cats as they age.
Vomiting in young kittens, especially if it comes on suddenly, is
often a sign of a viral disease called
panleukopenia. This is most common in kittens who weren’t vaccinated properly.
Cats might vomit if they’ve been
poisoned by nibbling a plant treat-
ed with pesticides or insecticides,
licking up antifreeze, or getting
into medication or another sub-
stance that not only doesn’t agree
with them but is toxic to boot. If
you suspect your cat has ingested
something poisonous, get him to
the veterinarian right away, or call a
pet poison control hotline, such as
the ASPCA Animal Poison Control
Center (888-426-4435), the Angell
Animal Poison Control Hotline (877-
226-4355), or the Animal Poison
Hotline (888-232-8870). Never
induce vomiting at home unless
your veterinarian recommends it.
Some substances are worse for your
cat coming back up than they are
exiting his body the normal way.
Another emergency situation is
vomiting accompanied by diarrhea
or that has blood in it, looks and
smells like feces, or contains what
looks like coffee grounds (which
is really partially digested blood).
The cat may be bleeding internally
or obstructed by a foreign object.
Other possible causes are stomach
cancer or ulcers. Vomiting combined
with diarrhea can leave a cat danger-
ously dehydrated in short order.
When should you take your cat
to the veterinarian? In a cat with no
other signs, a single episode of mild
vomiting after a meal or nibbling on
some grass probably isn’t a problem.
Any time your cat vomits more than
once in 24 hours and has other signs
such as depression, pale gums, severe
abdominal pain, rapid or labored
breathing, or any of the other serious
signs mentioned above, go to the
antioxidants and Perna
mussel for advanced joint
*Washington State University Study: The effects of Glyco FLEX® 3 on a stable stifle
osteoarthritis model in dogs.
GLYCO FLEX® IS
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Dr. Marty Becker, “American’s Veterinarian,” has spent his life working toward better
health for pets and the people who love them. The author of 24 books, Dr. Becker
was the resident veterinary contributor on Good Morning America for 17 years. He is
currently a member of the board of directors of the American Humane Association
as well as its chief veterinary correspondent, a founding member of Core Team Oz
for The Dr. Oz Show, and a member of the Dr. Oz Medical Advisory Board. When his
schedule allows, he practices at North Idaho Animal Hospital. Connect with him on Facebook and on
Twitter at @DrMartyBecker.