Question from Arlene:
My Himmy, Misha is almost 18 (12/21). He is healthy, his coat is shiny and thick, and his appetite is strong. At his age, he is not too active, but sometimes he still wants to play for a little while. The only problem I have is that almost every day he vomits. Not food or hairballs, but a loose, watery stuff. Nothing solid at all. I hesitate taking him to the vet, because whenever I do, he comes home sicker. He is very high strung. I hope you can help me. Thank you.
Answer from Amy:
Your cat is probably vomiting bile on an empty stomach.
There are many reasons that cause a cat to vomit. Cats seem to have a more sensitive digestive tract than most other species. Some cats retch frequently, but do not show signs of illness such as weight loss, dehydration, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. It is difficult to determine the culprit of vomiting in these cats.
Most of cats’ vomiting problems are caused by consuming things they cannot digest. However, other common causes are inflammatory bowel disease, kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, heartworms, cholangiohepatitis, pancreatitis and cancer according to Dr. Mike Richards. Also, Infectious diseases or parasites can induce vomiting. Physical obstructions in the digestive tract can also upset a cat’s stomach, but sometimes it is accompanied by foul odor from the rear and loss of appetite.
First of all, you can try to figure out the severity of your cat’s vomiting. If he is retching frequently and losing more water than he could replenish, it is important to have him seen by a vet ASAP. Severe vomiting can indicate an obstruction in the digestive system. Physical obstructions are usually treated with IV fluids, but sometimes they can only be removed surgically. However, if the vomiting is intermittent and your cat is able to retain water, you can try the following home remedies recommended by Nelson Animal Hospital.
If the cause of vomiting is due to inflammatory bowel, put your cat on a liquid diet for 24 hours which consists of proper amounts of water only. This will allow your cat’s stomach to heal by itself. After the first 24 hours, you can gradually introduce solid food by offering plain, bland cooked white rice in an equivalent amount that you normally feed your cat. On the third day, you can start mixing rice with his regular food, but do not go completely back to regular food until after the third day.
We often drink peppermint tea to help us cope with upset stomaches. This ancient remedy can also be used in cats. Prepare a cup of peppermint tea and let it cool. The tea should be cold, caffeine-free, sugar-free, weak, and offered in small amounts – around 1 tablespoon of it. Your cat may not like the taste. If he cannot drink it directly, you can try to add it in his food.
Food Allergens –
If your cat has a chronic vomiting problem. A change of diet may just help. A premium and a more natural food usually works better for cats with chromic digestive problems. [See Top Dry and Wet Cat Food Choice]
Hair Balls –
If a cat is vomiting hairballs, you should be able to find hair in the vomit. You can check out [How to Get Rid of Hairballs] to find out more about treating hairball problems.
If none of the above remedies works, you should definitely seek advice from your veterinarian and obtain a diagnosis for your cat. Good luck and keep me posted.
This post is not written by a veterinarian. It is purely served as information purposes only. You should always seek veterinary attention for proper treatment for your cat if you notice any health issue or abnormal behavior.
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