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Cat throwing up
NJsweetheart posted:
Hello. I have a cat, munchkin who will be 8 years old. For the last few years, she throws up her dry food(crunchies) almost immediately to 5 minutes after she has eaten. She does eat very fast, and seems like no food sits well with her. We have tried so many different kinds , but not organic or natural but i am considering it. The vet says to feed her little bits at a time, and we have been doing that and it does help. But she then steals her sisters food ( our other cat) and throws up then if we dont take it away in time. And then she comes looking for food again. I just dont know what to do for her at this point, i feel so bad. Thanks !!
Ann Hohenhaus, DVM, DACVIM responded:
I have always found it amazing that cats can vomit frequently and still keep eating! You don't say what happens when she eats canned food, but it she doesnt vomit canned food up, could she just eat canned food and eliminate the dry from her diet?
Cats can eat a complete diet of canned food (or a complete diet of dry food for that matter) and recieve adquate nutrition.

Ann Hohenhaus
Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP responded:
Vomiting is the most common symptom in the world. That said, there's a logical approach to vomiting in a cat. Cats that are eating well and not losing weight are more likely to have something simple like hairballs or parasites so the first thing is to have your veterinarian check your cat for parasites and, if negative, treat her for hairballs. There's no diagnostic test for hairballs, but most cats throw op their food shortly after they eat and only occasionally vomit a hairball. It's very easy to treat for this and it usually resolves within 48 hours.

If she still throws up after this, the next step is to look for diseases that cause vomiting as a symptom such as kidney disease, diabetes, thyroid disease, etc. Simple lab tests will diagnose these diseases. Finally, if the lab tests are normal, there may be something wrong with her intestinal tract. Unfortunately, this requires an intestinal biopsy to diagnose. The good news is that this can be done by endoscopy instead of surgery and most of these diseases are treatable. This logical approach will diagnose most causes of vomiting in cats, often before getting to the endoscopy stage!

Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP
The Cat Doctor
Board Certified in Feline Practice


Bernadine D. Cruz, DVM, is an associate veterinarian at Laguna Hills Animal Hospital, Laguna Hills, Calif. She specializes in companion animal medicin...More

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