Why Is My Cat Vomiting?

It is difficult for any pet parent to see their sweet fur baby in distress. An upset stomach can cause your cat to vomit. It is often startling to see them do this. Take note of any differences you may see in your cat.

Long-haired cats throw up when they get a hairball most of the time. Cats who have allergies will sometimes vomit as a response. Cats may also vomit because they ate too fast or something serious like an illness. Most of the time, you know your cat well enough to tell when something is off.   

why is my cat vomiting

You can often prevent cat vomiting. There are particular foods for cats with food allergies and remedies for cats who frequently get hairballs. Continue reading to discover why your cat might be vomiting.

What Can Cause Your Cat to Vomit?

There could be many reasons why your cat is vomiting. It is one thing if it is just a random occurrence, but if your cat is throwing up constantly, you need to take them to the vet to be checked. The following are some of the reasons why your cat is throwing up.


The most common reason your cat is throwing up is that they have a hairball. Over-grooming can cause them to have excess hair in their stomach. Throwing up is a natural response to this. Hairballs are most common in cats with long hair.


Gastroenteritis means upset stomach. Your cat may have an upset stomach due to:

  • Consuming food that makes their tummy upset
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Medication side effects

Most of the time, gastroenteritis is not serious. However, if it persists, you should take your cat to see the veterinarian.

Foreign Bodies

Your cat may consume foreign material from a toy, such as a string or a feather. This ingestion can lead to blockage, which can trigger vomiting. If your cat eats something they should not, you should take them to the emergency vet right away.


In addition to gastrointestinal signs, such as vomiting, food allergies are often accompanied by recurring ear infections and itchy skin. Cats can vomit due to allergies such as:

  • Fleas
  • Food
  • Household allergens
  • Perfumes

Cats’ food allergies occur when their immune system cannot handle a specific type of food. Food allergies can trigger vomiting and diarrhea.

Certain Illnesses

Systematic illnesses can activate a response in your cat that causes them to vomit. Some of the types of diseases that can precipitate vomiting in cats include:

  • Kidney Disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Hyperthyroidism

These illnesses can all cause vomiting. Your veterinarian should evaluate your cat for these illnesses if they vomit frequently.


Vomiting due to parasites is more common in kittens, but there are instances when adult cats can be affected. It is rare, but pet parents sometimes find live worms in their cat’s vomit. If they are adequately treated, the parasites are eradicated.

New Food

Sometimes all it takes for a cat to become nauseous and trigger vomiting is to smell an unfamiliar food. This situation is expected if you switch the brand of cat food you give them. Switching from a diet comprised of dry food to wet food can sometimes cause vomiting.

Eating Too Fast

Eating too fast can result in your cat getting sick and throwing up. Teach your cat to slow down when they eat. You can use a slow feed pet bowl or a cat feeding toy to slow your cat down during meals, or you can also pat their food down to make it dense before serving.

How Can I Help Prevent My Cat from Vomiting?

Your cat may constantly have hairballs due to constant licking and grooming, or they may have a sensitivity to certain foods. Whatever the case, you want to help your cat when they have this kind of discomfort. The following are all ways you can help to prevent your cat from vomiting.

Make Necessary Changes in Your Cat’s Diet

If your cat has tummy troubles because they are eating the wrong foods, you should consider switching their food to higher quality, more digestible food for mealtimes. You should also avoid giving them too many treats.

Keep a Close Eye on Them When They are Playing

You may want to cut off any loose strings or other “edible” parts of toys so that your cat does not eat them and end up with an obstruction. House plants are another culprit when it comes to your cat’s curiosity. Keep them out of your cat’s reach, or better yet, keep plants and flowers out of your house entirely.

Talk to Your Vet Regarding Your Cat’s Diet

If your cat has allergies to certain foods or inflammatory bowel disease, you should talk to your vet about possibly prescribing your cat special foods for their sensitive tummy. A diet tailored to a cat with allergies or an achy stomach may help to prevent your cat from vomiting.

Try an Over-the-Counter Hairball Remedy

Long-haired cats often suffer from frequent hairballs, which makes them vomit. Over-the-counter hairball pastes lubricate your cat’s digestive system so that the hairballs come out when they defecate. Talk to your veterinarian about an over-the-counter hairball remedy that might do the trick.

As you can see, you have various choices when choosing an over-the-counter hairball remedy. Ask your veterinarian whether a hairball remedy is appropriate for your cat.

When in Doubt, Contact Your Vet

It can be very concerning when your cat suddenly vomits, especially when it seems like there is no discernable cause present. Keep the thought that when a cat vomits, it is not necessarily due to anything serious.

The occasional hairball or upset tummy is typical. However, if the vomiting persists, you need to take your fur baby to the veterinarian because consistent vomiting could indicate a more significant underlying problem.

At Parkway Veterinary Emergency Clinic, we’re here to answer all your pet owner questions. Give us a call if you think your cat’s vomiting might be a more serious problem. We are here when you need us.

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