What can I do to help my cat that is vomiting often?

Question

My cat is throwing up a lot, she used to only throw up when she got to the end of the bag of food (Purina Indoor), we tried to incorporate we foods and the vomiting has gotten worse. She is 12 and weighs about 11lbs. She is still quite active and likes to play but she is slowing down a bit.

What would you suggest to feed her to help with the vomiting?

Answer

Cats can vomit for different reasons. You can get some clues as to the cause of the problem based on the type of vomit you see. Check for hairballs or whole un-chewed kibble. If you see a lot of hair, a hairball formula will help by providing a good source of Omega oils which reduce shedding. It will also help in aiding your cat to be able to move the hair through the digestive tract and into the litter box. Some good hairball formulas include Royal Canin Intense Hairball Control and Chicken Soup Senior/Hairball control (this is also appropriate for your cat’s age and activity level). Many indoor cat food formulas also contain hairball prevention features as well.

If the vomit contains a lot of whole kibble here are some of the more common reasons:

It is possible that your cat may just be eating too fast and throwing up as a result. Using a food with a larger kibble such as Science Diet Oral Care or putting the food in a dispensing type of ball toy such as the Slim Cat Ball can slow your cat down.

If slowing down cat’s eating doesn’t solve the issue, your cat may have a food intolerance. Foods that are grain free can help for cats that have a difficult time digesting the starches (cats are technically an obligate carnivore). Some great choices are Taste of the Wild, Earthborn, and Nature’s Variety. You could also choose a formula that is bland and contains a novel protein that your cat has not previously been exposed to. Natural Balance and California Natural make some simple unique formula such as duck and pea. Other ingredients such as artificial colors or preservatives can also upset your cat’s stomach.

If your cat seems to develop the problem near the end of the bag – your cat may be affected by the way you are storing the food or the length of time the bag has been open. If the opened bag of food is stored in a hot garage–this will cause the food to break down faster. You could divide the bag up and keep part of the bag in the freezer. Or, you could purchase smaller bags to keep the open bag of food from breaking down and causing a problem for your cat.

Finally there are many underlying health issues that can cause vomiting, so make sure to check with your vet as well. 

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