Cats Gorging and Throwing Up

Posted on October 7, 2013 under Pet Health & Safety

By Dr. Jane, a veterinarian and blogger for cat insurance provider, Pets Best Insurance

Hello. I’m Dr. Jane Matheys from The Cat Doctor Veterinary Hospital and Hotel in Boise, Idaho. Today, I’ll be answering a question about cat health from our readers of the Pets Best Insurance Facebook page.

Today, Karen asks: “I have a 15-year-old cat. For years, he has had issues with throwing up in the mornings right after he eats. He’s very healthy for his age and has been to four different vets about this problem, with no solutions. His vomiting is always in the morning. He will eat some food, go drink a lot of water, then go eat more. After that, he will throw up. Any suggestions?”

Well, certainly from what you’re describing, it sounds like your kitty may just be overeating in the morning. It’s very common when they eat and then they go and drink a whole lot of water, that distends the stomach, and distension of the stomach walls can be part of the vomiting reflex that we see in kitty-cats.

I recommend, at least short term, to try to figure out if this is the only thing that’s causing the vomiting. What you can do is try feeding him from a cookie sheet or an ice cube tray. Spread out the kernels of food on the cookie sheet so that he has to kind of go from once piece to another, and he can’t stick his face in his bowl and just gulp down his food. Same thing with an ice cube tray. You can attach it to a cookie sheet with some tape or something of that sort, and put the dry food kernels down into the individual ice cube sections. That way he’s got to work slowly on each section with his tongue to pick up those dry kibbles, and he physically cannot eat very quickly.

Then, again, kind of limit how much water you give him. Obviously, you want to give him enough so he’s not going to get dehydrated, but not a big, huge bowl where he can just drink and drink and drink.

Some other things you can try, if you’re not giving him food overnight, you might want to try to leave out just a small amount of his dry food. That way he can nibble a little bit during the night, and maybe he won’t be so hungry when he gets up in the morning.

If you’ve tried some of these techniques and your kitty is still vomiting, then I suggest that we consider whether your cat might have inflammatory bowel disease. That is something that I commonly see in these older kitties. Usually, all the blood work and everything comes up normal. That disease has to be definitively diagnosed with endoscopy and biopsies.

Make sure you follow up with your veterinarian. We want to be sure that we’re not missing more of a serious medical disease going on.

If you have any other questions, please comment in the section below, or visit Pets Best Insurance Facebook page. See you next time.

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