Why Is My Cat Throwing Up Undigested Food?

why is my cat throwing up undigested food
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If your cat throws up every now and then but otherwise appears to be in good health, you may not need to be concerned. However, if your cat vomits more than twice a month, there may be underlying health issues (even if your cat is acting normally). Here, we’ll see the major causes of a cat throwing up or vomiting undigested food.

Before we go into the causes of a cat throwing up or vomiting undigested food, here are some things to consider:

Cats Are Experts at Deception

Cats are experts at concealing their behavior. As a result, even if your cat appears to be in good health, there could be underlying issues.

Regardless of a cat’s behavior, veterinarians do not consider vomiting more than twice per month to be normal. If this occurs, testing is usually required to help identify the source of the problem and determine the best way to help your cat.

Is Your Cat Having Symptoms Other Than Throwing Up?

Before continuing, make sure your cat isn’t showing any other symptoms. Examine the litter box for signs of diarrhea, straining, drinking excessive amounts of water, hiding, a lack of appetite, or frequent urination. If this is the case, contact your veterinarian right away for a complete diagnosis and treatment plan.

Why Your Cat Is Throwing Up Undigested Food

These scenarios below describe the most common causes of cats throwing up undigested food.

#1. They eat their food too quickly.

A cat who consumes food too quickly may throw it back up, a condition known as regurgitation. After absorbing water, dry cat food swells, alerting the cat’s brain that it has consumed too much. If your pet frequently regurgitates or exhibits any other symptoms, such as weight loss, he or she should see a veterinarian.

If you want to slow down your cat’s eating, start by determining what is being regurgitated. For example, if you always buy the same brand of cat treats, changing brands may be necessary. If the cat is only fed dry food, canned food may be better for them in the long run, as well as having many health benefits.

#2. They have an unbalanced diet.

It’s possible that your cat is eating a low-quality or overly rich diet. Some cats, like humans, have more sensitive stomachs than others. If a cat’s diet is abruptly changed without a gradual transition from one food to another, its stomach may become upset.

Giving milk to cats is not always a good idea. The mere fact that some cats enjoy the taste of cow’s milk does not imply that they can digest it properly. Lactose intolerance affects the majority of cats. Although they will happily drink milk if given to them, many cats will vomit and have diarrhea even if they appear to be acting normally.

Food allergies may also play a role.

Food allergies can also sometimes cause vomiting. Diarrhea, vomiting, and difficult bowel movements are common symptoms of a food allergy in cats. If your cat appears to be healthy but is having a difficult reaction to its food, consult with your veterinarian about developing a new diet strategy.

#3. They’ve Got Hairballs

Hairballs are an unfavorable side effect of our cats’ grooming. Your cat’s tongue has hairbrush-like barbs that pull out hair while she grooms herself, which she then swallows. Because hair cannot be digested, it usually passes through the digestive system and ends up in the litter box. Occasionally, a matted clump of hair will obstruct the passageway.

A condition in the stomach known as “hair gastritis” caused by hairballs can cause a cat to vomit food or liquid without actually bringing up any hair. A cat may act completely normal after vomiting, as if nothing had happened.

4. They consumed something they should not have.

Cats are naturally inquisitive creatures. They enjoy chewing on and ingesting harmful objects such as plastic, string, fabric, toilet paper, sticks, and cat toys.

Even though they usually pass through the GI tract, any of these tiny objects can cause a cat to vomit. If the cat manages to vomit up the object, it is likely that it is only a temporary problem; they will soon feel better and resume normal behavior.

#5. They have an intestinal obstruction.

If an object cannot be safely passed through the GI tract or vomited up, it may become stuck in the stomach or intestine. You may not notice your cat vomiting food if he or she is otherwise acting normally.

A GI obstruction, on the other hand, is a surgical emergency that necessitates immediate treatment to ensure your cat’s survival. Keep an eye out for signs of symptoms worsening, such as frequent vomiting, pain, and a lack of appetite or drinking.

If you notice any unusual behavior in your pet, contact your veterinarian right away.

What is the distinction between vomit and regurgitation?

Vomiting is not always vomiting; sometimes it is regurgitation, and understanding the difference can help your veterinarian diagnose the cause. Regurgitation is frequently confused with vomiting; however, unlike vomited food, regurgitated food has not been digested by stomach acids. 1

What Can You Do If Your Cat Vomits Undigested Food?

Some cat owners may describe their cat as “puke-y,” but frequent vomiting is never normal for a cat. Vomiting more than once per week is a sure sign of a problem. If your cat is vomiting up undigested food, try feeding them puzzle toys or smaller amounts more frequently. If you notice your cat vomiting undigested several times and/or in conjunction with other symptoms such as lack of appetite, weight loss, lethargy, or diarrhea, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

Your veterinarian will begin with a physical exam, checking your cat’s vital signs and palpating her abdomen. Following a thorough examination, your veterinarian may want to run some tests, such as checking a fecal sample, blood work, and X-rays. Microscopic signs of intestinal parasites can be detected in a fecal sample. Blood work will be performed on your cat to ensure that there are no signs of liver or kidney disease, as well as red blood cell and platelet levels. An X-ray examination will look for any fluid in the abdomen that could be blood, as well as any intestinal gas patterns that could indicate a blockage.


Depending on the findings of your veterinarian, your cat may require hospitalization for fluid therapy and supportive care, or they may only require outpatient treatments and oral medications to take home. If your veterinarian suspects that your cat has an intestinal blockage, he or she may require surgery to remove the blockage.

How to Prevent Cat Throwing Up Undigested Food

There are a few things you can do to prevent your cat from vomiting, depending on the cause. If your cat eats too quickly, feeding smaller meals more frequently may help. You should also consult with your veterinarian to ensure that your cat is not overfed and is receiving adequate nutrition. If you’re vomiting because of a hairball, try over-the-counter dietary supplements in chew or gel form, as well as a regular brushing schedule. If you suspect food allergies, consult your veterinarian about a special diet.

Should I be Worried If My Cat Throws Up Her Food?

Your cat’s frequent or repeated vomiting is not normal behavior. Cats can get upset stomachs for a variety of reasons. If your cat vomits frequently, consult your veterinarian to determine the underlying cause. Your cat could be regurgitating food, coughing, or reacting to something they’ve eaten.

Why is My Cat Not Digesting Food And Throwing Up?

When compared to wet food, dried food has a very low moisture content. This makes swallowing dried food and digestion more difficult in older cats, particularly those with underlying GI motility disorders.

When Should I Be Concerned About My Cat Throwing Up?

Many cats vomit on occasion, but cats who vomit more than once per week or show signs of lethargy, weakness, decreased appetite, blood in the vomitus, increased thirst, increased or decreased urination, or concurrent diarrhea should be evaluated by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

In Conclusion,

If your cat vomits more than twice per month, has difficulty swallowing food, or appears exhausted, you should see a veterinarian as soon as possible. They may only be experiencing brief nausea, but if it is something more serious, treatment should begin immediately.

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