If your cat threw up clear liquid before, you might be wondering whether or not this is normal. A vomiting kitty may be normal for many cases, such as coughing up a hairball or vomiting clear liquid after drinking too much water.
However, there are also special cases when vomiting may be a sign of an underlying medical issue.
If you’re wondering why your cat is throwing up clear liquid, or any vomit for that matter, here is a simple guide to knowing whether it’s normal or if it’s time to call the vet.
Why Is My Cat Throwing Up Clear Liquid?
If your cat is throwing up clear fluid, it might be a sign that your cat drank too much water or drank too fast. Clear liquid vomit is usually fluid from the cat’s digestive tract, most often gastric juices. This juice is typically a mix of stomach fluid with mucus from the esophagus.
However, there are also other causes of vomiting in cats, and some may not be as simple as your cat having drunk too much water or cat food.
Possible Causes to Your Cat Vomiting
While the possible causes of a vomiting cat may be simple and obvious, other possible reasons might require some investigative work for you and your vet.
Here are some other possible reasons why your cat may be vomiting:
Hairballs are one of the most common reasons why your cat may be vomiting. Cats love to lick their fur, and when they do, their rough tongues pull fur from their coats, and they end up being swallowed. When large volumes of fur accumulate in the stomach, they need to be eliminated by the body because they can’t be digested.
When hairballs start to form in your cat’s stomach, your cat will most likely vomit hairballs.
Tip: Implementing water fountain into your cat’s diet can help decrease dehydration which is a big cause of health problems and digestive issues in cats such as hairballs and kidney stones.
2. Foreign Body or Obstructions
If your cat has swallowed a foreign body, such as a small part of a toy, a string, or any tiny object, the natural tendency for the stomach is to eliminate it.
Any blockage or obstruction inside your cat’s gastrointestinal tract will cause your kitty to try to expel it naturally. But when your cat is unsuccessful, she may expel vomit instead of the foreign object.
When your cat can’t remove it from her stomach, you need to bring her to the emergency room, and in some cases, emergency surgery would need to be done by a vet.
3. Upset Stomach
Some gastroenteritis problems can cause your cat to start vomiting. Your cat may be suffering from indigestion, may have ingested toxins such as rat poison, or may be suffering from medication’s side effects, or even a diet change, which led to an upset stomach.
4. Food Allergies
If you have recently added new food items to your cat’s diet, she may be suffering from food allergies that caused an inflammation of the digestive tract and thus, led to your cat vomiting.
Allergies can also cause inflammatory bowel disease, which also causes vomiting in cats.
Some illnesses can cause your cat to vomit. If your cat has already been diagnosed, vomiting may be a sign that her disease is progressing, and you must bring her to the vet immediately.
If your cat is vomiting more than usual, this may be a sign that your cat may have an underlying illness that you don’t know of. Some diseases such as pancreatitis, kidney disease, and hyperthyroidism, among others, can cause your cat to vomit more than usual.
If your cat has ingested a parasite, such as a roundworm, chances are, she will be vomiting the worm. A simple deworming procedure can eliminate the parasite from the body and stop her from vomiting.
When Should You Call the Vet?
Here are the instances when you must call the vet or bring your cat to the emergency room:
- When your cat is vomiting more than once or twice in one week
- When your cat shows other signs of illness, such as weight loss, lethargy, drooling, diarrhea, nausea, or loss of appetite
- When your cat is vomiting for several weeks, even without other symptoms
- When the vomit has other tinges of color, such as green, brown, or red. These colors can indicate bleeding in the GI tract, ulcerations, and other digestive issues
- When your cat has been diagnosed with an illness, vomiting is a sign that your cat’s disease is progressing
- If you suspect that your cat has ingested a foreign object
If your cat shows these symptoms, aside from vomiting, you need to immediately bring her to the vet.
How Vets Treat Vomiting in Cats
When you bring your cat to the vet, it’s best to understand whether or not your cat is experiencing acute or chronic vomiting.
Acute is when the vomiting occurs suddenly, and chronic is when your cat has been vomiting more than once in a week.
For acute vomiting, a vet may administer a few non-invasive tests, such as a CBC or regular blood test to screen your cat’s health, a fecal exam, as well as an abdominal radiograph to rule out a tumor.
A vet may require more invasive tests for chronic vomitings, such as a gastrointestinal panel, chest x-rays, or an abdominal ultrasound.
It’s important to note that home remedies are not recommended for a cat that’s vomiting. This is because treatment should be based on the cause of your cat’s vomiting. Sometimes, it may be challenging to know the reason, so you should bring your cat to a vet if you suspect that something is wrong, aside from your cat having drunk too much water.
How to Prevent Your Cat from Vomiting
Here are some simple tips to preventing your cat from vomiting in the future:
- Remove any toys, small items, string, and other objects that your cat might chew on that are lying around the house
- Be careful of your cat’s diet; make sure you don’t give her too many snacks or treats outside of her regular diet
- When introducing new food to your cat, make sure you do it gradually
- If your cat is constantly vomiting hairballs, you can ask your vet to prescribe an over-the-counter remedy for hairballs
- If you adopted your cat and you’re not sure about any underlying health issues, a cat DNA test may be a good idea to check your cat’s health history
- If your cat vomited, do not feed her anything for several hours. After which, slowly feed her the usual diet over 24 hours
In most cases, a cat that’s vomiting clear liquid is not a sign of worry, as this can be caused by your cat having drunk too fast with too much water.
However, when your cat continues to vomit, or the fluid has some tinge of color, especially green, brown, pink, or red, these may be a sign of a more severe problem. When your cat repeatedly vomits, and there are accompanying symptoms, then it’s time to bring your cat to the vet.
Some things can prevent your cat from vomiting, such as hairball medicine, a cat DNA test to determine her health history, removing strings and other tiny items around the home, and introducing a special diet.
Though clear liquid vomit may not be a reason for concern, you should bring your kitty to a vet if you’re unsure about your cat’s health.