If you have a cat, you’ve probably seen your fair share of vomiting
But it can be scary if you’re at home with a vomiting cat. Are they sick? Do they need immediate care? Is this just a hairball?
Signs of an emergency
You should get your vomiting cat into an emergency clinic immediately if you see the following signs:
- Changes in gum color (white/pale, dark red, brown, purple, or blue)
- Abdominal pain or restlessness
- Straining to poop or urinate
- Extreme lethargy or listlessness
- Lack of appetite/Anorexia – especially if your cat has not eating in 3+ days
- If you have a kitten under the age of 6 months, or a cat over the age of 10 years
- If your cat has eaten something that is potentially poisonous
All of the above can indicate a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate care. Contact an emergency veterinarian in your area to have your pet seen.
How to help a vomiting cat at home
If your kitty doesn’t fall into the above categories, it’s possible that you may be able to manage the illness at home. Here are the criteria to determine if it is safe to wait on veterinary care:
- You’ve only seen 1-3 bouts of vomiting
- This has only been going on one day
- Your cat is still interested in eating and drinking
- They are using the litter box as normal
- Their energy level is the same (playful and active)
If your kitty meets the above criteria, there are a few things that you can try at home before taking them into a local clinic:
A little bit of mild vomiting is not abnormal. A few bouts over a period of a couple of hours can typically be handled at home by managing their diet.
Withhold food and water for an hour to allow your cat’s stomach to settle. After that initial hour, so long as they are still acting normally, slowly reintroduce water over the course of an hour. If your cat is able to hold down the water (or is not drinking it, but still not vomiting), then little bits of food can be given. Do not give too much food at once. A hungry cat who has been vomiting may scarf down their food too fast and start the process of vomiting all over again!
So long as this serves to stop the vomiting, then nothing further needs to be done.
Can you give over the counter medication?
Before giving any medication over the counter, always speak with your veterinarian and check that the medication is safe to give to cats.
Presuming your vet approves, cats can receive famotidine (plain Pepcid AC) over the counter to help reduce nausea and vomiting. Cats can receive a dose of 0.25- 0.5 milligrams per pound. This can be obtained through almost any drug store or grocery store in the antacid aisle.