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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 16179
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
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I have taken a cat in who lives locally because she didnt get

Customer Question

I have taken a cat in who lives locally because she didnt get on with other cats in the household. She is about 10 years old and she keeps being sick. It occurs perhaps one or two times then it seems to stop and she isnt sick for several weeks, but it happens again.
Any advice would be very helpful. It is usually food which comes back.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Can you tell me if the vomiting is right after she eats (since you are seeing food)?

Does she eat quickly?

Is she on dry or wet food?

Have you noticed any weight loss?

Any increase in thirst?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Dr B. Vomiting isnt right after food but possibly within hour or two. I give her dried food and the sick is usually just the food which comes back. I cant say she eats quickly although she doesnt get on with my other two cats so she's always wary when eating. Definiately no weight loss, just the opposite. Seems and looks very healthy. Haven't noticed increase in thirst. Hope this helps.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you Sue,

First, with the spacing between vomiting episodes, right off the bat, sinister issues are less likely here for Rummy. As well, if she is putting on weight, then chronic GI issues or systemic disease (ie organ dysfunction, metabolic diseases, etc) are also less likely. And I must note, that with the infrequency of her vomiting, we do have to appreciate that this could be normal for her (as some cats are sick every now and again), related to a mild GI irritation to one of the proteins in her diet (if she has a dietary sensitivity), or could even be related to a hairball (as these cause intermittent obstructions that may block food passing from the stomach to the GI before they pass out into the intestine themselves).

So, with all that in mind, we might want to consider first regularly treating with a hairball treatment (which can be added to her food). As well, if you think her signs may have started with a particular diet, you can consider a switch to a sensitive stomach formulation. There are some veterinary ones (ie Royal Canin Sensitivity Control, Hill's I/D, etc) but there are also a range on the market.

Further to these steps, since you are specifically seeing dry food coming back up within a few hours post-eating (which is soon enough after eating that gut motility issues wouldn't be a top concern), I would be suspicious that the dry food and her eating habits could be our culprit. We can often see cats over eat or too eat tpoo quickly and induce vomiting and this is a concern if she feels she has to have her guard up when eating. This is especially something we see when they are on dry food.
This is because dry food expands when in contact with the fluids in the stomach. So, if a cat fills her stomach with dry that then expands, this leads to a very full stomach and often this distension will trigger vomiting. Cats who are prone to this often will vomit the dry food, show no ill effects, and happily have dinner again.

So to rule this out and potentially address this for Rummy, you can consider swapping to wet food (since it won't expand). Or if she isn't keen on wet food, then offering multiple smaller meals or making her take a break during dinner (give 25%-50%, then make her wait 20-30minutes before giving more) to just avoid this situation and halt vomiting from this cause. As well, if she isn't keen on the other cats, then you might consider feeding her separately to ensure she can calmly eat without the stress of a possible altercation (which is why she is wary).

Finally, in case we have an underlying nausea triggering her signs, I would just note that you can also consider trialling her on an antacid.
There are a number of antacids that are available over the counter and pet friendly. I would advise only treating with one, but the two I tend to use are Pepcid (More Info/ Dose) or Zantac (More Info/Dose). These are usually given 20 minutes before offering food (to allow absorption) and of course you want to double check with your vet if your wee one has a pre-existing condition or is on any medications you haven't mentioned. So, this too could be a consideration to keep her stomach settled.

Overall, her signs are quite mild, and I'd not be overly suspicious about serious health issues with Rummy's history and vomiting infrequency. Therefore, I would advise keeping up on your worming, considering hairball treatment to remove this as an issue, and taking the above steps relative to her diet. If she does still show nausea, you can try her with an antacid, but overall her signs are quite mild and more suggestive of a low grade GI disturbance then a serious health issue for her.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you very much Dr. B, the information you have given is very helpful. I will follow your advice and see how we get on.

Thanks again

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
You are very welcome, Sue.

I am glad that I could give you a plan of attack for helping Rummy with this low grade intermittent vomiting . Hopefully, we can just settle her signs and keep those episodes away for her.

All the best,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )

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