Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
I am sorry to hear that Buffy is unwell and has had some diarrhea and now a wee bit of vomiting this morning (both of which can be linked to her increased thirst if it too is sudden in onset) Now as I am sure you can appreciate, when a older cat start with GI signs, this are vague clinical signs that can occur with a range of conditions. In regards XXXXX XXXXX could trigger all this for wee Buffy, we have to consider bacterial gastroenteritis, viral infection, parasitic infestations, pancreatitis, dietary indiscretion, and/or toxin or foreign material ingestion (the last ones always being a worry in you mischievous cats but hopefully she is wiser as she is older).
With all this in mind, as long as you do not think she could have eaten something she should not have (which would be an urgent situation) and is able to keep water down, then you can try to settle her stomach at home.
To start doing so, we'd want to rest her stomach for 8-12 hours post the most recent vomit. She can continue to have water as she wishes but we want to make sure she doesn't overdue it and cause vomiting with that as well.
Once she has had a break from food, we can address the associated nausea with an antacid. There are a number of antacids that are available over the counter and pet friendly that can help settle his stomach. I would advise only treating with one, but the two I tend to recommend are Pepcid (More Info/ Dose) or Zantac (More Info/Dose). These are usually given 20 minutes before food (to allow absorption) and of course you want to double check with your vet if your kitty has a pre-existing condition or is on any medications.
If she can keep the antacid down then after resting her stomach you can try her with a light diet. Examples of this would be boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled egg (made with water not milk) or meat baby food (do avoid the ones with garlic powder in the ingredients). When offering this, just give a tablespoon at a time, let it settle for 30 minutes, and if she doesn't vomit then she can have another spoonful. The aim of light diets like these is that they are easy for her stomach to process which will help both the nausea/vomiting and diarrhea. If she settles with this, then I tend to keep them on the diet for a week before slowly weaning them back onto their normal diet.
On top off all of this, you do need to keep an eye on her water intake. I am glad that she is drinking but it is still a good idea to consider checking her hydration at this point. To do so and make sure she is not becoming dehydrated (from GI fluid losses) there are a few things we can test at home. One is whether the eyes appear sunken, if the gums are tacky instead of wet/moist, and whether Buffy has a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a wee video on this HERE. ( They use a big dog but it makes it easier to see and the principles are exactly the same) If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then you do want to have your kitty seen by her vet before this gets out of control (especially since it is not advisable to syringe feed fluids to actively vomiting animals).
Overall, when we have older cats with GI signs like Buffy's, there are a range of potential causes (just like in people). Therefore, we do want to address this for Buffy and get it settled as quickly as possible. So, as long as she hasn't ingested something she should not have and since she can keep water down and isn't vomiting profusely at this stage, do consider taking the above steps to settle her stomach and support her compromised gut. If you do this and she isn’t settling in the next 12-24 hours or she does already have signs of dehydration then that would be our cue to follow up with the vet. The vet will be able to examine her, assess her hydration, and have a feel of her belly to rule out any sinister lumps, bumps and non-edible items that should not be there. Depending on their exam findings, they will be able administer anti-vomiting medications by injection to help settle her stomach and antibiotics if necessary to help get her back on track.
Finally, just to note in case you were keen to have her seen today, I do want to note that most veterinary practices here do have contingency plans for emergency care for their patients even when they are not open. Therefore, it is worth ringing the practice. Even if they are not open, then will have either an answering service or answering machine message to direct you on how to contact their out of hours service. And if you don't have a vet you can find one local to you, you can check you can check the RCVS Register (HERE) to find your local Vets Now (LINK) who are open all nights/weekends. In any case, if she continued to vomit while you rested her stomach or you wanted to get her checked out sooner, then there are options to have her seen today too.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
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! : )