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Keep your cat … get rid of the vomit

By Brian Ashmore, DVM | January 20, 2010

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catRaise your hand if you own a cat. Now raise your hand if that cat has ever vomited. If your cat is anything like mine I bet the vomiting happened on a small piece of carpet or a rug that was surrounded by perfectly good tile that would have been much easier to clean. If this sounds familiar then you need to pay attention to this article.

One of the most common misconceptions of cat owners is that vomiting is just something that cats do and it shouldn’t be alarming. This is not correct. Let me list a few of the diseases that can cause a cat to vomit: inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), food allergy, intestinal cancer (especially lymphoma), hair balls and hyperthyroidism. This list is by no means all inclusive but should give you a good idea that a vomiting cat is surely something to address with your veterinarian.

Let me single out IBD for just a moment. This is a disease of the intestinal tract that can cause vomiting and/or diarrhea. The intestines become overwhelmed with inflammatory cells (a type of white blood cell) which cause them to not function properly. This can lead to weight loss and in some cases concurrent liver disease. Some cats have symptoms that show up weekly or maybe monthly. Sometimes there will be months without an incident but then there will be a week that it happens every day. Both of these presentations should alert you to see your veterinarian and get your cat some medical help. Stopping your cat’s vomiting is a win-win situation. You don’t have to clean it up and your cat feels much better. It all starts with a visit to your vet.

If you would like more information about IBD or other cat related diseases, call Animal Health Services at 480-488-6181.