Troubleshooting Feline Vomiting

Like any creature, if your cat is experiencing vomiting, it's undoubtedly a sign that there's a health problem going on. However, determining whether it's something like a minor one-time stomach upset or something more serious can be difficult for the average pet parent. If you're baffled by your cat's stomach problems, give this checklist a look to try and track down the cause.


Hairballs are a frequent problem for many cats. When a cat grooms itself, some of the hair it licks comes loose and is swallowed. Over time, it can form a blockage of hair in the intestines, where it will prevent food and excrement from moving on until it is cleared.

If your cat has been throwing up food, take a close look at the vomit. If you see a solid mass that doesn't resemble their food, chances are it's hair. Hairballs should never be considered a simple fact of life for cats, as hair blockages can be lethal.

If you think your cat is vomiting up hair, take steps to reduce their fur ingestion. Groom them regularly, and offer hairball treats that help any consumed hair to pass through the digestive system easily.

Food Problems

Not all cat food is created equal, and some may simply disagree with your cat's body. This is particularly true if you switch cat food formulas too quickly. Your kitty may develop an upset stomach as a result.

Veterinarians, like those at Kenmore Veterinary Hospital, have access to a wide variety of healthy pet foods that are designed to be gentle on a cat's stomach. If changing food types that you find at the pet store has no effect, talk to your vet about one of the prescription food options they can offer.


Nobody likes to think about it, but it's possible your cat's vomiting could be due to parasites in their digestive system.

Fleas are a common problem for pets, and fleas can leave behind tapeworm larvae that your cat may ingest. Once these larvae are in the body, they will grow in your cat's stomach or intestines. This can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, as well as a general lack of appetite. If your cat doesn't have adequate flea control, you should definitely begin a strict regimen and contact a vet to find out if your cat has tapeworms.

If your cat experiences prolonged or multiple episodes of vomiting, you should seek immediate veterinary assistance. It may indicate that your cat is unwell or has one of the above problems.