Why Is My Cat Vomiting? When Do You Need To Start Worrying, And What Can You Do?

Your cat is throwing up. What should you do now?

Before you start panicking, you should know that it’s only natural for all feline furballs to vomit now and then. Cats have an extremely sensitive digestive system and their stomachs get easily irritated and upset.

As such, they vomit on occasion.

Sometimes kitties throw up simply because playtime came too soon after dinner. Speaking of dinner, eating too much will also make your pet vomit.

It doesn’t have to necessarily mean that your kitty is suffering from a severe health-related issue and it doesn’t mean that you need to rush your pet to the vet’s office in the middle of the night.

On the contrary – vomit may occur for relatively harmless reasons.

What Causes A Cat To Vomit?

There are insignificant and harmless causes for throwing up, and then there are also some pretty serious ones, like infections and diseases.

Foreign Bodies

Good old hairballs are the most common reason for vomiting.

As cats lick themselves they swallow fallen hair, dead cells, and tiny debris all the time. The hair builds up in a cat’s stomach and she will vomit to get rid of it because her system can’t digest it.

Toy pieces and other types of foreign bodies can also cause intestinal obstruction and induce vomiting.

The Food Factor

Many cats are intolerant towards dairy products like cheese or have common chicken intolerance. They will also vomit in case of a sudden change in their diet.

Cats shouldn’t eat human food by default as they are carnivorous creatures and they have special dietary needs. You must feed your kitty with high-quality cat food and restrain yourself from sharing table scraps with your pet.


Yes, cats can have allergies just like we, humans, do. If an allergic reaction is triggered, they may vomit occasionally.

The most common cat allergies are usually triggered by food intolerance, mold, mildew, chemicals and fleas.


Swallowed chemicals and toxins will induce vomiting, especially those types of chemicals, which remain airborne.

Detergents and dangerous substances should always be kept out of your cat’s reach.

Postoperative Nausea

Many felines will suffer from postoperative nausea after a surgical procedure and some cats may be intolerant towards various medications. In this case, you have to consult with your vet on how to approach the situation.


Intestinal parasites, kidney failure, liver failure, viral infections, pancreatitis, bladder inflammation, and bacterial infections are among the most common diseases that induce vomiting.

What Can You Do?

For starters, you need to remain calm and restrain yourself from panicking.

In some cases (such as stomachaches or swallowing hairballs) you should allow your kitty to access a fresh and clean supply of grass.

Cats eat grass for several reasons, the most important of which are to get rid of foreign objects and to improve their digestive systems.

You should keep track of your cat’s behavior.

Is it vomiting in isolated bouts? Is there blood or mucus in the vomit? Is your cat throwing up on regular occasions? Is your feline pal experiencing a loss of appetite and possible weight loss? Does it seem faint and lethargic?

The vet will need all of the above-mentioned information, as well as other details regarding your cat’s behaviorisms. Make sure you’re fully prepared before you head out to the vet’s office and be as helpful and descriptive as you can.

You’ll need to make sure that your cat has constant supplies of fresh water. Otherwise, she will easily get dehydrated. Your vet may prescribe vitamins, medication or other types of medical treatments.

In some cases, you may need to keep your furball on a bland diet for a couple of days and to pay extra attention to it. After all, cats are extremely fragile, and they can get sick and become vulnerable just like human babies.

If your kitty happens to vomit on regular occasions along with experiencing diarrhea, fatigue, loss of appetite, and other types of sudden behavioral changes, chances are it’s suffering from something more serious than a simple food intolerance or a swallowed hairball.

There’s no reason to panic if your feline pal is throwing up now and then, but you must always be careful around hairballs, diet changes and possible toxins such as dirt, insects, polluted water, cleaning detergents and so on.

Is Cat Vomit Dangerous To Humans?

While somewhat disgusting, it is unlikely that you will get sick or be in danger by touching or accidentally ingesting (yuck) cat vomit.

Touching and accidentally consuming cat feces is much more likely to be a problem.

The only issues crop up when cats have been poisoned. Sadly, some sick, sick people give cats and other animals antifreeze, which is insanely harmful to them of course. A cat might vomit after ingesting some. At that point, a cat’s vomit will be unsafe.

But normally, it isn’t a problem.

Should You Ever Induce Vomiting In A Cat?

In some very rare cases, you may need to make your animal vomit.

Specifically, in cases where you have called your veterinarian and discussed exactly what your pet consume and if it’s a good idea to induce vomiting.

Many vets recommend inducing vomit if the animal has ingested antifreeze within the last 2 hours. As noted above, it’s very nasty stuff.

If your cat is eating something and you don’t know what it is, don’t jump to conclusions and make it barf! It may be nothing, or you may make matters worse when her body could deal with it just fine with no intervention.

According to Healthy Pets, most vets will recommend hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting. ONLY 3% hydrogen peroxide, and only one teaspoon (five milliliters, or cc’s) for every 10 pounds of body weight.

Your precious furball will cherish you for the attention and the commitment you’re making to its health, so make your cat’s healthy state your priority.

Emily Parker

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!