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  • Cat vomiting clear liquid

    Hi all,

    I'm looking for some advice regarding my 10 month old cat, Maci. Maci sounded like she was gagging and then vomited up a clear-yellowish liquid this afternoon. This is the second time she has done this in about 2-3 weeks. She seems to be eating and drinking properly. She is active and playful and seems to be having no trouble using the litter box. Maci is a completely indoor cat, so she hasn't gotten into anything that would upset her belly outside. She is due for her 6 month wellness visit at the vet, but I was just looking for some ideas as to what could be going on before I take her.

    Thanks!
    Stephanie

  • #2
    Hi Stephanie and welcome to the forum. It's not that uncommon for a cat to throw up a little, possibly because she's trying to get up a hairball, though she's a little young to be getting hairballs. OTOH, it is the season to start shedding. Has there been any hair in what she throws up? Is it a small amount that she throws up? If she seems otherwise normal, you could try giving her some hairball remedy such as Petromalt. But if you're concerned, certainly take her into the vet to make sure all is well, especially if she's due anyway.
    Diane and Cicero - Sr. Manager:

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    • #3
      Hi Stephanie and welcome.

      What are you feeding Maci? Do you feed on a schedule? How long between meals?

      Gail
      http://www.pawproject.org/

      http://catinfo.org/

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      • #4
        I was also thinking maybe it was a hairball, but there was no hair in the vomit. She vomited just once today and it was a fairly small amount of clear liquid. Maci is free fed proplan indoor dry cat food and then is fed a can of proplan wet food around 5 or 6 for dinner. She seemed to eat normally at dinner and kept her food down. Maybe it was just a weird, one time thing? Although, about 2 weeks ago she did vomit the same clear liquid just once and then was fine. Thanks for your help!

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        • #5
          Hair balls can cause trouble without coming up. They can get so big they lodge in the stomach or cause a blockage in the intestine. I'm not saying this is Maci's problem of course, just mentioning that it is one possibility.

          Purina products have been causing some problems for some people's pets. Pro Plan is mentioned

          http://www.consumeraffairs.com/pets/ralston.html

          Since this has only happened twice in two weeks I probably would not consider it an emergency, but would definitely watch for patterns, and if she does it again, get Maci in to see the vet a little sooner.

          Keep us posted!

          Gail
          http://www.pawproject.org/

          http://catinfo.org/

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          • #6
            Wow, reading that forum about all the issues with Purnia foods is very scary. We have another cat, Kylie, who is two and we have always feed both of them Pro Plan from the beginning since it was recommended by our vet. Kylie will vomit every now and then (maybe once every 2 weeks), but I always thought she just ate her food too fast because it would happen right after she ate and it was all the undigested food particles coming back up. Maybe it actually is the Purnia Pro Plan foods doing it to them. I will definitely be contacting our vet on Monday to see what food we need to change to. Thank you for sending me to that site!

            Stephanie

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            • #7
              Originally posted by sfk5014 View Post
              Wow, reading that forum about all the issues with Purnia foods is very scary. We have another cat, Kylie, who is two and we have always feed both of them Pro Plan from the beginning since it was recommended by our vet. Kylie will vomit every now and then (maybe once every 2 weeks), but I always thought she just ate her food too fast because it would happen right after she ate and it was all the undigested food particles coming back up. Maybe it actually is the Purnia Pro Plan foods doing it to them. I will definitely be contacting our vet on Monday to see what food we need to change to. Thank you for sending me to that site!

              Stephanie
              Follow up is always good, but also realize that sites about problems with a pet food are quite narrow as far as the whole spectrum of experiences. One sees the downside, not the plus. And, I am not defending any particular food either.

              But also, Creme Puff, who died at something like 38 years of age (actual years) ate Purina.

              One of my cats does upchuck sort of regularly, but it is due to eating too fast. And I have tried all sorts of approaches, but none of them work.

              Also, while you need to transition any cat to the new food, realize that they are the decider. Your opinion doesn't matter, since if they don't agree, they won't eat it.

              I would think if it were the food, they would have a digestive upset after each meal, not just at random. I have gotten a rare bad can of food on occasion, and usually most won't touch it, and if one does, they upchuck quickly; that gets me making a call to the pet food company.
              sigpic

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              • #8
                Originally posted by sfk5014 View Post
                Wow, reading that forum about all the issues with Purnia foods is very scary. We have another cat, Kylie, who is two and we have always feed both of them Pro Plan from the beginning since it was recommended by our vet. Kylie will vomit every now and then (maybe once every 2 weeks), but I always thought she just ate her food too fast because it would happen right after she ate and it was all the undigested food particles coming back up. Maybe it actually is the Purnia Pro Plan foods doing it to them. I will definitely be contacting our vet on Monday to see what food we need to change to. Thank you for sending me to that site!

                Stephanie
                A lot of cats vomit because they eat too fast, or too much. We call it "scarf and barf." Like Gail said, watch for patterns and if you notice anything else off, like change in bowel habits or energy, get the kitty to the vet.
                Diane and Cicero - Sr. Manager:

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                • #9
                  Pet food manufacturers change ingredients, and suppliers of ingredients (the lowest bidder), all the time. They don't have to tell the consumer when they use a lower quality ingredient, and when they make an ingredient change, they have six months after the change to change the label/packaging.

                  There is very little consistency in commercial pet food. This is why many times when a cat becomes ill, no one considers the food, because the cat has "always been fine" on the same food. When, in fact, it very often IS the food. Cats also can develop intolerances or allergies at any time.

                  I am not shy in admitting that I have a very strong dislike of Purina pet foods. I think they are poor quality and safety is too often an issue.

                  Scarf and barfing would be regurgitation, but that's not what Maci is doing, she is actually vomiting bile, when her stomach is empty. This could be for many reasons. She could be building up too much acid in her tummy. This can happen for some cats who go too long without food. Cats with CKD (chronic kidney disease) for instance, usually cannot go more than a few hours between meals. So if Maci is not liking the food, she will go without, the stomach acid builds up, causing nausea.

                  Other things besides CKD and food intolerances that could cause empty tummy vomiting could be diabetes, hyperthyroid, liver problems, IBD, to name only a few of the most common.

                  I have dealt with the stomach acid issue in cats a couple of times, one with a kitty with kidney disease and currently with a cat who does not have CDK, but has the problem for other reasons.

                  My suggestion would be for Maci to have a full blood panel done at her six month check up. Not a CBC, the blood work I mean is usually called a superchem or biochemistry. Request that the vet include the thyroid tests, as this is not always done routinely. I would also ask for a urinalysis.

                  If the vomiting continues before the date of her check up, or she shows other symptoms such as inappetence, constipation, diarrhea, frequent urination, excessive drinking, get her in sooner.

                  I also recommend you start measuring her food, and keep a journal of how much she eats every day, what's going on, when/if she vomits, how often she pees and poops, and so on. This can help you find any patterns, and when looking back, pin point when some change might have started. Memory is faulty at best. Someone might say "well I think it started a couple of weeks ago" when, if they were keeping track, in reality they might discover it actually has been going on much longer.

                  Do please keep us posted on Maci!

                  Gail

                  PS I just realized this thread is in the Ask The Vet section. To clarify, I am not a vet.
                  Last edited by GailS; 03-11-2012, 07:38 PM.
                  http://www.pawproject.org/

                  http://catinfo.org/

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                  • #10
                    Since Maci is only 10 months old, fortunately she's probably not going to show chronic illnesses such as thryoid disease, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease, so don't panic, but Gail is right, you do need to let the vet know when you take Maci in for her checkup. If she hasn't had blood tests, baseline tests are always good for comparisons later on in life. And cats do develop intolerances to food for the reasons Gail mentions. If she's free fed, she shouldn't be having a problem with being hungry and throwing up bile because of that.
                    Diane and Cicero - Sr. Manager:

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                    • #11
                      The link is to an article on cat upchucking. It is written by a vet.

                      http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/01/2...cking-not.html
                      sigpic

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DianeP View Post
                        Since Maci is only 10 months old, fortunately she's probably not going to show chronic illnesses such as thryoid disease, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease, so don't panic, but Gail is right, you do need to let the vet know when you take Maci in for her checkup. If she hasn't had blood tests, baseline tests are always good for comparisons later on in life. And cats do develop intolerances to food for the reasons Gail mentions. If she's free fed, she shouldn't be having a problem with being hungry and throwing up bile because of that.
                        That's true, Diane, she will not have chronic kidney disease due to age. But there are other causes of kidney failure, which can affect cats at any age. As can other things, like pancreatitis or IBD. If she is not eating the kibble, that would cause an empty tummy and a potential for acid build up. Kibble takes a long time to digest, it can sit in the stomach for up to12 hours. So it does sound, to me, like Maci is not eating much kibble.

                        Of course, I am not a vet and am only making observations based on my own experiences and research. Twice in two weeks is not an emergency situation in my opinion, but if it happens again, I would definitely be taking her in for a check up with blood work

                        Gail

                        Originally posted by calicokitty View Post
                        The link is to an article on cat upchucking. It is written by a vet.

                        http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/01/2...cking-not.html
                        That article does talk about possible causes for regurgitation, but of course Maci is not regurgitating.

                        I, personally, do not believe it is 'normal' for a cat to vomit OR regurgitate several times a week. Because of the influx of kibble diets, people have come to believe over the years that this is a normal way for a cat to be. It's not.

                        And chronic vomiting of any kind can cause a host of other problems such as dental damage and damage to the esophagus, because all that acid is not meant to be coming through, that way. It can also become habitual, as was my experience with Mazy. She is learning that she doesn't have to regurgitate or vomit when she needs to burp, but it has taken quite a bit of time.
                        http://www.pawproject.org/

                        http://catinfo.org/

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                        • #13
                          Cats do throw up--hair balls are a prime culprit. All of mine have--not all the time, but they also eat fuzz off the floor when they find it, and what not. Food can be an issue, but then again, I had cats who lived to 21, 18, and 15 on a diet of Fancy Feast (it was all they'd eat and cats get sick if they don't eat). One ended up with CRF but that was when she was 16 (and my vet said the kidneys are the first to go on a cat when they start getting older), the 15 year old died of cancer, and the 21 year old just kind of...wore out.

                          My Meerclar does the foamy clear liquid and she has what you'd label "Kitty IBS"...which means she gets canned food, regular brushing, and at her age--almost 19--a steroid shot every 6 weeks, which helps her a lot (I doubt a younger cat would ever be given that). Talk everything over with your vet, though.

                          Our three babies (3, 3.5, and 3.5)...well, one occasionally has hairball issues AND they do the scarf/barf thing with their food occasionally, but that's about it.

                          Let us know what your vet says and welcome to the forums.

                          Yasmine
                          Yasmine; Staff: Your First Cat.
                          I love the smell of espresso in the morning.
                          NYT, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly Bestselling urban fantasy author www.galenorn.com
                          I miss all my Rainbow Bridge Gurlz...love to Meerclar, Luna , Keeter , Tara , Circe


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                          • #14
                            Lots of good advice here already, nothing I can think to add. If the vomiting persists or increases in frequency, x-rays +/- barium to look for swallowed foreign objects, etc. In cats this young swallowed objects are pretty common.

                            Be vigilant but don't get too worried at this point, in young cats occasional vomiting is usually (but not always) not a serious problem.
                            Dr. Gus

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DrGus View Post
                              Lots of good advice here already, nothing I can think to add. If the vomiting persists or increases in frequency, x-rays +/- barium to look for swallowed foreign objects, etc. In cats this young swallowed objects are pretty common.

                              Be vigilant but don't get too worried at this point, in young cats occasional vomiting is usually (but not always) not a serious problem.
                              Thanks Dr. Gus -- good thought about the swallowed objects -- in a cat of any age!
                              Diane and Cicero - Sr. Manager:

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