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Thread: Cat vomiting clear liquid

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    Default 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

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    Staff DianeP's Avatar
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    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.
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    Senior Member GailS's Avatar
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    Hi Stephanie and welcome.

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

    Gail

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    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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    Senior Member GailS's Avatar
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    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

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    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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    Senior Member calicokitty's Avatar
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    Quote 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.

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    Staff DianeP's Avatar
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    Quote 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.
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    Senior Member GailS's Avatar
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    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 at 07:38 PM.

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    Staff DianeP's Avatar
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    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.
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