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Vomiting in the Cat

Vomiting, or the forceful ejection of stomach and proximal duodenal (upper small intestinal) contents through the mouth, is a symptom commonly observed in cats; it is not a disease.

Your cat’s vomiting can be a symptom of any one of a wide range of acute or chronic illnesses encompassing almost all body systems, from cardiovascular and respiratory to gastrointestinal to renal (kidney) to dermatologic.

Differentiating vomiting from coughing and regurgitation is important. When a cat is vomiting, you should see a considerable amount of abdominal movement. The cat’s abdomen will seem to pulsate violently, and the cat’s head might appear to bob.

Coughing involves the thorax rather than the abdomen. A cat that is coughing will often crane its head and neck forward, holding its head still while keeping its front paws under its chest and its elbows off to the side.

Regurgitation, or the passive expulsion of food or fluid from the oral cavity, pharyngeal cavity, or esophagus, usually is sudden, without the violent wind-up that proceeds vomiting. A regurgitating cat might be silent or could sound like it’s gagging. If your cat has recently been vomiting or vomits more than once a month, please consult with your veterinarian.

 First you’ll want to make sure your cat is actually vomiting. Many people confuse feline vomiting with coughing (and vice versa). Look for a violent pulsating motion in the cat’s abdomen. If your cat vomits, you should see a this motion.


Vomiting should be differentiated from regurgitation. The College of Veterinary Medicine of Washington State University (WSU) has an excellent web page about vomiting that explains in detail the differences between vomiting and regurgitation.

The website also includes diagrams of the cat’s digestive tract that might prove useful.  Many veterinary hospital websites include information about vomiting. For example Columbia Animal Hospital (Columbia, Maryland) provides a thorough rundown of the many causes of vomiting. (The page also touches on some of the causes of regurgitation and diarrhea.) Your own veterinarian’s website might include useful information too.

-Thanks to www.catvets.com

kittentanz family, siamese cats

We are Michelle and Bill Harrison and we have been breeding and selling kittens together for over 40 years. Kittentanz Cattery is in the foothills of the North Georgia mountains and we specialize in traditional “Applehead” Siamese kittens, and traditional Tonkinese kittens.