Why Does My Cat Vomit After Every Meal?

Veterinary expert, Arnold Plotnick, DVM, offers possible answers.

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Q: During this last week, my 3-year-old cat vomits every time he eats. No matter how small the amount of food I give him, he still vomits. I adopted him from our local humane society, and I have kept him on the same food he received at the shelter. At his first examination, the vet said he is healthy. So why does my cat vomit after every meal?

A: Cats often will vomit right after eating if they eat their food too fast. This probably is not the problem with your cat because you say that he vomits even if he’s given a small amount of food.

When cats vomit, it’s either a gastrointestinal problem or a non-gastrointestinal problem. You should have your cat evaluated by your veterinarian. A good physical exam and some blood tests can help rule out non-gastrointestinal causes. If that’s the case, further diagnostics might be necessary to figure out which gastrointestinal disorder might be responsible for your cat’s vomiting. Some possibilities include food hypersensitivity, a food allergy and inflammatory bowel disease.

One thing you can do now is try a different diet. First, you can try diets that are designed for cats with sensitive gastrointestinal tracts, such as Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d. If your cat continues to vomit, you can try a diet designed for cats with food allergies, like Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d. If these do not resolve the problem, further diagnostic tests are needed to figure out why he vomits.

Arnold Plotnick, DVM

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Reader Comments

karen    leander, TX

3/20/2012 6:36:33 PM

My cat was sick for most of her life. Vet kept saying hairball, gave Laxatone. No help. I read about it and found that she is allergic to grains. Now feed grain free food and she is fantastically healthy!!!! Do try this before paying for a lot of tests that will show nothing.

Sheila    Jesup, GA

4/8/2007 9:26:23 AM

I have 4 cats, and one of them vomits if I give them cat food that has orange pieces in it, this puzzles me. He is healthy and none of the other cats do this, the cats have different taste in food so I mix their food in the same container, usually he will eat around the orange food, but sometimes he eats it and then he will vomit. I believe he has an allergic reaction to the orange dye(which would be yellow and red dyes). I just have to be careful and remove the orange pieces from his bowl.

beth    dayton, OH

4/4/2007 4:48:04 PM

it good but irelly need to know about the the recall on can cat food it friskies still save for cat if so please write me back on bhmhus@fuse.netand please hurry so far no problem but we want tomakesure we are not fed orcat bad food beth

morgan    lake jackson, TX

4/2/2007 8:58:34 PM

oh this is great.my one year old cat.vomits after she eats sometimes.and this is very helpful.thank you

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