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Why Does My Cat Vomit?

If your cat loves munching on greenery there are safe alternatives in the form of kitty grass. You can buy grass kits at your local pet product store and online.

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Cats shouldn’t drink cow’s milk as they lack the enzyme lactase, which is necessary for digestion of the milk sugar. Offering milk to your cat can result in diarrhea and vomiting.


A cat may vomit if a foreign object was swallowed and is causing an obstruction or a hairball is unable to pass. If you suspect your cat has swallowed a foreign object, get to the veterinarian or emergency veterinary clinic immediately.

Internal Parasites

Intestinal parasite infestation can cause vomiting. You may even see evidence of worms in the vomit. Your cat needs to be seen by the veterinarian for a deworming.


Because cats are such fastidious groomers, any substance they brush up against or walk through will end up being ingested. Keep all cleaners, paints and chemicals safely put away. Clean spills and drips immediately and completely. If you suspect your cat has ingested a chemical substance, contact your veterinarian immediately as this is an emergency.

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Diseases and Disorders

Vomiting can be associated with so many diseases or health conditions, such as:

  • pancreatitis
  • liver disease
  • kidney disease
  • tumors
  • gastritis
  • hyperthyroidism
  • urinary infection
  • diabetes
  • heat stroke
  • food allergies
  • severe constipation

The list could go on but the bottom line is that vomiting is a sign that something is wrong and needs attention.

Is Vomiting an Emergency?

Sudden, severe or ongoing vomiting is an emergency. Blood or foreign objects in the vomit indicate emergency care is needed. If the vomit looks like coffee grounds, that’s also an emergency. Vomiting accompanied by change in appetite, appearance, behavior or change in grooming habits may also indicate an emergency situation. Don’t brush the situation off by assuming cats typically vomit every day. Vomiting isn’t normal and it requires your attention.

What Not to Do

  • Don’t ignore the problem
  • Don’t make abrupt changes in food
  • Don’t leave plants, cleaners and chemicals in reach of a cat
  • Don’t leave small or tempting objects in a cat’s reach (earrings, rubber bands, etc)
  • Don’t give medication for vomiting unless specifically instructed to do so by your veterinarian

Need More Information?

ASPCA List of Poisonous Plants