While throwing up is quite common in cats, constant vomiting can definitely be a reason to be concerned. If your cat is vomiting clear liquid, there can be a number of medical reasons why this is happening. You shouldn’t however panic and expect the worst, since there are steps you can take to ensure it does not happen again.
Having a cat can be a joy, but it is always difficult when your cat is sick. It can be extremely frustrating at times to determine what exactly is going wrong. So why IS my cat throwing up liquid?
Why Is My Cat Throwing Up Clear Liquid?
If you have a cat puking clear liquid, one of the main reasons why this is happening is probably because of hairballs. Hairballs are created when hair gets stuck on your kitty’s tongue while they groom themselves. The hair then makes it to her stomach, where it can either make its way through their digestive tract and eventually leave with their feces or accumulate in their stomachs. This is where the hairball will form, at which point they will need to eventually eject it out.
Clear liquid vomit is one way your cat’s body can expel the hairball out of its stomach. First, your cat vomits clear liquid followed by a long mass of hair usually covered in mucus. Hairballs are very common however among cats. If your cat is vomiting quite frequently, however, you should probably see a vet. If you can determine hairballs are indeed the issue around why your cat is throwing up, there are measures you can take to help them stay hairball free.
Try grooming your cat more frequently to ensure the loose hairs are taken out. Pet Neats Grooming Brush is a great option to keep your cat hairball free. This will help to prevent your cat from ingesting hairs and prevent the formation of hairballs in their stomachs. There are also certain over-the-counter cat foods such as Purina ONE’s Natural Hairball Formula, which are known to be high in fiber and help the hair pass through your cat’s digestive tract. There also prescriptive medications you can put them on such as laxatone, which can help make the hair easier to pass through their digestive tract.
Cats are known to have very sensitive stomachs. For that reason, even slight changes to their diet can cause them to have trouble digesting their food. This can include random food found on the ground, cheese, candy, dirt, and even a change to their regular cat food. Indigestion is usually followed by bouts of diarrhea and your cat throwing up liquid.
The best remedy is to let it run its course. If you’ve changed your cat’s food recently, try changing next time more gradually and/or stick to one specific diet, if possible. If they ate something they’re not supposed to, the symptoms will usually subside once the food is out of their system. If it does last for longer than a day or two, you should probably go see a veterinarian.
If your cat has not been eating food, this can make a cat vomit white foam, since the stomach acids are being created too rapidly. The acid can aggravate the lining of your cats’ belly and cause her to barf liquid.
Indigestion can really cause a variety of issues, such as a loss of appetite, trouble sleeping at night, and irritability. If indigestion is the cause of your cats’ troubles, it’s best you get it figured out quickly because it can be detrimental to your cat’s overall health.
3. Issues With Their Thyroid
Thyroid issues can be another reason why your cat threw up clear liquid. It is estimated that 2 out of every 100 cats can deal with thyroid issues (hyperthyroidism) and is usually with cats that are older. A cat that deals with hyperthyroidism will many times lose weight even though there are eating normally. They may also be drinking a lot more water and use the litter box more than normal.
Some other symptoms can include your cat eating more than normal, while not gaining any weight. Additionally, changes in your cat’s overall behavior can also be indicative of hyperthyroidism. If you notice any or all of these symptoms and have also seen your cat puke clear liquid, it’s time to go see a vet.
Your vet will probably be prescribing antithyroid drugs such as Tapazole. Like humans (specifically me since I have hypothyroidism), cats will need to continue taking this medication every day for the rest of their lives. It has been said that some cats deal with mild symptoms for the first few weeks when they start taking the drug, but it should subside after some time.
4. swallowing foreign objects
Cats are notorious for biting, chewing, and eating everything they come in contact with. It could very well be possible your kitty has swallowed some foreign object such as a string or toy, which is why you may see your cat throwing up clear mucus. Certain objects can cause blockages in your cats’ intestines and may need surgery.
Like hairballs, if your cat has ingested something they shouldn’t have, their first instinct will be ejecting it out by your cat vomiting clear liquid. If you cannot figure out the cause and your cat continues to vomit, it’s best you see a vet and make sure everything is okay.
Some precautions you can take is to ensure your house is free and clear of tiny objects your cat can eat. Obviously, this can be very difficult, but you should set up a frequent cleaning schedule. Also, keep strings or wires you feel your cat can choke on or eat, out of reach.
If you know your cat has eaten something poisonous, bring your cat to the vet immediately. You can also call the Poison Control Center. Your vet can attempt to get your cat to vomit or pump their stomach to remove whatever they may have ingested.
Many things could be toxic to cats, from plants to household cleaners. You must do your research to determine what is harmful and what is not. The more information you know, the safer your cat will be.
6. Allergic reaction
If your cat’s vomit looks foamy and white, your cat could be having an allergic reaction to something they ate. The inside of their stomachs will get inflamed, and along with their vomit may also come some pieces of food.
Along with vomiting, your cat may also have diarrhea and itchy or dry skin. Similar to humans, your cat can be allergic to foods they eat, or things such as dust mites, pollen, or grass. When it comes to food allergies, cats are usually mostly allergic to chicken, fish, and dairy. Food allergies are an immune reaction to certain compounds, and your cat throwing up mucus or a foamy substance can be one way to get rid of it.
To combat this, there are a variety of foods that are specially formulated for cats with allergies. You will see they typically all contain only a few ingredients and include ingredients that are easily digestible for your cat. Check out my list of the best cat foods for cats with allergies.
A cat throwing up clear liquids can also be a potential sign they have cancer. Most people fail to even consider this as an option, but cats similar to humans are prone to cancer. It however can be treatable if found early.
Some common symptoms of cancer in cats can include weight loss, nosebleeds, unusual discharge from their nose and eyes, or even seizures. If you notice any or all of these symptoms, take your cat to the vet so they can figure out exactly what could be going on. The earlier you can test and detect cancer, the better chance they will have of survival.
8. Drinking Water Too Quickly
Another slightly more uncommon reason why you may find your cat throwing up clear liquid is because they are drinking water too quickly. Especially if you have your cat on a dry food diet, they will frequently be dehydrated and will need access to fresh water daily.
You will find at times they may be extremely parched and drink water way too quickly. This may cause your cats body to react and you may see them vomit water. It’s not very common, but it could definitely be a potential reason.
If this does happen frequently, maybe try limiting the amount of water you give to your cat. Refill frequently, but don’t fill your cats water bowl to the brim.
Frequently Asked Questions
Any Issues With My Cat Throwing Up Water?
There is no real way to know for sure that your cat throws up water vs. throwing up foam and gastric acids. You should determine if there are any other symptoms and take your cat to a vet.
If My Cat Is Throwing Up Clear Liquid, When Should I See A Vet?
You should typically give it a day or two before heading to the vet. If your cat digested for example some foreign matter or has indigestion, you may need to give him or her some time to let it run its course. If after two days you still do not see improvement, take your cat to the vet.
Why Is My Cat Vomiting White Foam?
If you have a cat throwing up white foam, it may be due to an allergic reaction. Many cats have issues with food allergies typically related to proteins. Try switching to a food formulated specifically for cats with allergies.