One of the most common complaints I hear from cat owners is that their cat is constantly throwing up. It is so common that ” hacking up a hairball” has become a known euphemism. There are many reasons why some cats vomit on a regular basis.
There are some medical conditions that cause nausea and vomiting. Kidney disease is one of them. If the cat is starting to have a decline in kidney function, one of the signs is anorexia and vomiting. If these symptoms have been observed for more than a couple of days a veterinary visit is definitely advised.
Another medical cause for frequent vomiting is sometimes cancer. This is usually accompanied by anorexia, weight loss and lethargy. If these symptoms are observed for more than a couple of days, this too would warrant a veterinary visit. These are, of course, extreme accounts and typically not the norm.
In my experience, the most likely reason for most cats is the diet they are being fed. Most cat owners feed their cats a dry kibbled diet that is left out in the bowl so the cat can pick on it all day. Since cats are obligate carnivores, they have no nutritional requirement for carbohydrates. When cats are fed a diet consisting of a high carbohydrate level, which are also typically high in “filler” ingredients, their bodies reject the food because they do not produce the enzymes necessary to digest that type of product. Another problem with dry kibbled foods is the lack of moisture in them. Cats need moisture in their food to help them to properly digest it. Indoor cats that spend a lot of time grooming also have the tendency to throw up, especially when they are fed too many carbohydrates. The carbohydrates alkalize the stomach acid which, in turn, helps to create hairballs. Cats that are fed an all meat diet have stomach acid that is corrosive enough to break down the hair before it gets into the small intestine, thereby, preventing hairballs.
If any cat parent wants to alleviate the problem of their cat constantly throwing up, the simple solution is to change the cat’s diet to, ideally, a raw food diet. If there is a reason a raw food diet is not appropriate, a dehydrated (but rehydrated) or grain free canned food is the next best choice. By feeding a diet that most closely resembles the food a cat has evolved to eat, you will eliminate the problem of your cat “hacking up a hairball”!
Until next time my faithful furry follower!