Thriving Cat

Remedy for Cat Vomiting

My Orange Tabby Boy

Remedy for Cat Vomiting

Does your cat throw up often? Does your cat throw up every day? It is NOT just hairballs.

 

If your cat throws up often, has bad breath, burps or makes gurgling noises you may want to try this easy remedy. There are many reasons for cats throwing up, but acid indigestion is a common cause. You should always take your cat to the vet first before trying anything else. If the vet agrees, try this however.  In my case my vet approves of this treatment.

First of all, throwing up can be a sign of something serious so don’t assume it is “normal”. Excessive vomiting is not normal despite all the stereotypes of cats having hairballs. In fact, cats should not get many hairballs since their natural diet would include lots of fur! Fur is good for their digestion! Cats that have hairballs, may also have slow bowel motility and can have constipation as well. My boy here needs medication for both vomiting and constipation.

My Boy

My sweet boy needs Pepcid AC for his acid reflux.

If you have the go ahead from your vet, you can give your cat a small portion of a Pepcid AC tablet once to twice per day. My cat gets 1/4 of a Pepcid AC twice per day. This is a common treatment for dogs but can be used for cats as well. Make sure you get Pepcid AC Original Strength, NOT Pepcid Complete which is a chewable or Pepcid AC Maximum Strength. These contains ingredients cats can’t have!!

My boy gets this every day morning and night. It is pretty easy to cut the little square pills into quarters. I cut a bunch up and keep them in a ziplock sandwich bag so they are ready to go. If he doesn’t get these, he throws up every day. With them he still throws up occasionally but not all the time! He also feels so much better. He was miserable before with the acid indigestion. He appeared to burp, made gurgling noises and had terrible breath! I feel so bad that we didn’t find this solution sooner!

The Downside

Long term use of acid reducers like Pepcid can cause problems such as reducing the absorption of nutrients from food. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies. For this reason, these pills should not be given if not necessary. I am working on finding other solutions so my boy doesn’t have to stay on these forever. However, I am glad I found this solution and I think the pros outweigh the cons.

The Benefits

Controlling acid reflux is important because it greatly improves quality of life. Have you had acid reflux? If you have, you know how painful it can be! It can lead to ulcers, tooth decay and other problems. I think it is worth it to treat the problem with Pepcid even if it is not the great as a long term solution. A cats lifespan is shorter than human’s. A cat probably won’t be on this as many years as a person might…so there is less risk of long term damage. As soon as I find a good natural solution I will let you know! In the meantime, it is worth it to me to greatly improve my boy’s quality of life!

Pepcid AC is cheap! Since they only get 1/4 of a tablet once or twice per day, the cost for treating a dog or cat with Pepcid is pretty affordable! If your vet agrees I would defiantly give it a try! My cat is good natured so he got used to the routine of taking the pill fairly quickly. I just put my fingers on either side of his upper teeth and he opens his mouth. With my other hand I drop the pill portion on the back of his tongue. I then close his mouth and he is used to just swallowing it now. It is so small it is pretty easy!

A Natural Aid for Cat’s Digestion

Cat grass is actually wheat grass. I buy it at the grocery store in the produce section. It is cheaper and much higher quality there than “cat grass” which is exactly the same thing at a pet food store! The cat grass at the pet food stores is always dried out and full of bugs here. I don’t know if that is just because it a shipped to Alaska whereas the wheat grass is grown locally. In any case, my cats all LOVE wheat grass. They rarely throw up when they eat it unlike other plants and outdoor grass which is real grass. Wheat grass is the shoot of the wheat plant.

Grab some wheat grass at the grocery store and your cats will thank you! It also helps keep them from eating other houseplants.

Another Cause of Throwing Up and Digestive Problems and a Solution

Another cause of throwing up in cats can be a food allergy or sensitivity. My boy had this too! However, the food sensitivity caused diarrhea so when the diarrhea stopped I was pretty sure we had found a food that worked. No matter what food he is on he would still throw up but it was less with this brand. Here is the food we finally found that fixed the food sensitivity. It is amazing! Very high quality, full of super foods and much more affordable than other brands of superior quality. The brand is called Solid Gold. You can read about the brand in my review of the best natural cat food here.

You may want to try a different food for your cat if they have digestive problems. In my kitty’s case he needed both Solid Gold food for his food sensitivity and Pepcid AC. Solid Gold makes a variety of cat and dog foods for kittens, seniors, weight control and other needs. This is the variety my cats eat now. My cat didn’t do well on the rabbit variety but this one made with Pollock, and those made with chicken etc. are all great for him.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave a comment and let me know!

Jessica

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20 Comments

  1. brad

    Mine eats grass all the time and it sometimes comes back up a little while later, although I have seen grass in your litter. Why does she do this?
    It’s not often, but too often for me. Most times she is outside when she vomits, but every so often…..

    Reply
    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Hello Brad,
      Is this the only time your cat throws up? Does she throw up clear liquid or food, or just the grass?
      Mine (the same cat that has digestive issues) does the same thing. If he is outside he will be eating grass no matter what! I think it is a habit he got into when his stomach hurt all the time before we knew he had acid reflux and treated it. Basically, cats eat grass to address an upset stomach as far as I know. Often they do it so that they can throw up…on purpose to get the acid out!

      I would start by getting her wheat grass (also called cat grass, but wheat grass is cheaper and higher quality for the same thing). Just get it in the produce section of your grocery store. My cats rarely throw up the wheat grass since it is very tender and more easily digested than outdoor grass. Cats benefit from the nutrients in some plants and ours all LOVE the wheat grass. If she still throws up or does it very often I would suggest you look into the Pepcid or at least ask your vet.
      Thanks,
      Jessica

      Reply
      1. Craig

        Hi Jessica,

        Great information. Cat Grass is also super easy to grow. If you plan to have some around on an ongoing basis I’d highly recommend growing instead of buying it, it is just a heck of a lot cheaper. It is also a super hands off plant once you put the seeds in the dirt. There are some great kits out there, but I personally just buy these seeds:
        https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0045122EM/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

        Reply
        1. Jessica (Post author)

          Thanks Craig, yes, I would grow it but in our new place I don’t have a single south facing window and here in Alaska that means no sunlight inside all winter! I will have to get a grow light I guess. I miss the house and sun-room I had previously. I only lasts a week or two so I thought it would be a hassle to need to start a new batch every two weeks.

          Does yours last longer (from the time it is fully grown) than two weeks?

          Thanks,
          Jessica

          Reply
  2. Phildora Perez

    Jessica, thank you for this awe-inspiring article! This not only gives insight into the symptoms for cat vomiting, but also very beneficial treatments that are non-invasive.

    I also believe that the suggestions you offer are a plus in solving such a complex issue. Some causes introduced have definitely shed light on strategies to get your cat back to their optimal health.

    Reply
    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Hello Phildora,
      Thank you for your comment and stopping by ThrivingCat. I am realizing the longer I have cats, there are so many ways we can make their lives better if we pay close attention to the little things! It is so hard to imagine people just thought it was normal for cats to throw up for so long! We would not think it was normal for a person to throw up every day so why should we assume it is normal for a pet?

      I am excited to be able to share this information and that in my other posts on tooth and gum disease in cats and dogs, upper respiratory infections in cats and so many other common health problems!
      Thanks,
      Jessica

      Reply
  3. Terei

    this was a good read, Personally im not a cat person but i know alot of people who are so im glad to past this on to them.

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Thanks Terei, I would appreciate you passing this information on to others who may benefit!
      Jessica

      Reply
  4. Cristy

    Hello!
    I am not a cat person, but your website is very informative and interesting. Learned something new, thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Thank you Cristy.

      Reply
  5. Irma

    Oh poor kitty! I had a cat long ago that would throw up on a semi-regular basis. She finally got really sick, and so I took her to the vet but she did not survive the weekend 🙁
    I am thankful for this post, so that I can keep track of these problems and take care of them right away. Great post!

    Reply
    1. Jessica (Post author)

      I am so sorry you lost your kitty Irma. I felt so bad that it took us so long to find solutions for my boy. I can’t imagine how many cats and dogs suffer with this and never get help! I hope to spread this information so people can find these easy, effective, affordable solutions for their pets!
      Thanks,
      Jessica

      Reply
  6. janxio

    Hello Jessica! I am so sorry your kitty is going through this. I’m a cat lover… had three and all gone…still miss them very much 🙁

    Interesting…I didn’t know Pepcid AC can also help cats! Have you tried natural wheat grass? I used to give it to my cats from time to time and they liked it.

    Reply
    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Hello,
      I am so sorry you lost your kitties! That is so sad. I know how you feel.

      Yes, my cats have wheat grass at all times! I forgot to include that in my post but I have added it now. Thanks for the reminder. It keeps them from eating other houseplants as well!
      Thank you!
      Jessica

      Reply
  7. Steve

    Great information, Jessica – as a cat person, I really need to know this, and I had no idea. I have a few questions:
    1 – If you provide wheat grass to an indoor/outdoor cat, will they still eat the yard grass?
    2 – I noticed Chip (our plump male cat) throwing up little foamy balls yesterday, out in the back yard. Both of our cats throw up often, but I’d not seen these before – any idea what they are?
    3 – If we give them Pepsid AC, I expect trouble getting them to swallow it (especially Alberta, our calico – she hates pills) – any tips on a good way to do that?

    Thanks a heap for this powerful info. I’ll be back for more!
    Steve

    Reply
    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Hi Steve,
      1-It depends on the cat and the situation. They may or may not. One of ours still does all the time, one does sometime and one does not!

      2-Was there any grass in the foam? My boy did this when he ate grass outside. If you look closely sometimes you will see a bit of green in there. If it is not the grass, could he have eaten something else outside? If the foam is yellowish then he may be throwing up bile which is a clue that he has a very upset stomach and could have a more serious problem. Our boy did that too before I gave him the Pepcid and treated his constipation.

      3-Pepcid AC tablets are tiny! Then you cut them into quarter and only give one quarter to the cat so the resulting piece is really, really tiny. It isn’t really a pill at that point. My boy is used to them and is good about taking them so we only have to open his mouth, drop it on the back of his tongue, close his mouth and tell him to swallow. If your cat fights pills she may fight though even though it is tiny, the edges can be kind of sharp…I try to scrape them off with my fingernail first.

      I would try butter or sour cream or anything she especially like to get it down. It is so tiny she might not notice!

      Thanks so much for your questions and comments!
      Jessica

      Reply
  8. Steve

    Thanks much for your prompt, thorough reply, Jessica. Your site is such a treasure!

    We will try the wheat grass and see what happens – it will be up to them, because they will remain indoor/outdoor creatures.

    I’m not sure about grass in the foam, but probably yes, as he, and the foam were in the grass, so it is likely. Since the foam was white, that’s the likely explanation- yard grass that Chip probably eats regularly for the same result, only I saw it this time.

    We may have to get creative with Alberta, as she only eats catfood, but since wet food is her preference, we might be able to do something with that. Chip is easy, and he loves dairy (especially whipped cream, which is bad for him…) so no problem with him, but Alberta is always the challenge.

    Thanks again for this amazing service for cats, and the people that they tolerate…

    Reply
    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Thanks for the wonderful vote of confidence here Steve! I really appreciate it! Yes, dairy and sugar are bad for cats (did you know they cannot taste sweetness?!) but a tiny bit to get the pill down might be ok.
      Jessica

      Reply
  9. Marlinda

    Yes, I agree with Jessica. Regular grass is medicinal to cats and dogs. It encourages them to vomit. They eat it because they want to vomit in other words. When they eat grass it might be a sign that they’re having tummy troubles. If she’s not dewormed, that might be the issue or she might need an up-date deworming. I know the worms are bad where I live idk about where you live. Haha, as a matter of fact that’s why I know all of this because mine was having some serious worm probs. It might also be one of the above that Jessica mentioned too but its not the same as eating cat grass. You should take her to see your vet along with a couple fecal samples from different days.

    I never considered acid reflux as a reason for vomiting though. Now I wonder if that’s what was going on with mine about a month ago she was having vomiting spells but there was no hairball. I admit that I thought hairballs were supposed to be common although I do know that a lot of ‘normal habits’ that we’re used to really are because of the poor quality foods we may be used eating, pets included.

    I truly enjoy your site Jessica and love reading and learning about cats as I’m pretty new to being a cat mom of 2! lol!

    tfs 🙂
    Marlinda

    Reply
    1. Jessica (Post author)

      Thanks for stopping by Marlinda,

      Vomiting is a tricky issue since there can be many causes! Yes, you make a good point about deworming. Mine have not needed that since they are indoor only (they only go out on a leash or being carried) so they are not exposed to other cats or eating wild things.

      Eating cat grass in small amounts can just be something they like and not indicate a problem. Eating houseplants that are woody or rough and make them throw up however means they are trying to throw up since their stomachs are upset. This could be due to food intolerance, acid indigestion or hairballs (which indicates poor digestion) or other health problems. I am probably missing some causes here! Food allergies and intolorance are very common and people just think their cats are throwing up because “that is what cats do”. Here is my post on food allergies and intolorance. It is not comprehensive to the subject but gives some basic information. https://thrivingcat.com/what-is-the-best-cat-food-for-a-sensitive-stomach. You may have already looked at this but I will put it here as a reference for others.

      Thanks for your comment!
      Jessica

      Reply

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