Animal & Bird Medical Center of Palm Harbor
Medical Database

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Chronic Vomiting in Cats

Animals Affected – Cat

General Information
Chronic vomiting refers to expelling stomach contents over a relatively long duration. This generally indicates that a more serious condition exists other than just a transient irritation of the upper digestive tract. It is helpful to determine the point of origin of the vomitus.

Regurgitation refers to expelling contents from the esophagus, and vomiting refers to expelling stomach contents. Both conditions may be just one or two episodes (acute) or long-standing, repetitive episodes (chronic). Expelled contents that are tubular in form are suggestive of esophageal contents. If bile (yellowish orange) is expelled, the stomach is the more suspicious point of origin of the material. Beyond that, determining whether the expelled contents are from regurgitation or vomiting is difficult, and other diagnostic methods may be required.

Chronic vomiting is generally caused by three major factors: (1) blockage of the GI tract; (2) inflammatory disease (including food allergies) of the digestive tract or other organs; (3) other systemic or widespread diseases, such as feline peritonitis, leukemia, hyperthyroid disease, kidney or heart disease, diabetes, pancreatitis, and serious uterine infections.

Diagnostic means such as blood tests, x-rays, ultrasonography, endoscopy, and stomach or intestinal biopsies may be required to locate and identify the cause of the disorder.

Important Points in Treatment
1. Generally the more common disorders are ruled out by conservative methods. These can include medication and possibly dietary changes. After that, more sophisticated means are required. Exploratory surgery under general anesthesia may be necessary.
2. If your cat is used to going outside, it is imperative to contain it inside during the diagnostic period. There are many unknown factors outside that can have a direct influence on your cat’s illness, and these must be eliminated or ruled out. Large cat cages can be purchased or the cat can be limited to one special area in the home. If your cat uses a kitty litter pan indoors, it probably will not be difficult to confine your cat indoors for an indefinite time.

An Important Update From Animal & Bird Medical Center On COVID-19

We are committed to offering a safe and healthy environment for our clients, pets and hospital team here at Animal and Bird Medical Center. The best way to avoid becoming ill is to avoid exposure to the virus. Taking typical preventive actions is key.

In being cautious and mindful of everyone’s safety, we are actively working to minimize your exposure to crowded exam rooms and long waits in the lobby.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made some changes to our protocols in-hospital for the time-being…

In order to limit exposure while still providing quality care for your pet, we will be implementing special protocols to keep you safe.

We will have our veterinary technicians get a history of the patient’s symptoms and owner’s concerns via phone prior to coming into the clinic.

Our goal is for you to be able to bring your pet in for medical care but have no risk for you or our dedicated staff of transmitting the COVID-19 virus.

The Doctors and staff are dedicated to making sure your pet’s medical needs are taken care of during this national crisis.

We can still fill prescriptions for pick up, however, for those who prefer, non-narcotic and non-urgent prescriptions can be mailed to your home.

As always, careful hand-washing and other infection control practices can greatly reduce the chance of spreading any disease.