A healthy cat shouldn't vomit, plain and simple, so it can be shocking to see your kitty get sick out of the blue. Cats don't throw up for no reason, but sometimes figuring out what the cause is can be tough for a pet parent. If you're wondering if your cat's vomiting is something serious, take a look at these three common causes of this condition to find out if your kitty is ill or not.
Sudden Food Change
Cats need to be shifted from one type of cat food to another relatively slowly, especially if you're switching brands or varieties, like going from dry food to wet food exclusively. This sudden shift can throw your cat's digestive system for a loop, especially if they enjoy the taste of the new food and eat too much of it all at once. This can trigger nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.
If you've recently changed your cat's food, chances are this is to blame. Try switching back to the old food and gradually adding some of the new food to it over time. This should help improve your cat's tolerance for the new food, and then you can switch them to exclusively the new variety.
Hairballs are a common problem for cats, especially if they have long hair. When they swallow fur while grooming, their bodies typically can't digest it, and it comes back up to prevent a blockage from developing.
Unfortunately, the risk of blockages is high with hairballs. If your cat throws up and you find hair in it, you should get them to a veterinarian. Vomiting due to a clump of hair forming in the guts can cause the lump to tear, leaving some of it behind in the intestines. This remaining bit can form a blockage or simply make it so that your cat keeps throwing up for days to come.
Finally, cats will throw up if they consume something that they shouldn't, especially if it's poisonous. This is especially a problem for cats that are allowed outdoors, but it can happen to indoor cats, too.
If your cat goes outside, they may have come across something like oil dripping from a car, antifreeze, or contaminated water. If they drank it, that will make them sick and vomit. Alternatively, it may simply get on their fur, and when they groom themselves later, they'll throw up.
Indoor cats are also at a fair amount of risk. If you let your cat into your garage, it can come into contact with dangerous substances there. Your kitty could also get sick from houseplants or flowers if they're toxic to cats.
If your cat is vomiting for any reason other than their food being changed, you should get to a vet at an animal hospital right away. Putting off care for your cat could cause your kitty to become sicker, especially if they are exposed to a foreign substance or more cat fur while still struggling to recover from the first bout of vomiting.