Why Is My Cat Throwing Up Food After Eating?

Posted: September 16, 2021 by Anita

cat throwing up food

One day, I came home from work to find that Theo had thrown up undigested cat food – something that had never happened before since I became his cat parent over a year ago.

I was a bit shooked. “Oh my God, why is my cat vomiting?” Especially since he has never thrown up. Period.

As a cat parent, the last thing you want (or need financially) is for your cat to be sick. So, after swallowing my panic and anxiety, I remembered I had swiped out his feeding dish for a massive feeder because I had been out of town for the weekend.

And I had forgotten to replace the massive feeder with his usual dish once I got home from my trip.

*Caveat: My daughter, who lives down the street, checked on Theo on a regular while I was out of town for the weekend.

Most likely, Theo had overeaten. I made a mental note to keep an eye out for more vomiting.

In this article, I discuss why your cat is throwing up after eating cat food.

Vomiting vs regurgitation

There is vomiting; then there’s regurgitating. What is the difference?

  • Vomiting is the active motion of ejecting contents from a cat’s stomach and small intestines out through their mouth. You can actually see your cat’s adominal area contracting violently when vomiting. The cat will appear ill after vomiting.
  • Regurgitation is a passive motion where no force is needed to eject contents through the cat’s mouth. The contents are undigested and you will be able to tell what it is your cat is throwing up. The cat throws up food but acts normal afterward.

Why is my cat throwing up food?

Eating too fast

Why is your cat throwing up undigested food? Sometimes cats tend to eat too fast. When this happens, the stomach expands, and the brain sends a signal to the stomach. The signal tells your cat’s stomach to regurgitate.

Food intolerance

Sometimes when a cat throws up after eating, it’s because of food allergies. A food allergy is an abnormal immune response to a specific protein or carbohydrate present in the cat food. This can give your cat an upset tummy and cause it to throw up.

A sudden change in diet can also cause your cat to start puking up food. When switching your cat from one brand of cat food to another, it is best to introduce it in small increments.

To read more about allergies in cats, please read “Why does my cat keep sneezing: Dealing with allergies in cats.”

How to prevent your cat from throwing up food

Slow down your cat’s eating

  • Try offering a few treats to your cat throughout the day. This will keep your cat from being famished and takes the edge off the hunger.
  • Allow the cat to calm down after vigorous playing. Eating after active play can cause an upset tummy. Speak to your cat in a calming voice, then petting them once; offer them one treat.  Keep up the calm voice, then pet your cat twice when you see the cat starting to calm down.  Offer two treats; keep up the cycle until your cat has calmed down enough to eat.
cat throwing up food

Time to change your cat’s diet

Your cat’s stomach might benefit from a change in diet. Especially if the cause of your cat throwing up food daily is due to an allergy to a certain protein or carbohydrate.

The best cat food for cats that throw up is Iams Proactive Health Adult Sensitive Stomach Dry Cat Food. Click here for more information from Amazon.com.

Portion control method not the free feeding method

  • Stop free-feeding your cat. Free feeding is when you fill a cat bowl to the very top and allow your cat to eat when he wants; how much it wants.
  • Instead, schedule feedings and control portions of cat food. If you are switching your cat from one type of cat food to another, introduce it slowly.

Are you feeding your cat from a huge ass trough? Troughs are for pigs, not your precious fluff ball. Check out these cute cat bowls from Etsy.com by clicking here.

Conclusion

The cat’s throwing up food, and you’re not sure why?  That is a concern that cat parents face every day.  And who hasn’t accidentally stepped in cat vomit and panicked?

No cat owner likes seeing their cat sick.  

When your cat is throwing up food but acting normal, check to see if he is vomiting or regurgitating. Vomiting is an active motion (and a sign that your cat is really sick). Regurgitation is passive and not as traumatic.

There is a couple of reasons why your cat might be throwing up undigested food:

  • eating too fast
  • food allergies

To prevent your cat throwing up food, you can try:

  • slow your cat’s eating of food
  • change your cat’s diet
  • portion control instead of free feeding

If vomiting persists, or get worse please take your cat to the vet.

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