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How to Take Care of Cat Vomiting and Diarrhea

Cat vomiting and diarrhea are unfortunate but common aspects of pet ownership. Cats are susceptible to a large range of stomach upsets, which can often result in your cat vomiting, having diarrhea, or both.

Any time your cat experiences a bout of vomiting or diarrhea is a cause for concern, but it is necessary to figure out the underlying reason. This way, you can change or eliminate the causative factors. Since chronic vomiting and diarrhea (defined as occurring more than two or three times a week on a regular basis) can be a sign of underlying health problems or a serious illness, it is imperative to treat vomiting and diarrhea early.

What Causes Cat Vomiting and Diarrhea?

Often, cat diarrhea and vomiting are linked to a diet change, increased stress, or another environmental factor. It is when diarrhea and vomiting occur without any obvious cause that finding a treatment becomes frustrating.

Diet

All types of pets can have sensitive stomachs, but cats are especially susceptible to food sensitivities, allergies, and intolerances. These can manifest themselves in the form of vomiting and diarrhea. If your cat begins having increased episodes of vomiting or diarrhea following a diet change, it may be that she is not able to tolerate one of the ingredients in the new food. Often, switching back to the previous food will solve this problem. If it does not, it may be necessary to put your cat on a personalized or home-prepared diet to determine what ingredients she is sensitive to.

Despite their owners’ best efforts to find a food that does not cause problems, some cats do not tolerate any commercially-prepared cat foods. Such cats often develop chronic diarrhea and vomiting, which can leave them unable to absorb nutrients from their food properly, causing low energy levels and a poor coat. In addition, chronic diarrhea in cats positively correlates with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) — a condition where the lining of the intestine becomes inflamed and irritated. As well as causing continual discomfort for the cat, untreated IBD will often develop into lymphoma, a type of cancer.

What Not To Do

In the past, the solution to cat vomiting and diarrhea was medication (usually antibiotics) and fasting. However, recent studies have found that in many cases antibiotics are not only unnecessary, their overuse leads to antibiotic resistance problems. Using antibiotics unnecessarily can cause the medication to fail when it is necessary. In addition, antibiotics often damage the good bacteria in the gut. This leaves your pet susceptible to other opportunistic diseases and bacteria and can even result in a more serious case of vomiting or diarrhea, sometimes necessitating hospitalization. It’s hard to see how treating vomiting and diarrhea with a medication that causes more vomiting and diarrhea could be considered treatment!

Whereas fasting has long been the recommended treatment for intestinal upset in pets, even a short fast of 12 hours can cause a life-threatening liver problem called hepatic lipidosis in cats. For this reason, although fasting can be effective in giving the GI tract a “break” from an intestinal upset, fasting cats for intestinal upset is a potentially dangerous treatment.

What To Do

Thankfully, you can avoid the traditional methods of antibiotics and fasting by giving your cat a soil-based probiotic. This has been shown to be effective in 97 percent of cat gastro-intestinal upsets.

If your cat is experiencing chronic diarrhea and vomiting, a visit to your veterinarian is still necessary to rule out other potential causes, such as disease (feline panleukopenia), organ problems (kidney failure and hyperthyroidism), and parasites (Giardia and clostridium overgrowth).

Caution

Although it is often possible to treat vomiting and diarrhea in cats at home with our unique blend of remedies, there are times when vomiting and diarrhea can be a sign of a medical emergency. These situations require a visit to your veterinarian.

For instance, if vomiting or diarrhea occurs suddenly and repeatedly in a short period of time, a more sinister cause than stomach upset may be to blame. Acute, repeated vomiting in cats can be a sign of acute renal failure. Sudden failure of kidney function can affect almost every body system of the cat and it can be due to a kidney infection, toxin ingestion (poison or toxic chemical exposure), or kidney obstruction. Affected cats may experience sudden, acute vomiting, lethargy, weakness, and disorientation. This is a severe medical emergency.

As cats can develop serious liver problems if they refuse to eat or are fasted for any amount of time, refusal to eat accompanied by diarrhea and vomiting is also a cause for concern. Observe your cat for other symptoms of illness (lethargy, increased or decreased thirst or urination, hiding, and increased vocalization). These can all be signs of a more serious illness.

40 thoughts on “How to Take Care of Cat Vomiting and Diarrhea”

    • Hi, the length of healing time depends on the severity of your animal’s symptoms. Some see results in days, others may take weeks. For best results we recommend finding the right diet for your animal in conjunction with the supplements.

      • Hello JK, We have successfully treated vomiting and diarrhea for 12 years with a variety of products and guidance. Since your cat has only been sick for a few days, wait and if it does not get better, get back to me. I’ll send you a few docs on food, water, and vaccines by another email.

  1. Hello Steve,

    Friends of ours recommended your company as a trusted source to help our cats. My cat has been vomiting in the mornings just a pinkish liquid stuff. He has been losing weight, in spite of us changing his diet ( he is enthusiastic eating new food, for the first time and rejecting the same new formula next) to try to help. He looks weak, and from being a solid, plump cat, now one can see his hips (even if his tummy is still hanging). How can I help him? what should I buy? are you in Canada? waiting for your answer. Thanks, Alma

  2. My Persian has the most sensitive tummy ever he only rice chicken and little meat is coat is dull and is breath is dreadful

  3. Hi,
    My cat had vomiting and diarrhoea presumably due to eating something bad outside, took her to the vet but he overdosed her on antibiotics which made her really ill (she’s 4kg and he gave her a script for 6kg) , I realised this 4 days into the course so stopped it immediately, she improved but was attacked by another cat, which left her with an abscess, which meant more antibiotics. I think all these antibiotics have teally wrecked havoc with her tummy as she still vomits her food up now and again, which she’s never done before. I’m at a loss.

  4. Hi ..i have a cat she isn’t even a year old yet. i had went away for the week ang gpt back yesterday (Jan 27th) and my husband said she barely ate while i was gone (she has always been a healthy normal happy cat ) she was fine all day ate last night once i got home , and again this morning..and now she started throwing up (first her food, and now liquidy mucas like bile ) and went to poop twice diarrhea .. this is all withing an hour and a half .. now shes keeping her distance and vomiting every half hour or so .. 🙁 shes never had this happen before and im worried.. should i wait and see if is just a bug and might go away by tomorrow..? Shes an indoor cat has never been outside .. any advice would be greatly appreciated thanks .. ❤️

  5. Hi Steve,

    I have a persian Chinchilla kitten, his only 4 months old however his really sensitive and keeps having diarrhea and vomiting constantly. I have taken him to vets before but all I was given was Syrub medicine to stop his diarrhea and was told to feed him with dry cat food until he gets better. but he loves cheese and canned tuna and cooked salmon and cream spread cheese aswell could that be the reason why his getting poorly? please can you advise me with what to feed him please?

    • Hi Elly. Please dont give your cats too much dairy. Can have a bad affect on their digestive track 🙁
      The shouldnt really be having cheese. Hope your kitty got better

  6. Hi!
    My cat been with diarrhea and vomits I let it few days bcuz was eating but one day want to eat plants then get worse not bcuz plants was toxic, I start giving him a day or two before a vitamins paste, and yesterday I decided give him the paste 3 times a day after he vomit, I notice for some reason he don’t vomit after give him that he don’t vomit the paste, he vomit again only one after 24 hour and only pooh one time and pooh was on the way looking me solid, I give him a raw egg yolk he vomit some part of that that was he vomit I give that egg taking time from one dose to other. I also give him some rain water yesterday. I hope finally stop the vomits and diarrhea, but if you have another thing that could help, please let me know, the vitamins paste been the best thing keeping him from vomiting but have to give it few times a day if pass long time without it will start vomit.
    The good the what he vomit after 24 hours was a single vomit not like keep going and was some part of egg I think the last dosis. I hope he retain some of the egg. Have a lot of calories so even retain something could sustain him for a day.

  7. 3year old spayed tuxedo vomits if she eats anything other than real cooked meats. she is active, plays,very loving but cant eat dry or canned foods help

  8. I have a female cat about 8mos old. She was fixed on the 13th and she’s had diarrhea and vomiting since the day after. I haven’t changed her food or anything at all. She eats and drinks but it don’t stay down for long. Is there something I can give her?

  9. My kitten started vomiting her food sunday, has done it yesterday and today. She eats fast, and recently started eating more of the dry food. I’m wondering if she’s overeating or could have a sensitivity to an ingredient or allergy. Also loose stools for these days as well. She seems normal except for the recent issues. What are your suggestions on trying to figure this out? Canned food is fancy feast kitten food ocean whitefish. Dry food is purina small batch wild caught ocean whitefish and egg grain free. I have another cat and this is what I switched him to.

  10. My indoor/ outdooe cat was howling last Tuesday night to go out and dry heaving when I opened yhe door. He went out and I noticed a vomited rodent or bird on the carpet and a small, dark area of what looked like dark mushroom soup with large chunks. None of this had an odor. Our cat came inside as usual the following day and slept as usual. He ate and drank andwent about his usual routine. He went out that evening and we haven’t seen him for a week. We have tried so many things and we are very worried.

  11. My cat was adopted 1 year ago. He is 5 years old. About 2 week after we got him, he vomited violently and had diarrhea, both containing blood. He was fine after that. We changed his food and 2 weeks later, the same thing happened. We took him to the vet. Xrays were taken and nothing found. The vet said to bring him back for blood work, sonar gram, possible surgery. We took him home and tried different food. In between these episodes, he is fine. Eats, plays, sleeps. He weighs 17 lbs and doesn’t lose any weight. He is not really fat, just a big cat. It has been a year now and these episodes still continue, but more frequently. Any suggestions as far as a special diet?

    • Hello, See our dietary suggestions below.
      Guidance On Food

      We recommend what not to feed. Especially avoid corn, wheat and soy and for some cats carragenan and guar gum. Next, for many cats but not all, no grains and no chicken.

      Next, unless dry is all the cat will eat, no dry. Dry food dries them out. (Who’d would have guessed!) Canned is not so great either. Imagine yourself living out of cans! Canned and dry food are devoid of enzymes and the proteins are denatured. These deficiencies can be remedied with supplements.

      The best is raw but some cats cannot handle raw. We feed our cat Nature’s Variety frozen raw carried by most large pet stores. Nature’s Variety also sells a very good canned and dry. That said not all cats  will eat Nature’s Variety. 

      Of all the proteins, rabbit, lamb and venison are the best. Avoid all birds (chicken, turkey, duck) since many cats are allergic to them, especially the chicken.

      All food changes should be done incrementally. A 10% change per day is recommended. If at any time the GI problems get worse, then that food is not recommended.

      Avoid too many variables by using only “single protein, limited ingredient” foods.

      Instinct Pet Food is a limited ingredient single protein food, which has been successful for many but which may or may not be the right food for your cat:

      If your cat has a thyroid condition, avoid lamb, venison, and chicken as they are too energetically hot. For hyperthyroid cats, duck, rabbit and pork are beneficial. Also, for hyperthyroid cats avoid seafood and supplemental iodine. For FIP cats no pea protein.

      Super Carnivore Bone Broth Supplement
      Bone broth can be bought frozen, shelf stable, and refrigerated. But the best bone broth is home made.
      (1) Breville Slow Cooker is recommended. A very slow slow cooker is necessary so that the bones can cook for days.

      (2) Ingredients: 5 lbs bones, 5 table spoons Apple Cider Vinegar, clean water

      (3) Cook on low setting for at least 48 hours. Stop when bones are brittle.

      (4) Although bone broth could be a staple food. It is time consuming to make so the dosages should be adjusted for weight. At least a few teaspoons for a 10 lb animal and a few ounces or more for a 100 pound animal

      Fermented Fish Stock

      You can buy frozen, pre-made fermented fish stock from Answers Pet Food, which has helped quite a few very very difficult cases.

  12. My little kitten has having vomit and diarrhea time to time 10-15 min. what should i have to do , what i have to do to stop kittens vomit and diarrhea??

  13. Hi, my cat get injured after fight with other male cat and get serious injury on the top of his back foot.My vet gave him antibiotics medicine named Ogmentin.his wound is healing rapidly but after 3 day medicine my cat start vomiting even vomit water since morning and cat just ate grass and after laps of 7 hours i am really worried about his fast.What to do?

  14. Hello,
    my cat has contracted a virus and is experiencing a fever, he has vomited twice and we sent him to the vet. For three days he has been fasting while being administered antibiotics. The vet says they will continue fasting him until he stops vomiting, but isn’t this dangerous? Also could his diarrhea also be as a result from not consuming any solids and just being strapped to an IV drip?
    Please reply soon,
    Thank you

    • Hello Tia,
      While fasting cures many illnesses, cats are particularly sensitive to a reduction in protein. That noted, sometimes there is no choice.If your cat continues to throw everything up, it will not survive. If the vet stabilizes or not, I recommend our Gastro Prime package which has stabilized many dangerously sick cats. I will send the info in an email to you now.

  15. My Bengal has intermittent, chronic vomiting issues. After ultrasound, X-rays and bloodwork (which was normal except slightly enlarged lymph nodes) they narrowed it down to IBD. I don’t want to do biopsies because of the invasive nature. She has been on a raw diet since birth. They think she has become “allergic” to the chicken. They switched me to Hills ZD wet food and I am transitioning her to this. I read about your products and success. Considering her symptoms, with no behavioral changes, no diarrhea. Her recent vomit had a pink tinge to it. They prescriber prednisone, but I’m not a fan and it is impossible to give it to her.

    Do you have any thoughts?

  16. We adopted a 5 mo old kitten 6 weeks ago. She has had constant loose stools. Vet has tried deworming, antibiotics, bland food, fortaflora. None of these have helped. All tests negative but she did say poop had more bad bacteria. Kitten is playing, eating, drinking, gaining weight. Her only issue is the diarrhea. Stools are typically loose, somewhat formed but wet.

  17. Hello…my cat starting vomiting and having diarrhea off and on since last night. She eats but then immediately gets sick. Last night she sounded like she might be in pain. Any suggestions? We plan on taking her to the Vet in the morning.

  18. My cat has had diarrhea for a month now and is vomiting now also I have given her kaopectate for diarrhea and it doesn’t seem to be helping it’s like water. She is vomiting her dry food up I have been feeding her purina high protein. Today I noticed there was some blood where she goes and I’m not sure for where it’s coming from. Can you help me and tell me what I can do? I had her spayed and I can’t afford to take her to the vet for it’s just to expensive.

  19. My 9 year old female cat (who I adopted with her sister) suddenly came down with worms (tiny white ones in her stool) about 3 months ago; I dosed her with Prosense Dewormer every 14 days for almost 2 months..when the worms were no longer visible, I stopped ; but now, she is vomiting and has bloody diarrhea about once a week. She doesn’t eat as much; is lethargic (but was never really active)..both cats are indoor animals due to where I live (senior mobile home park).. the instructions on the Prosense says to wait 30 days and dose her again according to her weight and then every 30 days thereafter. I haven’t done that yet;but am concerned about the bloody stools..I simply cannot afford to take her and her sister to a local vet. I have not changed their diet since they were a year old. They do get infested with fleas every year, even though they have never been out. Please advise if you can; what can I do to help her without a lot of expenditure. Thank You

    • I recommend food-grade diatomaceous earth. See below for more info.

      Natural Pest Control > Natural Insecticides > DE Diatomaceous Earth – 50 lb

      DE Diatomaceous Earth – 50 lb

      DE, or Diatomaceous Earth, has many uses. The EPA has approved it as an anti-caking agent in animal feed and as a natural pesticide for indoor and outdoor crawling insects. In addition, DE is approved by the FDA for internal and external use as a Food Grade Chemical.

      If you are bothered by any of the following pests, DE is a good way to fight them: ants, bedbugs, box elder bugs, carpet beetles, centipedes, crickets, cockroaches, earwigs, fleas, grasshoppers, millipedes, slugs and silverfish.
      Diatomaceous Earth – Diatoms
      Image ID: corp2365, NOAA Corps Collection
      Photographer: Dr. Neil Sullivan, USC

      Diatomaceous Earth is odorless and nontoxic and looks like white powder. It is composed of finely milled fossilized shells of minuscule organisms called diatoms (image at right). The microscopically fine, sharp edges desiccate the insects’ exoskeletons upon contact, and the pests dehydrate and die within hours. The insects also die when they eat the dust. Use the Dustin Mizer for easy application.

      Indoor and Outdoor Application: Sprinkle a light layer of Diatomaceous Earth in areas where pests frequent, including under stoves, cabinets, sinks, garbage cans, window and door frames and sills, entrance ways, sewer pipes and drains, and in cracks and crevices. Repeat treatment as needed.
      DISCLAIMER: Any food grade diatomaceous earth uses other than those approved by the EPA, FDA, or USDA are strictly based on what others reportedly have done. The information that follows is not intended as a substitute for a veterinarian’s advice, nor is it a substitute for your judgment. It is best if you inform yourself and make decisions based on what you learn.

      Since this is food grade Diatomaceous Earth, it can be taken internally. Internal and external pests and parasites tend to be worse in animals with mineral deficiencies or other health issues. DE may be fed on a continuous basis to larger livestock for both parasite control and mineralization. DE is an excellent source of organic silica and a few trace minerals. The animal’s digestive system is not harmed by its passage; in fact, it converts some of the silica into calcium. The calcium is then used by the body to build bone, teeth, connective tissue, and is also important for the strength of body cells. DE can be part of any balanced mineral program in livestock.

      Parasite Control for Livestock: For effective use, the DE must be fed long enough to catch all the newly hatching eggs or cycling of the worms through the lungs and back to the stomach. A minimum of 60 days is suggested at 2% of dry weight of the grain ration. If livestock or horses still test positive, increase the dosage. More will not hurt; too little will not help.

      Cattle, including dairy cattle
      2 % by weight of dry ration
      Calves
      4 grams in morning
      Chickens
      5 % in feed
      Goats
      2 % of weight of grain
      Hogs
      2 % of weight of feed ration
      Horses
      1/2 – 1 cup in daily ration
      Sheep
      2% of weight of ground grain

      Parasite Control for Pets: If you have pets, DE may be used for parasite control. However, it should never be given to very small pregnant animals such as cats, guinea pigs, etc. It may be given daily.

      Kittens
      1/2 teaspoon
      Cats
      1 teaspoon
      Puppies
      ½ -1 teaspoon
      Dogs under 35 lbs
      1 teaspoon
      Dogs 35-50 lbs.
      2 teaspoons
      Dogs over 50 lbs.
      1 Tablespoon
      Dogs over 100 lbs.
      2 Tablespoons

      * CAUTIONS:
      * IF you have asthma or some other lung ailment, either wear a mask or be very careful when using food grade diatomaceous earth as it is a fine powder.
      * Because DE is drying, do NOT get it in your eyes. Be sure to apply it on animals or around them to avoid their eyes, too.
      * Do NOT use heavily in carpet. DE can cause vacuum problems.
      * NEVER use pool filter grade or any diatomaceous earth other than those labeled “Food Grade” around animals as it is poisonous.

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