For a cat owner, seeing your feline best friend throwing up white foam can be really distressing, and you’ll no doubt wonder if there’s something seriously wrong with them. While hairballs on occasion are common for cats, if your pet is repeatedly throwing up white foam, it may be more of a concern.
Does A Cat Throwing Up White Foam Mean They’re Sick?
There can be many reasons why your cat might be throwing up. The causes can range from completely harmless to potentially life-threatening in its severity.
If your cat is throwing up white foam it’s usually an indicator that it’s throwing up on an empty stomach, with the foam being the natural mucus present in the stomach. It’s not entirely unusual, but can be a good starting point for figuring out what might be wrong with your little feline!
If your cat has only thrown up once, and hasn’t done so since and is otherwise in good health, it’s likely just an isolated incident caused by an irritated stomach due to something it ate or a minor illness. If, however, it’s recurring frequently, it may point to an underlying issue.
There’s a great many potential reasons that your cat might be throwing up, so it’s important to remember that you’re unlikely to find the cause through your own research based on it alone, or through the internet. If you’re really concerned about your cat’s condition, always contact your vet to be safe.
When Should I Get Concerned About My Cat Throwing Up?
Your cat vomiting once isn’t likely to be a sign of concern, as long as they are otherwise healthy and acting normal. In this case, it’s unlikely you will have to call a vet, and you should instead just keep an eye on your cat for the next couple of days to make sure their behavior is normal and there are no other signs of sickness.
If you notice other signs of illness, such as diarrhea, tiredness, or your cat refusing to eat, then it’s likely time to consider talking to a vet. You should also contact your vet if the vomiting persists for more than 24 hours.
Your vet can help you find a diagnosis for your cat through tests and physical examinations, so always go to them for any potential issues. They can also help you treat any issues that might arise from your cat vomiting frequently, such as dehydration from loss of fluid.
Vomiting cats can also develop fatty liver disease from being on an empty stomach. Your vet can prescribe fluid therapy to rehydrate your kitty and also reduce the risk of disease through treatment.
Can’t I Get Medicine To Treat My Cat’s Throwing Up At Home?
In short, no. There aren’t any over-the-counter medications to help stop your cat from throwing up. Most human medications aren’t safe for cats to consume and are toxic to them.
This can cause issues much more severe than vomiting, so you should always stay away from any home remedies to treat your cat. If you think your cat is sick, always contact your vet for proper treatment.
How Is Throwing Up Diagnosed?
Your vet should be able to diagnose the cause of your cat throwing up white foam. They will give your cat a physical examination for any issues, such as insect bites that might be infected or have caused disease.
They will check the hydration levels of the cat, measure its heart rate, check to see if they’re breathing properly, and check the abdomen for any internal issues, such as masses that could point to a tumor, and to see if there are any intestinal blockages.
After this, your vet will likely recommend some sort of diagnostic test depending on what they find. This might be a blood test or a test of a sample of your cat's poop to check for parasites, and possibly an x-ray. If your vet cannot find a cause after these tests, they may do more advanced tests, such as an ultrasound.
They may also put your cat on a temporary hypoallergenic diet, to make sure that it isn’t being caused by any food allergies you might not know about. The last resort would be a biopsy of your cat's intestines to check for cancer or bowel diseases.
How To Treat Cats Throwing Up White Foam
If your cat has vomited but seems relatively stable afterward, and there is no obvious underlying cause, then your vet will likely simply prescribe anti-nausea medication in the form of a tablet or an injection to help settle your cat's stomach.
They may also tell you to keep your cat on a diet of bland, prescription foods that are unlikely to upset your cat's stomach. This is often all your cat will need to get over an upset stomach and they’ll be feeling better in no time!
If the issue is more severe, and the vomiting is ongoing, then your cat may need to be hospitalized by your vet. This way, they can keep your cat on an IV drip to keep them hydrated, while also being able to keep them medicated and safe and watch over them to help monitor any changes.
Once your cat is hydrated and your vet has managed to stop them vomiting, you’ll be able to take them home again while your vet continues to give you medication for treatment.
It’s impossible to say what this treatment will be until your cat has been diagnosed, but it will most likely involve some oral medication and further follow-up visits to your vet for check-ups and injections.
If you see your cat throwing up white foam, always watch to see if this is an isolated incident or if they continue to be sick. An isolated incident of throwing up white foam is unlikely to mean anything serious, and won’t warrant a call to the vet if your cat is otherwise healthy.
If your cat is vomiting frequently, however, take them to the vet as soon as possible. Your vet will work with you to create the best treatment possible for your furry friend.
At Love4Cats, our practice involves consistent collaboration with licensed veterinarians and reputable industry experts. However, it's important to note that the content provided on Excited Cats is not intended as veterinary advice. While we strive to enhance your understanding of feline care, the information presented on this blog should not replace professional veterinary guidance.