It’s estimated that 73 million cats inhabit the USA today. That’s a lot of hair balls.
While cats often make easy-to-care-for pets, there is one messy problem most cats endure from time to time: vomiting.
While in many cases vomiting is due to a cat’s over obsessive-compulsive tendencies (i.e., licking and grooming themselves to the point of hair balls coming back up), there is often another reason why they can’t seem to keep their food down.
1) Low Quality of Food
If your cat is eating a poor quality, rendered diet, it could be a contributor. Rendered means the proteins in your cat’s food are not approved for human consumption. They likely consist of slaughterhouse leftovers – bird feathers and beaks, animal skin, hooves, eyes and heads (Read more HERE.) These pieces and parts are considered protein, but they can be very difficult for your pet’s body to digest and assimilate, which can cause vomiting.
2) Your Cat Has Formed Allergies
Dr. Becker explains that some kitties develop allergies to their food, and in fact, this is a very common reason for intermittent vomiting over a long period of time. If your kitty acts fine, is a healthy weight, doesn’t seem ill and has a normal energy level, but just throws up occasionally, you should consider a food allergy as the possible cause.
Food allergies develop when cats are fed the same food over and over. Lots of people owned by cats think, ‘But my kitty won’t eat anything else!’ That’s why cats tend to get fed the same diet year in and year out –not because their people don’t know better, but because the kitties refuse to eat other types of food.
Dr. Becker explains,
“I see lots of cats in my practice that are seafood and poultry junkies. They are thoroughly hooked on those two proteins, and if they are fed another protein source they want nothing to do with it.
It’s important if your cat is vomiting regularly to address diet as a central cause. Feeding the same type of protein, even if it’s excellent human-grade quality, can ultimately result in GI inflammation and food allergies. So it’s not just about the quality of the protein, but also about switching proteins frequently.”
3) Your Cat’s Treats Contain Harmful Chemicals
Dr. Becker says that often time care takers forget to read the ingredients label on the back of treat packages.
“What I see a lot of in my practice is cat parents who feed a very high quality food, but then give really trashy treats to their pets.
When you look at the label on your cat’s treats and see they contain things like propylene glycol, FDC red #4, ethoxyquin, chemical dyes or emulsifiers, surfactants and other stuff you can’t pronounce, it’s a sure sign you shouldn’t be feeding it to your furry feline.
All those additives, preservatives and just plain junk can cause GI inflammation, which causes vomiting.”
4) Cat’s Shouldn’t Drink Cow’s Milk
Most mammals drink milk if it’s offered, but it’s important that it’s milk from the same species. Gastrointestinal issues arise from drinking milk (‘nursing’) from a different species.
Your kitty doesn’t have the enzymes required to break down the milk sugar in cow’s milk -his pancreas doesn’t secrete the lactase necessary to break down the lactose in cow’s milk. The result? Secondary GI symptoms, including vomiting.
5) Your Cat Has An Enzyme Deficiency
A cat’s pancreas sometimes doesn’t produce enough lipase, protease and amylase, which creates a chronic or acute low-grade case of pancreatitis, a common condition in cats.
Adding a digestive enzyme to your cat’s diet is like buying insurance. You may never need it, but it’s always good to have.
6) Your Cat Has Been Trying Out A ‘Plant-Based’ Diet
Common household toxins for cats are plants. If your kitty likes to eat your houseplants, she’s probably trying to compensate for a lack of certain nutrients that are available only by feeding raw.
Cats don’t have a biological need for houseplants. They don’t have houseplant deficiency, in other words. What they have is a need for living foods.
Supplying your kitty with cat grass (wheat grass) is one way to offer him some living foods, and it might be enough to keep him away from potentially toxic household greenery.
7) Your Cat Could Just Be A Glutton
Another very common reason cats throw up is they eat too fast. Your kitty is a quadruped –his esophagus is horizontal rather than vertical. Food can slap against the lower esophageal sphincter and cause regurgitation of whole, undigested food several minutes after it’s consumed. Slowing down gobbling will help.
This seems to be a special problem in multi-cat households where the kitties are portion fed (which is what Dr. Becker recommends) and a bit of competition develops.
If this is happening in your house, Dr. Becker recommends you need to feed your kitties in separate areas or rooms so they can’t see or hear the others eat.
Be A Good Observer
Something to keep in mind is that throwing up is not ‘normal’ for cats, despite what you might have been told by your veterinarian or other cat owners. Vomiting is a sign that something’s not right inside your pet’s body, whether minor or serious.
The only animals that vomit regularly as part of their biology are vultures. Cats, and any other mammal for that matter, should not throw up on a regular basis.
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