True or false? It's normal for cats to vomit.
False. Cats and dogs vomit because something is wrong. Unfortunately, because it can be a usual occurrence, many people come to believe that it's normal for their cat or dog to vomit once a week or more. Regular vomiting -- once a week or more, or even once a month indicates a problem.
There are many cause of vomiting and it's important to get to the bottom of the problem.
1) A medical problem. Vomiting can be the sign of an underlying medical problem. Hypothyroidism, liver or kidney issues can lead to regular vomiting. If those imbalances are eliminated, ask your vet to look for Inflammatory Bowl Disease (IBD) due to inflammation, Chronic Small Bowl Disease (CSBD) or Lymphoma. If it's IBD, the first step is to bring down the inflammation. That may be effectively done with the right foods, supplements and holistic therapies such as Homeopathy, Chinese medicine and acupuncture.
If its something more serious like CSBD or Lymphoma, the walls of the intestines thicken and nutrients can't be absorbed. (Happily, sometimes areas of the intestines often remain healthy, even with these diagnoses. I have worked with many animals to slow down the progression of the thickening without medication or chemo, via diet and supplements, extending the length and quality of their lives.)
2) Poor quality diets, dry food and food intolerance. The quality of ingredients matters A LOT as well as variety. When a cat or dog eats the same food day in and day out, their systems rebel and the food is no longer tolerated. If your vet tells you that your companion is "allergic" to something they've eaten all their lives, it's more likely they need a break from this meat. A variety of meats, as well as brands, is key here as well as avoiding grains and legumes.
3) Dirty bowls. The cat my daughter-in-law was sitting for vomited frequently because she was fed in an automatic feeder that was washed waaay too infrequently. Unbelievably, the cat's person believed that if the cat licked her bowl "clean," he didn't have to wash it. Really? Bowls and plates should be washed with hot, soapy water after every meal.
4) Enzyme deficiency and eating too fast. Enzymes are produced in the pancreas, but cats and dogs need enzymes from their foods as well. Live enzymes only exist in raw foods. If you're feeding canned or a dry/canned combination, adding a digestive enzyme designed for your companion's system is very important. I can recommend a few excellent ones.
If your cat or dog is eating too fast, there are many ways to address this problem. (See the link at the end of my blog for details.)
5) Too much time between meals. If she throws up some white or yellow bile foam in anticipation, give her a treat or bite of her meal so the digestive acids don't upset her tummy. Try to stick with more of a regular feeding schedule.
If I know I'll be home after my cats' dinnertime, I give them a couple of freeze-dried meat treats before I leave to tide them over. Sometimes, if Bodhi is asking for dinner hours in advance, I give him lots of love and cuddles. This often satisfies him until it's actually dinnertime.
6) Hairballs and constipation. Again, dry food will add to these problems. Cats are designed to get all their moisture from their food. A lubricated GI is essential for good digestion and elimination. Please see Dr. Becker's article below about what else to do.
7) Ingesting a toxin. This is a dangerous situation. If you suspect your cat or dog has ingested a toxic plant, chemical or a foreign object they can't throw up, get them to the vet immediately. Never use chemical-based cleansers on surfaces your animals may walk on with bare paws or lie on. Remember they lick their feet and fur and will ingest these chemicals. There are so many safe alternatives available.
For excellent recommendations for testing options and more detailed info, please read Dr. Becker's superb article. She, and a few cats I've worked with recently, inspired me to write this blog for you.
For further guidance in creating the best meals and supplements to keep your cat's and dog's GI happy and healthy, please make a date with me.
With Love, Your Voice of Animals,