Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cat Ralphing Remedy?

She looks so pleased with her purging.
So, my cats puke sometimes. I mean, it’s really common to have cats ralph once in a while because they like their fur balls and get into the garbage at times and groom each other’s nether regions, (I’d puke too) and really how can you blame someone for losing their cookies after licking clean their, you know, vagina? On average, I’d say one or the other of them throw up about once a month. And I can handle that. I don’t love cleaning it up, but I love my cats, so I do it.

Well, Bobbi has started throwing up nearly every day, and that’s mainly why I’m writing this post, to ask any other cat owners out there if they know what her problem could be. It’s ALWAYS in the morning when I’m trying to sleep, and she doesn’t seem to be under any physical (or emotional) distress at all when she does it. She just starts gagging and hacking, throws up, sniffs it, occasionally eats it, then promptly goes back to sleep.

Brandon thinks she’s starting to struggle with bulimia. (How can you blame him for coming up with some pat ED joke when he's dealt with me all these years?)  Of course I scoffed at the notion until she kept doing it over and over, seemingly for no reason! I mean, it’s not like she’s sticking her paw down her throat (with claws that’d get tricky!) but I swear there’s nothing wrong with her. She’s not acting sick or out of the ordinary at all, so I wonder why this could suddenly be happening. And, gross moment: I’ve examined the ralphage, and there doesn’t seem to be much fur or any foreign objects in it that could be causing the vomiting, and I’m exhausting all possible avenues, here. Crazy cat is making me psycho.

And I’ll take her to the vet of course if I need to, but I thought I’d first ask any of ya’llsies out there if you knew why my cat could suddenly start throwing up spontaneously. Is it just to vex my troubled heart? Because it’s working!

27 comments:

alison said...

I used to have a cat that threw up at least once a day. She would scarf her food down too fast and then it would come right back up! Do you think that she could be eating something in the night?

brie said...

i've wondered if she's getting into something in the night...but if she is, i haven't been able to figure out what it is yet!

so was your cat okay even though she threw up that often? or did it make her sick?

alison said...

She was okay. She was definitely skinnier than many cats, but since she was able to keep food down other times, the vet thought she was getting enough nutrients. Seemed like a sensitive gag reflux; if she ate too fast or too much it just came back up. It was a bit disconcerting until I got used to it!

brie said...

okay - thanks for your input - i'm glad i'm not the only one with a weird barfing kitty! i'll keep that in mind for sure. :)

kristin said...

My kitty had the same type of problem as Alison's. My kitty had a problem with eating too much food too fast, too. It's definitely something to think about.

brie said...

so...is there a way to remedy it? like giving her maybe smaller portion sizes so they can't eat as much and get sick? i'm just trying to brainstorm here how i could make it better for her...

Cammy said...

*Raises hand* Animal questions make me happy! Although I'm not happy you're having a problem, or course. Poor Bobbi (and poor Brie, for having to clean it up). Is it possible there are any cleaning products or other non-food items she could be getting into? I bet your house is pretty kid-proof, but cats can be very sneaky. Some of those chemicals actually taste sweet to animals. Does she ever go outside? Do you have any plants in the house?

How long has it been a daily issue? Cats do get viruses sometimes, could just be that, is her stool all normal?

There could be something lodged that just isn't coming up, which is why she keeps vomiting but there isn't much there to see. Have you tried any of the anti-hairball stuff, like Laxatone?

Has her food changed recently, or do you ever give her people food treats? Salmonella poisoning can cause vomiting, if she's gotten ahold of any raw meat or egg products.

Also, how old is Bobbi? Sometimes liver or renal issues can cause otherwise unexplained vomiting, but that's usually only with older cats.

Really sorry you're having to deal with this, I hope the issue resolves itself soon!

kristin said...

Smaller portions have really helped out my kitty. She doesn't get sick nearly as much as she used to. Like hardly at all.

brie said...

wow, cammy, thanks for your input - i'm going to go around and "cat-proof" my house and make sure there are no plants or chemicals or anything that she could somehow be getting into.

she's 7 (in human years) so i know that's kiiiinda old, but i wouldn't consider her to be all old and decrepit or anything, so i reallllly hope it's not liver or renal issues! at any rate, thanks again for your comment - it made me think a lot and was very helpful. :)

Missy said...

You've heard of sympathy pregnancy haven't you?
It's morning sickness is all. (0:

Cammy said...

I wouldn't worry too much about organ failure for a 7 year old. It seems the shelf life for cat kidneys is about 17 years; when I worked for a vet every single cat that I saw that died of "old age" basically had gone until their kidneys finally gave out. But anyway, she's still just a young 'un compared to that!

You can always always email/text me if you want to talk about it more, or any other animal/science issue that comes up!
<3

Ally Cox said...

My cat is 7 years old and pukes quite a bit as well. He is a massive cat and puking on a regular basis hasn't seemed to make him lose any weight. The vet told me that can happen when you change the cat food. Have you changed their cat food regularly? Also, my vet suggested smaller portions because my cat will eat whatever is put in front of him and then barfs it all back up! YUM! Good Luck Brie!

tim@arcadecollecting.com said...

Oh dear. Well, Atticus pretty much barfs every single night too. Usually, somewhere extremely unfortunate like the couch or on my jacket. I now wake up every morning and do a quick survey of his usual puke spots. It's getting incredibly OLD. I can't figure it out......I've tried everything. Tim is about ready to throw him to the wolves....he says that we now live in a world of vomit and poo....between the cat and new baby it's a very true statement! I'm interested as to what others will suggest......hmmm, but then again, maybe I should just take him to the vet. :)

tim@arcadecollecting.com said...

Aaahhhhh......once again, google had me under tim's account....argh. This is Heather L.

Krista said...

Are her eating habits different from other felines around her?

Do you find her panicking if she cannot exercise?

Do her fellow felines think she is thin but she believes she is a fat cat?

Has her mouser menstration ceased or become irregular?

Has she lost more than 15% of her normal weight (including fur)?

Does she prefer to eat alone or when Hairy can't see her?

Does she go on uncontrollable eating binges during which she consumes large amounts of meow mix to the point that she is sick?

Does she use "catxatives" as a means of weight control?

Is she a pussy perfectionist?

If so she could definitely have feline bulimia (FB). Most veterinarians agree that FB is an expression of unresolved psychological conflict. Tabbies suffering from FB subconsciously believe that they can bring structure and meaning to a world they feel otherwise to be chaotic and beyond their control. Ironically, by pouring their talents and energies into dieting, some eating-disorder victims do become totally out of control... but there is hope! Discover it at Center for Change!

tim@arcadecollecting.com said...

Oh my. I don't know you Krista, but you just made me laugh my head off.....which I needed, by the way! : )

MegLovesMutts said...

I've TOTALLY had this problem!! Also a solution!!

My cat has congenital kidney failure, which makes him barf ALL THE TIME.

SOLUTION = half of a regular strength pepcid tablet once a day with a meal. The vet (actually 2, on separate occasions) recommended this, and it works like a charm.

Usually the foamy-yellow not-a-hairball barf is related to stomach acid.

Sheyenne said...

My blasted cat does the same thing. Its not every day, but 4-5 times a week. He's 7 y/o and about 13 pounds, so kinda big but not gigantic. He eats food whenever it is in front of him, and he scarfs it down super fast. So we try to give him little bits of food throughout the day, which helps... but when we're not home and have to feed him more, he pukes it all up. Its so frustrating. A few nights ago, I slept on the couch, only to be awakened at 4 a.m. to him ralphing ON me!

bananas said...

My very beloved (now deceased) cat was a regular puker. Puked several times a week. Sometimes several times in a day. My current cats have barfed maybe 5 times in the 3 years I've had them (and there's 2 of them). So, it's weird. I'd definitely have her checked out...

I think due to my cat's vomiting, she got dehydrated a lot. She eventually got kidney disease and died of kidney failure. She was 14.

Keely said...

To cammy :)

Is there anything that can be done for cats with kidney failure? My cat Tucker has beginning stage kidney failure. I cried my eyes out for weeks when I found out. I switched his food to the prescription kidney diet. But they want me to take him to the vet every 6 months for check-ups with bloodwork and each one shows his kidneys getting worse and they don't offer any help or advice or anything. They just tell me it's getting worse and come back in 6 months. :( I know there's no cure but I feel bad for him. He's 13 and the sweetest, most snuggily loving little boy I know.

Keely said...

To Brie :)

I used to have a cat that frequently threw up (hairballs...I gave her a hairball formula and it went waaaay down. :) I got in trouble for saying my cat has bulimia during lunch one day at the center. ha ha ha. I totally forgot about it until now. :)

Border Collie Lipstick said...

Hi Brie, I found the link to your blog on a friend blog. I am a vet tech that works with a DVM who is DABVP boarded (that just means a veterinarian who is extra smart.) I would suggest a work up on your cat sooner than later (7 is an age where underlying disease could be serious.) You could try a diet trial, the number one way to get a cat to stop vomiting. Change to a food with different ingredients than what is in the current food. If that doesn't work then a full workup would be recommended (blood work, urinalysis, etc.) If your doc thinks your cat may have irritable bowel disease make sure that they give you the lymphoma talk first....worse case scenario. Cats can do great with chemo. Good luck.
@ Keely - if you aren't giving S.Q. fluids to your cat ask your veterinarian about it. It is a simple way to help flush the kidneys and most docs are happy to teach you how to do it at home when the time is right.

brie said...

i have a few things to say...
first: krista! i was reading your comment and DYING. thank you for making me laugh!

border collie lipstick: thanks so much for your comment and knowledge - i appreciate you taking the time to help me.

all of you: your comments were helpful and i seriously appreciate it so much!

xox

Cait said...

Krista: I just rolled around on the floor a bit, and then proceeded to call my mother and laugh at this as well. Thanks for making our day! :)

brie said...

cait you're blogging. woot woot!

brie said...

she hasn't puked in like 2 1/2 days. schwing!

Rosie Roller said...

I know when cats get angry they pee everywhere or in one particular spot (mine enjoyed my father's bed...heh) so...maybe it's just being unique and deciding to throw up? so...I'd think if like anything has changed or maybe it's just getting jeally of the new baby...just give it some cuddles and maybe google it....:)