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Why Do Cats Eat Their Vomit?

July 06, 2020

Why Do Cats Eat Their Vomit?

Firstly, it’s important to understand the differences between vomiting and regurgitation. Vomiting is a more aggressive process that involves retching and heaving before the food is projected from your cat's mouth. Regurgitation is a passive process where the food is just spat out, often undigested in a long tube shape.

Common Reasons Why Cats Vomit

As elegant and tidy as cats are, they can still be gross sometimes. Unfortunately, vomit is a fact of life, especially for cat pawrents. If you see your cat vomiting only once, rather than multiple times in a row, chances are it’s from eating too quickly, or their attempt to get rid of a hairball. There are ways to help your cat reduce and treat their hairballs. It may also be caused by poor diet, which can cause digestive issues that can be alleviated with the right supplements and type of food.

More concerning reasons for your cat to throw up:

  • Infection
  • Toxins
  • Tumors
  • Kidney failure
  • Pancreatitis
  • Liver failure
  • Colitis
  • Allergies
  • Gallbladder inflammation
  • Parasites
  • Neurological disorders
  • Post-surgery nausea
  • Constipation

It’s important to consult your vet if your cat vomits repeatedly, as any of these troubling problems could be the culprit.

Why Do Cats Eat Their Vomit?

Experts aren’t actually sure why cats do this. A few theories exist... If your cat vomits shortly after eating, they might be eating their puke because it smells and tastes similar to their food. Additionally, since cats love warm, smelly food - their vomit may be particularly enticing to them.

What Do I Do If My Cat Eats Its Own Vomit?

While a cat vomiting and eating it isn’t a huge issue, it’s best to discourage it. Try to clean up the mess as soon as you can, which discourages your cat from trying to consume it. If your cat only throws up once and there is no blood in the vomit, or if they simply cough up a hairball, there is no cause for concern. Carefully watch your cat to see if they vomit again or if they start exhibiting any other unusual behavior. If so, it’s best to contact your vet right away.

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