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Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21301
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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my cat has been puking yellow bile which is uncommon.

Customer Question

my cat has been puking yellow bile which is uncommon. i plan on taking him to the vet, but i'm concerned and worried it's an emergency. he usually only pukes his food up for eating to fast and it's not digested, now he's been puking up yellow foamy bile today.
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Cher replied 10 years ago.

Did your cat eat at all today and has he vomited any food (digested or undigested) in addition to the yellow foamy bile?

Does he have dry food available all the time, or is he on a feeding 'schdule'? What brand and type of food does he eat?

Is he still eating, although he's vomiting? Is he drinking, urinating and defecating since he's been vomiting?

How old is your cat?

Does he go outside at all?

Could he have ingested any non-food item?

Thanks for your additional detail.

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
I don't believe he hasn't eaten today. He eats dry food and it's the good life food. It's new and I just started him on it. There's commercial for it and he's been on it a few months. He isn't on a feeding schedule. He has been drinking. I'm not sure he has gone to the bathroom. My cat is 6 years old and I'm not sure if he ingested anything else. He has puked just yellow bile, kind of foamy. This is a first. He usually pukes his food from eating too fast. Poor thing. I plan on calling the vet tomorrow and getting an apt. I just wasn't sure how worried I should be.
Expert:  Cher replied 10 years ago.
Hi again, and thanks for your additional information.

He's vomiting yellow bile because his stomach is empty. An empty stomach produces excess acid, and this causes nausea, which causes the vomiting; if he has no stomach contents to bring up, it's just the yellow foamy stuff you see.

He may have begun vomiting due to an allergy to an ingredient or ingredients in the new food, he may have ingested a non-food or toxic item, or he may have an intestinal viral or bacterial infection. It's also possible there's a problem with his liver, pancreas or kidneys, but this can only be determined through bloodwork and a hands-on exam at the vet.

If he continues to vomit frequently, I'd bring him in to an ER vet center, as this can cause dehydration. If he's drinking that's good, but he can still become dehydrated quickly and that can cause more serious health problems. If you don't have an ER vet center nearby, you can try to call vets in the Yellow Pages that list emergency hours and phone and get someone to come into the office for him. He can be given an anti-emetic to stop the nausea/vomiting and also, something to settle his stomach. In fact, if you can call your vet or an ER vet center, check to see if you can give him 1/4-1 tablet of Pepcid AC to settle his stomach for the time being.

If he seems to be breathing normally, continues to drink, and is vomiting occasionally, you can probably wait until tomorrow, to see the vet, as you plan. Monitor him throughout the night, to see if he worsens.

I hope he'll be fine, and would you please let me know how he's doing and what the vet's findings are? Thanks,

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
I tried to give him a treat earlier and he wouldn't eat it. I definitely knew something was up when he won't eat food. I will continue to monitor him and call the vet first thing in the morning. He is my first cat. I've had dogs growing up and have a grooming biz so know more about dog problems. How can I get him to stop puking up his food? It comes out whole. Any suggestions with that?
Expert:  Cher replied 10 years ago.
Hi again,

You mean how to get him to slow down in his eating and stop puking under normal circumstances?

Raising up your cat's food/water dishes to chest level, should help, as this aids digestion. To slow down his eating, place a new, unused ping-pong or golf ball in the middle of his bowl of dry food, to make him eat 'around' it. If you ever feed canned food, serve on a flat plate, instead of a bowl, and mash it down with a fork, so it's not 'mounded up' in the middle.

Another thing to consider, is that your cat might be ingesting a lot of fur during self-grooming, and hairballs may be contributing to this problem, so combing/brushing him several times daily, will help. Hairball remedies like Petromalt and Laxatone, available at stores like Petsmart, might be a good idea to offer daily, or a few times a week.   Putting a one-inch strip of the hairball remedy gel on your cat's foreleg, right above the paw, will cause him to lick it off. Also, if it's not actually a hairball causing him to vomit, some fur might be 'tickling' his throat causing him to gag, and then throw up.

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Thanks Cher!
He is a meticulous groomer. I get worried because he is a Manx and he does get himself into trouble. He likes to escape outside, not by my choice and run around. He stays in the fenced in yard, but he is an indoor cat. If he is outside he is supervised.
Thanks for your help. I'll let you know what happens at the vet.
Off to bed.
Expert:  Cher replied 10 years ago.
You're very welcome, and yes, please do keep me posted.

If he grooms often, then, yes, the hairball problem may be contributing to the vomiting.

Please don't forget to click the 'accept' button, and thanks!

I'll look forward to your update.


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