How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Dan M. Your Own Question

Dr. Dan M.
Dr. Dan M., Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 1458
Experience:  Small Animal Veterinary Surgeon
23462335
Type Your Cat Question Here...
Dr. Dan M. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a 9 year old cat, Chloe, who for the past few days has

Customer Question

I have a 9 year old cat, Chloe, who for the past few days has been retching/gagging at the exact same time every morning, between 4 - 6am. She never produces more than bile or saliva. Afterwards, she acts completely normal- all day she eats, drinks, uses the litterbox, plays with toys, runs over for her treats, cuddles, etc. This has only ever happened first thing in the morning, after she wakes up from a deep sleep of typically 4 - 5 hours.

The first three mornings, when this happened, she had also just eaten- very, very quickly. When I go downstairs with her at this time, she gets very excited and gobbles food down (on an empty stomach). Then she went to sleep beside me, and within the hour, woke up and started retching.

We took her to the vet two days ago, who examined her and said it was likely because of the fast eating, that it was probably something involving stomach acid and to give her smaller portions and 1/2 tablet of Pepcid at night. She said Chloe had no masses in her stomach, didn't seem to be in any pain, her mouth/gums looked good, she had no fever, etc.

This morning, however, Chloe had been sleeping for four hours or so, didn't gobble down any food (we've since been taking it away at night), and still woke up and vomited just a bit of saliva. It was at the exact same time. She did eat a little at 11pm, but not fast, and not too much.

I'm very confused, since if this was because of the overeating/lying down right after eating, why would it happen now? She's only been on the Pepcid two nights, and both nights we had trouble getting her to take it- we crushed the pill and hid it in cream cheese but I'm not sure she got much of it (she figured it out quickly). We're getting pill pockets for tonight. Still, it's very strange. She's completely happy and normal all day long- you would never know anything was wrong except for that window of time in the very early morning.

Should we continue to give her the Pepcid (more successfully from now on) and see how she is for a couple of days? She gets very stressed at the vet, and I hate to take her a second time if it's nothing.

Any idea what could be causing this?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Dan M. replied 11 months ago.
Hi,

I am sorry Chloe has this sickness and I a secure she will be OK.

There are many things that cause vomiting and these can be gastrointestinal in origin or non gastrointestinal (other organ disease, hormonal problems or metabolic disease).

The priority is that Chloe is bright and alert and eating and drinking normally which she is and this is great news.

Gastrointestinal causes include parasites, dietary indiscretion, gastritis (inflammation of the stomach) pancreatitis, liver disease and inflammation of the intestines as well as physical obstructions (foreign bodies).

The regular occurrence of this vomiting may indicate and gastritis as it may be exacerbated when rising from sleep. I would be comfortable with you carrying on with the Pepcid for a few days and seeing if things settle. But you must get her checked if it is becoming more frequent or she is becoming quiet and reclusive or is not eating or drinking. This would require further investigation such as blood tests and possible x rays, but I suspect she will settle.

Also make sure she is Up to date with her routine worming.

Good luck

Dr Dan Makin
Dr. Dan M., Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 1458
Experience: Small Animal Veterinary Surgeon
Dr. Dan M. and 2 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Dan M. replied 11 months ago.
Hi Megan,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Chloe. How is everything going?

Dr. Dan M.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Hi, thanks for following up-

Chloe seems to be doing a little better. This definitely only happens as soon as she's woken up from a longer sleep (4 - 6 hours uninterrupted). As soon as she wakes from a longer sleep, she retches/gags saliva or bile, and then she is 100% normal the other 99% of the day. Eats, drinks, uses the litterbox, everything.

She went 36 hours without doing it (the longest so far). She didn't do it Sunday morning, but did it Sunday afternoon (we were out all afternoon, and she always sleeps when we're gone). Then she didn't do it Monday morning OR Monday afternoon. But she did it 4:30 this morning (Tuesday). It's less now, too- she gags one or two times, rather than four to six times during the first few days.

Also, when she did it Sunday afternoon, there was some hair mixed with bile, so I think maybe a hairball might have woken her? We found it right under the bed where she was sleeping.

So the constant here is that it's ALWAYS right after she's slept for a longer period of time. Upon waking, she does it, and then is totally fine all day. So it makes sense that, like you said, it could be exacerbated when rising from sleep. Do you have any idea WHY this might be happening? Why it bothers her ONLY after a longer sleep, and then all day, she's completely normal?

We thought we would let her take the Pepcid for at least a full week and see how she does. She's only taken the Pepcid three times so far. (Four will be tonight.) Our vet also mentioned that, if it didn't work, aside from doing blood tests just in case, it could have to do with her food (she's on a C/D prescription diet for bladder health). Do you think that's possible?

Thanks for your help,

Megan

PS: We have a cardboard scratcher that Chloe loves to lay on. A lot of times, she'll eat the little pieces of cardboard paper she pulls up. We took it away from her today. Could that bother her stomach?

Expert:  Dr. Dan M. replied 11 months ago.
Hi Megan,

Glad to hear things are stable if not better with Chloe.

It is a strange pattern and certainly hair balls will cause varying degrees of wretch from non-productive hacking to full blown vomiting.

Cardboard shouldn't cause this kind of problem unless she reacts badly to it (causing vomiting) or it could cause a more obstructive problem which would cause vomiting on a more persistent basis with or without an absence of faeces, so I wouldn't worry too much.

Certainly, if there is a sudden deterioration or other clinical signs develop bloods would be a good port of call as organ disease (particularly kidneys) can cause varying grades of vomiting.

Food can cause hypersensitivities or intolerances which can manifest as vomiting. This would be much more likely if the diet was new and coincided with the vomiting. Hills c/d shouldn't specifically cause vomiting.

The reasoning for the timing of the vomiting/wretch is bizarre and could ever be from a reduced consciousness (when awake the conscious control of vomiting and wretching maybe stronger than when asleep or first roused), when awake there are many distractions that occupy animals so often mild vomiting can be masked.

Again, it maybe positional in that laying on her side for a prolonged time increases stomach acidity/reflux into the oesophagus causing acting wretch which dependant on the stomach contents at that time will or will not be productive.

No problem seeing how things go, but definitely if there is no respite or things worsen then head back to your vets.

Take care

Dan

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • The response from the Expert literally saved my cat's life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- I will recommend all of my friends to you!!! Lucia Rincon, Georgia
< Last | Next >
  • The response from the Expert literally saved my cat's life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart -- I will recommend all of my friends to you!!! Lucia Rincon, Georgia
  • I will use your service again. I was very pleased with the response and the fact that you have a low cost option so that those of us on fixed income can have questions answered. I will also recommend you to others. Karen Jackson Heights, NY
  • You helped us to come to what we believe is a better next step in Jack's treatment, and hopefully have saved us $800!! Thanks again! Jack's Mom Tuscon, AZ
  • The vet said that the information and my following it will be what made the difference. Thanks again for being so very helpful. Tracy Grayson, LA
  • My oldest male cat had a seizure this evening. This site was the first place I could think of to go after the seizure had passed. Dr. Lucy was fantastic and she was spot on! Debbie USA
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Terri

    Feline Healthcare Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    18938
    Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/purrfectkitty/2008-07-10_084515_2006-06-10_me2.jpg Terri's Avatar

    Terri

    Feline Healthcare Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    18938
    Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    868
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CE/Cerecita/2011-3-16_2565_JAPIC500x500.64x64.jpg Cher's Avatar

    Cher

    Feline Specialist

    Satisfied Customers:

    9637
    Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/kydoll/2008-11-26_190500_me.jpg Lori's Avatar

    Lori

    Feline Healthcare

    Satisfied Customers:

    3325
    16 yrs health care mgmt & issues relating to cats, reproductive issues and multicat environments
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/mccprn/2009-11-20_185102_JA_profile.jpg Micki's Avatar

    Micki

    Expert in cat behavior and health

    Satisfied Customers:

    3153
    Expert in cat medical and behavior issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ER/ERPetNurse/2011-11-7_1293_b.64x64.jpg Candy R.'s Avatar

    Candy R.

    Veterinary Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    2887
    Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/babybloo/2011-3-10_62613_DavidandI.64x64.jpg Theresa's Avatar

    Theresa

    A Voice for your Pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    2124
    19+ years in animal medicine as a veterinary technician
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Cat Vet
Dr. Dan M.
Dr. Dan M.
Cat Vet
1458 Satisfied Customers
Small Animal Veterinary Surgeon