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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21196
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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Garfield is a large male cat and generally very healthy.

Customer Question

Garfield is a large male cat and generally very healthy. Last night he vomited several times. This morning he seemed disoriented and weak. His meow was hoarse. He is making chomping motions like he a sore throat or difficulty swallowing. He doesn't want to eat or drink water or socialize. Do you know what could be wrong?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B,a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

What is he bringing up in his vomit?

Can he keep any water down?

Are his gums nice and pink (not white/pale)? Moist or sticky?

If you press on his belly, does he have any tensing, tenderness, discomfort, or pain?

Could he have eaten anything he should not have (ie bones, string, plants, chemicals, human meds, etc)?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Garfield seems quite a bit better this morning. He started eating again.
He isn't vomiting any more but when he was, the vomit was tan in color and looked like watered down, slightly foamy food.
His belly didn't seem to hurt.He still has a hoarse meow and is still somewhat weak but no longer seems disoriented.
Garfield is an indoor cat so I'm pretty sure he didn't eat anything harmful.
Do cats get headaches? I'm asking that because yesterday he was so disoriented and skittish like something bad was going on in his mind.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you,

Now no one has ever been able to demonstrate that cats get headaches (since they cannot tell us), but I suspect they could. That said, as I am sure you can appreciate, an episode of profuse vomiting can take a toll on them. It can make them feel weak, unwell, lethargic, and wobbly (especially if their blood sugar drops with this). Furthermore, his voice change and chomping do fit with irritation to his esophagus from the vomiting (its force and the stomach acid). And if he is feeling poorly with it, then withdrawing and hiding are common cat behaviors we see with this.

Now in regards ***** ***** could have caused these signs, we do always have a few culprits to consider. Specifically, these include bacterial or viral GI bugs, parasites, dietary indiscretion, inflammatory disease (ie IBD), and ingestion of odd items (less likely for Garfield).

With all this in mind, I am glad to hear that he is feeling better today. If he hasn't vomited anymore, then we do want to monitor him at this stage. If you see further vomiting or he appears nauseous (ie gagging, retching, hard swallowing, lip licking), then I would note that you could try to soothe his stomach and throat by treating with an antacid. There are a number of antacids that are available over the counter and pet friendly. I would advise only treating with one, but the two I tend to recommend are:

*Pepcid (More Info/Dose @
*Zantac (More Info/Dose @

*Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @
This medication of course shouldn’t be given without consulting your vet if he does have any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medications. Ideally, it should be given about 30 minutes before food to ease his upset stomach.

As well, since his stomach has recently been unstable, I would note that you may want to consider putting him on a light/easily digestible diet. Examples of this would be boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk), meat baby food (do avoid the ones with garlic powder in the ingredients) or there are also veterinary prescription diets that can be used here (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity.) These just tend to be better tolerated when we have GI upset and are all soft on his throat (which will avoid irritation as it heals). And if he is still unsteady on his stomach, then we can offer this as small meals a few times daily to reduce the risk of vomiting.

Overall, I am very glad to hear that Garfield is feeling better. Still, we do want to keep an eye out for any more GI upset and use the above as needed to settle his stomach for him.

All the best,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am keeping a close eye on Garfield. He is again drinking water and eating small amounts of food. No vomiting. I think he is feeling better. He's not back yet to his old self but hopefully is on his way. Thank you for your help.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Good! That is just what we want for him. It may just be that he had a dietary indiscretion that he has now pass. So, do keep an eye but hopefully the worst has passed for him.

All the best to you both,

Dr. B.