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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20843
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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Our 5 year old female cat vomited several times yesterday,

Customer Question

Our 5 year old female cat vomited several times yesterday, mostly bile. Not long after she wanted to eat, which led to eventually vomiting again. She is our little diva; she is strictly an indoor cat. She only eats Medi-Cal dry and wet food. She is usually rambunctious, etc Refrained from giving her food yesterday hoping her stomach would settle. This a.m. she seems to not have vomited, however, you can see she is jumpy, and legarthic, yet still seeks to be cuddled. She is really off-We moved here in Gaspesie 2 yrs ago-we now heat with wood-which involves stocking wood in basement. Could she have eaten something on stocked wood, bugs, or mouse in basement? What are signs of poissioning?? Should I bring her to emerg?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The Veterinarian will know if the cat will be able to digest that. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the cat?
Customer: Only that this cat is never neglected and has regular checkups, etc
JA: What is the cat's name?
Customer: Percé (as in the Percé rock in Gaspesie, Quebec)
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 7 months ago.

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

Can she keep water down?

Are her gums pink or white/pale? Moist or sticky?

Any breathing changes?

If you press on her belly, any tensing, tenderness, discomfort, or pain?

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

Any diarrhea?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
She doesn't seem to want water
Her gums are normal-pinkish
Breathing seems regular
Doesn't seem to have tenderness on her belly
Could have eaten something in basement?? We store firewood?? Otherwise have been racking brain but come up with nothing! She has always eaten Purina Essential care and Royal Canine dental
No diarrhea
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 7 months ago.

Thank you,

Now it isn't likely Percé would have eaten the wood itself, though bugs and mice can cause indigestion and would be concerns here. Of course, we can also see nausea induced vomiting and anorexia in cats from bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, parasites/protozoa infections, and general dietary indiscretion. And as cats are not well designed to be off food for long, we do have the additional risk of this leading to liver compromise (hepatic lipidosis),s o we do need to tread with care here.

Now since she sounds quite nausea but hasn't any of those other more urgent signs I asked about, we can try to ease her nausea just now. To do so, you can try her with an antacid. Common OTC pet safe options would be: Pepcid (More Info/Dose @, or Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @ Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before food to allow absorption. Of course, do double check with your vet if she has a known health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned. Though if you give this and she cannot keep it down due to nausea that is usually a red flag that we need to bypass her mouth with injectable anti-vomiting medication from her vet.

Afterwards, you can consider starting Percé on a easily digestible diet like boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (as long as its garlic/onion free). There are also OTC vet diets that can be used (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity) too. The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset. As long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise continuing this until the signs are settled, and then weaning her slowly back to her normal diet.

Since dehydration is a risk here, we need to keep an eye on her hydration. To check that Percé isn't dehydrated, there are a few things you can test. Further to checking for gum moisture, do make sure she doesn’t have sunken eyes and that she doesn’t have a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a good video HERE ( If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then that would be our cue to have her seen before this becomes an additional issue for her (especially as it is often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).

Overall, there are a wide range of agents could trigger what we are seeing. This doesn't sound like a poisoning with her lack of other signs but she sounds significantly nauseous still. Therefore, we’d want to start supportive care to settle her stomach. If she cannot keep that or water down at any point, appears dehydrated already, or doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours (as we don't want this to linger); then we'd want to get her vet involved. They can assess her hydration, rule out fever, make sure there is nothing in her stomach that shouldn't be there or any sinister viruses present. Depending on their findings, her vet can treat her with injectable anti-nausea medication, appetite stimulants, fluids, +/- antibiotics to nip this in the bud for her.

All the best,

Dr. B.


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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 7 months ago.
Hi Nicole,

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

Dr. B.