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Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21332
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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My cat keeps licking his lips and thowing up.

Customer Question

My cat keeps licking his lips and thowing up.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Cher replied 5 years ago.

I'm sorry your cat is not feeling well.

When did he begin to show these symptoms?

When he throws up, is it just liquid, digested food, or undigested food?

What food are you giving him now (brand and wet or dry)?

Is he eating and drinking and then throwing up right after, or just throwing up at random times?

Does your cat spend any time outside?

Is he urinating and defecating as usual since the throwing up started?

Thanks for all your additional detail.
Expert:  Cher replied 5 years ago.
Hi again,

I was hoping to get some additional information from you, but I see that you're offline now and it's important that I get this answer to you as soon as possible.

Your cat's symptoms of licking his lips and throwing up are caused by nausea. He will need to be seen by the vet to determine the reason he is nauseated. Possible causes of this symptom may include, but are not limited to: XXXXX XXXXX viral or bacterial infection, ingestion of a toxic or other non food substance, eating too quickly, acid reflux, or food allergies. You can read more about vomiting in cats, here:

Because your cat is male, it's also possible that he has developed a urinary obstruction, so it's important to be aware if he has urinated within the past 12 hours. If your cat is unable to urinate, the toxins from his waste will build up in his system and can cause vomiting. A urethral obstruction in a male cat is an emergency, so if he has not urinated within the past 12-24 hours, he needs to be seen by a vet immediately. Also, make sure your cat has been defecating, because if he is constipated and/or not able to pass stool, this will also cause toxins to back up into his system and can cause vomiting.

Do not continue to offer your cat food or water at this time, especially if he is throwing up frequently. Vomiting frequently, can lead to dehydration, as your cat is losing a lot of fluid, so at this time, it is advisable to have him evaluated in person by a vet as soon as possible, so he can be treated. Sometimes, the cause of the vomiting is not able to be determined, but the vet will give your cat a shot of an anti-emetic medication that will decrease the nausea and help him feel better. If he is determined to be dehydrated, he may need fluids IV or under the skin.

Once the vomiting stops (within 12-24 hours after he gets the anti-emetic injection), you can begin offering him small amounts of his regular food (preferably canned) and/or bland food like plain jarred baby food meat containing NO onion products, garlic, or any seasoning at all, like Beechnut Stage 1 chicken and chicken broth, until he gets back on track and you gradually start re-introducing his regular food again. Of course, fresh water should be available at all times.

If your cat may have excess stomach acid or acid reflux, discuss with your vet if you can give him 1/4 of a regular strength (10 mg.) Pepcid AC tablet once a day.

I hope all will be well with your furry boy!

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Best regards,