Reasons an Indoor Cat Vomits

"I'm feeling a bit icky today."

"I'm feeling a bit icky today."

Kitty vomiting is never pleasant, but it's not always an emergency either. Finding the cause for the vomiting can be a challenge, though, as there could be dozens of reasons why Kitty is vomiting. In indoor cats, though, you can rule out accidental poisoning or other accidents as the cause.

Health Issues

A number of health issues can cause vomiting in cats, regardless of whether they live indoors or out. To rule out potentially fatal diseases, a visit to the vet -- and a few tests -- might be in order. According to WebMD, health issues that can cause vomiting include kidney and liver failure, viral infections, pancreatitis, gastritis and gastric or intestinal tumors.

Parasites and Worms

Just because Kitty lives indoors doesn't mean she can't contract parasites and worms. Indoor cats can pick up parasites in many ways, including from potted plants -- which might be home to roundworms -- and even from foods, especially if you feed your cat meat. Parasites and worms -- including heartworm -- can be a cause of vomiting in indoor cats.


Although hairballs are more common in long-haired breeds, short-haired cats can also experience them. Don't think you will always see the hair either -- sometimes cats with hairball problems will vomit or gag without producing a hairball -- usually because the hair is stuck to their throats and not coming out. If you think Fluffy has hairball issues, talk to your vet about buying a hairball product. These are designed to help hairballs pass through, so Kitty doesn't have to vomit them. Grooming Fluffy more often will also help, so she doesn't swallow all that hair every time she grooms herself.

Food Intolerance

If you've ruled out health problems and you're sure Kitty is not spitting out hairballs left and right, it might be time to look at his diet. According to the ASPCA, food allergies can be difficult to pinpoint, because Kitty might be allergic to just one ingredient -- such as chicken or corn. It's easy to check for allergies with an indoor cat, since you can restrict all other food sources and make sure she's only eating what you feed. Then try switching to a different brand of food and see if that makes a difference. Common signs that your kitty might be suffering from allergies include vomiting and diarrhea, itchy skin and runny eyes.


About the Author

Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.

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