Usually you hear it before you see the results: Your cat makes a series of hacking noises. Before you react, she's deposited the contents of her tummy on your sofa. Once is more than enough. But if your cat throws up continuously, she needs a dose of anti-nausea medication.
Metoclopramide is a prescription medication that treats acid reflux and nausea in humans. Commercial names include Reglan, Maxolon and Octamide. Vets use metoclopramide to calm cats' stomachs and to get things such as food or hairballs moving out of the tummy and on their way through the intestines. Mirtazapine (brand name Remeron) is another medicine for nausea in cats. It was originally used as an antidepressant but was found to calm the stomach and even stimulate the appetite. If your cat persistently vomits, your vet might prescribe Remeron tablets or give her a shot of metoclopramide. He also could prescribe it as pills or syrup.
If you're certain that your cat's upset stomach can be blamed on bad chow, you can try a human over-the-counter remedy. Kaopectate soothes your tummy and it can help your kitty's, too. One measuring teaspoon of the medicine should be enough unless your cat is exceptionally large, as the dosage is one teaspoon for every 10 pounds. Don't substitute Pepto-Bismol: "The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats" indicates that medication has asprin-related ingredients that could be toxic to your cat.
What Makes Kitty Nauseous
Knowing what's causing your kitty to upchuck will help you figure out how to calm her tummy and get it back to normal. It could just be a stomach bug or something she ate. Medications can sometimes cause nausea, and so does eating grass. Felines who have a hard time passing hair through their digestive systems will throw up hairballs. Drinking too much water in one shot can also cause your cat to vomit. If you can't attribute your cat's nausea to any of these causes, try to determine whether she came into contact with anything poisonous; poison is another cause of vomiting in cats.
When to Call the Vet
It's never advisable to treat your cat with your own prescriptions. If she is throwing up persistently and you don't have the appropriate over-the-counter medication on hand -- or if it isn't helping -- get her in to see her doctor right away. Continued vomiting weakens your cat and can dehydrate her quickly. If she isn't responding to the proper dose of over-the-counter medicine, the cause of the nausea might be more serious than you thought.
- Vetinfo: Treating Gastritis in Cats with Metoclopramide (Reglan)
- Vetinfo: Remeron Side Effects in Cats
- Vet Street: Metoclopramide (Rx)
- The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats; Editors of Prevention Health Books
- Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images