If your cat's recovering from a gastrointestinal ailment or surgery, your vet will advise you to feed a bland diet until Kitty recovers. You might also want to give your cat a bland meal if he's thrown up a few hours previously, dinnertime's approaching and he appears hungry.
If you've been through a bad bout of diarrhea or vomiting, you don't immediately go back to your regular menu. You know your system needs time to heal, so you take it easy with bland, "comfort" food until you feel back to normal. The same is true for your cat. While it's not unusual for cats to throw up, if it continues or if Kitty doesn't seem better within a day or so, take him to the vet. Also keep an eye on what's in the vomitus. If you find what looks like "furry feces" on your rug, it's likely a hairball and not a gastrointestinal infection.
The San Francisco Pet Hospital recommends a bland meal you can easily make for your cat, which should last him one day. Take 1 cup of cooked pastina, also known as baby pasta, and mix it with a jar of Beechnut chicken or turkey baby food. If substituting another brand of baby food, read the label carefully to make sure it doesn't contain onion powder, as that is toxic to felines. You can also use a 1/4 cup of boiled, skinless turkey or chicken. Other veterinary recipes substitute boiled white rice for the pastina.
If you don't want to or can't cook for Kitty, your vet can recommend commercial or special prescription diets designed for cats with gastrointestinal issues.
Follow your vet's instructions if Kitty has been in for treatment. If it's a case of a brief episode of vomiting or diarrhea and your cat seems otherwise fine, the Hope Center for Advanced Veterinary Medicine recommends letting his stomach rest for several hours. Giving him food or water too soon might lead to more vomiting. Feed him a small, bland meal, about one-quarter the size of his normal meal. If he keeps that down, continue feeding him this way for the next few days. If he throws up after eating, take him to the vet for an examination.
Foods to Avoid
If your cat usually craves seafood, avoid giving it to him until his digestive tract appears normal for a few days. Even if he's a chicken and turkey cat food lover, don't substitute that type of commercial cat food for the baby food or boiled fowl recipe. His canned cat food contains chemicals that could upset a stomach in delicate condition.
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.