Imagine the frustration of eating and then vomiting everything right back up. That's how your kitty feels when she just can't seem to keep her food down. Sometimes the fault lies with her overly eager eating habits, but her body can also be the problem maker.
Eating Too Fast
Some kitties look at a bowl full of food and have a mini panic attack. Their only thought is that they have to eat that food as fast as possible. If your kitty eats too quickly, she's going to walk away from her food bowl and often vomit it right back up. The behavior might seem strange, but it's not irrational. She knows food is one of her most important resources. She feels that if she doesn't hurry up and scarf it down, someone or something else might take it. This is especially true if she has a feline brother or sister or if she lived on the streets for a while. Feeding her smaller amounts throughout the day should put a stop to the vomiting. You can also place a ramekin in the center of the bowl and scatter the food around the ramekin so she has to spend more time getting each kibble.
Too Much Food
Some cats don't know when to say no to the food in front of their face. So they fill their stomachs a bit too much and proceed to throw it all up a little while later. If you free-feed your kitty, switch to timed feedings so that she doesn't have access to endless amounts of food whenever she wants.
Just as someone who's lactose intolerant may vomit after drinking milk, your kitty might vomit if she eats food she's allergic to. Cats can become allergic to all sorts of ingredients commonly found in lots of cat food, from the incredibly tasty chicken to the more boring cereal grains. When she ingests the allergen, her immune system overreacts and will try to flush it from her system, which sometimes means vomiting. She'll also likely appear very itchy and may have diarrhea. Her vet will set her up with hypoallergenic food. After her symptoms disappear, you can try introducing one ingredient at a time, such as grain-free food with chicken. If her symptoms reappear, you've pinpointed at least one allergen.
Anytime your kitty experiences esophagus problems, whether it's an enlarged esophagus or narrow esophagus, she's going to have problems getting her food to find its way to her stomach. Regurgitating is often the end result. Sometimes her esophagus problem is something she's born with. In other cases, you can pin the blame on a nasty parasite or even cancer. If her esophagus is indeed the problem, your vet can sometimes fix her all up by finding and removing the cause or prescribing medications. Surgery is also on the table.
See the Vet
Even if you think you've pinpointed the cause of your kitty's vomiting, always check in with your vet. Vomiting or regurgitating soon after eating almost always points to a food-specific or esophagus problem, but if she's vomiting hours after she eats or throughout the day, there's the possibility of another medical condition at play.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Located in Pittsburgh, Chris Miksen has been writing instructional articles on a wide range of topics for online publications since 2007. He currently owns and operates a vending business. Miksen has written a variety of technical and business articles throughout his writing career. He studied journalism at the Community College of Allegheny County.