You hear it again: Kitty is retching after chowing down. From simply eating too fast to irritable bowel syndrome, there are several possible reasons why he can't keep his food down. Bringing Kitty some comfort starts by figuring out what's causing him to throw up after eating.
Eating Too Fast
Watch your cat when he eats. Does he gleefully bury his head in his bowl and chomp down as much kibble as he possibly can? Does he clear his plate almost as fast as you fill it up? If so, he's likely eating too fast. If he powers through a meal, he may be improperly chewing his food and ingesting a lot of air, which would cause him to immediately throw it back up. Try feeding Kitty smaller meals until you see he's figured out how to put on the brakes while eating. If he still sucks it up like a Hoover, try scattering his food on a wide, flat platter or cookie sheet. By spreading out the kibble, you'll force him to slow down his scarfing.
Switching Food Too Quickly
Maybe your kitty's favorite food fell victim to a recall, or your local pet store simply stopped carrying it. Whatever the reason, sometimes we're forced to make a change in Kitty's diet. "Making do" one night with a different food, or switching his diet too quickly, could be the cause of his tummy upset.
Find a food that is as similar to his old food as possible if you can't get the exact stuff, and take several days gradually switching from this "old" food to the new. For two or three days his portions should be 75 percent old and 25 percent new food. Follow with a couple days feeding a 50-50 mix, then a couple days feeding 75 percent new food and 25 percent old. After about a week, you should be able to feed him just new kibble with no problem.
It's possible Kitty has an intolerance to something in his food, making him have a little trouble properly digesting it. Your first step is to arrange a blood test to determine if Kitty has any food allergies. To accurately determine what is causing the intolerance, Kitty may need to put on an elimination diet. This means he'll eat a special diet, sometimes of home-cooked foods, recommended by his vet. You'll have to avoid the temptation to give Kitty any special treats or let him roam where he might find other food sources. The vet will then slowly introduce new ingredients to try and pinpoint which one is making Kitty sick. Once the culprit is determined, he'll be put on a special diet formulated for his sensitive tummy.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, may be to blame for a cat's upchucking his dinner. IBS refers to a collection of conditions that cause stomach upset and diarrhea in your kitty. IBS is most often attributed to diet, so keeping Kitty on a diet formulated for a sensitive stomach is important. Look for proteins like chicken or turkey, as they are the least likely to cause backlash. It is important that Kitty gets enough fatty acids in his diet. Try supplementing his food with Omega 3 fatty acids. Other supplements such as sulphur, podophyllum, alchemilla vulgaris and plantago major have shown promise at alleviating IBS symptoms.
You may try feeding your cat treats or a cat food formulated with probiotics. Probiotics are good bacteria that live inside kitty's digestive tract and support his immune system, protecting him from bad bacteria. If dietary changes don't improve the condition, his vet may prescribe a glucocorticoid, a medication that reduces inflammation by suppressing his immune system. His vet may prescribe metronidazole if he believes a protozoa could be the culprit.
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.