It is pretty common for cats to vomit. It is a reality that most cat owners have to contend with. What if you spot your cat throwing up white foam, as opposed to food or water, though? This can scare the hell out of you and leave you with question, is she sick? Cats vomit white foam for many different reasons ranging from gastric problems to hairballs. This page highlights some of the common reasons why cats can puke a white foamy liquid along with symptoms associated with them.
- Why Is My Cat Throwing Up White Foam?
- Running on Empty Stomach
- Gastro-Intestinal Inflammation
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Adrenal Gland Disease
- Kidney Disease
- Cat Throwing Up White Foam and Not Eating – When to Be Concerned
- Other Reasons to Be Concerned About Cat Throwing Up White Foam
Why Is My Cat Throwing Up White Foam?
There is no easy, straightforward question to the question, “Why is my cat throwing up white foam?” since many possible factors may be to blame. The key to effectively honing on the cause of the problem is to pay attention to the symptoms. That way you can be able to determine if home treatment is enough or a visit to the veterinarian will be required. Here are the most common causes of cat throwing up white foam-like substance. As you will see, these are not mutually exclusive:
Running on Empty Stomach
According to Felinecrf.org, an excess of hydrochloric acid in the stomach may explain why you spot your cat throwing up white foam.
A cat release hydrochloric acid along with gastric juices and bile into the stomach in readiness for food. When food doesn’t arrive as soon as expected, the hydrochloric acid may irritate the stomach lining. As a result, your cat may vomit a white foam. The foam may also have a yellow tinge, as a result of bile, or have a white foamy liquid consistency.
Hydrochloric acid related stomach irritation, and the associated vomiting of white foam is usually seen with a change in feeding schedule. If you wish to implement this, it would help to give your feline companion a healthy snack to chew in the meantime.
Hairballs are another common reason for cat vomiting white foam. Cats get hairballs when they swallow loose hair as they groom their coat. It is hard for cats to digest the swallowed hair. As a result, it accumulates into a hairball in their digestive system.
Contrary to the popular perception, the foam from hairball-induced vomiting doesn’t necessarily have to feature any hair. Hairballs are usually very nauseating. Outdoor cats commonly eat grass to help them to induce vomiting which then brings out the nauseating hairballs. For indoor cats, however, foamy vomit may occur as a result of the hairball. If your cat is repeatedly throwing up white foam, watch out for other signs and symptoms of hairballs to determine if it is really the underlying cause of the problem. These include:
- A hacking sound – This usually precedes the ejection of the actual hairball from the system.
- Decreased desire to eat.
- Withdrawal – some cats may go to the extent of hiding
- Exhaustion – the cat may appear lethargic
You should be concerned if the white foamy substance in the vomit is tinged with blood. If that is the case, take your feline companion to the vet for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
Is your cat throwing up white foam and appears lethargic? This could be an indication of gastritis, a term used to refer to stomach inflammation. This can happen when your cat eats something that irritates their stomach lining.
Sometimes foreign objects such as toys. Strings, and plastics. The white foamy substance may be accompanied by blood, and sometimes bile – a yellowish substance. Some condition such as diabetes in cats can also cause gastric distress that culminate in your cat puking a shite foamy liquid.
Gastritis is usually associated with other signs and symptoms such as lack of appetite, lethargy (depression), stomachache, discomfort when picked – shown by hissing or biting – and constipation. If you suspect gastritis as the reason for cat vomiting white foamy stuff, seek veterinarian assistance promptly.
Peppermint tea is touted to help give relief for upset stomach in cats. Steep some peppermint tea in a pot of boiling water, then strain out the leaves. Allow the tea to cool down, then give your cat a tablespoon every few hours.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Related to the previous cause of foamy vomiting in cats is a condition known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBW). The disease causes various stomach and gastrointestinal problems in the affected cats. Foamy vomiting occurs when unwanted cells invade the gastrointestinal tract, causing inflammation. Watch out for other symptoms of IBW such as weight loss, diarrhea, weakness, and appetite decline.
Adrenal Gland Disease
Adrenal gland disease is also a likely cause for kitten throwing up white foam. With this disease, cortisone production is hampered. Although it can affect both older and young cats, female kittens tend to be more commonly affected. It is marked by symptoms such as diarrhea, withdrawal (depression), muscle weakness (lethargy), and low blood sugar.
For some kitten, throwing up white foam is an indication of eating excessive food. Because they are typically not used to their diets, kitten often don’t know when to get off the feeding dish. As a result, they often overeat, which then manifests itself in vomiting. The nature of the vomit may range from a white foam substance to a yellow-tinged substance due to presence of bile.
According to Dr. Marie Haynes, a veterinarian based in Ottawa, Canada, puking a white foamy substance may be an early sign of kidney failure. Other symptoms to watch out for include an increased desire to drink water, difficulty urinating. If you suspect kidney problems, it is advisable to seek urgent veterinary intervention.
Cat Throwing Up White Foam and Not Eating – When to Be Concerned
Although rare, masses of hairballs can grow too large as to cause your cat frequent nausea and vomiting, not to mention intestinal blockage. This is usually a serious condition for cats. The affected cat also develops declined desire to eat. If your cat goes for 24 hours or more without eating, it is a great idea to seek the attention of your vet right away. This will help prevent a condition known as fatty liver disease, which develops when a cat goes for prolonged period of time without eating.
Other Reasons to Be Concerned About Cat Throwing Up White Foam
Other than your cat refusing for more than 24 hours – which puts her at risk of fatty liver – you will want to consider paying an urgent visit to your veterinarian in the vent of the following scenarios:
- Your cat vomits more than a couple times per day. This is especially true if vomiting intervals are less than an hour apart.
- The cat seems to be getting thirsty faster than usual. This could be a sign of kidney toxicity and/or failure.
- Your cat shows difficulty urinating. This is especially true for male cats which are more predisposed to urinary tract blockage than their female counterparts.
Whatever the underlying cause for the foamy vomit, a general guideline goes: you are better safe than sorry.
Felinecrf.org: Appetite Loss, Nausea and Vomiting
Mercola.com The Most Common Reasons Cats Throw Up…
Pet Health Network: Did Your Cat Eat Something Weird?
PetMD: Fatty Liver Disease in Cats
TheNest.com: Do Cats Vomit White Liquid Because of Hairballs?