Kittens may experience vomiting for a number of reasons, but some kitten vomiting may be the result of a more serious condition. Knowing the facts about the signs and symptoms of your kitten’s vomiting problem can help you make a more informed decision about treatment.
There are many reasons that may cause a kitten to vomit. Digestive upset is very often the cause of vomiting in cats and may be the result of hairballs, changes in diet, food sensitivity or allergies. Even something as simple as stress can result in occasional vomiting. More serious causes of vomiting may include intestinal parasites, nervous system problems, peritonitis, poisons, kidney or liver disease, chronic renal failure, acute metritis or uterus problems, hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, bowel or intestinal obstructions and skin diseases. The key to determining if your kitten’s vomiting is caused by a simple problem or a more serious condition requiring treatment is know your kitten’s overall health habits and note any changes accordingly. This will allow you to notice extreme changes in your kitten.
Occasional vomiting may occur with healthy cats. Look for changes such as persistent vomiting or vomiting over long periods of time. Other warning signs include blood or feces in the vomit, projectile vomiting or parasites that can be seen in the vomit. The composition of the kitten’s vomit may provide clues to its cause. Blood in vomit may indicate stomach problems or bleeding, mucus may mean a problem with the upper intestines; food may indicate poisons or digestive upset and vomit containing bile may mean a bowel problem. With persistent vomiting it is also wise to keep track of your kitten’s overall appearance. Look for other warning signs that can accompany serious problems such as diarrhea, lack of appetite, lethargy, and weight loss. Your kitten’s behavior can tell you a lot about their health. If your kitten is vomiting repeatedly or has anything abnormal about their vomit and their general demeanor is different, then a trip to the vet’s office is probably warranted.
To determine the cause of your kitten’s vomiting, your vet will most likely run diagnostic tests and procedures. They may perform a blood chemistry test, blood cell counts, x-rays, urinalysis or ultrasounds to check for signs of injury or disease. Once a proper diagnosis is obtained, you and your vet can discuss treatment options. Intravenous fluids, medications or even surgery may be needed to cure serious health problems. Treatment at home for simple kitten vomiting problems means keeping a close watch to prevent dehydration, which can be extremely serious for young cats.
You can help avoid kitten vomiting by keeping your pet up to date on vaccinations to prevent serious diseases and keeping him free of worms and fleas. Worming for kittens should be done three times during the kitten’s early life, every two weeks. Then your kitten should be wormed every two months for the first six months after that. Once this stage is reached a kitten or cat will only need to be wormed every three to six months on a regular schedule. Keeping your cats skin healthy will prevent hairball and skin conditions that cause licking and hair ingestion. Provide your kitten with a healthy and nutritious diet, and avoid sudden changes in diet that may cause stomach upset.
Change your kitten’s food over a period of time and in small doses. Always feed fresh food, don’t refrigerate older food to serve again as it may grow bacteria in it. Don’t give your kitten cow’s milk as it often causes stomach upset. Groom your kitten regularly to prevent the ingestion of hair. If hairballs are a consistent problem, you may wish to discuss medications or over the counter treatments for hairballs with your vet.
Like humans, kittens may occasionally vomit to rid their bodies of unwanted or harmful substances. By knowing your kitten’s behavior and overall health, you will be able to determine if vomiting is occurring too much or if you kitten is showing signs of more serious problems