Stop the Spew! 3 Home Remedies for a Vomiting Cat

Causes of Vomiting in Cats

There are several common causes of vomiting in cats:


Cats groom themselves frequently, ingesting loose hair in the process. Over time, this hair can accumulate into balls inside the stomach or intestines. As the hairball moves through the digestive tract, it may cause gagging, retching, and vomiting as the cat tries to expel it from the body. Hairballs are a very common cause of throwing up in cats [1].

Eating Too Fast

Some cats eat their meals too quickly. This can lead to indigestion, bloating, and regurgitation of undigested food shortly after eating. Slowing down mealtimes by feeding smaller amounts more frequently can help [2].


Cats can develop allergies to ingredients in their food, causing digestive upset and vomiting. Common triggers include beef, dairy products, chicken, and fish. Switching to a hypoallergenic diet recommended by your vet can help resolve food allergies.


Intestinal parasites like roundworms, hookworms, and giardia can infect cats, leading to vomiting and diarrhea. Annual fecal tests and prompt deworming treatment can clear up parasitic infections.

Food Sensitivity

Some cats have sensitivities to certain foods or ingredients. This can manifest as chronic vomiting and diarrhea. Your vet can help you identify problem ingredients and recommend an elimination diet trial.

Motion Sickness

Car rides, turbulence during air travel, or other motion can trigger nausea and vomiting in some cats prone to motion sickness. Medications prescribed by your vet can help reduce motion sickness symptoms.

When to See the Vet

It’s time to take your cat to the veterinarian if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Prolonged vomiting lasting more than 1-2 days (1,2)
  • Blood in the vomit which can indicate a serious issue (1,2,3)
  • Weight loss from excessive vomiting (2,3)
  • Lethargy or weakness which can be a sign of dehydration or other illness (1,2)
  • Poor appetite or not eating at all (1,2)

Vomiting that persists longer than 24 hours, contains blood, or is accompanied by lethargy, reduced appetite, or weight loss can indicate a potentially serious health issue that requires veterinary attention. Don’t wait too long to take your cat in if you notice these symptoms. Getting treatment quickly can help resolve the underlying cause and prevent complications.

Dietary Changes

One of the most effective home remedies for cat vomiting is to make dietary changes that are easier on your cat’s digestive system. Here are some tips:

Switch to an easily digestible cat food made with high-quality ingredients. Look for limited ingredient diets that contain proteins like chicken, fish, or turkey along with digestible carbohydrates like brown rice. Avoid heavy, greasy foods. According to one source, you can try feeding a mixture of 90% boiled chicken and 10% rice for a few days, in small amounts at a time.

Feed smaller, more frequent meals instead of one or two large meals. Give your cat a tablespoon or two of food several times throughout the day. This puts less pressure on your cat’s stomach. According to experts, feeding four-six small meals is ideal.

Slow down eating with puzzle feeders or cat treat balls. This prevents your cat from gobbling food too quickly, which can lead to vomiting. Place dry kibble in a food-dispensing toy that makes your cat “work” to get the food out.

Treat Hairballs

Hairballs are a common cause of vomiting in cats. As cats groom themselves, they swallow loose hair. If too much hair builds up in the digestive tract, it can form a hairball that leads to gagging, retching, and vomiting as the cat tries to expel it.

There are several ways to treat and prevent hairballs in cats:

  • Brush regularly – Frequent brushing helps remove excess loose hair before your cat swallows it during grooming. Use a rubber pet brush or comb daily or several times a week.[1]
  • Use hairball remedy paste/gel – Hairball remedies contain lubricants like petroleum jelly and oils that help bind hair together and allow it to pass more easily through the digestive tract. Give according to package directions.
  • Add fiber to diet – A high-fiber cat food or fiber supplements like pumpkin or Metamucil add bulk to help move hair through the intestines. Ask your vet for dosage recommendations.

With a combination of frequent brushing, hairball remedies, and added fiber, you can help minimize hairball vomiting episodes.

Manage Nausea

Nausea is often the culprit behind a cat’s vomiting episodes. There are some natural remedies you can try at home to help relieve nausea in cats:

Give peppermint or ginger. Both peppermint and ginger have soothing properties that can help calm a nauseous stomach. You can buy peppermint or ginger extract at health food stores. Add a few drops to your cat’s food or water, or rub a diluted solution on the cat’s paws for them to lick off. Always dilute extracts properly before giving them to your cat. [1]

Try over-the-counter anti-nausea medications. Your vet may recommend giving your cat an OTC medication like Cerenia to control nausea and vomiting. Follow your vet’s dosing instructions carefully. Cerenia blocks certain receptors involved in vomiting and has proven effective at controlling nausea in cats. [2]


Vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration in cats, so it’s important to keep your cat hydrated after an episode of vomiting. Dehydration can be life-threatening, so monitor your cat for signs like lethargy, dry gums, sunken eyes, loss of skin elasticity, and cracked pads [1]. If your cat shows these symptoms, contact your vet right away.

To prevent dehydration after vomiting, give your cat electrolyte replenishers like unflavored Pedialyte. Mix the Pedialyte with equal parts water to dilute it. Give your cat 1-2 mL per pound of body weight every 2-4 hours [2]. This will help replenish lost fluids and electrolytes.

You can also make water more appealing by cooling it down, switching to a pet fountain, or adding tuna juice to enhance the flavor. Try offering wet cat food, chicken broth, or dilute bone broth as well. Keep water bowls full and scatter water dishes around the house.

Soothe Stomach

There are some natural remedies that can help soothe your cat’s upset stomach and reduce nausea. One option is slippery elm bark, which contains mucilage that coats and protects the stomach lining. Give 1/4 teaspoon of slippery elm powder mixed with water by syringe or mixed into wet food once a day (

Chamomile can also help settle the stomach. Brew a cup of chamomile tea, let it cool, and mix in a few teaspoons to your cat’s water or food. The soothing properties can relieve stomach discomfort (

Finally, peppermint may help with nausea and vomiting. Put a drop of peppermint essential oil on your cat’s paw for them to lick off. Be sure to dilute and use sparingly, as peppermint oil can be toxic to cats in large quantities.

Clean up Vomit

Cleaning up cat vomit as soon as possible is important to avoid staining and lingering odors. Start by removing as much of the vomit as you can with paper towels. Gently blot the area, pressing down firmly but avoiding any scrubbing motions that could grind the mess further into the carpet fibers.[1] Then spray the area with cold water and continue blotting with clean paper towels or a washcloth until you’ve absorbed all the moisture.[2] Avoid using any household cleaners or carpet shampoos which could discolor or damage the carpet.

For odors, sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda over the area and let it sit for 15-20 minutes before vacuuming up. The baking soda will help soak up both the smell and any remaining moisture. You can also use an enzymatic cleaner formulated specifically for pet messes as this will break down the proteins and completely eliminate odors.[1] With prompt clean-up, you can get rid of both the stain and the smell from your cat’s vomit accident.



Prevent Vomiting

There are several things you can do to help prevent your cat from vomiting:

Slow down eating – Cats that eat too quickly can take in air which leads to vomiting. Use a puzzle feeder or ball that makes your cat eat slower. You can also spread their food out on a plate rather than a bowl.

Proper diet – Avoiding foods with wheat, soy, and dairy can eliminate allergies or intolerances that lead to vomiting. Gradually transition to a high-quality protein diet. Avoid fatty foods.

Routine care – Regular vet checkups, vaccines, parasite prevention, and dental cleanings help keep your cat healthy and prevent issues that cause vomiting.

Reduce stress – Environmental stress from changes, new pets, loud noises can cause vomiting. Keep your cat’s routine consistent and give them safe quiet spaces. Use calming aids like Feliway.

Avoid toxins – Keep household toxins, plants, and foods dangerous to cats out of reach. Cats can ingest toxins when grooming which makes them sick.


When to Re-introduce Food

It’s important to let your cat’s stomach rest after an episode of vomiting before re-introducing food. According to Quora, you should wait at least 12 hours before feeding your cat again to allow their stomach to settle. recommends waiting 24-72 hours if your cat is not eating at all to prevent metabolic problems.

Once your cat seems ready for food, re-introduce small portions of a bland diet like boiled chicken and rice. Give them several small meals spaced out over the day rather than one large meal to get their digestive system back on track. Monitor your cat for symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea and adjust portions accordingly. The goal is to transition slowly back to their normal diet over a period of a few days as their stomach recovers.

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