Is your cat vomiting yellow fluid? It can be pretty scary if your cat vomits, especially if you don’t know why. While cats are known to vomit occasionally, if it occurs frequently, it is considered abnormal. Cat vomit is usually frothy and white, clear, brown, pink or yellow.
Why do cats vomit yellow fluid?
Yellow vomit usually consists of stomach acid and bile. Stomach acid is produced in the stomach lining to aid digestion. Bile is a fluid produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. It goes into the duodenum (located next to the stomach) to further aid digestion.
When a cat vomits yellow fluid, it’s usually because the stomach is empty. The acid can irritate the stomach lining and cause cats to vomit. This explains why some cats vomit when they are especially hungry. However, there are many diseases that can cause cats to vomit, so don’t ignore your cat’s yellow vomit. Also, the yellow fluid could be more than just stomach acid and bile; it could be that your cat ate something yellow and couldn’t digest it properly.
There are many diseases that can cause cats to vomit yellow fluid. The following are just some of them:
- Gastritis (inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract)
- Gastrointestinal obstruction (sometimes caused by ingestion of a foreign body)
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- Cholangiohepatitis (inflammation of the liver/gallbladder)
- Inadvertent diet (eating foods that the cat’s gastrointestinal system cannot tolerate)
- toxin exposure
- various cancers
What to do if your cat spits up yellow fluid
If your cat has vomited yellow fluid once and has no other signs of illness, it may not be a cause for concern. Watch your cat carefully for a day or two to make sure his diet and behavior are normal. If your cat stops eating, becomes lethargic, or continues to vomit, contact your veterinarian for advice. Your veterinarian may recommend that you fast for 12-24 hours, eat a light diet, or attend a test. If vomiting becomes frequent or your cat seems to be struggling, take him to the nearest open veterinarian as soon as possible.
Treatment of Cat Vomiting
If your cat needs veterinary treatment for vomiting, your veterinarian may recommend diagnostic testing to determine the cause of the vomiting. Potential tests include blood chemistry, complete blood count, electrolytes, thyroid levels, urinalysis, X-rays (X-rays), ultrasound, and more. There are basic treatments available to provide supportive care for vomiting, but additional treatment recommendations may be made based on test results.
Supportive veterinary care for cat vomiting includes anti-nausea medication, subcutaneous or intravenous fluids to restore and maintain fluids, and a bland diet to ease digestion. Some cats can be treated on an outpatient basis, which means that the veterinarian will perform some treatment in the clinic and then may take you home to administer medication to your cat. Other more severely ill cats may require hospitalization for 24-hour care.
Some cats recover quickly, while others take more time. This usually depends on the underlying cause of the vomiting and the general condition of the cat. Your veterinarian is the best source of advice when it comes to your specific cat.
How to Prevent Cats from Vomiting
You may not be able to prevent your cat from vomiting. Sometimes the disease occurs without a known cause. However, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk.
- Bring your cat to the veterinarian for a routine health check each year (more if recommended by your veterinarian)
- Feed a high-quality diet rich in meat protein (wet food is ideal)
- Keep objects that could become foreign objects out of the cat’s reach. This includes string, ribbons, hair ties, and anything else small and attractive to cats that can be swallowed by cats.
- Keep plants, chemicals, human food and any other potential toxins out of reach.
Remember to contact your veterinarian at the early signs of illness; delaying will only make things worse. When in doubt, go to the nearest open veterinary office.