Cat Vomiting and Diarrhea: Causes & Care Tips

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on cat vomiting and diarrhea. If your feline friend is experiencing these symptoms, it’s essential to understand the possible causes and provide appropriate care. Vomiting and diarrhea can be indicators of underlying gastrointestinal issues in cats, ranging from mild digestive disturbances to more serious conditions like gastroenteritis.

In this article, we will explore the common causes, signs and symptoms, diagnostic processes, treatment options, home remedies, and preventive measures for cat vomiting and diarrhea. By gaining a deeper understanding of these topics, you can effectively manage your cat’s symptoms and promote their overall digestive health.

Key Takeaways:

  • Cat vomiting and diarrhea can be signs of underlying gastrointestinal problems in cats.
  • Recognizing the symptoms and identifying the root cause is crucial for appropriate care.
  • Veterinary consultation is important for accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment.
  • Treatment options may include medication, dietary changes, and supportive measures.
  • Home remedies and preventive measures can help manage symptoms and minimize recurrences.

Understanding Cat Vomiting and Diarrhea

Cat vomiting and diarrhea are common gastrointestinal problems that can affect our feline friends. If you’ve ever witnessed your cat experiencing these symptoms, it’s essential to understand the underlying causes and address them promptly. Identifying the root cause of cat vomiting and diarrhea is crucial for effective treatment and ensuring your cat’s overall health and well-being.

There can be various causes behind cat vomiting and diarrhea. It’s important to note that these symptoms can occur independently or together, indicating a more severe gastrointestinal issue. In some cases, they may be temporary and resolve on their own, while in others, they may require veterinary care and treatment.

Some of the common causes of cat vomiting include:

  • Dietary changes or intolerances
  • Allergies to certain foods or ingredients
  • Infections, such as gastrointestinal viruses or bacteria
  • Ingesting foreign objects
  • Parasites, like roundworms or Giardia

Similarly, cat diarrhea can have various underlying causes, such as:

  • Dietary indiscretions or sudden dietary changes
  • Infections, including bacterial, viral, or parasitic
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Intestinal blockages

Identifying the specific cause of cat vomiting and diarrhea can be challenging without a veterinary examination. Therefore, if your cat experiences recurrent or persistent gastrointestinal issues, it’s crucial to seek professional advice.

Early diagnosis and intervention are key to preventing complications and providing appropriate treatment for your cat.

By understanding the common causes of cat vomiting and diarrhea, you can be better prepared to address these issues promptly. Being proactive in your cat’s care and seeking veterinary attention when necessary will help ensure their comfort and well-being.

If you’re unsure about the cause of your cat’s vomiting or diarrhea, consult your veterinarian. They will perform a thorough examination and may recommend additional tests, such as blood work, fecal analysis, or imaging, to determine the underlying cause.

In the next section, we will discuss the specific symptoms and signs of gastrointestinal issues in cats, helping you recognize when your cat may be experiencing digestive disturbances.

Symptoms and Signs of Gastrointestinal Issues in Cats

Gastrointestinal issues in cats can manifest through various symptoms and signs. Understanding these indications is crucial for early detection and prompt treatment. If your feline friend is experiencing any of the following symptoms, it may indicate a gastrointestinal problem:

  • Vomiting: Regular or chronic vomiting, especially after meals.
  • Diarrhea: Frequent loose stools that may be watery or have blood.
  • Loss of Appetite: Decreased interest in food or complete refusal to eat.
  • Weight Loss: Noticeable decrease in body weight over a short period.
  • Abdominal Discomfort: Signs of pain or discomfort in the abdominal area.
  • Lethargy: Reduced energy levels and reluctance to engage in normal activities.
  • Dehydration: Dry or sticky gums, excessive thirst, and sunken eyes.
  • Changes in Bowel Movements: Straining during defecation or abnormal consistency of stools.

If you observe any of these symptoms in your cat, it’s important to consult a veterinarian for a thorough examination and accurate diagnosis. Prompt action can help prevent further complications and ensure your cat’s well-being.

Gastrointestinal issues can be caused by various factors such as dietary changes, food allergies, infections, parasites, or underlying medical conditions. Identifying these symptoms and promptly seeking veterinary care is essential in providing appropriate treatment and improving your cat’s quality of life.

Common Causes of Cat Vomiting and Diarrhea

Vomiting and diarrhea are common gastrointestinal issues that can affect cats. Understanding the causes behind these symptoms is crucial for proper management and care. In this section, we will explore the common culprits that contribute to cat vomiting and diarrhea.

Dietary Changes: Abrupt changes in your cat’s diet can cause gastrointestinal upset, leading to vomiting and diarrhea. Introducing new foods too quickly or abruptly switching to a different brand can disrupt the delicate balance of your cat’s digestive system.

Food Allergies: Some cats may develop allergies or sensitivities to certain ingredients in their food. Common allergens include fish, dairy products, and grains. Consuming these allergens can trigger an immune response, resulting in vomiting and diarrhea.

Infections: Viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections can wreak havoc on a cat’s digestive system. Infections such as feline panleukopenia virus, salmonella, and giardia can cause severe gastrointestinal symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhea.

Parasites: Internal and external parasites, such as worms and fleas, can infest a cat’s body and disrupt their gastrointestinal health. These parasites not only cause discomfort but can also lead to vomiting and diarrhea.

Toxic Substances: Ingesting toxic substances, such as certain plants, chemicals, or medications, can result in gastrointestinal distress in cats. The body’s natural response to these toxins is to expel them through vomiting and diarrhea.

Stress and Anxiety: Cats are sensitive animals, and stress can take a toll on their digestive system. Environmental changes, separation anxiety, or excessive noise can trigger vomiting and diarrhea.

Underlying Health Conditions: Cats with underlying health conditions, such as kidney disease, liver disease, or inflammatory bowel disease, may experience chronic vomiting and diarrhea as a result of their condition.

By identifying the potential causes of cat vomiting and diarrhea, you can work with your veterinarian to develop an appropriate treatment plan tailored to your cat’s specific needs.

Diagnosing Cat Vomiting and Diarrhea

When your cat experiences vomiting and diarrhea, it’s essential to determine the underlying cause to provide appropriate treatment. Veterinary consultation is crucial in diagnosing cat gastrointestinal problems and identifying the best course of action to alleviate your feline’s discomfort.

Veterinarians will conduct a thorough examination of your cat, taking into account its medical history and any relevant symptoms. They may ask about changes in diet, exposure to toxins, recent travel, or other factors that could contribute to gastrointestinal issues.

In addition to the physical examination, various diagnostic tests may be conducted to further investigate the root cause. These tests could include:

  1. Blood tests: A blood sample may be analyzed to check for any abnormalities or signs of infection.
  2. Fecal examination: The veterinarian may examine a stool sample to detect the presence of parasites, bacteria, or other pathogens.
  3. X-rays: Radiographs can help identify any obstructions, foreign bodies, or abnormalities in the gastrointestinal tract.
  4. Ultrasound: This imaging technique can provide more detailed information about the internal organs and help identify any structural issues.
  5. Endoscopy: In some cases, an endoscope may be used to visualize the gastrointestinal tract and obtain tissue samples for further analysis.

These diagnostic procedures help veterinarians narrow down the potential causes of cat vomiting and diarrhea. By identifying the specific issue, they can create an individualized treatment plan tailored to your cat’s needs.

Remember, it’s crucial to consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment recommendations for your cat’s vomiting and diarrhea. Self-diagnosis or reliance on unverified remedies may delay appropriate care and put your feline’s health at risk.

Treatment for Cat Vomiting and Diarrhea

When it comes to treating cat vomiting and diarrhea, there are several options available that can help alleviate the symptoms and promote your feline friend’s recovery. The treatment approach may vary depending on the underlying cause and severity of the condition.

1. Medication

In some cases, your veterinarian may prescribe medications to address cat vomiting and diarrhea. These medications aim to reduce gastrointestinal inflammation, control nausea, and regulate bowel movements. It’s important to follow the prescribed dosage and duration to ensure optimal results.

2. Dietary Changes

Adjusting your cat’s diet can play a significant role in managing vomiting and diarrhea. Your veterinarian may recommend a bland diet consisting of easily digestible foods such as boiled chicken or rice. This can help soothe your cat’s stomach and reduce the likelihood of further irritation.

3. Hydration

Keeping your cat hydrated is crucial during episodes of vomiting and diarrhea. Encourage your cat to drink water frequently and consider offering electrolyte solutions or specially formulated rehydration products. If your cat refuses to drink, you may need to syringe fluids under the guidance of your veterinarian.

4. Supportive Measures

In addition to medication and dietary changes, there are other supportive measures that can assist in the treatment process. These include:

  • Providing a calm and stress-free environment for your cat to aid in recovery
  • Regularly cleaning litter boxes to prevent recontamination
  • Isolating your cat from potential sources of infection or toxic substances

“Treatment for cat vomiting and diarrhea involves a combination of medication, dietary adjustments, hydration, and supportive measures. It’s essential to work closely with your veterinarian to determine the best course of action for your feline companion.”

Treatment OptionsBenefits
MedicationReduces inflammation, controls nausea, and regulates bowel movements.
Dietary ChangesHelps soothe the stomach and reduces further irritation.
HydrationPrevents dehydration and promotes overall well-being.
Supportive MeasuresAids in the recovery process and minimizes recontamination.
Cat Vomiting and Diarrhea: Causes & Care Tips 1

Home Remedies for Cat Vomiting and Diarrhea

If your feline friend is experiencing bouts of vomiting and diarrhea, there are several home remedies you can try to help manage their symptoms. These natural remedies and dietary modifications can promote a healthy digestive system and provide relief for your cat. However, it’s important to remember that these remedies should complement veterinary care and consultation, especially if the symptoms persist or worsen.

1. Fasting and Reintroduction of Food

In instances of mild cat vomiting and diarrhea, a short fasting period can help give your cat’s gastrointestinal system a chance to rest and recover. Gradually reintroduce small amounts of a bland diet, such as boiled chicken and rice, to provide easily digestible nourishment.

2. Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes

Probiotics and digestive enzymes can be beneficial in supporting your cat’s gut health. These supplements can help restore the balance of good bacteria in the digestive tract and aid in digestion. Consult your veterinarian for appropriate probiotic and enzyme options for your cat.

3. Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin puree, which is high in fiber, can help regulate your cat’s bowel movements. The fiber content adds bulk to the stool, which may be beneficial for cats experiencing diarrhea. Start with small amounts mixed into their food and monitor their response.

4. Adequate Hydration

Maintaining proper hydration is crucial for cats with vomiting and diarrhea. Offer fresh water at all times and consider providing a shallow dish of natural chicken broth to encourage hydration. You can also use a syringe (without the needle) to administer small amounts of water to your cat if they are reluctant to drink.

5. Stress Reduction and Environmental Enrichment

Stress can exacerbate digestive issues in cats, so it’s essential to create a calm and comfortable environment for your feline companion. Provide hiding spots, interactive toys, and vertical spaces for them to explore. This enrichment can help reduce stress and promote overall well-being.

Home Remedies for Cat Vomiting and DiarrheaHow It Helps
Fasting and Reintroduction of FoodAllows the digestive system to rest and reintroduces easily digestible food.
Probiotics and Digestive EnzymesPromotes a healthy gut by restoring beneficial bacteria and aiding digestion.
Pumpkin PureeHelps regulate bowel movements and adds bulk to the stool.
Adequate HydrationPrevents dehydration and supports overall health.
Stress Reduction and Environmental EnrichmentReduces stress, which can contribute to digestive issues, and promotes well-being.
Cat Vomiting and Diarrhea: Causes & Care Tips 2

Remember, while these home remedies can be helpful in managing mild cases of cat vomiting and diarrhea, it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and tailored treatment plan. Your veterinarian will be able to provide guidance on the best course of action based on your cat’s individual needs and underlying conditions.

Preventing Cat Vomiting and Diarrhea

To minimize the risks of cat vomiting and diarrhea, it’s important to implement preventive measures. By adopting a proactive approach, you can help maintain your cat’s digestive health and overall well-being. Here are some strategies to consider:

  1. Maintain a Consistent Diet: Cats thrive on routine, so it’s essential to stick to a consistent feeding schedule and provide them with a balanced diet. Avoid sudden dietary changes, as these can upset their stomach and lead to digestive disturbances.
  2. Gradual Diet Transitions: If you need to introduce new food to your cat’s diet, do it gradually and mix it with their current food. This allows their gastrointestinal system to adjust and minimizes the chances of vomiting and diarrhea.
  3. Parasite Prevention: Parasites like worms can cause gastrointestinal issues in cats, including vomiting and diarrhea. Ensure your cat receives regular veterinary check-ups and appropriate preventive treatments to keep parasites at bay.
  4. Promote a Stress-Free Environment: Cats are sensitive creatures, and stress can trigger digestive problems. Create a calm and peaceful environment for your cat, minimizing potential stressors and providing them with a safe and comfortable space.

Implementing these preventive measures can significantly reduce the occurrence of cat vomiting and diarrhea, promoting a healthier digestive system for your feline companion.

When to Seek Veterinary Care for Cat Vomiting and Diarrhea

If your cat is experiencing vomiting and diarrhea, it’s important to monitor their symptoms closely. In most cases, these issues resolve on their own within a day or two. However, there are certain situations when it’s crucial to seek veterinary care for your feline companion.

1. Persistent Symptoms

If your cat continues to vomit or have diarrhea for more than 24 hours, it’s recommended to consult a veterinarian. Persistent symptoms may indicate an underlying health condition that requires medical attention. The vet will be able to assess your cat’s overall health and provide appropriate treatment to alleviate their discomfort.

2. Severe Symptoms

If your cat is experiencing severe symptoms such as frequent vomiting, severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, or lethargy, it’s crucial to seek immediate veterinary care. These signs could be indicative of a more serious underlying issue that requires prompt intervention. A veterinarian will be able to perform a thorough examination, conduct diagnostic tests, and provide the necessary treatment to address the root cause of your cat’s distress.

3. Dehydration

If your cat is showing signs of dehydration, such as dry gums, sunken eyes, reduced skin elasticity, or excessive panting, it’s important to seek veterinary care. Vomiting and diarrhea can lead to fluid loss, and dehydration can quickly become a serious health concern. A veterinarian will be able to administer fluids and provide supportive care to rehydrate your cat and prevent complications.

4. Other Concerns

If you have any other concerns about your cat’s vomiting and diarrhea, such as a sudden change in behavior, loss of appetite, weight loss, blood in the vomit or stool, or the presence of parasites, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian. They will be able to evaluate your cat’s symptoms comprehensively and provide appropriate guidance and treatment.

Remember, as a cat owner, it’s important to trust your instincts. If you are worried about your cat’s condition or if their symptoms worsen, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and seek veterinary care. Prompt attention and proper medical treatment can help identify the underlying cause of your cat’s vomiting and diarrhea and ensure they receive the care they need to recover.


In conclusion, cat vomiting and diarrhea are common symptoms that could be an indication of underlying gastrointestinal issues. It’s important to closely observe your cat’s behavior and seek veterinary care if these symptoms persist or worsen.

By understanding the causes of cat vomiting and diarrhea, you can take appropriate measures to manage these symptoms and provide relief to your feline companion. This may include changes in their diet, providing plenty of fresh water, and creating a stress-free environment.

It is crucial to consult with a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment options. They can recommend specific remedies for cat vomiting and diarrhea based on your cat’s individual needs and health condition. Remember, early detection and proper care can help your cat recover and maintain a healthy digestive system.


What are the common causes of cat vomiting and diarrhea?

There are several possible causes for cat vomiting and diarrhea, including dietary changes, food allergies, infections, parasites, and gastrointestinal issues.

How can I recognize gastrointestinal issues in my cat?

Look out for symptoms such as frequent vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, lethargy, and abdominal discomfort. These signs may indicate gastrointestinal problems.

When should I seek veterinary care for my cat’s vomiting and diarrhea?

It is advisable to seek veterinary care if your cat’s vomiting and diarrhea persist for more than 24 hours, if they exhibit severe symptoms, or if you notice any complications such as dehydration or blood in their stool.

What treatment options are available for cat vomiting and diarrhea?

Treatment for cat vomiting and diarrhea may involve medication, dietary changes, hydration therapy, and other supportive measures. Your veterinarian can recommend a suitable treatment plan based on the underlying cause.

Are there any home remedies I can try for cat vomiting and diarrhea?

There are some home remedies you can try to manage cat vomiting and diarrhea, such as feeding a bland diet, ensuring proper hydration, and using natural remedies like probiotics. However, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian before trying any home remedies.

How can I prevent cat vomiting and diarrhea?

To prevent cat vomiting and diarrhea, maintain a consistent diet, gradually transition to new foods, practice parasite prevention, and create a stress-free environment for your cat.


The content presented on this veterinary website is intended solely for general educational purposes and should not be regarded as a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is essential to consult a licensed veterinarian regarding any concerns or inquiries about the health and well-being of your pet. This website does not assert to encompass all conceivable scenarios or offer exhaustive knowledge on the topics discussed. The owners and contributors of this website bear no responsibility for any harm or loss that may arise from the utilization or misinterpretation of the information provided herein.

Dr.Mohd Saeed

Dr. Mohd Saeed is a veterinarian and freelance medical writer. has practiced veterinary medicine for over 20 years. In addition to starting his own medical writing business focused on pet parent education. . You can reach him at

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