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  1. #1
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    Default Cat Regurgitates Entire Meal Much Too Often - update 2/5

    Argh, this can't be good for kitty, and it's so very definitely not good for the upholstered and carpeted surfaces in my home. (It's super great, of course, for the cleaning product industry)

    My 7 year old domestic short hair female kitty is a vomit machine. It comes and goes in frequency and intensity, but it's on the upswing again.

    Ms. Jett eats only canned food, and has been on that diet for a couple of years now. I feed her a mixture of a small amount of Fancy Feast and a quarter of a 6 oz. can of Trader Joe's canned food twice a day. She very rarely gets any kind of treat or people food. Like, a crumb of cheese once a week, tops? Since the switch to canned food, she's a better weight, her coat is nicer (no more dandruff), etc. (And yes, she was still prone to vomiting when she ate dry food too.)

    I'm going to dose her with hair ball medicine in case that's the problem. She does eat a bit fast sometimes, but not always, and her meals are really not that big.

    Anyway, anyone have any insights into what might be the issue here, or what simple dietary adjustments might help?

    I have asked the vet, and they weren't much help.
    Last edited by Lori B; Feb. 5, 2013 at 12:16 PM.
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09




  2. #2
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    Has she been dewormed recently?


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  3. #3
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    What does the bloodwork look like? Has she had an abdominal ultrasound? What flavors of food is she eating?

    I am right in the middle of stabilizing my cat with inflammatory bowel disease, so that's really in the forefront of my mind right now, and you cat does not sound dissimilar. We found normal bloodwork other than a high eosiniphil count, a belly ultrasound that was textbook IBD and we are treating with depo-medrol to address the inflammation in the gut and Cerenia to address any residual vomiting. We have also moved her to a novel protein diet as the above steps didn't prove 100% effective. She is doing quite well for the last several days following the food change.

    The other biggy to consider is renal disease. High kidney values can make a kitty very pukey.

    If you haven't had bloodwork done, that's where you need to start.



  4. #4
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    We had the same issue with our kitty, along with chronic loose stools. Barium xray, bloodwork didnt show anything out of whack. We did a week of probiotics (that was all we could get her to eat!) And tried a few different foods. Ultimately, a salmon based, grain free food has kept her nearly vomit-free. Anything with poultry in it will start the vomiting again, and foods with grains to a lesser degree. The funny thing was, she was fine on Kirkland chicken and rice for a year before the vomiting started. Then she had three horrible days where everything came right back up, hence the vet visit, and we never could get her right again until we went poultry free, grain free. Not sure what in particular was causing her issues, but she's doing great on her current diet, so we're not going to ask too many questions!



  5. #5
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    Sounds like IBD, to me, too. Mine got so bad, he needed surgery, but is doing great on pred and special diet.



  6. #6
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    what are the ingredients in Trader Joe's cat food? because their dog food isn't anything I would ever consider feeding to a dog- lots of questionable ingredients. If the cat food quality is as bad as the dog food quality that may be the entire cause right there.

    cats are rather delicate animals who should ONLY be fed a wet, purely carnivorous diet- no plant material, no grains- or they tend to have problems. Many people find their animal's IBD or other digestive problems mysteriously just go away if they feed a raw diet. There are many pre-made, good raw diets readily available today, no fuss, no work, just buy it and feed.



  7. #7
    Lori B is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    there is no grain in any of what she is eating. None.

    She hasn't had blood work recently, but a year or so ago it was fine, and her kidneys are fine (tested earlier in the year).

    Abdominal ultrasound? I'll bet that's not cheap.

    This is all food for thought.

    I have 3 other cats, and feeding vomit kitty one thing and the others something else is going to be an enormous PITA. :-(
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09




  8. #8
    Lori B is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    And grayarabpony, she has been an indoor cat since 2005, when we got rid of all her worms. So I seriously doubt that worms are a factor here.
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09




  9. #9
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    No fleas? Fleas can carry tapeworms too.

    I have a cat whose food will come back up too, so I have to feed her small meals. (She had stomach surgery when she was 2 years old.) Feeding her a little bit at a time solved her issues.



  10. #10
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    Is she vomiting or regurgitating? Those are two different things causes by different things.

    I have a cat that vomits after eating sometimes. Seems to go in swings as well. I am 99.9% positive it has to do with hairballs. A week of hairball goop and she goes months without vomiting. She is medium-long hair cat.



  11. #11
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    I was going to ask the same thing as Beethoven. Vomiting is different than regurgitation. If she is actually regurgitating then there is likely some esophogeal function problem. If she is vomiting (far more frequent in cats), then something like IBD, hairballs etc. is a common cause.

    Bloodwork will tell you nothing about IBD, you need an ultrasound to see if there is evidence of it. If the intestinal walls are diffusely thickened there is a good chance you have IBD (many people just treat for it instead of doing biopsies, unless lymphoma is also questionable).

    Some IBD cats do very well with diet changes. Some cats do very well with a simple protein change (ie. from chicken to salmon), and others really do well with a food like I/D,Z/D or gastro (and its personal choice - some people will tell you that your cat will spontaneously combust if you use a prescription diet, but some cats do well symptomatically with it). If you go to a straight meat based diet, just a word of caution to monitor bowel movements. Cats do graze on grass and plant material and while the majority of cats dont need it (they vomit it up), adding fibre to diet can help those prone to constipation.

    If you do chose route of abdominal ultrasound, make sure you dont get a GP vet to do it. Have a boarded internist or radiologist perform the ultrasound.


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SquishTheBunny View Post
    Bloodwork will tell you nothing about IBD, you need an ultrasound to see if there is evidence of it. If the intestinal walls are diffusely thickened there is a good chance you have IBD (many people just treat for it instead of doing biopsies, unless lymphoma is also questionable).
    Nothing?

    Bloodwork told us to look for IBD due to a high eosiniphil count. Sure, it won't tell you ABOUT IBD, but it seems it can at least point you in that direction.

    And I'd be concerned about the kidneys in a vomiting cat, anyway....

    Were this my cat and it were vomiting, I would start with the bloodwork.



  13. #13
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    Fancy feast my kitty loved, and ate all her life but towards the end with kidney failure I had to switch from. My other cat always throws it up. That kitty needs higher quality food.



  14. #14
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    Simke - I stand corrected, I did not mean to say that bloodwork was useless, but generally its not the first step to diagnose IBD. There are FOUR main types of IBD, one of them being eosinophilic granulomatous - sometimes (not always) there will be an increase of eosinophils in the peripheral blood, but not always. An increase of eonisophils is also indicative of allergies and parasites. It is also not the most common form of IBD (Lymphocytic/Plasmacytic is). Again, sometimes you will see an increase in lymphocytes or general leukocytosis, but sometimes not. These are also other diseases which have elevated lymphocyte counts. Generalized granulomatous will often show nothing abnormal in bloodwork. Supprative IBD can sometimes mimic infections with increased neut counts, but ANY infection/inflammation will do this. So generally bloodwork is not usually indicative of IBD, far less sensitive than something like an ultrasound. In MOST cases, serum biochemistries and CBC's are normal with IBD cats that are otherwise healthy.


    But I agree, bloodwork is important in other organ function tests, and can certainly support IBD diagnosis. I dont think many vets would diagnose IBD based on bloodwork alone though.


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  15. #15
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    what is the difference bewteen regurgitation and vomiting?



  16. #16
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    It could be all of the above, but does she hork down her food? If she is eating too fast, it can come back up easily.

    I took a trick from the horse book: I put golf balls in the food bowl (horses get v large rocks) to slow down the intake.

    It certainly would be nice for you to find out that it was something like this, rather than IBD, etc. Good luck.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by threedogpack View Post
    what is the difference bewteen regurgitation and vomiting?
    Vomiting is when the stomach (or even intestine) undergoes contractions & squirts out gut contents.

    Regurgitation is when food never really made it to stomach & comes back out from esophagus or throat.


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  18. #18
    Lori B is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    If you would read more carefully, you would understand that her dinner is flavored w/ a teeny bit of fancy feast, which they all love and devour.

    Here is the definition of vomiting vs. regurgitation:
    http://www.petmd.com/blogs/fullyvett...s#.UQ8yCqVEHtQ

    Based on this, I would say she is mostly regurgitating.
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09




  19. #19
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    Great article on describing the differences. Probably would be wise to seek some veterinary advice at this point. Get to the bottom of the problem.

    Reread your first post, if your vet is not willing to get to the bottom of it then find one that will listen to your concerns and at least attempt to find the root if the problem.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lori B View Post
    If you would read more carefully, you would understand that her dinner is flavored w/ a teeny bit of fancy feast, which they all love and devour.

    Here is the definition of vomiting vs. regurgitation:
    http://www.petmd.com/blogs/fullyvett...s#.UQ8yCqVEHtQ

    Based on this, I would say she is mostly regurgitating.
    Regurgitation is often due to a motility issue. Not typically renal disease or allergies. Still wouldnt rule out IBD (especially of the stomach). Sometimes completely obstructive foreign bodies in the stomach can cause regurgitation, but likely not the case in your cat if its not all the time. Sometimes motility drugs can help, sometimes there is nothing you can do to fix the "broken" function of the esophogeal sphincter. If your vet suspects regurgitation and not vomiting, I'd assume a metoclopramide or similar drug trial would be in order. Sometimes cats who eat too fast experience regurgitation too, or cats who just eat too much in one sitting. Often with vomiting, its more digested food (if the cat gets dry you may still see kibbles) and you will notice the abdomen moving before the vomit. Sometimes they will drool, or meow before a vomit.

    I have a dog who regurgitates. Its gross. She can be sleeping peacefully then all the sudden open her mouth and a pile of nasty dog water covers my lap. Metoclopramide and famotadine do help slightly, but as she has megaesophagus these only symptomatically treat.

    Did the vets offer any diagnostic tests to you? Thats strange that a vet wouldnt recommend working it up.


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