aimee asked in PetsCats · 5 months ago

Senior cat vomiting and trouble swallowing - anyone had something similar?


My 10 year old tabby cat is vomiting daily and having trouble swallowing food. She still has a healthy appetite and is drinking and going to the toilet fine and has no change to her behaviour in general. However, at least once a day she produces either yellow bile, a lump of undigested food or something more resembling sick. Sometimes the sick has a furball or grass in. Because of the variation in her different sick it has been hard to put a finger on what is causing it. She eats a mixture of senior hyperallegenic biscuits and senior wet food. I have been to the vets and they kept her in for scans and tests and everything came back as fine, so the vet was stumped as to what to do next. Without having to lay out £500 for an ultrasound, was wondering if anyone has ever experienced anything similar with their cat before.

Thanks in advance

4 Answers

  • PR
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    Sometimes cats vomit when they have furballs, and you have indicated the vomit has some fur in it, as well as some grass. Usually when the cat eats grass, it indicates the stomach is upset, or there is some sort of blockage, which could possibly be fur.

    If fur has collected in the stomach from grooming, it can block passage of food, so the kitty may vomit back any food she has eaten. I am wondering if the food she is eating either is not setting with her, or if it simply does not have enough roughage in it. You might try changing foods to a normal cat food. Mix dry food along with canned and a lot of water. Many cats will vomit if fed dry-only, because it is simply hard to swallow - many will not even chew the dry food, but swallow it whole.

    We ALWAYS mix dry/canned/water together, each and every feeding. The one time I played with the cats and fed them some dry kibble for little treats, little Opie vomited it back up, in a mess all over the hallway.

    Truthfully, a cat of ten years isn't exactly a "senior cat", but closer to just past middle age. Our indoor cats have lived to about age 16, while the indoor/outdoor cats live between 18 and 20 years.

    Good for you in taking kitty to the vet, which is the right thing to do. But, be sure she is pooping. Check the litter for regular poop. If you are seeing diarrhea and especially if it is watery, then she may have a blockage, and only the watery part can get past. If you are seeing no poop, she also may have a blockage. But, if she is also going outside, you may not really know what is going on.

    Try giving kitty some milk. Cow's milk is known for going through a cat's system, thus possibly also passing a furball and making it easier for her to eat. There are also "furball remedies" that come in tubes. This is a gooey product made to help clear the system using oils. If she has fur lodged in her system, this may help.

    Our cats love a plant called "Dracaena", (the green variety, not pink) which seems to work on clearing things from the digestive tract. We keep one of these plants, just for the kitties, and they trim it, often. Also, check to be sure the kitty is keeping her food down. For example, if she is going outside and vomiting her food, she won't gain any weight, despite eating every day. So, check to be sure she is maintaining her weight. If you need to keep her inside for a couple days, then do so.

    Sometimes, worms can cause vomiting, diarrhea, or some coughing.

    -Try a different food

    -Mix dry/wet/water in a soupy mixture, each and every time you feed her

    -Never leave food out for "self-feeding"

    -Give some milk

    -Use kitty hairball/furball remedy

    -Buy Dracaena plant

    -Keep inside and monitor her for a couple days

    -Check for either diarrhea, or no stool

    If no results, and kitty continues vomiting, try a different vet and be sure you let them know what you can and cannot afford. It is up to you to determine what tests you feel are O.K. and not O.K., because you write the checks.

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  • 5 months ago

    I wish I had gotten an ultrasound on my senior long ago. After 2yrs of tests and trying different foods, she got one and it was determined she has Intestinal Cancer. Turns out, very said it could've started as IBS and turned to this untreated. I got her from the shelter at 10yrs old and had been trying to figure out why she was throwing up on a daily basis.

    However, yellow bile is a bit concerning. By the way, find another vet. Even if they don't know where they're looking and have to do a full scan, should not cost half that much. Good luck

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  • Maxi
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    It doesn't cost £500 for an ultrasound!

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  • J C
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    Vets are no different that human doctors. Without the right diagnostics they can only guess. When soft tissue is involved, an ultrasound is needed. Bile is what is in the stomach when there is nothing to throw up, and undigested food means something isn't working properly. If you are letting her out you have no idea what she is getting into. I'd be inclined to do two things - one, ditch the dry biscuits, and two, keep her indoors and only indoors until you can determine why she is getting sick like that.

    • aimee5 months agoReport

      Thanks for your reply, she is an indoor cat so is very limited to what she might ingest, so it is even more frustrating trying to work out what the cause may be.

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