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Why Is My Cat Throwing Up and Then Eating the Vomit?!

cat throwing up

Cats are pretty tidy creatures. They’re constantly grooming themselves. They poop in a box. They don’t have doggy breath. So you’re probably puzzled why your cat eats vomit. Pretty disgusting, right? It seems weird that such a clean and elegant creature would do such a thing. Is it normal? Read on to learn more about why cats vomit and then why your cat eats vomit!

Why Is My Cat Throwing Up?

First you need to ask yourself why your cat is throwing up in the first place. And yes, sometimes cat vomit is a fact of life. If your cat throws up only once, you don’t necessarily need to worry. For instance, if your cat ate too fast and then vomits (also known as the “snarf and barf”), you’re probably in the clear. You also probably don’t need to call the vet if your cat is just coughing up hairballs. So if the “vomit” is just a wet sticky ball of fur then everything is probably fine.

However, it’s when your cat is vomiting repeatedly that you should start to get concerned. And you should definitely call your veterinarian if you see blood in the cat vomit or if the vomiting is accompanied by other signs of illness, such as a loss of appetite or fatigue.

Here are some possible reasons your cat is throwing up:

  • Infection
  • Toxins
  • Kidney failure
  • Pancreatitis
  • Liver failure
  • Constipation
  • Colitis
  • Allergies
  • Gallbladder inflammation
  • Diet
  • Parasites
  • Tumors
  • Neurological disorders
  • Post-surgery nausea

Why Is My Cat Eating Vomit?

So why is your cat throwing up and then eating the mess? This question is harder to answer. Experts have yet to figure out exactly why this behavior occurs. And while you may be dying to know why your cat is eating their vomit, it’s much more important to know why they’re sick to begin with.

It’s thought that maybe cats chow down on their puke because it’s behavioral. For instance, if your cat vomits shortly after eating, they might be eating the resulting mess because it smells and tastes pretty similar to their regular meals. Another reason for this gross and puzzling behavior might be that the vomit is warm, making it extra enticing to your cat.

What Should I Do If My Cat Eats Vomit?

Stay calm if your cat eats vomit. This behavior in itself isn’t the end of the world, although it’s best to be discouraged. We recommend cleaning up after your cat anytime they throw up, that way they won’t have a chance to eat the remaining cat vomit.

Then carefully watch your cat to determine if you need to call your vet. Has your cat thrown up more than once? Is the vomit not just a hairball? Is there blood in the vomit? Is your cat showing other signs of illness? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you should contact your veterinarian pronto.