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Cat vomits after eating wet food.

Species: Cat
Breed: Tabby
Age: 11-15 years
My cat has been doing this strange thing, but only after she eats wet food. It sounds like dry heaves, and she never actually vomits. It lasts for a minute and then, she is fine. She eats her dry food without any problems like this. What are your thoughts?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry to hear that Autumn is doing this strange thing. It's going to be tough to say for certain what is causing this behavior but I can give you a few possibilities.

It may be that she is simply sensitive to something in the wet food. It may not be necessarily because the food is wet, but it could be one of the ingredients that is upsetting her stomach. I am guessing that this is indeed vomiting even though nothing actually comes out. It may just not be severe enough for her to actually vomit food up.

The next possibility is that what she is doing is actually coughing, not vomiting. The most common reason for coughing is asthma. So, why would she have an asthma attack after eating wet food? In cats, asthma is almost always because of some sort of an allergy. It is possible that something in the wet food is triggering an allergy in Autumn. Now, the most common reaction for food allergy is diarrhea, but it is still possible.

There are other possibilities that are much less likely such as a foreign object in her throat, esophagus or stomach. However, I wouldn't be able to explain why wet food would trigger this and not dry food. Another rare possibility would be a neurological problem affecting the nerves connected to swallowing.

At this point, if she is happy to eat and she is not losing weight then I would likely just cut out the wet food. Or, if you prefer you could try small amounts of a different brand of wet food and see if that helps.

If it gets worse though, or if it starts to happen with dry food too, or if you feel there could be some weight loss then it's a good idea to have your vet take a look at Autumn. At this age, we can start to see some age related problems that can be connected to vomiting such as hyperthyroidism.

I hope this has helped. :)

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.