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Cat vomits regularly.

Species: Cat
Breed: Manx/Abyssinian
Age: 2-5 years
My 4year old cat has been throwing up over the past two months. 99% is food. ( dry food that has softened in her stomach) about 15 mins after eating. A couple of times it has been liquified food.

History: I adopted her when she was two. She was throwing up continually and was very gassy. We put her on hills Z/D, to test for food allergies and then D/D venison and was fine until two months ago. This is the food she is still eating. I tried to get her to eat Z/D again ( to check for another food allergy) but she refuses to eat it. I still have the bag, so if you think I should really force this, I can. When I first tried I was leaving the country for 10 days and wanted to make sure she was eating before I left.

I took her to the vet and basic blood work and a wellness test came back normal. She then had an ultrasound and it came back normal

My vet did a trial of prednisolone for one week and she did not vomit.( I can't remember the dose, it was a pill)
He then switched her to Budesonide 1mg/ml (dose is 0.5ml twice a day. ) when the ultrasound came back normal. She is taking this now. She now will go 5-6 days without vomiting, but will still vomit 5-10 minutes after eating Periodically. She also vomited diluted food liquid once while on this medication.

My vet is not sure what is wrong. I want to avoid exploratory, biopsy surgery. I had a previous cat that had IBS determined by biopsy of organ surgery and she almost didn't make it through the recovery.

Anything you can suggest will be appreciated. She shows no signs of problems, except vomiting. I have another cat (male) that she is dominate to.

I look forward to your advice.
Thank shannon


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Cases like this are tough. Vomiting in cats can have many many different causes and often the cause is hard (or impossible) to determine.

It's interesting that the prednisolone and then budesonide helped to decrease the frequency of the vomiting. Both of these are steroids. The fact that they helped tells us that this could possible be a food allergy OR it could be some type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Even though we're seeing vomiting and not diarrhea, IBD is certainly possible and in fact is very common.

In order to get a concrete diagnosis for IBD you'd need to have intestinal biopsies done and it is understandable if you didn't want to do that. I have had really good success using something called Gastro Diet. It's made by VMD (known as Medi-Cal in Canada). It's a prescription food so you could ask your vet if this could possibly help.

Some cats with IBD have changes in their blood folate and b12 levels that can be treated with medication so you could ask your vet if it is worthwhile to test these.

If this is an allergy it's really tough to figure those out in cats. It's not uncommon to have a cat do well on an allergy diet for a while and then develop an allergy to that food. I have some cat patients that I have to change their hypoallergenic food every year or so. There are many prescription hypoallergenic foods out there so you could ask your vet if that would be a good option.

Hope that helps.

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.