My cat is being sick - what should I do?

Vomiting is one of the most common reasons a concerned cat owner will contact their vet but, with the correct professional advice, it could be possible to manage the condition without the trouble and expense of going to your vet.

Unlike us, regurgitation or vomiting can be a normal digestive function for your cat. So, you will probably see them be sick from time to time, but don't panic - there are a few reasons that your cat may be regurgitating or vomiting (*for an explanation of regurgitation versus vomiting, see below).

Of course, it's natural to be concerned for your feline friend’s health. They may have picked up a bug, eaten something they shouldn’t have, or be suffering from an underlying medical condition. But often, cats will simply regurgitate food if they eat too quickly and may bring up a fur ball from time to time.

You can usually tell when your cat is going to be sick, giving you a chance to gently move them to somewhere easier to clear up. Signs include: drooling, licking their lips and exaggerated swallowing. While your cat is recovering, keep them indoors, ensure they don’t receive any treats or table scraps and encourage them to drink water, little and often. A couple of ice cubes are a great idea to regulate water intake.

If you're worried about your cat, or don't think they are drinking enough following an episode of vomiting, Agria Pet Insurance policyholders can call the Pet Health Helpline, 24/7, on 03333 32 19 47. Just quote your policy number and one of the team of experienced, registered veterinary-trained professionals will be happy to give you advice on whether you should look after your pet at home and how to do this safely, or advise you to go to your vet.

If your kitten is under 6 months old or has an underlying medical condition and is vomiting, they could become unwell more quickly than a fully grown, more healthy cat. If they develop any symptoms such as a bloated abdomen, blood in their vomit or are vomiting unproductively (just bile) then contact your vet straight away.

Pet Health Helpline is not intended to be used in place of going to your vet, and if you are very concerned about your cat, do not hesitate in contacting your vet.

*The difference between regurgitation and vomiting: Your pet may regurgitate food which might look like vomiting but it usually happens when they have eaten too quickly so the food comes up as quickly as it went down… They may even eat the food again before you can get there! Regurgitation does not usually make your pet feel unwell, but sometimes frequent regurgitation can indicate a more serious issue. If you are not sure if your pet is regurgitating or vomiting, please do call the Pet Health Helpline for advice.