San Bruno Pet Hospital 1111 El Camino Real
San Bruno, CA 94066
Phone: (650) 583-5039
Fax: (650) 763-8620

Hospital Hours
M-F: 7:30a-6p
Sat: 8a-5p
Appointment Hours
M-F 8:30a-5:30p
Sat: 8:30a-4:30p

After Hours Emergency
Emergency Clinic

facebook twitter AAHA

NOTE: These are offered
as general information
only and NOT a substitute
for a visit to your
veterinarian. If you feel
that your pet has a
problem that may require
urgent attention
call us at (650) 583-5039
immediately. If after hours,
contact the emergency
clinic (650) 348-2575.
Vomiting in Cats is often a Sign of
Serious Disease

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call San Bruno Pet -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

If you’ve had a cat for more than a month, you’ve surely experienced the delight of feline vomit in an inconvenient location.

Most cat guardians and many veterinarians probably consider regular vomiting of food or hairballs “normal” for a cat. Yet, recent research challenges these long-held assumptions, and warns us to take vomiting more seriously.

Studying vomiting in cats
For this study, conducted by the Alamo Feline Health Center and published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, researchers performed an ultrasound and obtained surgical biopsies on cats who presented with vomiting, diarrhea and/or weight loss.

Here are the results of the biopsies, which were read under the microscope by a pathologist:
  • One cat had no abnormal findings.
  • Forty-nine cats had a condition generically called chronic enteritis, which means long-term inflammation or irritation of the small intestine. One of the diseases that belong to that group is Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD, similar to IBS in people). 
  • Forty-six cats had lymphoma of the small intestine, a type of cancer. Four cats had other types of cancer.
  • Even though the age ranges look similar, cats with chronic enteritis tended to be younger, and cats over eight years of age tended to have either enteritis or intestinal cancer.
What has this study taught us about vomiting in cats?
There are several lessons we can learn from this important study:
  • Pay attention to unintentional weight loss. This was the most common sign of disease, present in 70% of the cats, sometimes without vomiting or diarrhea.
  • An ultrasound, which is non-invasive, should be used look at the abdomen of cats presenting with vomiting, diarrhea and/or weight loss. 
  • Old age should not be a reason to decline anesthesia and surgery. This will delay treatment. None of the cats in the study were harmed as a result of surgery or anesthesia.
  • Vomiting more than twice a month is a reason to go to your family veterinarian.
Questions to ask San Bruno Pet:
  1. If your cat vomits more often than twice a month, ask us what can be done--not just to prevent vomiting, but also to find a cause.
  2. Once a cause has been determined, we can suggest how your cat should be treated.
  3. Ask, what is the likely outcome of your cat's condition? If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call San Bruno Pet -- we are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.
  4. And remember, vomiting may not mean there is a serious problem. But the earlier we find out about most problems, the easier it is to take care of it.