Coming Soon ×

Forgot your Password?


Why Is My Cat Throwing Up…Again? catipedia-icon2.png

If you're a cat owner, you know the sound. (Admit it - you get chills just thinking about it.) And you also know that somewhere in your house, some poor, unsuspecting carpet or bedspread is in imminent danger. Your cat is throwing up… yet again.

Unfortunately, vomiting is something many cats do on occasion. Usually in the presence of dinner guests. However, that doesn't mean you should just reach for the carpet shampoo and forget about it. It's important to know why cats throw up, and when you might need to consult your veterinarian.


Throwing up, or vomiting, happens when the stomach decides it really doesn't want something the cat has swallowed. It shows its displeasure by forcefully contracting and literally throwing its contents up and out. (Hence the term "throwing up.")

This is different from regurgitation, which doesn't involve all that strenuous muscle contracting. Regurgitation is also seen in some cats, and usually happens minutes to hours after eating. Think of it as a commentary from your feline food critic, delivered in the form of undigested stuff stuck in her esophagus.

81% of cat owners say their cat(s) have had digestive issues, either recently or within the past 6 months.

Source: Nielsen BASES Factors for Success research. Dec 2012.

When cats throw up, the process is much more physical. And audible… involving lots of neck extending and strained gagging. At this point your cat might seek you out - after all, a performance like this certainly deserves an audience. The cause of all these theatrics? Usually it's gastric irritation. This can happen if your cat eats too much food, or scarfs it down too quickly.

Learn about Purina® Cat Chow® Gentle - specially formulated for easy digestion.

When kittens dash off to play after a big dinner, the activity can result in vomiting. If you have more than one kitten, feeding them separately or giving your kitten smaller meals usually takes care of the problem.

Sometimes cats eat indigestible stuff (such as grass), which can cause vomiting. Spoiled food is another culprit, as is wet food that's too cold. (If you serve your cat refrigerated wet food, try letting it come to room temperature first.) And of course, no discussion about this delightful topic would be complete without a mention of that uniquely feline vomit catalyst - hairballs. In essence, if it irritates the stomach lining, it's got to go. And if things are working right with your cat's digestive system, it will.


So when should you be concerned (and not just grossed out) by your cat's vomiting? If your cat throws up only once or twice and appears normal before and after, it's probably not serious - unless a Persian rug is involved. If your cat has definitely eaten something dangerous, call your veterinarian immediately. Ditto if she is throwing up frequently, not just after meals and seems listless or puny, as this can be a sign of an illness or disease, or a parasite issue.

Common cat illnesses: what to look for, how to help

If you see blood in your cat's vomit, it's a sign of bleeding somewhere between the mouth and upper small bowel. Also, if your cat's vomit is even more yucky than usual because it looks and smells like poop, it could be a sign of something serious. In both of these cases, make an emergency call to your veterinarian.

The good news is that most of the time, vomiting is caused by something common and treatable. While this doesn't make it less offensive, it does mean that very likely, with the help of your veterinarian, your cat will recover both her health and her dignity quickly. Hopefully, the same will be true for your carpets…

Does your cat have frequent, messy bowel movements? If so, be sure to check out "Why Does My Cat Have Diarrhea?"




Below you'll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about our company, our products and caring for your cats. If you have a question that isn't addressed here, please feel free to contact us.

Q: How can I email or talk with the Purina Pet Care team?

A: If you would like to talk with us, please contact us here or call us at 1­-888­-228­-2469.

Our Hours of Operation:

  • Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST
Q: How are Purina Cat Chow products different from other healthy pet foods?

A: Inside every bag of Purina Cat Chow you'll find a selective blend of protein, fat, and fiber. Everything we use in our premium cat food formulas has a place in your cat's healthy diet.

Q: How can I be sure of the quality of the Purina Cat Chow products?

A: Our top priority is the quality of the food that nourishes not only your pets, but the pets we share our lives with, too. So from source to bowl, the quality of our food is assured by taking the following steps:

Ingredient Sourcing

  • Purina ingredient sourcing and processing meet or exceed FDA, USDA or AAFCO standards for pet food. And every supplier of ingredients for Purina products must meet our stringent standards for ingredient specifications, product safety, sanitation and manufacturing practices.
  • Ingredient Testing
  • All of Purina's North American manufacturing facilities have on-site quality assurance laboratories and staff. And we're working to expand the use of technology to further screen ingredients for quality assurance.
  • Ingredient Tracking & Control
  • 99% of all Purina pet food products sold in the U.S. are made in Purina-owned U.S. manufacturing facilities and Purina's sophisticated tracking system ensures important measures of control: All raw ingredients are tracked from time of receipt at our plants, through their inclusion in finished products, and on to retail stores.
Q: Where is your food manufactured?

A: 99% of all Purina-branded pet food products sold in the U.S. are made in Purina-owned U.S. manufacturing facilities. Purina's sophisticated tracking system ensures important measures of control: All raw ingredients are tracked from time of receipt at our plants, through their inclusion in finished products, and on to retailers.

Q: I am unable to find a particular product in my area. Can you help me locate it?

A: Yes, we can help. Although distribution of our Purina Cat Chow products is national, not all stores carry all sizes and varieties. Contact our Customer Service department via our Contact Us page or call us at 1­-888­-228­-2469.

Q: Do you offer coupons?

A: We offer coupons in local papers, through direct mailing programs and via emails to registered members. We don't have a regular section on our website itself. We suggest you watch for sales or promotions at your local retailer.

Q: Where can I find articles and information about my cat?

A: We believe there's always more to learn and to share and that discovery should be fun. It's one more way we're helping you and your cat share a better life together. Visit Catipedia for articles and information and... a little bit of fun.

Q: Where can I find articles and information about my cat?

A: We strongly recommend talking to your veterinarian for immediate answers to urgent situations. While is an excellent resource of information provided by cat care experts, your veterinarian can provide the best care for your individual cat.