9 Reasons Why A Cat Throws Up White Foam

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Seeing a cat puke up white foam can be an unsettling, concerning experience for cat owners. While many of us are used to witnessing cats bring up the occasional hairball, surprise puddles of white, frothy vomit can be a different story.

The typical cat owner is likely to have cleaned up a lot of vomit since they first adopted them. But contrary to what some believe, a cat vomiting regularly is not normal.

So, what should you do if your cat throws up white foam?

Before you worry yourself sick or decide to ignore your cat’s vomiting, continue reading to learn more about how you and your veterinarian can collaborate to manage vomiting in cats and how you might help to bring the cat relief.

When a cat throws up white foam, it usually means that it has an empty stomach. This type of vomit would mostly consist of fluids and mucous.

Thus, the question then becomes why your cat is throwing up on an empty stomach. There are several possible causes:

1. Hairballs

Cats lick to groom themselves, and they inadvertently ingest fur in the process. They can pass the fur in their poop, but it can sometimes accumulate and clump together to cause blockages.

When this occurs, the fur must be eliminated, and your cat will vomit it up. If your cat is vomiting white foam but no fur, it might be the beginning of a hairball.

There are over-the-counter nutritional supplements available in chew or gel form to help prevent hairballs. Adopting a regular brushing regimen will also aid in the removal of any loose fur in your cat’s coat that they may ingest when cleaning themselves.

2. Gastritis

Whenever gastritis occurs, a cat may vomit white foam in addition to blood and/or bile.

It may also experience a loss of appetite, lethargy, or dehydration. If your cat is vomiting due to gastritis, your veterinarian will know just what to do.

3. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

One of the most prevalent causes of vomiting in cats is irritable bowel syndrome, often known as inflammatory bowel disease. Cats with IBS may also suffer from diarrhea and/or decompensation.

If your veterinarian suspects IBS, he or she will order lab tests to confirm the diagnosis and then devise a treatment plan to help ease your cat’s symptoms.

4. Pancreatitis

Pancreas graphic

Cats, like dogs and humans, can suffer from pancreatitis.

It might be acute or chronic. It may also occur in conjunction with other ailments such as gastrointestinal disease, liver disease, and/or diabetes. Other symptoms of pancreatitis in cats include lethargy, dehydration, loss of appetite, weight loss, low body temperature, fever, jaundice, and gastrointestinal discomfort.

If pancreatitis is the cause of your cat’s vomiting, your veterinarian will most likely begin treatment with fluid therapy and medicines.

5. Liver Disease

Cats with liver disease may exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, weight loss, jaundice, behavioural changes, and diarrhea.

Although liver disease generally cannot be cured, the symptoms can be treated. Your veterinarian will devise a treatment plan for your cat so that it can begin to feel healthier.

6. Diabetes

Diabetes in cats, like in humans, is characterized by increased thirst and urination, vomiting, weight loss and dehydration.

If your cat suddenly begins drinking and urinating more often, either alone or in conjunction with any of the other symptoms indicated, make an appointment with your veterinarian right away. Your vet may recommend insulin treatment or a simple diet adjustment depending on the severity of your cat’s diabetes.

7. Hyperthyroidism

Another fairly prevalent condition in elderly cats is hyperthyroidism. Symptoms might include weight loss despite increased eating and drinking, diarrhea, increased urination, and excessive vocalizations, in addition to vomiting.

If your cat exhibits any of these symptoms, your veterinarian will order blood work to determine their thyroid hormone levels. If your cat does have the condition, your veterinarian will discuss daily medication to help manage the symptoms.

8. Parasites

Lice larva parasite

When vomiting occurs alongside diarrhea in a young kitten that has not been consistently dewormed, it might be a symptom of an untreated parasite infection.

A stool sample may be tested and the proper dewormer may be prescribed to immediately remedy this.

9. Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

Chronic kidney disease is a common problem in geriatric cats. Symptoms include an increase in drinking, a change in urine output, a lack of appetite, dehydration, a dull mood, a poor coat, and weakness. Kidney disease, like liver disease, cannot be cured, although the symptoms can be treated.

If your elderly cat begins to exhibit unusual urinary symptoms, take it to the vet. In the event of a CKD diagnosis, they may advise you on supportive treatment, both at home and in the hospital, to assist your cat with living with his or her renal insufficiency.


If you see your cat vomiting up white foam, it’s essential to note if this is a one-time occurrence or a recurring problem.

There are no safe at-home therapies you can give your cat to prevent or cure vomiting. Human drugs can be poisonous to cats, creating issues that are worse than the sickness you’re attempting to cure. However, a single bout of vomiting can occur and does not necessarily warrant a trip to the vet.

Don’t accept the prevalent idea that it’s normal for a cat to vomit on a semi-regular basis. Make an appointment with your veterinarian to find out why your cat is vomiting — your cat will thank you for it!

Thanks for reading this article. Is your cat throwing up white foam? Feel free to write about your situation in the comments below.

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