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Help and advice if your pet suffers from cat flu, cat colds or other ailments

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Cat vomiting is very common and owners naturally dislike having to clean up their pet's deposits.

Sometimes cat or kitten vomiting can be normal, but other times it is an indication of disease.

Among the most common causes of feline vomiting are hairballs, eating too quickly, gastro-internal parasites, bacterial or viral infections, worms, diet sensitivity, inflammatory conditions, an intestinal obstruction, consumption of plants or other items, inflammatory conditions, metabolic imbalance and foreign body ingestion.

Any of the above could be responsible for your cat or kitten's vomiting but if you are having difficulty pinpointing the cause you should consult your vet for assistance.

It may be an unpleasant task, but it can be very helpful for your

vet if you can take a sample of your cat's vomit along with you to the clinic - vomit can be green, yellow, white, clear, semi-solid, foamy or a variety of other consistencies - a sample may enable your vet to identify the cause of the vomiting more quickly.

For example, vomit which has high mucus content can indicate that the upper intestine or stomach is inflamed, while specks of blood can suggest laceration of the stomach. Bile can be an indicator of pancreatitis or bowel disease, strong digestive smells may point to an intestinal blockage and undigested food in vomit can indicate over-eating, food poisoning or stress and anxiety.

The most common cause of vomiting is the result of eating something out of the normal such as grass, foliage or garbage - it's quite amazing just what some cats and kittens

will eat and vets have removed everything from strings and shoelaces to golf balls and jewellery. A dose of laxative will often force this material out in the stool and your pet should be monitored for three days to ensure there is no blockage of the intestine.

Some cats spit up hairballs regularly and others produce them just a few times a year. Many cats like the taste of lubricant hairball remedies but these don't cure hairballs and merely help them pass through your cat's system, preventing an obstruction in the intestine. Remedies for hairballs include lubricant pastes, special diets and supplements.

If your cat does not spit up a hairball when going through those heaving motions you should consult your veterinarian as - in the worst case scenario - the cause could be heart disease, asthma and other gastrointestinal problems.

Worms can also be a cause of vomiting and roundworms are often associated with kitten vomition. For this reason it's important top ensure your pet is wormed regularly, ideally every three months to prevent the risk of vomiting.

Cats can contract viral or bacterial infections, such as cat flu, that cause vomiting. Because routine blood tests may show normal results, it is not easy to diagnose a gastrointestinal infection. It's common for cats with infections to also have diarrhea.

A cat or kitten which is vomiting and unable to hold down food and water can get dehydrated quite quickly. A veterinarian may wish to treat the cat with fluids to improve hydration and also use other injectable medications.

Injecting medications ensures they get directly into the cat’s system rather than being vomited up.  Your vet may also carry out a blood test and other diagnostic tests may include a fecal exam, x-rays, stomach and intestine biopsy, endoscopy or hypoallergenic food tests.

Cat owners are usually good judges of their pet's state of health - if your pet vomits very occasionally and appears bright and active, there's probably no cause for concern. However, if the bouts of vomiting become more frequent and your cat or kitten appears lethargic, weary and generally unhappy you should seek professional medical advice immediately.