The Real Truth About Why Cats Throw Up After They Eat

January 4, 2018


We all know that cats can be very greedy at times and they will do everything from giving you long hard stares through to rubbing themselves against your legs in order to get their paws on some chow. 

However, many cat owners will know what it’s like to have a cat that seems to throw up every time it eats or at least some of the time. While all cats throw up from time to time – and we’re all familiar with the signs and noises that emanate from them when this is about to happen – if they are throwing up a lot after eating you need to work out why this might be happening. 

There are various reasons why cats might throw up after eating, so it is important to look at all of the different options. Some are relatively simple reasons – for instance, you may simply have a very greedy cat that doesn’t know when to stop. However, there could be other more serious reasons behind it so you should make sure that you are familiar with all of the possibilities.

Some of the key reasons why your cat may be vomiting after eating

We all care deeply about our fur balls, so it is only natural that if your cat is vomiting after eating on a regular basis, you want to find out what it’s all about. So, let’s take a look at some of the possible reasons why your cat may be doing this:

Eating way too much or way too fast

 These are the most common reasons behind cats vomiting after eating when they are perfectly healthy in every other respect. Some cats, as mentioned above, are simply greedy. They know that they humans will feed them on demand – so they demand! Just like humans, if they overindulge they will feel sick and probably be sick.

Another issue is that some cats eat too fast. This often happens in multi-cat households where cats may be competing with one another for food. In order to combat these issues, feed your cat smaller amounts but more often if he is just being greedy. If he is competing for food, make sure all of the cats have separate bowls to eat from and are not trying to grab the same one. 

A change to their usual food

If you have recently changed the food that you give to your cat, this can also cause vomiting after eating. If you make the transition too quickly or suddenly, it can be shocking to the digestive system and this can cause the vomiting.

In order to avoid this, make sure you switch slowly and gradually. You can mix larger and larger amounts of the new food with the cat’s usual food over a period of about a week until he is fully on the new food. If the cat still throws up after eating the new food, it may simply be that it does not suit its digestive system for some reason so you may need to go back to the old one or speak to your vet for advice on an alternative.

Food intolerance

Just like humans, cats can be intolerant or allergic to certain foods and ingredients. If your cat has never thrown up regularly before after eating but starts after switching to a new food that has been gradually introduced, there is a chance that it is down to the digestive system not being able to tackle the food because of the intolerance. If this is the case, you need to speak to your vet to find out about alternatives.


Of course, hairballs are caused by cats grooming themselves rather than by eating. Most of us are familiar with the sight of a saliva covered hairball lying around in the house somewhere after our kitty has regurgitated it. However, if the cat has a hairball and then eats a big meal, this could also trigger vomiting. You will usually be able to tell because the hairball will generally come up with the food.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, affects many humans but it can also affect cats as well. When a cat has IBS, it can cause stomach upsets after eating, which can lead to throwing up after meals as well as resulting in diarrhea. If you believe that your cat may have IBS, you should make an appointment to see the vet, as they will need to confirm this and then come up with a treatment plan.

These are some of the more common reasons why cats may throw up regularly after they have eaten food.


What about more serious causes of vomiting?

Sometimes, the cause of the cat’s vomiting after eating is pretty obvious. You will probably see your cat wolf down too much food in one go or finish it within seconds of it being put into the bowl. However, sometimes the signs are not obvious and if this is the case it is best to get the cat checked out at the vets to put your mind at rest

Some of the things that could lead to vomiting include if the cat has ingested something that is not food such as an elastic band, which can be dangerous if left unattended. By making a trip to the vets and getting the cat checked out, you can quickly determine what the problem is so that appropriate treatment can be administered.


It is also worth remembering that if your cat is an outdoor cat it may have eaten something while out. This could be anything from a mouse or bird through to being fed by neighbors (as we know, cats have little loyalty over where they eat). So, although you may not think your cat is overeating, you don’t really know where or what else it has been eating when you are not around to keep an eye on him!

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