Losing a pet is one of the hardest experiences, no matter how long your furry friend has been by your side.
One thing is knowing your cat is sick and, in some way, having time to prepare she will soon be gone. Suddenly losing your cat is a whole other thing, and a very shocking and devastating feeling for cat owners.
You’re well aware that nothing can bring your cat back now, but you want to get some answers for this unexpected outcome.
You haven’t noticed any other symptoms than your cat throwing up right before dying.
My cat threw up clear liquid and died: Why did this happen?
Let’s learn more about the five possible explanations for this occurrence.
1. An Advanced Age
The average lifespan of a cat goes from 12 to 18 years, and it can depend a lot on a couple of things. These include a cat’s general health, diet, lifestyle conditions, opportunities to exercise, etc.
Of course, you’re well aware that your cat won’t be by your side as long as you would want to, no matter how good her health is.
There are some indications that your cat is approaching the end of her life, and vomiting clear liquid could be one of them.
Some dying cats could experience gastrointestinal issues near the end of their life. Sometimes a chronic medical condition causes these consequences in cats. But, this isn’t always the case.
Sometimes, older cats may encounter digestive problems shortly before passing away.
This outcome is very hard to understand, especially at the beginning. But, this is something that simply just happens sometimes among older felines.
Heartworms could be a reason why your pet threw up clear liquid and suddenly died.
These worms can cause severe lung disease and heart failure, as explained by the American Heartworm Society.
Some of the most common carriers of heartworms are wild species such as coyotes and foxes. D. Pană and his associate  point out how the outdoor lifestyle appears to be a risk factor for heartworm infection, but this doesn’t mean that strictly indoor cats are fully protected against it.
Regrettably, there’s no foolproof way to ensure your cat remains entirely immune to this disease.
Heartworm disease symptoms in cats can be so subtle in some cases, to the point where they might go unnoticed. This can lead to an even greater shock when your cat suddenly passes away.
In other cases, however, together with vomiting clear liquid, an infected cat could experience some other symptoms. Some of them are difficulties walking, breathing heavily, and seizures.
There’s also a chance that your cat has ingested a toxic, which caused her to throw up clear liquid and die.
Poisoning isn’t so common among felines, but it still could happen, and it could be fatal for them.
According to the Dunnellon Animal Hospital, some of the substances that are extremely toxic to cats are human painkillers, pest control chemicals, and antifreeze.
Also, chocolate, onions, garlic, alcohol, and xylitol can be potentially fatal for cats.
Poisoning can result in a cat simply throwing up clear liquid and dying, while, in some cases, could be accompanied with other symptoms. Some of the most common ones are foaming at the mouth, having seizures, and drooling excessively.
See Also: Are Oil Paints Toxic to Cats?
4. Intestinal Blockage
Intestinal blockage is another serious condition that can kill a cat, and vomiting could be a symptom of it.
All the content from a cat’s stomach is pushed to her small intestines. From there, it goes to the large intestine, and then the colon. Finally, the stomach content goes out of the cat’s rectum and anus.
When an intestinal blockage occurs, nothing can pass through. Instead, it forces all the contents to backtrack into the cat’s stomach, leading to vomiting as a consequence.
Partial obstruction usually happens when a cat swallows foreign objects such as a piece of cloth or a small toy. In most cases, this is treated by giving her IV fluids to help her pass the item.
But, when a cat swallows a large object or multiple small items, a complete lack of passage of intestinal content occurs. This can result in her sudden death.
5. Saddle Thrombus
Finally, a medical emergency named saddle thrombus can be the reason behind your cat throwing up clear liquid and dying afterwards.
People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals explains how saddle thrombus is a blood clot that cats can experience. This clot blocks blood supply to their back legs.
This condition occurs suddenly and, for most cats, this clot traveling in their aorta will usually be fatal for them.
Saddle thrombus most commonly occurs in felines with heart disease. It’s such a severe condition that a cat may vomit clear liquid due to the associated pain and stress.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to prevent this condition. Even knowing your cat has a heart disease, the only thing you can do is to take her for regular vet check-ups.
Regrettably, this outcome will simply be inevitable for some cats.
Cat threw up clear liquid and died is a really devastating scenario for a cat owner.
This is something you weren’t prepared for and you probably feel like it’s so unfair. Sometimes, medical emergencies can occur and cause a fatal outcome in felines. This is something we can’t really influence.
I’m sure you want to get some answers. You could contact a veterinarian and ask about an autopsy.
But, you need to be aware that this might not help. Even if an autopsy provides you with an answer, you still won’t get your furry friend back.
This is very painful and frustrating, but it’s just what life is at times.
Despite the sad end, remember to cherish all the wonderful moments you spent with your favorite pet.
 Pană D, Rădulescu A, Mitrea IL, Ionita M. First Report on Clinical Feline Heartworm (Dirofilaria Immitis) Infection in Romania. Helminthologia. 2020 Jan 25;57(1):49-56. DOI, Retrieved September 19, 2023.