Cat Vomit Looks Like Poop: Causes And Solutions


Having a cat is all fun and stuff until you hear your cat retching in the middle of the night from another room. The mess is waiting for you, and you notice that cat vomit looks like poop. It is not strange that you are concerned with your cat’s health. Every pet owner should be.

If your cat’s vomit has brown-colored poop, something is truly happening with your cat. The texture and color of the vomit that looks like poop is definitely a cause for concern, and you need to take your cat to the vet.

However, sometimes it is not that serious, and we will list here 4 causes of vomiting brown liquid. We just want to prepare you that brown vomit can indicate a serious illness. The vomiting is such a nonspecific sign of anything.

Some health issues that vomiting can be associated with are inflammation, liver disease, poisoning, kidney failure, allergic reactions, parasitic infections, nervous system disorders, or internal obstructions.

But what is hiding behind the cat’s vomit looking like poop?

Cat Vomit Looks Like Poop – 4 Causes Of Vomiting

cat throwing up

The vomiting, as it is, is an active process that usually lasts a few minutes; the cat may retch, drool, definitely look unwell and then vomit.

I am a cat owner myself, and I know it can be hard to think that something terrible is going to happen to your beloved furry friend, but it is essential to say that brown vomit may require medical treatment.

No matter the age of your cat, whether you have a young cat or an old cat, vomit brown in color can be accompanied by constipation or blockage. If you see your cat throwing up clear liquid, that is the gastric juice from the intestinal tract.

But if your cat throws up brown fluid, a vet check-up is necessary, and you do it as soon as possible. Especially if your cat’s vomit smells different, for example, like feces, that can indicate something serious.

Let’s see the 4 main reasons for cat vomit looking like poop.

1. Food

If you are a cat owner, you’re aware that most cat food is colored in some shade of brown, whether it is canned or dry kibble. It is easier for a cat owner to handle that this is why cat vomit looks like poop. The intestinal sensitivities may cause your cat to vomit undigested food.

If you took your cat to the vet and the vet checked for all medical issues, it is highly probable that your cat is vomiting actual food. The solutions are these: you can try sensitive system food, but if that doesn’t help your cat to stop vomiting, maybe you can try a hydrolyzed protein diet.

What is a hydrolyzed protein diet? Some cats can have food allergies, and it is proven that many of them have allergies to protein. The hydrolyzed protein diet breaks the protein into pieces of amino acids, so every particle is divided and stands by itself.

This is important since it will prevent the immune system of your cat from identifying the food which carries the allergen, so it’ll stop the symptoms of an allergy.

RELATED: The Most Effective Home Remedies For Cat Vomiting

2. Brown Bile

Another reason cat vomit looks like poop is the liquid from your cat’s liver. The bile your cat vomits is commonly yellow; however, if your cat vomits brown bile, that can indicate that your cat has problems with her internal organs.

3. Bleeding In The Digestive Tract

Sadly bleeding may be the reason cat vomit looks like poop. If your cat is vomiting brown liquid for some time, that can indicate that your cat is suffering from inflammation in the esophagus or the mouth, which could discharge blood. However, if your cat just started to vomit brown liquid, it can indicate bleeding problems in the gastrointestinal tract.

If you wonder what may cause the bleeding in the digestive tract, wonder no more since we are here to explain it all. For example, your cat has ingested vast amounts of a hairball that blocks the intestines. Blocking it, it creates trauma and inflammation. It could also be from the ingestion of a foreign body.

The solution would be a biopsy of the gastrointestinal tract in order to identify if it is food hypersensitivity or inflammatory bowel disease.

You can check here for the 10 best cat foods for shedding to avoid huge hairballs.

4. Gastroenteritis

Cat vomit looks like poop if your cat’s stomach is dealing with gastroenteritis, which is swelling of the stomach and the intestines. The causes may be due to intestinal parasites, bacteria, medications, viruses, or, as we mentioned, food.

You can observe if your cat, besides vomiting, has diarrhea, abdominal pain, and other medical signs. Cats that have gastroenteritis will often sporadically vomit and have diarrhea. You may notice the yellow, foamy bile after the stomach is emptied.

If your cat suffers from gastroenteritis, you may notice the gagging or dry heaving after the food or drink. You can expect large amounts of diarrhea a few times a day.

For this problem, it is best to contact the vet since the vet will know what to do and guide you to help your cat with it.

What Is The Difference Between Cat Vomit And Cat Hairballs?

A cat vomit will mostly be fluid, undigested food, bile, with some hair in the mix, while a hairball doesn’t look like a ball but rather a sausage-shaped tube of packed hair with some fluid with it.

Even though hairballs happen often, that doesn’t mean they are normal. However, they will instead cough when throwing out a hairball than vomit.

 RELATED: How To Reduce Cat Shedding (8 Proven Methods)

Why Do Cats Vomit?

Cat Vomit on floor

Why is my cat vomiting, you may wonder. Before we list the common causes of cat vomiting, we will start by explaining the process.

When it comes to vomiting, your cat’s body signals to her that something in the stomach wants to go out as soon as possible. Then the stomach contracts and a cat throws up all the contents out.

When a cat is throwing up, you can notice gagging and neck extending. Your cat might look for you because her gastrointestinal tract is irritated, and this often happens because your cat is eating too quickly or too much.

It can also happen if they eat something they are not able to digest, for example, grass. Another reason could be spoiled cat food; bear in mind that the wet cat food in the fridge can last for only 24 hours. In order to prevent vomiting, make sure to take out the food to come to room temperature before you give it to your cat.

Other common causes:

• Hairballs

• Foreign objects

• Gastric irritation

• Kidney disease (older cats predominantly suffer from it)

• Hyperactivity after eating

• Hyperthyroidism

Inflammatory bowel disease

• Eating too quickly and too much

• Worms

• Ingested non-food items like plants, grass, toys

• Reaction to medicine

Pancreatitis (swelling of the pancreas, part of the endocrine and digestive systems)

Tumors

How To Stop Your Cat From Overeating Food Too Quickly?

Have you heard of food puzzles? Let me introduce you. With food puzzles, you can enrich your cat and play with her. Nowadays, you can purchase many creative food puzzles that will stimulate cats’ foraging and predatory instincts.

But, the food puzzles are not just for that; if you have a cat that often vomits eaten food, the food puzzles will help her slow down the chow time. With the help of food puzzles, a cat cannot eat too fast how much she tries to.

However, if you tried those and your cat still vomits, it is necessary to talk with your vet since a cat might suffer from food allergies.

Difference Between Regurgitation And Vomit

Cat Vomit on sofa

How do you differentiate the regurgitation and vomit? The vomiting is the process when the cat strenuously brings up the mouth, esophagus, throat, stomach, and upper intestines. It can last for several minutes, and during it, she may move around but also you can notice this behavior:

• Heaving before vomiting

• Looking ill

• Retching

• Drooling

• No warning

• It happens fast

It is crucial to distinguish between regurgitation and vomiting so the vet can determine why your cat behaves the way she acts.

What Should You Do If Your Cat Vomits?

Cat vomiting frequently is not a normal thing for a cat. If your cat has been vomiting for two to three weeks or if it’s chronic vomiting, that is definitely a reason for concern as it indicates a health problem.

If your cat vomits looks like poop very often, and it proceeds with lethargy, weight loss, and lack of appetite, the vet appointment is a must.

The veterinarian will first physically examine your cat and check the vital signs, abdomen, and temperature. After the physical examination, the vet will do blood tests and x-rays. X-rays will identify if there is any fluid in the abdomen that can be blood, and it can show intestinal gas patterns, which are indicators of a blockage.

The blood work will show how each organ functions to exclude kidney or liver disease; it will also identify platelet levels and red blood cells.

After every test is done, it is possible that your cat will require hospitalization for supportive care and fluid therapy. Or, if it’s not a severe health problem, a vet can prescribe some medications and treatments, and your cat will go home with you. Be prepared to help your cat and devote your time, so your cat heals faster.

However, if the tests had shown the intestinal blockage, then you can expect that your cat will have surgery in order to remove that blockage.

A vomiting cat is something that shouldn’t be normal, so in order to stop it, don’t let your cat eat too fast and too much. You should always reach out to the vet if you notice strange behavior.

Final Thoughts

Cat Vomit on carpet

After we discussed why cat vomit looks like poop, I hope you have a clear picture and that you are taking the first steps in helping your cat.

We are aware that healthy cats are sometimes throwing up hairballs since they have a lot of hair and need to groom themselves. However, hairballs can cause problems if they are not brought up, and they can cause blockage of the digestive tract.

When it comes to hairballs, it is advised that you brush your cat regularly in order to prevent the ingestion of hair. If you have a long-haired cat, you can help her by trimming her frequently.

The vet check-up is always the best option since they know the pet’s health history, and they can give the best advice for anything health-related. Make sure to observe your cat’s behavior, vomiting, when it occurs, and how and how often to see if there is an underlying cause.

Your cat’s health needs to be your top priority in your care for her. Don’t be shy to reach out for a vet’s help if you notice any signs of illness.

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Iram Sharma

Fur-tunare enough to have had cats her entire life, Iram has spent years learning about these fluffy little hunters. Today, Iram is a professional veterinarian and a passionate cat mom who uses her skills to help felines in need. Surrounded by her own feline friends, Iram shares her knowledge and experience with all cat lovers.

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