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Home > Cats > Why Does My Cat Throw Up After Drinking Water? 5 Potential Reasons

Why Does My Cat Throw Up After Drinking Water? 5 Potential Reasons

a cat that feels sick and seems to vomit

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Cats vomit now and then for various reasons. For example, you may see your cat throw up their food immediately after eating or when they finally cough up that nasty hairball. You could even wonder why your cat throws up right after drinking water.

We’ll cover the five most common causes of cats vomiting after they drink water so you can learn how to deal with it. Once you pinpoint the cause of your cat’s vomiting, you can try to remedy the problem.


The 5 Reasons Why Cats Might Throw Up After Drinking Water

1. Your Cat Drinks Too Fast

Cat drinking from ceramic bowl
Image By: Pattysan, Shutterstock

When a cat drinks a great deal of water in a short period, its stomach quickly stretches as it fills. This process sends a signal to the brain indicating that it’s time to empty the stomach contents. If your cat is drinking water rapidly, vomiting afterward may simply be a natural way for them to feel more comfortable.

How to remedy the problem:

While there’s no need to be concerned if your cat occasionally throws up after drinking water too fast, you may want to take action if they do it all the time. Don’t just grab that water dish and put it out of your cat’s reach. Your cat needs to drink water regularly to stay well-hydrated, so leave the water dish where it is.

One smart way to ensure your cat doesn’t gulp down all his water in one shot is to only put a small amount of water in the dish. Another way to limit how much water they drink is to give them a few ice cubes to lick which will keep them from quickly gulping water from the bowl. If you try the ice cube method, be sure to watch your cat to ensure that they get enough water to drink from the melting ice, and don’t swallow the ice cube when it gets smaller.

2. They’re Trying to Cough Up a Hairball

Your cat may be throwing up after drinking water because they’re trying to cough up a hairball. As you probably know, the loose hair your cat ingests when licking their coat eventually builds up into a gross, elongated hairball that gets caught in the throat. By drinking lots of water at a rapid pace, your cat will likely get the urge to vomit, and, with any luck, that awful hairball will finally come out.

How to remedy the problem:

A great way to get rid of a hairball problem is to feed your cat a hairball control cat food. This type of cat food typically contains extra fiber that helps reduce hairballs. The fiber in this type of cat food typically comes from something natural, like beet pulp, that stops hairballs in their tracks before they get a chance to develop.

If you’re not crazy about the idea of changing your cat’s food, another option is to give your cat a chewable hairball control supplement. This type of supplement is a specially formulated lubricant that aids in the elimination and prevention of hairballs. These supplements are usually tasty to cats since they’re often flavored with fish or chicken, which means your cat may think they’re getting a yummy treat for being such a good kitty.

3. Your Feline Friend Is Simply Hungry

grey tabby cat eating
Image Crediting: Laura Chouette, Unsplash

As a cat feels hungry, its stomach acids begin churning in preparation for digesting the next delicious meal. If your cat has an empty stomach and feels hungry, it may choose to head to the water bowl to take a long, refreshing drink. If they’re drinking lots of water, the stomach acid will build up rapidly, which could cause nausea in your cat. This could be why they vomit right after drinking water.

How to remedy the problem:

The best way to deal with a hungry cat that’s drinking lots of water and then throwing up is to feed that cat smaller, more frequent meals. For example, if you’re currently feeding your cat twice a day, kick it up to three or four times a day and serve your cat smaller portions. This type of feeding schedule will keep your cat’s stomach full longer, which should help curb the behavior of over-drinking and throwing up.

4. Your Cat Has Roundworms

Cats with intestinal roundworms are being robbed of important nutrients in their diet. Roundworms are very common in cats and kittens. The good news is that an adult cat with roundworms will typically survive an infestation once the worms are identified and treated.

Cat owners often identify roundworms in their pet’s feces because the worms look like long strands of cooked spaghetti. A cat with roundworms may be very thirsty, wherein he will quickly gulp down lots of water and then throw up. The roundworms themselves can even cause vomiting and diarrhea in cats.

How to remedy the problem:

If you suspect that your cat’s vomiting after drinking water is caused by roundworms, get your cat to the vet right away. Your vet will likely ask you to bring a fresh stool sample along with you so it can be tested for the presence of roundworm eggs. If your cat does have roundworms, your vet will prescribe the appropriate deworming treatment.

5. Your Little Buddy Is Sick

sick cat
Image Credit: one photo, Shutterstock

Your cat may be drinking lots of water and throwing up because they’re sick. Perhaps they have a disease, such as feline diabetes or hyperthyroidism. Both of these illnesses can cause cats to be thirsty and throw up. Most cat owners notice when their cats are sick because they act differently and show symptoms like vomiting, sleeping too much, or losing weight.

How to remedy the problem:

If you suspect your cat has diabetes because they’re excessively thirsty and urinating a lot, get them to the vet for a diagnosis. If feline diabetes is confirmed, your vet will provide your cat with the appropriate treatment, such as insulin therapy or a dietary change.

A cat with hyperthyroidism will drink lots of water, urinate a lot, and possibly throw up. They may also have an increased appetite and unexplained weight loss. If you suspect your cat has hyperthyroidism, take your cat to the vet for testing. Your vet will check if your cat has an enlarged thyroid gland and check their heart rate and blood pressure. If hyperthyroidism is making your cat ill, your vet will likely prescribe some anti-thyroid medication.


Final Thoughts

There are several reasons why cats throw up after drinking water. A couple of these reasons are not so serious, such as drinking too fast or being hungry, but a few of them are more serious and require some intervention from your vet. If you’re unsure why your cat is throwing up after drinking water, take your cat to the vet to determine what’s causing the behavior and to rule out any health problems.

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Featured Image Credit: chie hidaka, Shutterstock

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