Cats sometimes seem indestructible when they run through the house at full speed while avoiding multiple obstacles, but their stomachs and digestive systems can slow them down when they’re not functioning correctly. Occasional vomiting of clear liquid is not uncommon with felines, but you should take your pet to the doctor if the symptom occurs more than once a month. Vomiting can have several causes, some are minor, and others are severe, but the veterinarian’s examination and tests are critical for determining the proper treatment for your pet.
The 10 Reasons Why Cats Throw Up Clear Liquid
When a cat vomits clear liquid, it can signify that it’s experiencing indigestion. Indigestion can occur if a cat skips a meal, consumes a bitter plant, or does not follow a routine eating schedule. Stomach acid can irritate the cat’s gut and cause it to throw liquid that’s clear or yellow. Luckily, most cases of indigestion can be treated with medications at home, but your veterinarian may run additional tests to ensure the cat is not vomiting because of a severe medical condition.
2. Changes in Diet
Cats are notoriously picky about their food, and some have problems adjusting to a new diet. Cats that reject their new meals may choose to eat less, and their unsettled stomachs can cause them to vomit clear liquid. Like canines, some cats struggle with eating too fast, which can also cause vomiting.
During the grooming process, cats ingest hair, and most of it is expelled through the feces. However, the undigested pieces can remain in the stomach and eventually form into hairballs. When your pet vomits a hairball, you may see clear liquid accompanied by the cylindrical gray tube.
- Related read: 4 Easy Home Remedies for Cat Hairballs (Vet Answer)
4. Drinking Water on an Empty Stomach
Cats require fresh drinking water to stay healthy, but some cats drink too fast on empty stomachs and vomit clear liquid. Felines that mostly eat dry food require more water than pets on wet diets, but the veterinarian should examine cats that abruptly increase their water intake.
5. Ingesting Poison
Cats enjoy exploring their homes, but they often discover objects or substances that can harm them. When they consume a toxin, vomiting is a common symptom. Household cleaners and automotive chemicals are well-known poisons that should be kept away from pets, but your cat should also avoid these toxic items:
6. Bilious Vomiting Syndrome
If your pet is throwing up bile early in the morning or late at night, the cause could be bilious vomiting syndrome. The liver produces bile to aid digestion when it enters the small intestine, but it can enter the stomach and cause discomfort and vomiting. The syndrome is rare in cats, and it mainly occurs in older felines.
Intestinal parasites are also responsible for vomiting in cats. Depending on the parasite, cats can vomit clear liquid or bile with streams of blood. A cat can get infections from parasites when it comes in contact with infected feces or animals with the parasites. Cats who hunt rodents and share litter boxes with infected felines are more vulnerable to illness from parasites. Over-the-counter worm medications are available online and at pet stores, but you should wait until the doctor determines which worm is causing the symptoms before administering treatment.
8. Kidney Disease
When a cat’s kidneys are not functioning correctly, the toxic buildup can cause vomiting and other symptoms such as dehydration, weight loss, excessive thirst, and diarrhea. Acute kidney failure can be reversed if promptly treated, but there is no cure for chronic kidney disease. However, a cat suffering from a chronic case can live for several years by following the doctor’s treatment plan.
When a cat’s stomach becomes inflamed, the irritation can cause pain and vomiting. Gastritis can be caused by minor problems such as changes in diet or eating a toxic plant, or it can be related to severe conditions like diabetes or kidney disease. Minor cases of gastritis can clear up in a few days, but it’s better to visit the veterinarian when your cat frequently vomits.
Intestinal lymphoma is the most common cancer diagnosed in cats. Symptoms of the disease include vomiting, appetite loss, diarrhea, and weight loss. Veterinarians may use endoscopy or surgery to obtain biopsies to diagnose lymphoma.
Although watching your feline cough up clear fluid is alarming, you cannot treat the symptom until you understand the cause. A single vomiting episode is not a reason to rush to the animal hospital, but frequent vomiting should be treated immediately by a veterinarian. Early treatment can benefit the animal’s recovery and reduce the probability of the condition worsening.
Featured Image Credit: chie hidaka, Shutterstock