Regurgitation refers to the upwelling of stomach contents, i.e. liquid, mucus or undigested food, without effort. This lack of effort distinguishes it from vomiting, as does the absence of abdominal contractions or nausea. Although regurgitation is quite common in cats, there are many causes and it should be monitored when it becomes too frequent.
What causes regurgitation?
There are many possible causes of regurgitation in your cat. It’s a symptom of a variety of common illnesses or problems.
This is the most common cause of regurgitation in cats. It occurs when your cat is long-haired or licks itself more often than usual because it is anxious, for example. Its digestive tract will then overflow and cause regurgitation.
A quick bite or a sudden change of food
Your cat simply ate too fast. In this case, he regurgitates part of what he ate shortly after swallowing it. A change in your cat’s diet without a transition phase can also cause regurgitation.
Food poisoning can be caused by ingesting spoiled food or contaminated water. However, it can also be caused by a virus like cat typhus. In this case, vomiting is foul-smelling and often accompanied by diarrhea.
Regurgitation can be caused by inflammation of the intestine. It can also be caused by pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of the pancreas. This is a fairly common disease in cats and is probably caused by eating poor quality fat.
A gastrointestinal infection can also be the cause. It can be related to a parasite, a virus, a bacterium or a fungus. In unspayed cats, an infection of the uterus, called pyometra, can be responsible for vomiting. This is often accompanied by severe fatigue, dehydration and loss of appetite.
Regurgitation can also be caused by other diseases affecting your cat’s liver, pancreas, thyroid or kidneys. Chronic renal failure, for example, causes ulcers that lead to vomiting. This disease is quite common in older cats.
Are there any health risks?
When regurgitation becomes severe or chronic, it can become dangerous for him. Indeed, it can lead to a significant weight loss. He can also develop respiratory problems that can go as far as coughing, far from being harmless in cats.
How to prevent regurgitation?
The methods to stop regurgitation obviously depend on its cause. If there is any doubt or if the regurgitation is accompanied by diarrhea, fever or coughing, the best thing to do is always to take your cat to the veterinarian.
In case of hairballs, you should give your cat a laxative every month and brush it to avoid too much hair accumulation. It’s best to do this until your cat is licking at its usual frequency.
If you notice that your cat is eating too fast and regurgitating, it is best to spread out the food over the day. There are also solutions such as an anti-gout bowl. This is an educational toy where the dry food is placed in traps or holes that are not directly accessible. This slows down meal intake and stimulates his intellect.