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seekingwolf's avatar

Cat vomiting (have already seen vet)

Asked by seekingwolf (10407points) March 14th, 2013

I have a 4 year old cat with my boyfriend. He’s strictly indoor and never goes outside. He is our only cat. Because my boyfriend and I have opposite work shifts, the car ALWAYS has someone there with him. He does not have issues with hair balls. Right now, he eats dry food only. He poops just normally, in normal amounts, each day.

He’s always had a sensitive stomach. When we first got him, he threw up a lot. We changed his diet and he was better. Then he began to vomit every day or every other day. He quickly lost a pound. We took him to the vet, who specializes in cats, and got fecal, urine, and blood tests done on him to rule out anything.

Everything came back negative. The vet had us put him on a special dry food that is specifically for cats with sensitive stomachs. He did fine for 2 weeks and gained weight again.

Now he is throwing up again. I want to try a different diet but the vet wants us to shell out $300+ for an ultrasound. I know he doesn’t have an obstruction because his appetite is very good, he poops normally, etc. Plus they already tested his fecal matter for other possible issues and it was all negative. The vet doesn’t care, still insists that we pay out of the nose.
I’m not an idiot. I know when I’m being taken for a ride and she’s doing that. I really feel that he has some food sensitivity but I’ve talked to 2 vets and both just want me to pay a ton so they can go up his butt or do an ultrasound.

What do I do?

If I can’t get this under control, I won’t be able to keep him because of the frequency of vomit and I’m in a tiny place with some carpet. He is a black kitty and I don’t want to take him back.

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13 Answers

Judi's avatar

Poor baby. Vets have a way of making us feel like bad animal parents if we don’t pay through the nose for tests. My dog has lived longer than the vet projected she would when I got her 15 years ago but they won’t give her pain meds for her sore hips without expensive blood tests. I don’t want to invest anymore money to prolong her life a month or two I just want her to be comfortable. If the pain meds kill her she has lived a long full life and she won’t be hurting.
10–30 years ago you wouldn’t have to feel guilty saying “she’s a cat, not a person. I won’t spend that kind of money on her.
I would ask the vet what he would want to do if the ultrasound found an obstruction. If he says surgery then ask how much that would cost. If you’re not willing to pay the cost of surgery PLUS the cost of the ultrasound then getting the ultrasound is pointless. I would tell the vet this and tell him the only alternative is a food change and you would like his recommendation.

Plucky's avatar

What foods have you tried so far? The brand and type/label.

seekingwolf's avatar


Omg you are right. I feel like a bad parent. But my boyfriend and I shelled out over $300 for those other tests. No more.

Vet told me she wanted to do a colonoscopy or surgery after the ultrasound. No way!! I’m not going with it. I told her but she’s been insistent.

-he was on science diet first.
-then wellness food (grain free only) plus dry food
– now he is on dry only purina EN. This is what the vet told me to get.

Bellatrix's avatar

I would get a second opinion. Go and see another vet if the cat is still vomiting. Could he be eating anything in addition to his food? Plants around the place or even chewing on blankets or something. If your vet has done tests and you don’t believe it’s an obstruction, I would definitely seek another opinion and see what another vet says. They can be wrong and I have visited vets that kept doing more and more expensive tests before finally saying, I don’t know and sending me to another vet.

Buttonstc's avatar

Definitely get another opinion. Are there any holistic vets in your area. Its possible that there’s a food allergy of some sort.

If you’re looking for a recommendaction for another vet, you could try your local Craig’s list pet ssection. That s what’s did when I first moved here. In my post, I mentioned that I wanted to find a vet who really cared about the animals but wasn’t charging outrageous prices. I got lots of replies and there was one name that kept cropping up and I’ve been quite happy with him for years.

Bellatrix's avatar

I just read the sentence about seeing a couple of other vets. Is there a cat specialist in your area? Can you call the local cat society and see if they can recommend someone. The downside of doing this is the specialist vets can also charge like wounded bulls.

Judi's avatar

My friends vet told him to make his dogs dry dogfood wet so he couldn’t gulp it down so fast. I don’t know if your cat is eating fast but that might be an idea. Just don’t feed it to her hotter than normal body temperature.

seekingwolf's avatar

My vet now is a cat specialist. I already consulted someone else too. Same crap.

I don’t have any plants in my place (other than a mint plant which is 6 feet from the ground and he’s not touching it) and he doesn’t chew anything. He does scratch things though, haha.

Maybe he is eating too quickly when I am not looking. Not sure. Something to explore.

tinyfaery's avatar

Sounds like an allergy. You can take him to a specialist, but it will cost you.

Try feeding him warm (not hot) boiled, unseasoned chicken. If he still throws up I’d recommend the ultrasound. There could be an obstruction.

Plucky's avatar

Science Diet isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Purina just makes me cringe. Wellness is a wonderful brand.
Considering he’s been through all these tests, with negative results, a food allergy is very likely. Which Wellness did you try? I believe they have a blend especially for food sensitive pets. I know they do for dogs. If your cat seems to be reacting to his food, you should be watching how he eats it. Some pets react badly to chicken or fish.
An ultrasound would be ideal, especially if he gets worse. There may be a foreign object or twist in his stomach. Normal stool doesn’t necessarily mean he is fine. Some conditions are harder to detect than others. Some times you end up having to spend a lot of money to find out the issue.
In saying that, I think the ultrasound should have been done a long time ago. My vet wouldn’t have made me jump through all those hoops before suggesting one. Blood tests are important but not necessary every visit. Usually if it has been longer than six months, since the last one, it is good to do another.
If it is an allergy, be prepared to possibly go through a lot of trial and error. It may take awhile to find the culprits.
The foods you have tried, make a list of all the common ingredients and go from there.

There is a lot of great advice here. I’m not sure what else to suggest, other than raw food diets. Which is an entirely different approach to feeding.

I hope I helped a bit.

Buttonstc's avatar

I think the suggestion by @tinyfaery is a good starting place just to keep things simple. If your cat reacts well to that, then the allergy possibility is that much more likely (vs. some type of obstruction). There are SO MANY adfitives and crap in commercial cat food that its hard to separate them all out and know what specific allergen it could be.

Obviously that can’t be kitty’s sole source of food indefinitely (because cats will develop serious deficiencies on only one food) but doing it for awhile is fine while you decide upon the next step.

While you’re deciding what to do, take thorough a look at the feeding info on this website. It makes a lot of sense. She’s an extremely knowledgeable vet with multiple cats of her own so it’s hard to argue that she doesn’t get results.

Her approach isn’t for everyone and some cats are more resistant than others. I had absolutely ZERO problem with changing my kitty from dry food to wet.

But even if you can’t manage her diet recos totally, there’s lots of good info. on the site as a whole and may give you some valuable insights.

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Kimmc1972's avatar

Have you tried to go to Banfield, the Pet Hospital? They are inside PetSmart stores, and they have a Wellness Plan, like a pet insurance. It is $25 per month, and with it, your vet bills are slashed significantly. You could sign up for it, get the ultrasound, then cancel. Or, keep kitty on it. I had my Boo Boo on it for 17 years, and my two kitties are on it now. Best vets ever, too! Caring, no BS.

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