How to stop cat from puking


Well-Known Member
My cat is perfect,except she pukes. Its not hairballs, its food.We have tried different brands. Any special brand that works? She is healthy and sees the vet. He doesnt see it as a big deal, but this is really Jumpers cat and she'd love to take her to her new apartment in June. She has two roommates...her boyfriend and a close girlfriend. The girlfriend is already there and is fine with a cat, but doesnt want one that pukes a lot.
The cat can stay here, but one of my dogs doesn't like her. She'd be happier as an only oet although we do make sure she is very comfortable.
Suggestions anyone? She is six years old.


Well-Known Member
Dry food or wet food? Is she a binge eater? The panther boys are on a special diet (dry) because of crystals that formed in Onyx's urine, but we feed all three the same thing. Thor would get into the tabby girls' food (dry), pound it down, then yak up fully formed kibbles all over everything. We put the girls' food out of reach now.


Crazy Cat Lady
Try raising her dish about 4" off the floor so she is eating with her head level with her shoulder blades.

We call this "scarf n' barf". Usually it's just caused by nerves. Your cat could be nervous about the one dog and scarfing her food because she's afraid he'll take her food from her.

She may also have a touch of megaesophagus. This is when the esophagus dilates and the muscles don't quite coordinate properly to move food along.

As a result, food backs up in the esophagus, and when it gets full, up the food comes.

Because the esophagus takes a sharp bend where it passes the heart, food often backs up at that point.

Forcing the cat to eat with her head/neck stretched out straight will straighten out that bend, force her to slow down, and might very well stop a lot of the vomiting.

If this is something that started recently, take her to the vet to rule out other, possibly dangerous conditions, and to get her teeth checked to make sure she isn't chewing her food properly due to pain in her mouth. At 6 years of age, if she hasn't had a dental yet, her teeth may very well need some attention.


Roll With It
I would raise the dish as a first step. It really helped when our Freckles started barfing a lot. I would also feed her smaller portions at each feeding so that she eats less but more often. this can help with the barfing. Also check for worms. I was astounded when just raising the dish four inches or so made a huge difference.

I had a cat in college that we called Ralph. She was so sweet to me but hated my roommate's boyfriend and eventually my roomie. The roomie and her boyfriend fought a lot. Loud violent fights to the level of abuse of my roomie. Right after each fight my cat would barf in my roomie's shoes or her boyfriend's clothes. Never mine, nor my boyfriend but we didn't have loud fights. Football games on tv would also trigger this because the roomie's boyfriend would yell a lot. It upset the cat to the point that hse would get sick the next morning in their shoes or clothes.

Nerves were the vet's diagnosis of the problem. When I moved I found a nice calm friend who adored Ralph. Her house was calm and Ralph got renamed bc she never got sick in their home.


Crazy Cat Lady
In general, puking isn't that big a deal in cats so long as it isn't violent, repeated, or prolonged, and so long as the vomitus is partially digested food without a lot of mucus or bile, or Bast forbid, any blood.

It makes me nervous, as Thomas has something very wrong with his digestive tract that caused violent diarrhea until I switched him onto a grain-free, mostly whole carcass food.

Shortly after I moved, he had a bout of vomiting continuously that landed him in the hospital with dehydration, electrolyte imbalance with-tremors, irregular heartbeat, and a seizure. He also had a 106 degree fever.

He was ultrasounded, x-rayed, blood tested, all was OK making allowance for dehydration.

He spent the rest of the day and that night on IVs and electrolytes, on a cooling pad, with a fan blowing on him to break his fever. The puking stopped during the night and he came home on a soft vet diet and anti-emetics.

Cost me nearly a grand, and no one knows what in heck was wrong with him.

He is still a projectile puker, but only once or twice a week. Gives me the wibbles every time.

Squeaky has scarf n' barf, but raising the dish helped her with that, and it's actually made it easier for Thomas to eat with his arthritis because it puts less strain on his back and neck to not have to bend over.


Well-Known Member
Our Boo is just like your cat SWOT. She is definitely a puker of mostly whole or partly digested kibble - (is it still called kibble when it's for cats?) She is otherwise healthy and sweet. (Well, she has a tendency to want to pee on anything left in the floor - especially plastic bags - but that just makes us keep things picked up.)

We did free feeding, but decided maybe she was eating too much...she was kind of tubby. So now we give her the recommended amount of food on the bag each day. She's still puking, but not nearly like she had been. So if you leave food out all the time, try switching that up to set meal times.

We'll try raising the food bowl! Maybe that'll help.


Crazy Cat Lady
Lil, that definitely sounds like scarf n' barf. Have your cat seen by a vet to rule out megaesophagus, which is unlikely.

Then, raise the darned dish up 4". It really helps. I've got my self-feeder up on a really boring memoir written by the former (now long dead) ambassador to Berlin.

This is also good for elderly cats. In 4-leggers, there is a single ligament that runs all the way from the base of the skull to the base of the tail. Bending and twisting to reach the food dish stretches that ligament, which pulls on the spine (and hips). in an older cat who's getting a bit arthritic, raising the food and water dishes to alleviate this pull, can save them quite a bit of pain.

That goes for dogs as well.

Thomas used to lay down to eat and drink. Now that I've got the dishes raised, he eats crouching like a normal cat, and Squeaky no longer throws up unchewed kibble.

If that doesn't do it, and the kibble is completely unchewed, have her teeth checked out. You can check for inflammation of the gums and tartar, but it's good to have the vet check as s/he can see broken/decayed teeth as well.

Squeaky has decent teeth, but doesn't chew because her back teeth are very crooked and don't line up so she can chew.

That said, cats don't chew much normally.