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How to Recognize and Treat Nausea in Cats

Nausea in Cats: Causes, Symptoms, and What to Do

Cats are independent creatures that know how to take care of themselves. However, it can be challenging to spot the signs of nausea in cats, as they tend to hide their discomfort well.

As a loving cat owner, it is crucial to know how to recognize the signs of nausea and what to do to help your feline friend feel better.

Symptoms of Nausea in Cats

The following are common symptoms of nausea that you should look out for in your cat:

1. Hypersalivation/Drooling: Increased saliva production and drooling are typical signs of nausea in cats.

2. Not Eating/Licking: Cats that are nauseous may refuse to eat and only lick their food or water bowl instead of drinking.

3. Retching: If your cat is retching, this is a sign that they are attempting to vomit but not producing any material.

4. Lethargy: If your normally active cat becomes lethargic, it may be a sign of nausea.

5. Vocalization/Hiding: Nausea can cause cats to become more vocal or hide in unusual locations.

6. Overgrooming/Stress: Your cat may start to overgroom or become more stressed if they are feeling nauseous.

What To Do if Your Cat Has Signs of Nausea

If your cat is displaying any of the symptoms mentioned above, there are several steps you can take to help. 1.

Veterinary Help: It is essential to consult your vet if your cat is displaying signs of nausea. Your vet will give your cat a thorough examination and run tests to diagnose the cause of the nausea.

2. Vomiting: If your cat is vomiting, you can help by removing any food and water for 12 hours.

After 12 hours, you can gradually reintroduce small amounts of water and clear liquids like bone broth until your cat can eat normally again. 3.

Not Eating: If your cat is not eating, you may need to offer them small amounts of food frequently. If your cat still refuses to eat, consult your vet.

4. Lethargy: If your cat is lethargic, make sure they have a comfortable and warm place to rest and offer them plenty of water.

5. Diarrhea/Weight Loss: If your cat is experiencing diarrhea or losing weight, contact your vet immediately.

6. Trouble Urinating: If your cat is having trouble urinating, it may be a sign of a urinary tract blockage, which requires urgent veterinary care.

7. Trouble Breathing: If your cat is having trouble breathing, seek veterinary care immediately.

8. Appointment/Examination/Testing/Treatment: Your cat may need to be seen by a vet and undergo testing, such as bloodwork, urine testing, abdominal imaging, fecal testing, viral testing, or endoscopy.

Treatment will depend on the cause of the nausea.

Common Causes of Nausea in Cats

Here are the typical causes of nausea in your feline friend:

1. New Food/Human Food: Introducing new or human food to your cat’s diet can cause nausea.

2. Hairballs/Constipation: Hairballs and constipation are common causes of nausea in cats.

3. Food Allergies/Inflammatory Bowel Disease: These conditions can cause upset stomachs and nausea in cats.

4. Viral Infections/Foreign Body/Intestinal Parasites: Your cat may ingest foreign material, including parasites, which can cause nausea.

5. Cancer/Pancreatitis/Liver Disease/Kidney Disease: These serious illnesses can cause severe nausea in cats.

6. Toxins: Ingesting toxins, such as household cleaners and plants, can cause nausea in cats.

7. Diabetes Mellitus/Hyperthyroidism/Medications: Diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and medications can cause nausea.

8. Motion Sickness/Infection/Vestibular Disease/Brain Tumors: Various conditions, such as motion sickness and brain tumors, can cause nausea in cats.

How Vets Diagnose the Cause of Nausea in Cats

Your vet will take the following steps to diagnose the cause of nausea in your cat:

1. Questions: Your vet will ask you questions about your cat’s diet, behavior, and symptoms.

2. Physical Examination: Your vet will perform a physical examination of your cat, checking for signs of illness or injury.

3. Bloodwork: Blood tests can provide your vet with information about your cat’s internal organs, blood sugar, and electrolyte levels.

4. Urine testing: Urinalysis can help identify issues like dehydration, urinary tract infections, and kidney disease.

5. Abdominal Imaging: X-rays or ultrasounds can help identify any obstructions or masses causing nausea.

6. Fecal Testing: Your vet may check your cat’s poop for parasites, bacteria, or viruses.

7. Viral Testing: Tests can detect viral infections like feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).

8. Endoscopy: Your cat may need a gastrointestinal endoscopy to check for any abnormalities in the digestive tract.

In conclusion, it is essential to know the signs of nausea in your cat so that you can take early action to help. Consulting with your vet is a critical step in diagnosing the cause of your cat’s nausea and determining the proper treatment.

By following these steps, you can help your feline friend feel better and ensure they lead a happy and healthy life. Treating Nausea in Cats: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

Treatment of Nausea in Cats

Once a veterinarian has diagnosed the underlying cause of your cat’s nausea, they will recommend treatment based on the severity of the symptoms. The following are common treatments for nausea in cats:


Oral antacids: Antacids can help manage your cat’s nausea and improve their appetite. These medications are often prescribed for cats with gastritis or inflammatory bowel disease.

2. Anti-nausea medications: Veterinarians may prescribe anti-nausea medications such as metoclopramide or ondansetron to relieve your cat’s symptoms.

3. Hospitalization: In severe cases, your cat may need to be hospitalized for further treatment.

Hospitalization allows the vet to monitor your cat’s condition and provide care as necessary. 4.

Injectable medications: Sometimes, injectable medications are used to treat nausea in cats. These medications are typically used in conjunction with oral medications to provide quick relief.

5. IV fluid therapy: If your cat is dehydrated from prolonged nausea or vomiting, your vet may recommend IV fluid therapy.

IV hydration can help restore electrolyte balance and prevent further dehydration. 6.

Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be required to remove a foreign object or growth that is causing nausea.

Preventing Nausea in Cats

Preventing nausea in cats is essential to keep your furry friend healthy and happy. Here are some tips for reducing the likelihood of nausea in your cat:


Consistency: Cats are creatures of habit and thrive on routine. Keeping your cat on a consistent schedule for feeding, playtime, and regular wellness visits with the vet can help prevent nausea.

2. Diet: Providing your cat with a consistent and balanced diet is essential in preventing nausea related to food allergies or dietary changes.

Stick to high-quality, age-appropriate cat food and avoid giving your cat table scraps or human food. 3.

Brushing: Regular brushing can help prevent hairballs, which are a common cause of nausea in cats. Brush your cat frequently, especially for long-haired breeds.

4. Toxic Objects: Keep toxic objects like cleaning products, medications, and certain houseplants out of your cat’s reach.

Ingesting these objects can cause severe nausea or even more dangerous symptoms like internal bleeding and organ damage. 5.

Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor cats are less likely to be exposed to environmental toxins or infectious diseases that could cause nausea. Additionally, indoor cats are less prone to injuries that can lead to nausea caused by pain or trauma.

6. Vaccines: Keeping your cat’s vaccinations up-to-date is essential in preventing serious infections like bordetella, which can cause severe nausea.

Importance of Taking Action

Nausea in cats may resolve on its own, but if you notice prolonged signs of sickness or concerning symptoms, it’s essential to take action. A veterinarian will help identify the cause of your cat’s nausea and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

Failure to do so could lead to worsening symptoms, dehydration, or other serious health complications. In the worst-case scenario, nausea could be an early warning sign of serious illness such as cancer or organ failure.

Prompt treatment can make a significant difference in your cat’s overall outcome. In conclusion, nausea in cats can be caused by several underlying conditions, and it is crucial to take action when you notice signs.

Your vet will help you diagnose the cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan to help your kitty feel better. Nausea can be prevented by taking measures such as providing a balanced diet, regular brushing, and keeping your cat away from toxic objects.

Consistent monitoring and prompt veterinary care can ensure that your cat remains happy and healthy for years to come. In conclusion, recognizing the signs of nausea and taking prompt action to diagnose and treat its underlying causes is crucial to ensure a healthy and happy life for our feline friends.

Treatment options vary based on the severity of symptoms, but consulting with a veterinarian is always necessary. Preventing nausea in cats can be achieved through consistency, diet, proper grooming, and a safe environment.

Remember, a timely response to nausea can make all the difference in your cat’s overall outcome. Stay vigilant, consult with a veterinarian, and keep your cat’s health a top priority.

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