Cat vomiting new high protein diet

petal267

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 25, 2021
Messages
5
Purraise
2
I'm trying to move my cats off Felix As Good As It Looks (pouches) and onto a new high protein diet (steam cooked, comes in tins).

One of them was quite sick this morning an hour or so after I fed him half a tin (2 tins a day is what he'll eventually work up to). In the vomit was mainly undigested food but also a clump of fur. I've been trying to switch them over slowly but I don't think I've done it right. They normally get half a pouch in the morning and at lunch with a full pouch and a small scoop of biscuits in the evening. Last night they had a pouch each and this morning I gave them half a tin each. Every day for about a week I've been feeding them 1 tin and 1 pouch and a couple of times they've had a bit of tin and pouch together.

He's not being sick with the pouches. After he was sick this morning he asked for more food so I gave him half a pouch along with another half an hour ago and there's been no more vomiting. He's otherwise healthy, gums might be a bit pale but they look the same shade as the other cat and his pads are bright pink. The same level of activeness and nothing 'wrong' apart from the vomiting. He has asthma but no changes recently.

Have I moved him across too quickly? Should I take him to the vet tomorrow? Should I move both cats fully back to the pouches and try again slowly?

(Note: this is the 4th vomit in about 3 weeks and is much bigger than the rest. 2 have been on the new food.1 was 3 weeks ago, was more like bile and happened 30mins before feeding time. The other one happened just after my partner left this time last week. They had been visiting for a week after not being able to see the cats for 7 months. This could be stress related if that's a thing because this cat has also peed outside the litter box during house moves/routine changes before)
 

Kieka

Snowshoe Servant
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Sep 6, 2016
Messages
10,094
Purraise
14,971
Location
Southern California
It sounds like he might have a hairball or is eating too quickly (between hair in vomit and how soon after eating). It sounds like you aren't moving too quickly on the transition. It doesn't hurt to see a vet though to be on the safe side and already have a record started if it does take a turn. I'd personally add a little pumpkin puree (not pie filling) into the food to help if it is a Hairball though.
 

mrsgreenjeens

Every Life Should Have Nine Cats
Staff Member
Advisor
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
14,211
Purraise
4,139
Location
Arizona
It sounds like he might have a hairball or is eating too quickly (between hair in vomit and how soon after eating). It sounds like you aren't moving too quickly on the transition. It doesn't hurt to see a vet though to be on the safe side and already have a record started if it does take a turn. I'd personally add a little pumpkin puree (not pie filling) into the food to help if it is a Hairball though.
I agree that this vomit today sounds hairball related, and the one last week could very well have been stress. I think you are doing ok with your progress and unless this becomes a pattern you are ok to continue as you have been doing.
 

Beholder

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Jan 10, 2021
Messages
428
Purraise
544
Location
Southern California
Cats usually vomit bile when they haven't eaten in a while and have a buildup of acid. An easy way to fix this is by giving them smaller and more frequent meals. If you're unable to do this, sometimes feeding them a small treat/piece of food a little while before their normal meal can help calm it down.

As for the hairball with undigested food--this may have been caused from eating too quickly, but since there is hair involved I'm inclined to think the hair was the reason for this. Was it a long-haired cat that threw up the hairball? For one of my own cats I've been adding about a teaspoon of olive oil to their food a day which has really helped with the hairballs. Just be aware that too much can cause diarrhea and there are also additional calories in olive oil.

Also, are there any notable different ingredients in the pouches vs the tins? Like is one chicken and one fish? A normal, slow transition (as you're describing) shouldn't normally be a cause for vomiting.
 
Last edited:

Flybynight

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
180
Purraise
187
P petal267
Could be a hair ball but when cats who have previously been fed a high carb diet move to higher protein, it can temporarily cause issues such as vomiting as their systems are not used to the amount of protein. Higher protein is good though, just may take an adjustment.
In case it's is hairball related, have cat grass and hairball treats.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6

petal267

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 25, 2021
Messages
5
Purraise
2
Hi everyone, thanks for all your messages. I'm just keeping an eye on him for now then and making the transition with the chicken/duck based new food since he's had that before. Once they're switched over and used to the higher protein/no carb diet, it sounds like that would be a better time to introduce the fishy flavours.

Previously the pouches were a meat variety and the tin that made him projectile vomit was a fish one (tuna, sardine and mackerel). His pouches are 4% meat derivatives, 11.5% protein and 82% moisture whereas the food I'm trying to get him on is 63% human-grade meat, 16.5% protein and 78% moisture.

As for the hair, it looked like a 2-inch furry slug in the vomit and he's short hair but fluffy. He has access to cat grass in the house and he chews on it daily but I'll look into hairball treats (any suggestions for good ones?).

For the bile, yeah I wasn't too worried about that. They're fed about 4 times a day right now (breakfast, lunch and late dinner at 9pm with a snack around 4/5). His brother is off for a routine check this week anyway so I'll be asking how to get them off those feeding times since I'm about to start a job and won't be able to give them 'lunch'.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7

petal267

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 25, 2021
Messages
5
Purraise
2
He can be a bit of a pig so that's why breakfast and lunch are two smaller meals... We've found this is the easiest way to stop him from wolfing it down as he doesn't eat his dinner really quick but has previously (many months ago) been sick from eating too much for breakfast.
 

Beholder

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Jan 10, 2021
Messages
428
Purraise
544
Location
Southern California
It's a tad unusual for short-haired cats to develop hairballs. However, if it's starting to warm up where you live it's not unheard of for some cats to start shedding more around that time and then get hairballs. I can't recommend any treats but a good daily brushing can help a lot. Egg yolk and olive oil are also helpful in the diet.

As a side note, this may be a more debated topic here on thecatsite, but many of us try and avoid fish as a main protein in the diet. IMO it's okay occasionally, but sadly when it comes to fish, frequent feedings can not only cause allergies, but also make *some* cats pickier and avoid other proteins long term. As with everything, this can always vary from cat to cat. It's hypothesized that the reason many cats have issues with proteins like fish is because (as a desert feline) they never evolved to consume it, but that's just one of the running theories.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9

petal267

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 25, 2021
Messages
5
Purraise
2
It's a tad unusual for short-haired cats to develop hairballs. However, if it's starting to warm up where you live it's not unheard of for some cats to start shedding more around that time and then get hairballs. I can't recommend any treats but a good daily brushing can help a lot. Egg yolk and olive oil are also helpful in the diet.

As a side note, this may be a more debated topic here on thecatsite, but many of us try and avoid fish as a main protein in the diet. IMO it's okay occasionally, but sadly when it comes to fish, frequent feedings can not only cause allergies, but also make *some* cats pickier and avoid other proteins long term. As with everything, this can always vary from cat to cat. It's hypothesized that the reason many cats have issues with proteins like fish is because (as a desert feline) they never evolved to consume it, but that's just one of the running theories.
He is very furry so when I'm brushing him I get a good amount out and can almost make a third cat from the hoover each week! He lives in Scotland so not overly warm but it's reaching about 26C where he spends most of his time in the living room. They're indoor only since July as the other cat has problems (suspected autoimmune but nothing found yet and it's being suppressed by meds).

I'd been planning on doing 25% fish-based tins for feeding when they've switched over entirely which means he'd get half a tin a day and occasionally a full tin as a treat. Options wise, that leaves them with chicken, chicken/duck and chicken/ham for the main source of protein. Will just those three flavours be enough to keep them interested? I'm open to advice as I want them off the 'junk' food and onto something better but it does means there's less to pick from. That said, they'll still be getting things like Dreamies, Felix soups, Lick-E-Lix and cat meat sticks as their playtime treat.
 

Flybynight

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
180
Purraise
187
P petal267
Hi,
what brand/ brands are you feeding? I would just play it by ear to see if it is enough variety to hold their interest. I tend to feed a different flavor each meal.
Last week my short haired cat had a hairball. As long as only a couple times a year it is fine.
Animonda Milkies do nice hairball treats but may be only available via Zooplus UK.
These I have seen recommended:
VetIQ Healthy Bites Hairball Remedy Treats For Cats 65g - From £1.25
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11

petal267

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 25, 2021
Messages
5
Purraise
2
I am currently feeding Felix As Good As It Looks and switching to Untamed.

I'll have a look at those treats thanks!

(He's been fine today btw, I gave him the same amount of non-fish tinned food to keep the transitioning going and nothing has come back up so far so starting to think it could be the fish)
 

Beholder

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Jan 10, 2021
Messages
428
Purraise
544
Location
Southern California
He is very furry so when I'm brushing him I get a good amount out and can almost make a third cat from the hoover each week! He lives in Scotland so not overly warm but it's reaching about 26C where he spends most of his time in the living room. They're indoor only since July as the other cat has problems (suspected autoimmune but nothing found yet and it's being suppressed by meds).

I'd been planning on doing 25% fish-based tins for feeding when they've switched over entirely which means he'd get half a tin a day and occasionally a full tin as a treat. Options wise, that leaves them with chicken, chicken/duck and chicken/ham for the main source of protein. Will just those three flavours be enough to keep them interested? I'm open to advice as I want them off the 'junk' food and onto something better but it does means there's less to pick from. That said, they'll still be getting things like Dreamies, Felix soups, Lick-E-Lix and cat meat sticks as their playtime treat.
Wow! That's a lot of hair. He is indeed a very fluffy short-hair.

Well, always feed what you can afford, and IMO all wet food no matter the flavor is superior to dry. I personally think 25% fish is a bit high (I would aim more like once a week) and for the other proteins it's usually better to have them...not mixed. Basically, when some cats get the same type of protein in their diets over and over (like chicken) it *can* make them more prone to allergies. This won't happen with all cats, but it's why people usually recommend 4-5 single proteins in the diet. But like I said, feed what you can afford if he's not having any issues at the moment. Most single protein foods are more expensive and a lot of people go the homemade route which can be time consuming. It's more of a precaution strategy for those of us who have gone down the allergy nightmare route. It's also closer to what cat would have been consuming in the wild.
 

Beholder

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Jan 10, 2021
Messages
428
Purraise
544
Location
Southern California
I am currently feeding Felix As Good As It Looks and switching to Untamed.

I'll have a look at those treats thanks!

(He's been fine today btw, I gave him the same amount of non-fish tinned food to keep the transitioning going and nothing has come back up so far so starting to think it could be the fish)
Interesting. Has he ever had fish before and kept it down?

I'm glad he's doing better today!
 
Top