Help! My cat is throwing up and has diarrhea

noahshavingfun

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Hello everyone.

My cat started throwing up throughout Thursday night. It was just yellow liquid together with white foam.
In the morning he was sluggish and sleepy, but that was understood as he spent the night throwing up (around 3 times).
He ate that day and drank water (I didn't give him cat milk as usual, I thought it was better this way.) The first twelve hours like I said, he wasn't as playful and just slept a bunch. But the same day he got better. Got back to his normal self.
Saturday passed as usual, but Sunday, 4am, he threw up white foam and yellow liquid again.
He also had/has diarrhea. There's no blood, no anything in it.

So, I've noticed a pattern a little bit. I've already been to this site asking for help.
He seemes to throw up every month and a half. And he'd have diarrhea. But, before today, he would throw up food.

So, I'm assuming the issue might be hairballs? He can't expel them properly and this is why it's happening.
Those are the clues I've been given on a different site.
But, also, they reminded us of the possibility for a urinary tract disease and something else.

Now. I want to know, first of, what to do as for right now. How do I help my cat become better? Second of, what do these symptoms mean? What's going on? And lastly, how necessary is a visit to the vet? (Money is tight with the Corona situation.)

I think I've asked all the important stuff. If there's anything I've forgotten, please add on in your comment.

Thank you so much for your help.
 

Caspers Human

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So, I've noticed a pattern a little bit.
If there is a pattern, there is a cause for that pattern.

The first thing that comes to mind is that he's getting into something that makes him sick.
Check the house for plants, household cleaning supplies, left-out food items or other things that aren't good for him.
Does he go outdoors? That multiplies the search area exponentially. You'll have to look around outside for bad things, too. Don't forget that some mean spirited person could be doing bad things, as well.

Check his food, as well. When I was a kid, our dogs got sick because their food got moldy and they all started barfing and got the squirts. The solution was as simple as throwing out the old, spoiled food and buying fresh, clean food.

A cat might, occasionally, throw up or get diarrhea but, if it happens more than once or twice, you have a problem that needs the attention of a vet. If he gets both at the same time, that's real cause for concern!

He might have worms or intestinal parasites. He might have some kind of virus or infection. It might be due to some disease.
The problem is that simply saying that he's throwing up and has diarrhea doesn't give a lot of information. Only an examination by a vet can tell you what's gong on.

After that, the best thing I can say is to go around and check everywhere to find anything that could be making him sick.

Prayers and best wishes be with you! :vibes:
 
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noahshavingfun

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If there is a pattern, there is a cause for that pattern.

The first thing that comes to mind is that he's getting into something that makes him sick.
Check the house for plants, household cleaning supplies, left-out food items or other things that aren't good for him.
Does he go outdoors? That multiplies the search area exponentially. You'll have to look around outside for bad things, too. Don't forget that some mean spirited person could be doing bad things, as well.

Check his food, as well. When I was a kid, our dogs got sick because their food got moldy and they all started barfing and got the squirts. The solution was as simple as throwing out the old, spoiled food and buying fresh, clean food.

A cat might, occasionally, throw up or get diarrhea but, if it happens more than once or twice, you have a problem that needs the attention of a vet. If he gets both at the same time, that's real cause for concern!

He might have worms or intestinal parasites. He might have some kind of virus or infection. It might be due to some disease.
The problem is that simply saying that he's throwing up and has diarrhea doesn't give a lot of information. Only an examination by a vet can tell you what's gong on.

After that, the best thing I can say is to go around and check everywhere to find anything that could be making him sick.

Prayers and best wishes be with you! :vibes:
First of all, thank you so much for answering and letting me know what could possibly be the reason for all this.

I don't think it's the house plants - we've already put away the bad ones for cats. Cleaning supplies are also put away and there is nothing else inside the house that could be causing him to throw up.

He does go outdoors, but, my neighborhood has a lot of cat owners and there is very little chance of a mean spirited person.
And if he was getting into something outside, I don't know what that could be. All the other cats are fine. (We get a lot of cat visits to our home, as I give them a snack from time to time.)

I don't think it's the food either, I'm very careful with that and I don't like leaving leftover food for him. I try to give him fresh food as much as I can.

The last time this happened, I had been to the vet and she checked for worms and intestinal parasites, there weren't any. She told me he looked fine, and she assumed it's just a fluke. That's as far as she went to diagnose him.

I'll see how he's doing today and tomorrow, and if he doesn't get better I will bring him to the vet.
If he gets better, but this starts happening the next month too, I'll definitely go to the vet with him.
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. After one of his 'bouts' does his stool go back to normal? Have you ever checked it for hair? You didn't mention any real issues with his eating, so I am gathering that nothing is going on from that aspect?

I am wondering about the hairballs as well. It could be that the diarrhea is a result of hair semi-clogging his digestive tract and actually causing some constipation, until he is able to finally pass it. In the meantime, diarrhea can happens as some of the stool 'squeezes' around the 'clog'. The vomiting up bile (yellowish fluid) and white foam can happen with trying to unsuccessfully cough up a hairball, but while on an empty stomach. Have you ever checked his vomit for hair when he has thrown up food?

Do you give him anything for hairballs? If not, try a dab of butter/margarine on his paw or from your finger a few times a week, or add a few drops of olive oil to his food. Both of these can help him more easily pass hairballs through his system. I only suggest to try this because whatever is going on with him, based on your description, appears to be intermittent, and so a hairball issue seems like a logical possibility.

However, if he doesn't improve this time, or the remedies above don't help, you really don't have much of a choice other than another vet visit. At that point, I would ask the vet about a x-ray to see if they can identify anything in his bowels that might be the source of the problem. For example - only one of many - it might be that he is passing some of the hairball, but some is left behind and more builds up over time. You might also ask about a full fecal PCR, which will not only check more thoroughly for a host of parasites, but also look for certain viral and/or bacterial issues.
 
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noahshavingfun

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Hi. After one of his 'bouts' does his stool go back to normal? Have you ever checked it for hair? You didn't mention any real issues with his eating, so I am gathering that nothing is going on from that aspect?

I am wondering about the hairballs as well. It could be that the diarrhea is a result of hair semi-clogging his digestive tract and actually causing some constipation, until he is able to finally pass it. In the meantime, diarrhea can happens as some of the stool 'squeezes' around the 'clog'. The vomiting up bile (yellowish fluid) and white foam can happen with trying to unsuccessfully cough up a hairball, but while on an empty stomach. When has thrown up food, do you find hair in it?

Do you give him anything for hairballs? If not, try a dab of butter/margarine on his paw or from your finger a few times a week, or add a few drops of olive oil to his food. Both of these can help him more easily pass hairballs through his system. I only suggest to try this because whatever is going on with him, based on your description, appears to be intermittent, and so a hairball issue seems like a logical possibility.

However, if he doesn't improve this time, or the remedies above don't help, you really don't have much of a choice other than another vet visit. At that point, I would ask the vet about a x-ray to see if they can identify anything in his bowels that might be the source of the problem. For example - only one of many - it might be that he is passing some of the hairball, but some is left behind and more builds up over time. You might also ask about a full fecal PCR, which will not only check more thoroughly for a host of parasites, but also look for certain viral and/or bacterial issues.
Thank for your comment.

It's kind of hard to track his stool, he's been going out much more often and 90% of the time he goes somewhere outside. Recently he's only done it inside when he had diarrhea (because I keep him in the house overnight, and he's literally only been throwing up during the night. And also having diarrhea.)

I've checked the stool for hair, last time there was a few strands, but this time I haven't noticed any hair.
As for eating, he eats as per usual I'd say. He did start drinking more water though. He does this every time. I think he might just be thirsty after throwing up but I don't know.

So, like I said, this time he only threw up bile. No food. Just yellow liquid and some white foam.
Last time though, he threw up food and there were some strands of hair, but only barely.

And no I haven't given him anything for hairballs. I did however give him olive oil before, but not for hairballs. (Well, I guess it was for the hairballs lol because) I gave it to him for constipation. His appetite was quite high during that time, so I'm assuming that the olive oil worked.

You also mentioned in your comment above, to ask the vet for full fecal PCR.
Last time we went to the vet, she already checked his stool for viruses and bacteria which was fine.

I'll put some olive oil in his food from now on. How long am I supposed to be doing it for? The whole month? Or just a few days?

So if he doesn't get better - vet visit. If he does, but it happens next month again - 100% going to the vet.
 

FeebysOwner

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I'll put some olive oil in his food from now on. How long am I supposed to be doing it for? The whole month? Or just a few days?
This might be an ongoing 'treatment', in order to prevent hair build up. The theory is not to give it to him to pass a hairball that is causing him problems, but to avoid him getting a hairball in the first place. Maybe a 2-3 times a week to start with? It's kind of a guessing game to determine what amount he would need to prevent hair accumulation in his system.
 
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