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Why is my cat throwing up food after eating?

Cat owners sometimes blame a new cat food when their cat immediately throws it back up after eating. The connection seems logical, but other factors could point to a different cause rooted in behavior.

Regurgitation

Regurgitation, or expelling swallowed food through the mouth, can occur if your cat really loves a new food or competes with other pets in your home at mealtime. Here’s what happens: a cat eats so fast that he or she swallows food without chewing and ingests a lot of air, too. Large pieces of food and air in the stomach will likely come back up. If your cat throws up a whole kibble shortly after eating, regurgitation is likely to blame.

What to do

If you suspect your cat is eating too fast and regurgitating, take these steps to reduce the risk.

  1. Feed smaller meals more often until you notice a slow down in eating speed.
  2. Rather than using a deep dish, place the cat food on a wide, flat surface, like a cookie sheet. This spreads out the kibbles and forces your cat to take more time eating. It also prevents big mouthfuls of food.

Transitioning

Transitioning to a new cat food too quickly can also cause your cat to throw up. Mix increasing amounts of the new food with decreasing amounts of the old food over a seven-day period to avoid discomfort.

If your cat is showing signs of discomfort after eating or vomits intensely or constantly, see your veterinarian immediately. It’s always a good idea to consult your vet before changing cat foods.