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Cat Regurgitation

Posted on 17 November 2021
Cat Regurgitation

Unfortunately, most Australian pet owners have experienced the aftermath of their cats regurgitating. 

It's not an uncommon occurrence, and is not always a cause for concern. 

Not to be confused with vomiting, regurgitating occurs when your cat hasn't managed to start digesting food, it is a passive action where undigested food is expelled from the oesophagus.

Some clear distinctions of regurgitation include:

  • It will occur soon after eating, regurgitated food never reaches the stomach

  • Regurgitated food looks undigested

  • Small amounts of water and saliva may accompany regurgitated food

  • It is not accompanied by nausea and does not involve forceful abdominal contractions 

  • A regurgitating cat will lower its head and easily eliminate food from the mouth


Common reasons a cat regurgitates after eating and ways to help

  • Eating too fast- try using a food bowl with a larger surface area to spread the food so your cat will eat the portions separately, try using a slow feeder

  • Overeating- try feeding your cat food in smaller amounts or smaller pieces

  • Feeling stressed or anxious during feed time -if eating next to other cats, feed them in different areas

  • Food temperature may be too cold- try putting the food in a plastic bag in warm water before serving

  • Drinking too much water after eating


How often is it acceptable for a cat to regurgitate? 

If they do this occasionally, once or twice a month, there is usually no cause for concern. 


When you should contact us?

Importantly, regurgitation can also indicate a serious or life threatening health problem

Regurgitation in cats can be caused by an esophageal obstruction, congenital abnormality of the esophagus, and for other congenital or idiopathic reasons.

You should also contact us immediately if your cat is:

  • Regurgitating or vomiting continually throughout the day.

  • Lethargic or unwell

  • Losing weight 

  • Showing a change of behaviour (including disinterest in food)



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