Cat is purging food for no particular reason

The cat has been very friendly and calm from the start. I enjoy pretty much everything else about her and this sit.

I don’t know what’s going on other than she seemed to be eating very fast the 3 separate times she’s vomited so far, and it’s only my 4th day.

On the first whole day of my sit, she kept her food down at breakfast and dinner.

Then when I got a new can from the cupboard for her on the second day, she ate her entire serving (1/4 as instructed by HO) plus the kibble (1/3 of the scoop) and vomited it back out 10-20 minutes later.

The brand is the same and even the flavor, much to my surprise, was the same.

I already contacted the homeowner and she said the cat only vomits once every 6 weeks on average and sometimes not even that.

When I do feed her with the same stuff soon after she purges, she does keep her food down and digests it fine.

So I cannot think of anything that could be different that would cause her to rush eating, getting herself sick. She didn’t even do this the first whole day with me like I said.

Right now, I have put a safe obstacle in her food bowl to slow down her eating, from my Google research. It is a travel-size bottle.
This seems to help. I may also spread the food out on a large plate.

Can anyone relate? Any suggestions as to why and what to do?

@FreeSpiritManette I am so sorry the cat you are sitting for is getting sick so often. I don’t know what it could be unless nervousness, but I took a look at your profile and I see you are a Standard member so you can contact a vet with live video chat anytime. I would go ahead and suggest just doing it for your own peace of mind and since it is part of the membership, you should take advantage of it.

I wish you luck as I know the cat is very uncomfortable as well. Animals always feel so bad when they get sick…


If the cat appears to be eating too quickly, perhaps give the food 3 smaller servings, around 20 - 30 minutes apart. We sat for a cat that would always rush his food and be sick if given the whole portion at once, and this was how the owner managed it.


Yes, same as @Debbie. Do smaller portions over a period. And stand with the cat and gently stroke her while she eats, if she lets you! Bring some calm energy, it sounds like she might be nervous, even though she might not show classic symptoms.


It could be something more serious. One of my cats last year vomitted alot and our sitters let us know. Turns out she had stomach cancer. Hopefully the home owner will get the cat to the vet upon returning. Good luck!

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The last cat I looked after did the same, she just ate too quickly. I raised the bowl (actually, on a pile of books), so she had to stretch up to eat, and this definitely helped. I think the advice of smaller portions and a soothing tone, is also a good one.
Give it a day and see if it gets worse. If it does, the veterinary line should be able to give you the best advice.
Good luck and let us know how it goes.


@FreeSpiritManette We’ve experienced that, too. It can be, as others stated, eating too quickly, so doling it out in smaller portions timed 20-30 minutes apart can help.

It can also be something called bilious vomiting syndrome. This happens when a cat’s stomach, after being empty for many hours, initially rejects its food. Too much bile goes into the stomach once they eat again and they vomit it all up. I think vets can treat this, so the HO can consult their vet, perhaps.


Thanks for all of your responses, everyone.

These are all to keep in mind for if this ever happens again.

I spoke with two vets on the free vet line on THS and it’s great! They don’t think it’s anything other than an unsettled stomach and suggested ways to slow down her eating.

Since this post was made, she’s been keeping her food down just fine! 3 meals in a row down.

I haven’t used the vet’s advice yet because using the travel-size bottle as an obstacle for her to eat around has been working. Also, I did pet the back of her head a few times to cause her to pause a bit.


Hi @FreeSpiritManette. This is usually one of 2 things. Either the cat is eating to quickly in which case the HO should get a feeder that means the cat has to pick the food out or give the cat smaller portions.
It can also indicate a nervous cat although many nervous cats I’ve looked after just won’t eat rather than gulping their food.

One of the two cats I’m watching right now is a serial puker. She’s given wet food three times a day, and I have to clean up vomit at least twice a day. This cannot be good for this poor kitty. I don’t know how she even keeps any weight on her :disappointed:

She seems to want to scarf down her own food so that she can go eat her brother’s food also. Of course, he’s not having any of that, and hisses and swats at her. So it’s stressful for all three of us.

I’m so glad I came across this thread because now I will try some of the techniques y’all are using. I was already giving her just one spoonful at a time, and letting her pause in between finishing that spoonful and giving her the next… I will try an obstruction in her dish next, but I am open to other ideas!

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@MissChef I am curious. Did the HO let you know before confirming your sit that the cat vomits daily? Pet owners can become accustomed to behaviors to the point it’s invisible to them.

Yes they know. :slightly_frowning_face: She did this the last time I was here too. She’s super affectionate and sweet, so she doesn’t even seem stressed out. I’ve stayed with her at least two times before. She was a rescue, and she probably had to fight for food when she was at the kitty shelter.

Aww, poor kitty. :cry:

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Hi, everyone,

The owner and I think it is a big hairball problem in combination with her eating so much cat grass - which causes cats to vomit undigested food and other things in their stomach.

So it isn’t just her eating too fast and may not even be that at all. She was doing so well keeping her food down since I started this thread until this morning when she vomited again. I noticed her munching on a lot of cat grass before her breakfast.

And the night before, she had vomited only cat grass and dirt that I could tell before she had her dinner.

But the owner doesn’t think it’s anything to worry about.

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I hope the owner(s) come up with some ways to resolve this! Are they used to her vomiting daily and have just dealt with it by cleaning up after her?

I sympathize with you having to clean up cat vomit at least twice a day.

I wish you well.

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Thank you for the suggestions.
She always seem to want to be around me and enjoys being petted by me and sitting on me, not sure what she would be nervous about unless she’s hiding it very well.

They’ve tried several different ways to keep her from being stressed out while she eats.

They have put her dish in a different room from the boy cat, and they felt that that didn’t work because she didn’t know where he was, and that stressed her out.

Now they have her eating on the island while he eats on the table (kind of bummed about this because the island was a safe place for me to eat, but now there is a cat walking on that surface 3x/day) but now she does like I was saying: scarfs down her food and then jumps from the island to the table, to his dish.

Thank goodness the dog is easy!

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