Why do cats vomit foam and how to prevent it

A lot of us tend to take feline vomiting casually when we shouldn’t be doing that. While it is understandable that cats sometimes vomit in a non-recurring manner, frequent vomiting should be given a serious thought. The misconception that cats vomit regularly isn’t one based on facts. If your furball is vomiting terrifically and regularly, you should be worried. Sometimes, the vomit is composed of white foam or has a more significant percentage of it anyways. If you have no clue about why it is happening or how you can prevent it, then you are at the perfect place. For this discussion, we are going to talk in length about cats vomiting white foam. Not only that, but we also discuss how one can take adequate measures to stop it from happening again in the future.

What causes white foam vomit?

What to Do if Your Cat Is Vomiting White Foam

But before we jump to the treatment bit, let us discuss the causes of this rather infrequently occurring phenomenon. We mean to say, cats don’t suddenly decide to vomit white foam, do they? There are much better and less gross ways of seeking attention! The truth of the matter is that there are many issues that your cat might be facing, of which you are not fully conscious. There are several reasons why your pet cat can start throwing up. Let us discuss them in detail, one by one. 

Gastrointestinal Issues

Notice that we used the plural form instead of the singular one? Yes, there can be multiple problems of gastric nature that are making your cat violently sick. For the sake of keeping things simple, we are going to discuss them one by one. 

Gastric intoxication

Or in simple words, gastritis. This is a problem that can be of acute or chronic nature, both. This, however, is not the subject of this discussion. What we are interested in finding out is how gastritis can lead to foam vomiting? Well, since the stomach wall is irritated in gastritis, your cat’s digestive system can respond violently to such a situation by throwing up. The source of this situation can be anything from a treat food to a blade of grass or even a pill that your cat popped by mistake. This situation, if not tackled immediately, can lead to considerable weight loss as well. 


This is perhaps the most frequent cause of white foam vomiting among cats. Ah, but you don’t know what hairballs are! Don’t worry, let us explain. Hairballs, as the name suggests, are spheres of hairs that can form inside the digestive tract of a cat. By nature, these are hard, and they aren’t likely to move out of the system, owing to their size. Again, the tissues of the GI tract are irritated, because of which your cat throws up and spews stuff dubbed as a white foam. 


An autoimmune disorder in humans, but your cat can suffer from it as well. Hey, we don’t want you jumping to the conclusion so soon. You should only have suspicions if your cat is throwing up white foam apart from bouts of diarrhea. Oh, but wait. We haven’t even told you what IBD is. It stands for inflammatory bowel disease, and we reckon that is enough to get your eyebrows raised? The wisest thing to do if your cat shows signs of IBD is to get a vet on board as soon as possible. 

Now, let us discuss some other causes of the white foam vomit problem in cats. 


Why Is My Cat Being Sick? How To Treat Cat Vomiting | Vets Now

You are probably surprised to see a lot of human maladies being mentioned in this discussion. Well, feline issues can be similar to human problems, that isn’t certainly an oddity. So, what happens in this condition dubbed as pancreatitis? Well, in simple words. It is just the swelling of the pancreas. The role of the pancreas in digestion is a crucial one. It produces enzymes that are needed to accelerate the digestion process. Not only that, insulin, the hormone necessary for sugar metabolism, is also produced by the pancreas. If anything upsets your cat’s metabolism, your pet is bound to turn a bit sick.

Liver issues

Hepatic malfunctioning can also lead to a situation where your cat is left with no options but to vomit the foamy stuff we have been talking about since the start. We all know that liver plays an important role in eliminating toxins and harmful wastes from our bodies. When hepatic functioning takes a hit, everything related to the digestive system takes a hit. If your cat is not feeling too hungry or shows reluctance towards feeding, you can consider liver malfunction as a probable cause. An upset hepatic system ultimately leads to vomiting. 

Renal problems

Why Is My Cat Being Sick? How To Treat Cat Vomiting | Vets Now

Again, there are two types of renal failure. These are acute and chronic. We are not sure which one your cat has. However, with the chronic type, all that you can hope for is a better life since the condition is almost incurable. Kidney failure doesn’t lead to just vomiting. Rather, this condition can lead to several certain other problems as well. Some of these include a change in the morphology of fecal material, not feeling hungry, and feeling dehydrated. Yes, we are talking about your cat and not you! 


This is linked to pancreatitis that we have discussed already. When insulin production is upset, glucose metabolism takes a hit. When that happens, glucose begins to build up in the feline bloodstream. As a result, your pet is at a high risk of suffering from diabetes. What are some of the symptoms of diabetes? Well, your pet will find it hard to drink or eat like normal. Also, you will have to be prepared for an excessive bit of urination on your pet cat’s part. The worst symptom is, of course, the white foamy vomiting that we have talked about in detail already. 

Parasitic invasion

A deworming solution can help you with this particular condition that your cat has been suffering from. Parasites can create a situation where infestation reaches a maximum level and makes your cat violently sick. Parasites and worms have a tendency to affect kittens more than the senior citizens of the feline world, and we couldn’t help but wonder about this angle of foamy vomiting. Which deworming agent should you use for your cat? Well, there are plenty available in the market. However, you can always ask your vet’s opinion in this regard.

How to prevent foam vomiting?

Why Is My Cat Being Sick? How To Treat Cat Vomiting | Vets Now

The first thing that you need to do when your cat is vomiting is to write down the symptoms that you observe on a piece of paper. This is important since chances are pretty high that you will have to book an appointment with a vet. This way, you will be able to explain the specific situation in a much better manner. Now, you need to have a look at what your cat is eating. There might be a thing or two to which your cat is allergic. Hence, discarding that item from the feline diet can also prove to be helpful. 

Have you considered the fact that your cat might be vomiting foamy stuff, simply because it swallowed something toxic? Have another look at the place where your cat is spending the most time, and we don’t mean your lap by that! We mentioned hairballs as a probable cause of vomiting; the easiest way to avoid such a condition is to brush all the hairs of your cat! Speaking of brushing off stuff, you must maintain a deworming schedule as well. We are sure that if your furball could speak up, you would get the same advice from your adorable pet as well. Oh, and do consult the vet but don’t pay the vet, something which we discuss in detail in the next section.

Don’t play the vet!

Hairballs in Cats | The Cat Clinic

We have run out of patience! We keep telling people that they shouldn’t play the vet when it comes to pet sickness. But will they listen? Anyhow, we feel like this is our moral duty to remind you that self-medicating your pet isn’t going to do a lot of good to the poor animal. This is especially true for those who have no experience in pet care and are absolute novices in this field. Experimenting with one or two tips is fine, but if your cat is vomiting hard and fast, a trip to the bet is unavoidable! 


Well, folks, the time has come for us to wrap up this comprehensive discussion. We have talked about feline vomiting in detail in this article, and we hope you found what you were looking for. We also hope that the precautionary measures we suggested were of benefit and help to your cause. However, if you feel things are getting out of your hands, you should get in touch with your vet. A veterinary doctor can explain the specific condition of your cat in a much more satisfying manner than an article that you read somewhere online!

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