Nausea In Cats: Causes And Treatments

In addition to being one of the body’s natural defense systems, nausea is a common symptom of various conditions.
Nausea in cats: causes and treatments

Nausea in cats and the subsequent vomiting are controlled by a very complex coordinated reflex that causes the animal to push up the contents of the stomach.

The reflex is controlled by a group of nerve cells that lie along the encephalic stem – a structure in the central nervous system that connects the brain to the spine.

These nerve cells can be activated by a variety of stimuli, both internal and external. When stimulated, they then send a signal to the stomach, which starts spasms and makes the animal nauseous and causes vomiting.

The difference between vomiting and regurgitation

Cats are experts at pushing things, so it is important to distinguish between the two. Reflux occurs when the animal bumps up undigested food while vomiting involves getting up partially digested food that was in the stomach.

Vomiting is usually caused by some external factor.

Repulsion is the cat’s ability to get rid of undigested substances,  whether they are in the back of the mouth, in the esophagus or in the stomach. They usually do this to get rid of hairballs that have formed in the digestive tract.

Hairball with grass

If you think the cat may have a hairball, you can help by giving it catnip or cat grass. It will encourage the digestive tract to pass the hairball instead of repelling it.

Causes of nausea in cats

Simply put, nausea in cats is defined as stomach discomfort that leads to vomiting. Any condition that can cause damage to the stomach or the gastric glands can also cause nausea.


Like other mammals, nausea in cats can be caused by pregnancy. This is due to a number of reasons, such as hormonal changes, fatigue or avoiding digesting foods that can be harmful to the kittens.

Car travel

Some cats can get motion sickness when traveling long distances. This is because the balance organ, which is responsible for balance and orientation, begins to send waves of signals to the brain.

The brain cannot handle all this information, which causes the cat to feel nauseous and dizzy.

Cat drives a car

Acute gastritis and nausea in cats

Acute gastritis in cats can also result in nausea. This disease causes irritation and in some cases damage to the gastric mucosa.

As a result , it will try to avoid digesting food by vomiting it up

Pancreatitis and other problems with the pancreas

The pancreas has an exocrine function, which means that it secretes enzymes that help digest food. When it does not work properly, it stops secreting these, after which the food can not be digested properly.

The stomach will then try to vomit up the undigested food.

Toxic substances

Ingestion of toxic substances, such as potted plants , poisons or cleaning products, can cause extreme nausea and vomiting.

Strong smells

Some odors, including citrus fruits, acetate and toothpaste (among others), can cause nausea in cats that are particularly sensitive to odors.

Nausea in cats: treatment

To treat nausea in cats  , the cause must first be determined and, if possible, eliminated.

In general, the treatment of nausea involves the administration of antiemetic drugs (antiemetics), which reduce the peristaltic movements in the digestive tract.

In cases where damage to the gastric mucosa causes the nausea, a veterinarian must recommend a change in diet or fasting for 24 hours.

This reduces the contents of the intestines and allows them to relax while the intestinal flora recovers.

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