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What is Vomiting With Bile?

Bile is a yellow or green substance produced in a cat’s liver, which aids in digestion of food. Vomiting with bile, or bilious vomiting syndrome, in cats can be an alarming condition for both the feline and the worried owner.  Vomiting with bile may be especially difficult for an owner to recognize, given that animals are likely to clean up after themselves, unless you manage to catch your cat in the act of vomiting. This can make it difficult to determine exactly how long the condition has been occurring. It’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms that can occur with bilious vomiting syndrome in order to determine when veterinary intervention is necessary.

Vomiting With Bile Average Cost

From 389 quotes ranging from $200 - $3,000

Average Cost

$800

Symptoms of Vomiting With Bile in Cats

Vomiting with bile typically occurs in the morning or early evening, when a cat’s stomach is empty, although it can also happen at any time. Here are the main symptoms to watch for:

  • Long term occasional vomiting
  • Vomiting that occurs with bile
  • Weight Loss
  • Disinterest in Food
  • Excessive Drooling

Types

Vomiting can take many forms, and it’s important to distinguish the various types to know when a serious condition exists that warrants a trip to your local vet.

  • Regurgitation:

    In the wild, cats will eat small meals frequently, as food is available. When domesticated cats eat too much food at once, or eat too quickly, they can regurgitate their food after eating. 

  • Hairball:

    Hairballs are regurgitated or cleared from your cat’s throat in a manner that may seem similar to vomiting. They cat may heave for several moments attempting to clear the hairball and may also return stomach fluids or regurgitated food with the hairball due to the aggressive coughing.

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Causes of Vomiting With Bile in Cats

In many cases, the exact cause of bilious vomiting syndrome, or vomiting with bile, is unknown. However, there are several conditions that can cause the condition and that should be ruled out by your veterinarian. Common causes may include:

  • Intestinal Inflammation
  • Irritation of the Stomach Lining
  • Improper Diet
  • Parasites
  • Infection
  • Liver Disease
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Diagnosis of Vomiting With Bile in Cats

The first thing your veterinarian will do in order to diagnose the cause of vomiting is ask for your cat’s history concerning the condition. It is therefore important that you document the number of times, frequency and approximate start date of the vomiting. Additionally, you should collect a stool and urine sample if possible and supply your vet with the brand and specific recipe of any commercial cat food.

After reviewing the history of your cat, your vet may then opt to perform several diagnostic tests to rule out serious, life threatening conditions. These tests may include liver and kidney assessment via a urinalysis, a full blood profile including white blood cell count analysis, and a thorough physical exam. Your vet may also perform radiographic tests such as x-ray or ultrasound to examine motility of the contents of the stomach or any potential obstructions. It may take several days to over a week for the results of these tests to be returned to your vet.

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Treatment of Vomiting With Bile in Cats

On some occasions, vomiting with bile in your cat will subside on its own. In cases where the syndrome is ongoing, there will be various courses of treatment depending on the underlying cause. In the event of food causes, your vet may prescribe an approved cat food formula for animals with problem stomachs or food sensitivities. They may also alter the amount or frequency of your cat’s meals. 

If food or diet alterations don’t alleviate your pet’s symptoms, the veterinarian may prescribe certain drugs such as antibiotics for infections or digestive affecting drugs to increase the ability of your pet to digest food or to reduce the amount of bile in the digestive system. Probiotics may also be prescribed to help reset the levels of good bacteria in your cat’s digestive system. 

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Recovery of Vomiting With Bile in Cats

With appropriate treatment, the prognosis for your cat is very good after being diagnosed with vomiting with bile. Stomach conditions can take time to fully heal and your cat’s entire digestive system will often times need to reset and regrow important balances of good bacteria. In the case of prescription medicine, it will be important to complete the entire regimen in order to fully resolve the condition.

For food-based treatment, following the recommended course of meals and sticking with a consistent diet will almost immediately eliminate bilious vomiting syndrome. Alteration of the course of feeding, if followed, will provide lasting results. Most cats with this condition will respond well with maintained treatment, whether dietary or prescription based.

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Vomiting With Bile Average Cost

From 389 quotes ranging from $200 - $3,000

Average Cost

$800

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Vomiting With Bile Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Domestic short hair cat

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Six Months

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting Diarrhea

I just adopted a kitten that’s 6-7 months have him Bauer’s tapeworm dewormer and he has been vomiting and diarrhea and I haven’t seen him eat or drink anything and I’m getting really worried. He is still letting us pet him and is coming back to us after he pukes but he’s just acting sick and we haven’t seen him drink anything and don’t want him to die

Sept. 17, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question, I'm sorry that your kitten is not feeling well. Kittens of that age are very prone to infectious diseases, parasites, and intestinal foreign bodies. Since he does seem sick and he doesn't seem to be getting better, the best thing to do for him would be to have him seen by a veterinarian. They can examine him, see what might be going on, and let you know more what needs to be done for him so that he is healthy again. I hope that everything goes well for him and he feels better soon.

Sept. 18, 2020

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Snoeshoe

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9-10 months

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting Bile 7 Times In About 15 Hours.

Has been vomiting bile and doesn’t want to eat and just wants to be alone. Usually likes to be around people. Skipped a meal without eating her normal dry food, and than ate some wet food. Should I be concerned? Or just wait to see if it stops and if she brings herself to eat her food again?

Aug. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I do think, given your description of what your cat is doing, that it would be best to have her seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible, tomorrow would be best. Young cats are prone to foreign bodies, and your veterinarian will be able to examine her and see if an x-ray is needed. I hope that all goes well with her and she feels better soon.

Aug. 28, 2020

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Unknown

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Four Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Throwing Up

Syptom options unavailable above. My cat has been throwing up bile for 2.5 days. Only once did it include whole food.

Aug. 5, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Cats can vomit due to a parasite, intestinal infection, hairball, or a foreign body. If your cat is repeatedly vomiting, it would be best to have them seen by a veterinarian. They will be able to examine your cat, see what the cause might be, and get treatment so that your cat is healthy again. I hope that all goes well.

Aug. 5, 2020

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Asian bobtail cat

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Four Years

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Not Eating Or Drinking And Vomiting

I don’t have any $ So how can I help her at home and what should I do to get her to eat and drink

July 26, 2020

Owner

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Jessica N. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello- Unfortunately it sounds like your cat absolutely needs to see a veterinarian. Vomiting and not eating in cats can be very serious and can be due to a G.I. obstruction, toxin exposure, pancreatitis, , infectious causes, organ dysfunction, or cancerous causes. When they are not eating and vomiting they can also become dehydrated very quickly. I would contact family and friends to see if they will help you out so you can take her to the veterinarian. A lot of clinics also will also accept care credit or scratch pay as a form of payment. Your vet will be able to run bloodwork and perform x-rays to try and figure out the cause of the symptoms and then can provide you with the treatment plan to help her feel better.

July 26, 2020

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Domestic longhair cat

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Five Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting, Lethargy

My cat has been throwing up on and off all afternoon. It started out as a small amount of regular vomit, then one instance of white foam, and now it looks like bile. He is lethargic as well. My husband gave him a small bit of honey ham this morning 2.5 hours before his first vomit episode. Not sure if that could be the cause? He was vomiting every half hour or so, but it seems to have slowed a little bit. He throws up about a tablespoon of liquid each time.

July 25, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. It is difficult to say whether the ham caused this problem, or there's something else going on. If he continues to vomit repeatedly throughout the day, he does need to be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. They will be able to examine him, see whether this is an intestinal infection, a foreign body, or another problem. They will be able to help treat him so that he feels better. I hope that all goes well for him.

July 25, 2020

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Baxter

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Unknown

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2 Years

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting
Loss Of Appetite
Meowing Like He’S In Pain

My cat Baxter has been throwing up for days now and I don’t know what to do. To my knowledge he hasn’t gotten into anything he wasn’t supposed to. We did change his food a little bit a couple days ago but since then I’ve only given him what I normally give him. He won’t touch it. He sits in front of the water bowl but will not take a drink. Before he throws up he meows like he’s in pain. He hides from us and isn’t acting like himself at all. We went to the vet twice and they said to do an X-ray and blood work it would be 1,000 and I don’t have that at all right now. He’s gotten 2 shots of some medicine that’s supposed to stop the vomiting but he comes home and throws up hours later. I also have been giving him this syrup that he was prescribed for the vomiting and he throws that up as well. I’m worried and at this point I have no money left. Any advice helps

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Tootie

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BSH

dog-age-icon

6 Years

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting
Larger Appetite

Hello, my 6 y/o British short hair has always been known to be sick possibly once a month. But recently she’s being sick maybe 5/6 times a day. After she’s sick she’s extra affectionate and like she’s hungry again always wanting food. She has a healthy appetite and No issues with going to the toilet but the vomiting is concerning. She seems to eat less than normal before she’s sick, but sometimes she’ll be sick without eating. I can’t tell if she’s bloated as she’s previously been overweight but seems to have Slimmed down. not sure if it’s a diet issue (coeliac? Even though the food hasn’t changed for over 6 months) or a gastro issue. Will be taking to the vet as soon as possible too.

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Luna

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Feline

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3 Months

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Vocal
Warm Ear
Vomited Once Warm Ears Vocal

My cat vomited a yellowish liquid and I believe it has something to do with a food that didn’t sit well but she is still very active and is eating normally,I haven’t noticed anything too strange since that incident but I’m still very worried

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Orange

dog-breed-icon

Turkish Van

dog-age-icon

7 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargy
Vomiting
Loss Of Appetite

My cat had fleas and was given Advantage II for Large Cats (he is 10 lbs). He was treated twice, 4 weeks apart. Over the course of a week following the 2nd flea treatment, he seems to have stopped eating, threw up 2 to 3 hairballs, and has thrown up bile on 3 separate occasions. I am not sure if the bile is due to the hairballs or the flea treatment. It is summertime and this is the most hairballs he has produced in a short period. He has been treated with Frontline in the past and reacted fine. This is his first time being treated with Advantage. Any thoughts on this before I go to a vet?

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Nikko

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American Short Hair

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11 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting Bile And Hair

My cat has never hacked up a hairball, it’s always been bile mixed with lose hair. He pukes usually early in the morning or late at night and its always twice one after the other. He seems like the puking is very uncomfortable for him and i wonder if it’s because his body doesn’t know how to create a hairball if there’s some sort of condition that causes that problem? I’m not sure if hairball paste of anything like that would be the answer because I’ve never seen him actually have a hairball so if you think this would help please let me know 🙏🏻

Vomiting With Bile Average Cost

From 389 quotes ranging from $200 - $3,000

Average Cost

$800

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