Why do cats eat their vomit?

Vomiting in cats can result from different health conditions and it could be an indication of a serious health concern like GIT obstruction, dehydration, or some infection. This article will cover the concern “Why do cats eat their vomit?”, what are the reasons for throwing up, etc. 

Why do cats eat their vomit?  

Cats eat their vomit because they mistake it for food attributed to their warmth and smell. They eat their vomit as a coping mechanism, and also as a territorial response. However, there’s still no definite answer to the question of why cats eat their vomit. 

Cats can often show behavior that’s entirely baffling to humans. One of the most common is their trait of eating their vomit. It’s thought that the most likely reason behind this is that cat takes it for their food due to its smell and flavor. 

Your cat throwing up is a major concern in the first place. If your cat vomits once in a while, there’s no need to panic. If the vomit has hairballs in it, that’s their normal behavior. But it’s a major concern if a cat starts vomiting with associated signs of blood in vomit, diarrhea, loss of appetite, etc.

What are the reasons behind your cat’s vomiting? 

Here is the list of the reasons associated with vomiting in your cat:

  • Pancreatitis
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • Constipation
  • Allergies
  • Gallbladder inflammation
  • Toxins
  • Infections
  • Diet
  • Parasites
  • Tumors

What are the reasons behind your cat eating its vomit?

There are many reasons associated with this behavior of cats, some are listed below:

It smells like cat food

Some cats throw up immediately after eating, which means their vomit will smell like the food they just ate. Even if you think your cat will find it disgusting, the smell of its food will make him eat it.

Cat doesn’t know what it is

Cats can be thought to be the most intelligent animal in the world but that doesn’t make them smarter than humans. If your cat eats its vomit, maybe he doesn’t know what it’s. If your cat is just curious to know about it, it won’t take more than a bite or two. 

Cat thinks it will make him feel better

It’s common behavior in cats that when they’re not feeling well, they try to feel better. It’s ridiculous that a cat would think eating his vomit will make him feel better, but he’s so desperate for relief that he won’t bother thinking about it. 

Cat is trying to keep things clean

Some cats want their place to be clean. So if a cat throws up in a place where he sleeps or sits, he will try to clean it and in doing so, he’ll eat his vomit. 

Cat doesn’t want other animals to get it

Most cats are possessive and territorial. When your cat vomits, he may protect it without caring about what it’s, he just knows to protect something and doesn’t want anyone else to get it. 

The cat is still hungry

Vomiting mostly occurs in cats due to fast eating. So if your cat vomits and is still feeling hungry, he’ll consider the vomit as food and will eat it. 

What happens if your cat eats its vomit? 

It may sound gross, but there’s nothing wrong if your cat eats its vomit as long as the vomit it’s eating contains food. But if you find your cat eating its vomit, you should intervene immediately to stop it.

The more important concern is why your cat is vomiting and it should be addressed. Observe your cat’s behavior to assess the cause of vomiting. If vomiting is associated with any critical condition, your cat should pay a visit to the veterinarian immediately. 

What to do if your cat eats its vomit?

First, you should stay calm if your cat eats vomit. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s a behavior that should be discouraged. Clean up the mess after your cat just vomited, it’ll keep him from eating his vomit.

Vomiting once in a while is considered normal behavior in cats, but if it’s getting serious, the best you can do is to make sure your cat is hydrated and take them to the vet for further examination. Feed your cat several small meals throughout the day to avoid fast eating behavior.

When to see a veterinarian?

There’s no need to see a veterinarian just because your cat ate its vomit. However, your cat should see a veterinarian if he’s throwing up frequently. You should pay special attention to other signs of illness such as diarrhea, lethargy, lack of appetite, weight loss, etc. 

If your cat is vomiting for more than two days in a row or if the vomiting is accompanied by other symptoms as described above, take your cat immediately to the veterinarian and ask for guidance.  


Today, we covered the article “Why do cats eat their vomit?”, what are the reasons for throwing up, etc. From the above discussion, it’s clear that cats eat their vomit because they mistake it for their food. 

It can be an unpleasant situation for you to see your pet eating its vomit, but rest assured that it’s not an abnormal or unusual situation for cats. Of course, you should intervene in this condition and refrain your pet from it.