My cat can’t poop and is throwing up

If you’re googling “my cat can’t poop and is throwing up”, it’s important to take them to the vet right away. While it’s impossible to diagnose your cat’s condition without a proper examination, there are a few common causes of cats not being able to poop and throwing up.

One cause could be a blockage or obstruction. This can be caused by a foreign object that your cat has swallowed or from a disease like inflammatory bowel disease or a tumor. The blockage can cause an inability to pass stool and also lead to vomiting.

Another possibility is that your cat may have a digestive disorder. This could be anything from an infection to pancreatitis. Additionally, a change in diet or eating spoiled food can cause digestive issues.

Finally, some cats experience the stress of a move or a change in the household, which can cause a change in their digestive system.

In any case, it’s important to take your cat to the vet to get a proper diagnosis. Googling “my cat can’t poop and is throwing up” will only get you so far. The vet will be able to identify any underlying issues and provide the best treatment plan for your cat.

My Cat Can’t Poop and is Throwing up Reasons

1. Intestinal Blockage

If your cat can’t poop and is throwing up, they probably have intestinal blockage. A partial or total obstruction of the intestines that inhibits the passage of solids or liquids causes an intestinal blockage (obstruction), a common emergency situation. In medicine, the phrases “gastrointestinal obstruction” and “intestinal blockage” are frequently used to refer to the same ailment.

A surgical emergency is a digestive blockage. Your cat can pass away if the condition is not handled. Contact your neighborhood emergency veterinarian right away if you think your cat may have an intestine or GI obstruction.

2. Digestive Disorders

Digestive disorders in cats are a common problem that can be caused by a variety of factors. Digestive issues in cats can range from mild to severe, and can be caused by dietary changes, parasites, virus, or bacterial infections.

When it comes to digestive issues in cats, the most common symptom is vomiting. Vomiting can be a sign of an underlying issue, and should always be taken seriously. Other symptoms of digestive issues in cats can include diarrhea, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite.

If your cat is exhibiting any of these symptoms, it is important to take them to the vet for a thorough examination. Your vet can diagnose the underlying cause of the digestive issue, and provide treatment or recommend a course of action.

In some cases, dietary changes may be necessary to help improve your cat’s digestive health. Your vet can recommend the best diet for your cat’s specific needs, as well as provide advice on portion sizes, frequency of meals, and other dietary concerns.

In addition to dietary changes, your vet may also recommend medications or supplements to help improve your cat’s digestive health. These treatments can help reduce symptoms and improve overall digestive health.

3. Stress

Cats are sensitive creatures that can pick up on even the slightest changes in their environment. This makes them particularly vulnerable to stress, which can have serious physical and mental health consequences if it’s not addressed. Stress in cats can be caused by a variety of factors, such as changes in routine, changes in the home environment, loud noises, and unfamiliar animals or people. And stress can cause vomiting in cats.

If you think your cat is stressed, there are a few things you can do to help. First, provide your cat with a quiet and comfortable place to rest away from other animals and people. Make sure that your cat has plenty of stimulation, such as toys or scratching posts, to keep them engaged and entertained. Additionally, provide your cat with plenty of affection and attention, as this can help reduce their stress levels. Lastly, make sure to take your cat to the vet if you think they are dealing with a more serious form of stress or anxiety.

In reality, stress is probably the least likely reason your cat can’t poop and is throwing up. But it is a possibility and can’t be ruled out.

my cat can't poop and is throwing up

Symptoms of Intestinal Blockage in Cats

Intestinal blockage is the most likely reason your cat can’t poop and is throwing up, so we’ll go over that in more detail here.

Cats with GI obstructions are taken to the vet usually because they are vomiting and not eating. Other signs can include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Failure to pass stool
  • Straining to defecate
  • Lethargy
  • Changes in behavior (increase in hiding)
  • Weight loss

If your cat frequently plays with string, goes into the trash, or you’ve seen them chewing or ingesting something strange, be sure to discuss it with your veterinarian. String and similar items have been reported to become lodged under the tongue of cats since they have a tendency to eat them while playing with them. Do not tug on anything you see under the tongue or sticking out of your cat’s rectum if you or your veterinarian discover it. If you try to remove it, it may be further attached and do additional damage.

Causes of Intestinal Blockage in Cats

A partial, linear, or total obstruction in the GI tract can have a number of causes, including:

  • Partial obstruction: small foreign things that pass through the intestines, like toys or bits of clothing, frequently cause partial obstruction of the GI system. In these situations, the symptoms are typically less obvious, and medical care, such as hospitalization for IV fluids to aid in the item’s passage, may be an option.
  • In a linear obstruction, a string-like foreign body that is linear is ingested. However, one end of the object or thread gets trapped in the intestines rather than going through them. This frequently occurs when one end gets caught beneath the tongue. The intestines continue to attempt to maneuver around the free end when one end becomes stuck. The intestines gather up (plication) around the string as a result of this movement (peristalsis). The likelihood that the string will cut through the intestines and cause tears (perforations) that allow intestinal contents to leak into the abdominal cavity increases with the length of the string. Peritonitis, a potentially fatal infection, and life-threatening inflammation may result from this.
  • Complete obstructions: This can happen when a large object or several tiny ones are eaten and the stomach or intestinal contents are completely unable to travel down the tract. Usually, the symptoms come on suddenly and strongly.

The following factors could be the underlying cause of a partial, linear, or total obstruction:

  • Ingestion of foreign objects, most frequently dental floss, rubber bands, string, yarn, or dental floss
  • A rare condition known as intussusception, which can result from parasites, diseases (such FIP), tumors, or ingesting foreign bodies, can occur.
  • some gastrointestinal cancers
  • Pyloric stenosis is a congenital disorder in which the pylorus, which connects the stomach to the small intestine, is constricted, preventing food from passing through.
  • Hernias or intestinal entanglement

Issues with Intestinal Blockage in Cats

Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances can develop from obstructions that limit the absorption of nutrients and water from the intestines. Even more serious, if left untreated, the item that is causing the obstruction may exert pressure on the intestinal wall or even cut through the wall, leading to tissue death and bowel rupture with potentially fatal results.

How Veterinarians Diagnose Intestinal Blockage in Cats

If your cat can’t poop and is throwing up, your vet will begin with a physical exam. They will feel the abdomen for any signs of pain, masses, foreign objects, or intussusception. The vet might be able to palpate the impediment itself in young or thin cats. However, frequently, the animal is too big or the obstruction is too small to be directly palpated in an examination.

An abdomen x-ray will probably be taken if the physical examination does not reveal any blockages, but the veterinarian is still afraid there might be one. An x-ray may show the blockage if it is a foreign object, especially if it contains metal. However, it might not be immediately apparent if the obstruction is due to a thread, yarn, or one of the other causes, like a tumor. When the intestines close to the blockage are distended with fluid or air that cannot pass through, this is known as an “obstructive” gas pattern. Pliated or bunched intestines may be visible in linear foreign bodies.

An abdominal ultrasound may be done if the x-ray is inconclusive or if your veterinarian wants further information before prescribing surgery. The ultrasound is helpful for identifying foreign entities, including linear ones, but it also offers more details if a tumor or intussusception is thought to be present. In order to rule out alternative explanations of the symptoms and to evaluate hydration and electrolytes, bloodwork will probably also be advised.

Treatment of Intestinal Blockage in Cats

Your cat might need one of the following treatments if your cat can’t poop and is throwing up, depending on the kind and source of the obstruction that is present:

Induced vomiting: Depending on the foreign material and when your cat ate it, vomiting may occasionally be induced right away to remove the object and avoid an intestinal blockage. However, drugs used to make cats vomit are not always effective, and causing vomiting in cats can lead to consequences like aspiration pneumonia.

Endoscopy: The vet may advise an endoscopy if your cat ate a foreign object that is remaining in its stomach and attempts to compel vomiting have failed. To avoid obstruction and surgery, this includes inserting a camera down the throat to view and remove the foreign object. There is a potential that your cat’s feces may contain a linear object (string, yarn), or other small foreign body (toy, hairband), if it does not become trapped higher in the digestive tract (under the tongue, in the stomach). However, surgery will be required to find and remove the obstruction if any foreign object—linear or otherwise—becomes trapped and blocks the intestinal tract.

Surgery: Intestinal obstruction usually necessitates surgery. Under general anesthesia, the veterinarian will do exploratory surgery (laparotomy) to determine what is causing the intestinal obstruction. An intestinal incision (enterotomy) will be made to remove the foreign body if it was the source of the obstruction. When it comes to linear foreign bodies, it may take numerous enterotomies to remove the entire thing.

Unfortunately, vulnerable parts of the intestines may need to be removed if there was significant damage to them (resection and anastomosis). The surgeon would remove the obstruction and choose the appropriate course of action, which might involve treating a hernia or removing a tumor, if the obstruction was brought on by one of the other causes and not by a foreign body. Although there are dangers associated with surgery, it frequently offers the best chance for a favorable outcome. Make sure to go over the potential dangers with your veterinarian.

Supportive care: Your cat will receive IV fluids (to rehydrate them) and pain- and nausea-relieving drugs. Even after the obstruction has been successfully removed, cats recovering from major stomach surgery frequently refuse food. They may occasionally require a temporary feeding tube to help them recover nutritionally. The best course of action for your pet will be discussed with you by your veterinarian.

Recovery and Management of Intestinal Blockage in Cats

Intestinal obstructions must be identified and treated as soon as possible to maximize results and reduce problems (such as damage to the intestines, intestine rupture, leakage, or peritonitis). Surgery for your cat should be done promptly if an intestinal blockage has been identified. The risk of problems rises if parts of the intestine must be removed, although your cat may still have a favorable prognosis overall. The prognosis is worse and would depend on the depth and seriousness of the disease if the obstruction’s underlying cause were cancer or something else other than a foreign body obstruction.

After surgery, the majority of cats will need to spend 1-2 days in the hospital receiving IV fluids, painkillers, and occasionally appetite stimulants. As long as the cat is eating, there is no vomiting, and there is no temperature, these are the usual requirements for discharge. Most abdominal procedures require 10–14 days of rest and limited exercise after being discharged home. The area around the incision is routinely examined for swelling and infection-related symptoms like discharge, odor, redness, and pain. It’s important to keep an eye on the cat’s general demeanor and propensity to consume food and liquids. Contact your veterinarian to have your cat reevaluated if any issues are found. Follow the veterinarian’s recommendations for diet and meds.

Although most cats fully recover, the prognosis can change depending on what caused the intestinal blockage. You must exercise caution to avoid a repeat of the obstruction your cat experienced after ingesting a foreign body. It is necessary to restrict access to trash, hair ties, twine, and other items. If a tumor is found to be the obstruction’s origin, a sample can be sent to a lab to help identify the tumor’s type and outlook.

FAQs: My Cat Can’t Poop and Is Throwing Up

Does constipation make cats throw up?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes. When a cat is constipated, the feces can become impacted in the intestines, making it difficult for the cat to pass it. This can cause vomiting in cats as their body attempts to get rid of the buildup. Additionally, since the food is not moving through the digestive system as it should, bacteria can build up and cause nausea. In some cases, the cat may also experience abdominal pain, which can lead to vomiting as well.

How long can a sick cat go without pooping?

Cats can go a few days without pooping, but any longer than that and you should contact your veterinarian. If your cat hasn’t pooped in more than three days, he may need to be seen by a vet right away. A lack of bowel movements can indicate a serious condition, such as a blockage or an intestinal infection.

How do I help my cat who is struggling to poop?

If your cat is having difficulty defecating, it is important to take them to the vet for an examination. Your vet may recommend dietary changes, the use of laxatives, or even surgery.

It is also important to create a bathroom space for your cat that is comfortable and secure. Keep the litter box in a quiet area of the house, away from traffic and disturbances. Choose a litter that is comfortable for your cat and clean the litter box regularly. Make sure the litter box is large enough for your cat to comfortably turn around in and that it is not too deep.

Provide plenty of fresh water and feed your cat a balanced diet with plenty of fiber. Offer treats that are high in fiber, such as pumpkin and canned salmon. If your cat is not eating enough or vomiting frequently, take them to the vet right away.

Finally, provide your cat with plenty of playtime and exercise. This can help reduce stress and give your cat an outlet to release pent-up energy. This can also help with intestinal health and keep your cat regular.

Should I take my cat to the vet if he can’t poop?

If your cat is having trouble pooping, it is important to take them to the vet as soon as possible. Cats can become very ill if they are unable to pass their stool normally, and the situation can become worse over time. Your vet will be able to determine the cause of the problem and provide the necessary treatment. Common causes of constipation in cats include dehydration, dietary problems, or underlying medical conditions. Your vet may recommend dietary changes, medications, or other treatments. In some cases, surgery may be necessary. In any case, it is important to take your cat to the vet as soon as you notice any signs of constipation.