Pukey Cat

DEAR PAW’S CORNER:
My cat pukes all the time. Well, not constantly, but at least once a day “Jimmy” will cough up part of his dinner. Afterward he seems perfectly fine. Why does this happen? — Bill T., via e-mail

DEAR BILL:
Cats do vomit a bit more than what we might consider normal for us. However, puking every day indicates a possible problem. Even though Jimmy seems fine after each episode, take him to the veterinarian right away to be checked out. The vet will ask you if you noticed anything in the vomit — yes, you have to look — particularly blood, undigested food, fur or foreign objects. He or she may ask you to bring a sample along (or maybe not — ask when you call). You’ll be asked to describe Jimmy’s behavior before and after the vomiting episode, and his general behavior during the day. Cats are very good at hiding illness. That’s why owners need to look for out-of-the-ordinary behavior. Even something as simple as an otherwise friendly cat that suddenly runs and hides. Or a cat that suddenly meows all the time (or stops meowing completely). Or changes in the appearance of its coat. Even if Jimmy’s health checks out, keep a close eye on him. Those puke sessions indicate something is up. He may not be digesting his food well — if he only eats dry food, try alternating a couple times a week with fresh steamed chicken or shrimp. Make sure he has plenty of water at all times — cats will drink when they’re thirsty, but won’t overindulge. If you see clumps of his fur in the vomit, and/or Jimmy has a lot of “hairball” wheezing sessions, start brushing out his coat daily to reduce the amount of fur Jimmy picks up during his self-cleaning sessions.

Send your questions or comments to ask@pawscorner.com, or write to Paw’s Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. For more pet care-related advice and information, visit www.pawscorner.com. © 2008 King Features Synd., Inc.

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