Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-13-2000, 04:59 PM
KV KV is offline
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 124
Occasionally, my cat will vomit after eating. The food looks the same as before she ate it. It's a solid food, but I don't think that she chews it at all, she must just swallow it whole. Is that why she barfs? How can I make her chew it?
Atlas, to Sisyphus: "Wanna trade?"
Old 12-13-2000, 05:16 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Posts: 3,733
Hopefully, someone with actual veterinary expertise will come along, but until then...

Cat teeth aren't made for chewing. They are for killing and tearing. In the wild, they just shread their meat until it's small enough to swallow.

I know this both from the Discovery Channel and from owning a cat that likes to bite me. I have the scars to prove it. Yet, I still love her.

If you're concerned, try to find a food that comes in softer or smaller chunks, and ask your vet for advice. Just don't let them talk you into buying food from them at $50 a bag.
Old 12-13-2000, 05:25 PM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: The Golden State
Posts: 10,565
My cat from time to time pukes up her food. It looks relatively unscathed.
If you've ever looked at your cat's teeth, you can see that s/he doesn't have many teeth similar to our molars. Just a few long sharp ones with a few shorter ones in the front. I don't think it's easy for them to chew like humans.

When my cat throws up, she goes right back to eating as if nothing has happened. She starts eating the same food she just threw up.
Old 12-13-2000, 05:37 PM
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Posts: 1,807
In terms of the not chewing thing, I think you've got the correct answer to that already (pointed teeth ain't meant for chewin').

As for the barfing, however, we just through a period of that with our own cat. We took her to the vet thinking she must have a blockage of some kind (probably from eating ribbon when we were wrapping Hannukah/ Christmas gifts.) The vet said she might have a touch of kitty stomach flu and recommended we give her Gerber meat flavored baby food. In fact, this did the trick, and I have to say, I thought I'd have to force the cat to eat the stuff, but we gave her the chicken one and she went nuts for it! In fact, she complained noticably when we switched her back to her normal (hard) Purina One. Perhaps your kitty has the same problem?
Old 12-13-2000, 05:47 PM
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Decatur, Illinois, USA
Posts: 14,041
See if any of this helps. Apparently, whether or not you should worry depends on how often the cat does it, whether it has diarrhea, and whether it seems generally in good health otherwise.

Like the man said, cats' teeth are designed to tear chunks of meat off a carcass, not grind up dry food. So I can see where they might have a problem eating dry chunk food. Try a smaller chunk or kibble, or switch to a wet canned food?

P.S. How would you like to be Webmaster for a web page called "Catvomit"?
Old 12-14-2000, 07:40 AM
KV KV is offline
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 124
yes, my cat also seems adept at chewing my arm off, but not her own food. Maybe we need arm flavored food.
Atlas, to Sisyphus: "Wanna trade?"
Old 12-14-2000, 10:28 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 708
Hmm...I hear crunching sounds when my cats eat. Wonder what that is?

It is true their teeth are designed for tearing and puncturing, but cats do chew their food too. Not as well as other animals, but they chew.

If the cat is vomiting after eating and there is no health problem, try feeing smaller chucks or feeding smaller, more frequent meals. Your cat may be gorging.

Don't try to cram
The dog with jam.--Edward Gorey
Old 12-14-2000, 10:31 AM
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 516
Cats don't chew food cause they have no molars. In fact, only omnivorous (like us) or vegetarian mammals have teeth-sets equipped to chew.
Old 12-14-2000, 11:50 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 559
My cats do this a lot.

I discussed this with the vet, and he said that it's not unusual for cats to throw up dry food. If they gorge on it, it fills up their stomach. The food then swells as it soaks up digestive fluids. Suddenly the stomach is too full and they throw up.

It is possible for cats to chew dry food. It's good for their teeth if they do, it's helps scrape off plaque. Friskies has a type of food called "Dental Diet" which has large round pieces. I got this for my cats, and they were very annoyed. They would pick a piece up, wallow it around, and spit it back out. Eventually they gave in and chewed it. After two days, I gave them their regular food and they chewed it. They still threw up, but it was little bitty pieces instead of whole pieces.

After a while, my cats went back to swallowing their food whole. I may get some more Dental Diet and try again...

There is a chance your cat is not chewing his food because he needs to have his teeth cleaned. Your vet can check his teeth during your annual visit. I have a cat who has to have his teeth cleaned every few years.

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:51 AM.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: [email protected]

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: un ionized commercial tankless toilet detective jeffries sor definition chimp human sex japanese for frog freshwater mussels edible apple tree bonsai richard dawson scandal walmart mongoose gin blossom nose how to get better at puzzles channel 3 video games dear sirs and madams plural khaki pants black shirt what are watch jewels will jb weld work on stainless steel curb finders for cars who has the highest bacon number window film that you can see out but not in jean claude van damme forehead bump