How to treat bilious vomiting in cats

Bile is a bitter tasting fluid that is yellowish green in colour. It is secreted in the liver and stored in the gall bladder till food is consumed. Bile is then released to the small intestine to help in digestion and to emulsify the food to be used by the body. It also eliminates waste material and other toxins from the body along with faeces.

Bilious vomiting syndrome in cats is a result of inappropriate movement of fluids in the body, especially when the bile enters the stomach causing vomiting and irritation. It occurs when the gastrointestinal tract does not function normally causing abnormal behaviours in the system. Bile that enters the stomach will be thrown out by the cat through vomit.

This is particularly seen in cats during early morning or late night just before they eat their meal. Cats that are fed one meal a day are more likely to face this problem.


  • Chronic vomiting of bile
  • Occurs in the morning or late night before mealtime
  • Nausea
  • Poor appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal discomfort

Bilious vomiting in cats is basically caused by diseases that cause gastritis or inflammation of the intestine. This leads to changes in the movements of fluids in the gastrointestinal tract leading to bilious vomiting.


If there is no underlying medical condition, your vet will decide on the right treatment based on the symptoms experienced by your pet. Drugs that promote normal movements of fluids in the gastrointestinal tract and ones that prevent acid reflexes assure a lot of relief. There are also drugs that decrease the secretion of acid in the stomach, thus preventing damage to the stomach wall, which can be prescribed with favourable results.

Cats with chronic bilious vomiting should be on a special diet. This involves giving them smaller portions of meals at regular intervals, especially late at night. Longer hours between mealtimes should be strictly avoided. Foods that are low in fat and fibre will help the stomach reduce the retention of gas in food consumed.

Your vet may also prescribe canned or liquid foods, which are quite helpful, as solid food tends to stay longer in the stomach.

If you notice your pet having the same problem, it is better to have them professionally checked by the vet. You can also post your queries at for further information.

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