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Yet another cat health scare.
August 8, 2008 7:17 PM   Subscribe

[SickCatFilter] So we came home a couple hours ago and there was a strange pink liquid on the kitchen floor. We looked around for something the cat could have knocked over and checked to make sure that the kitty didn't have any kinds of cuts or anything. He seemed fine.

Fast-forward two hours: the cat's vomiting up pink stuff. It kind of looks like diluted blood. The cat seems to be fine, other than the vomiting of strange liquids. Help?

**Feline details: spayed, male, indoor/outdoor, four years old, and current on all vaccinations.
posted by mitzyjalapeno to Pets & Animals (18 answers total)
 
Sorry to hear this. There's lots of possibilities on Google, including the suggestion of a respiratory infection. Warning: lots of avatars and icons.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 7:24 PM on August 8, 2008


Thanks, Clyde Mnestra. I don't think it's a respiratory infection, though. We've been through that already and nothing seems to be the same. He's not having breathing problems, he's not lethargic, etc.

I probably will end up having to go to the vet, but I'm trying to wait until tomorrow and avoid the emergency vet visit, if possible.
posted by mitzyjalapeno at 7:43 PM on August 8, 2008


http://ask.metafilter.com/72479/What-the-hell-did-my-cat-puke-up

see my previous, very similar question. my kitty was fine - I AM NOT A VET
posted by tristeza at 7:45 PM on August 8, 2008


I'll give your cat the same answer we give humans who vomit blood and post to AskMe:

See a Vet. Now. (Or in the morning, if that's your only option)

Aside from that, is there something your cat could have eaten to get that color of vomit? Kool-aid? Discarded candy? A mouse? (they have blood too.) Vomiting in itself isn't unusual or unhealthy in cats, but vomiting blood could mean something serious.

Considering he's an outdoor cat, he could have potentially eaten just about anything, so you should watch for signs of poisoning too.

Good luck!
posted by mmoncur at 7:46 PM on August 8, 2008


Go to the vet immediately! My cat actually threw up last night (not the consistency of yours) but he was very lethargic afterwards. I took him to the vet today and he's now in the hospital and they think he may have an obstruction. Vomiting for a human is typically no big deal, but for a cat if it is anything more than mucus/hairball, it can be a sign something is really wrong. Take your cat to the vet.
posted by kathleenl at 7:46 PM on August 8, 2008


nthing the vet. puking blood isn't a good sign.
posted by thinkingwoman at 8:23 PM on August 8, 2008


Vomiting for a human is typically no big deal, but for a cat if it is anything more than mucus/hairball, it can be a sign something is really wrong.

Oh, for fuck's sake. Cats vomit recreationally. If he seems fine otherwise, and its worth the agita v. cost for someone to check up on him every two hours tonight, wait until the morning and get a visit. If you're concerned enough to post here, you're concerned enough to monitor properly.

Never, never ask a question here about cat health. 4 out of 5 answers are going to be absurdly alarmist (e.g. "My cat is licking his ass a lot" "ZOMG! MY CAT LICKED ITS ASS AND NOW ITS DEAD GO THE VET NOW!!!"). I have two cats and I grew up with borderline hoarders. If the cat seems okay, it'll probably wait-- they're fragile and make it obvious if they're in distress

Don't leave the cat unchecked until morning. But if he's got regular attention and seems okay there's no sense putting yourself in debt over this.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:26 PM on August 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


Don't leave the cat unchecked until morning.

By which I mean "someone in the house has got to check on the cat regularly instead of sleeping in"
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:29 PM on August 8, 2008


Well, Mayor Curley, that has been the plan so far. In the last 20 minutes, the cat hasn't vomited, and he's fallen asleep in my daughter's bedroom, just like every other night this week. Of course, I'll keep checking on him.

Thanks, everyone, for your help!
posted by mitzyjalapeno at 8:46 PM on August 8, 2008


Are there any roses in the house? My cat sent me into a panic puking pink. Then my vet school roommate found the remains of a red rose. She took her into the clinic she worked at to be sure all was well at that the flower devouring was the cause. It was. Not saying don't worry, but if you have flowers in the house, that may be a avenue to check.
posted by Epsilon-minus semi moron at 8:59 PM on August 8, 2008


Vomiting for a human is typically no big deal, but for a cat if it is anything more than mucus/hairball, it can be a sign something is really wrong. Take your cat to the vet.

I know I already said this, and Mayor Curley did too, but...

Cats vomit for fun. At the drop of a hat. The motto of a cat's stomach is "when in doubt, throw it out," and I've had more than one cat who would do it just for spite. If I had a $40 vet bill for every time I've had to clean up cat puke, I'd spend the rest of my life paying them off.

But vomiting blood is still potentially bad, of course.

If Kitty's sleeping in his usual place, he's probably fine. Sick cats have a hiding instinct that makes them find a dark corner to sleep in in case a predator comes while they're out of sorts.
posted by mmoncur at 9:48 PM on August 8, 2008


I once had a cat who got into and ate an entire can of fish food flakes while I was gone. Which caused her to produce an ungodly huge sea of pink vomit on every horizontal surface in the house. From then on, we referred to her as the TARDIS-cat.

And no, she didn't die.
posted by howrobotsaremade at 9:59 PM on August 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've only seen a cat vomit pink once and it turned out to be worms. I'm not a vet and I don't want to alarm you but you should definitely get it checked out if it persists.
posted by MaxK at 10:26 PM on August 8, 2008


Blood isn't pink, if you're seeing pepto-bismol pink.

Fresh blood is red. This could be from a tear in the mucosal lining anywhere from the mouth to the stomach.

Digested blood is brown-black, like coffee grounds. This indicates a stomach ulcer.

Is the vomitus clear or cloudy liquid? Is there any digested food? Does the cat do it after eating? Take a picture or even better, a sample. It'll help your vet.
posted by ebellicosa at 11:39 PM on August 8, 2008


Loopy gets this from time to time. Eww I just realized I take note of the qualitative and quantitative properties of cat vomit. Yuk! I've always assumed it was tummy acids (no bile) and maybe mushed up particles of cat bikkies (you know the maroon kinda coloured ones).

Kitty's throat might be a bit burnt out. Aside from like grass (not including poisonous house plants) and hairball related events, which sometimes take more than one go - you should only be concerned about vomiting if it happens again. Unless of course they don't seem right! But regardless of why - the vomiting itself is bad for them because it burns out their throats (read about cat anatomy) so a few times close together is pretty horrible.

Cat vomit I have seen- (Yuk!!)
Blades of grass usually in mostly mucous, sometimes a little bile (yellow)
Clumps of cat hair in watery mucous. Preceded by a hacking wheeze.
Reddish/rose pink, no bile, consistency is in between the first two. Fairly small amount with maroon particles or larger amount with bikkies and some mucous.

Cat vomit I have heard- (So gross!)
It's all over very very quick. Usually two or three gags and then they saunter off and won't come out 'til it's been cleaned up. Gagging and not vomiting concerns me slightly but it's always been just grass or hair.

Hope your kitty feels ok now. (Personally I'd take going off to nap like usual as a good sign.)
posted by mu~ha~ha~ha~har at 1:49 AM on August 9, 2008


It wasn't red, but a clearish pink, like someone mixed blood with something much more viscous. No chunks in the puke, and Basil seems to be fine. He's sleeping as normal, pouncing on bugs as normal and generally being Basil. We don't have roses, but we do have a peace lily, which he ignores completely. We didn't see anything unusual that he could have eaten, but we do have young children who leave small plastic toys everywhere.

As someone else mentioned, he is an outdoor cat, so I have no idea what he might have eaten outside. I doubt it was a rodent or anything like that. The last few times he caught something he presented it like a gift at the front door.

I spoke with my vet this morning (I know him pretty well, just not enough to call at 11 pm) and he said as long as his behavior hasn't changed then I shouldn't worry. He also hasn't vomited since last night.

Thanks everyone, for your advice and gross kitty-being-ill stories!
posted by mitzyjalapeno at 6:28 AM on August 9, 2008


I've seen plenty of cat vomit, and it does sometimes have a pinkish color. Something to do with digestive juices or what they ate recently, I think. And, as others have pointed out, cats soemtimes just throw up for fun. It probably ate something, and then decided to throw it up because it was bored. So, if the cat is not behaving abnormally otherwise, I wouldn't stress about it.
posted by baggers at 8:27 AM on August 9, 2008


As an addendum to my answer to the cat puke question linked above: When my cat pukes up the pink stuff and I blot it up with a white paper towel, it turns out that the puke is actually very clear (I can't explain why). If there was actually blood in it, my guess is that there would be actual red spots when the puke is soaked up. She's puked like this every now and then for the past four years without any adverse health problems. It just happens one day and then goes away without intervention.

For future reference: I still stand by my earlier answer of "don't freak out, it's likely nothing" but by all means take your cat to the vet if the puking keeps happening with regularity (i.e., every hour), he stops eating, he's unusually lethargic, diarrhea, etc.
posted by puritycontrol at 1:50 PM on August 9, 2008


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