When to worry about cat morning sickness, and what to do about it.
Cat morning sickness is something that is very common. Just like humans, morning sickness can strike pregnant cats at any time.
Normal cat morning sickness
Ordinarily, cat morning sickness will present itself at around 3 weeks gestation. It generally involves your cat being sick around 2-4 times a day, and may last for a few days or a week. Feline morning sickness that fits that pattern is nothing to worry about - it is a perfectly normal side effect of pregnancy.
When to worry...
However, we recently had a case of cat morning sickness that did not fit this pattern, which is what has prompted us to write this article.
We had a cat who, at 3 weeks pregnant, started to be sick repeatedly: around 15 times in a 24 hour period.
In this scenario a vet trip is required. This is because you cannot simply assume that your cat is being sick because she is pregnant. So you need a vet to examine her to rule out any other causes. Other causes of feline vomiting can include illness, a blocked gastrointestinal tract, hairballs or poisoning, to name but a few! Some of these issues - like poisoning or a blocked GI tract - require urgent medical attention.
So please do not just assume that frequent vomiting is morning sickness without first getting your cat checked by a vet. Fortunately, in this case it was just morning sickness, allbeit in a rather extreme form!
Once those other causes have been ruled out, the next step is to try to alleviate the sickness and ensure that your cat remains hydrated and nourished.
Top tips for extreme cat morning sickness:
- Book a vet trip to rule out other causes. Take a note of the colour and consistency of your cat's vomit. Or take a photograph on your phone to show them! It may seem a bit gruesome, but it is important to provide your vet with as much information as you can.
- Consider when she was last wormed. Worms can cause vomiting, so discuss a wormer with your vet.
- Make sure your cat has a quiet, comfortable room where she can be away from other animals and people. Movement can make cat morning sickness worse, so a room where she can relax is important.
- Keep her hydrated by using Oralade, or a similar electrolyte solution. You can buy Oralade on Amazon here, or at your local vet. Hydration is especially important in pregnant cats to keep the babies healthy.
- Give her small portions of food, often. Try to encourage her to eat by using her favourite wet food.
- Ensure she has a constant supply of fresh water. Use a water fountain if you can, or replace her water regularly. Find water fountains on Amazon here.
- If the sickness does not stop within a day or two, book another vet trip.
Fortunately in our case, the morning sickness was just morning sickness. We provided a quiet, calm space with plenty of fresh water. We used oralade because mum had completely lost her appetite and was refusing food. We put some oralade in a bowl and she immediately started to drink it. Within 2-3 days the sickness had passed.
A picture of Oralade GI support:
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