Cat vomit comes in a wide range of colors. In this article, you will find information on what the various cat vomit colors mean. You will also find information on what you can do about the respective cat vomiting situations.
Key elements in the cat vomit color chart include red, green, pink, brown, white, yellow, orange and ‘clear’. Red, pink, brown and black may be indicative of blood in the vomit. Green and orange may be indicative of bile in the vomit. White foamy vomit may be due to gastritis.
Some cat vomit colors may be simply on account of what the cat had eaten before vomiting. For instance, brown cat vomit may be due to the cat having eaten brown kibble.
Similarly, a cat puking green may be due to it having eaten grass or house plants. Those often make cat barf green.
Ultimately, in deciphering what cat vomit means, you may have to look at both its color and consistency.
Sometimes, while analyzing the cat vomit color chart, you also need to look at the frequency with which the cat is vomiting.
Therefore the color of cat puke color is just one piece of the puzzle, in trying to figure out the reason behind the cat’s vomiting (and what to do about it).
Do Cats Vomit?
For someone who has never owned a cat before, the sight of it vomiting can be baffling. Such a person may want to know whether cats usually vomit, or if it is something unique to their kitty.
The true position, however, is that cats do vomit. Vomiting is a common thing in cats. Almost all cat owners will confess to witnessing their cats vomiting at least once.
Therefore if you find your cat vomiting, you should know that what it is doing is something that other cats do.
That, of course, doesn’t mean that the cat’s vomiting is alright. It only means that vomiting is a common phenomenon in cats.
Cat Nausea Signs
Before proceeding with any discussion on vomiting in cats, it is important for us to understand the common cat nausea signs.
These, in other words, are signs by which you can tell that a cat is vomiting. Or signs by which you can tell that a cat is about to vomit.
Now one common sign of nausea in cats is swallowing in a repetitive manner. Licking of lips is another common cat nausea sign. A cat that is nauseous will also have a tendency to hide away.
Loss of appetite is common in cats that are nauseous, as is increased production of saliva. Sometimes, the excess saliva may lead to drooling.
Sometimes, when you have more than one cat, it can be hard to tell which specific cat is vomiting. Ultimately though, how to tell which cat is vomiting revolves around looking out for these cat nausea signs.
Why Do Cats Vomit?
Before setting out to explore the cat vomit color chart, it is important for us to have general insight into the reasons why cats vomit.
Without such general insight into the common reasons for cats vomiting, it may be hard to make sense of the various cat vomit colors.
Now common reasons for cats vomiting include infections, gastrointestinal obstructions, parasite infestations and physiological illnesses. Diet changes too can cause vomiting in cats, as can the ingestion of foreign bodies.
Infections As Causes For Vomiting In Cats
Typically, it is bacterial infections that cause most cases of vomiting in cats. But there are cases where viral or even fungal infections may cause vomiting in cats.
Gastrointestinal Obstructions As Causes For Vomiting In Cats
If there are obstructions in the cat’s GI tract, it means that things can’t move in it how they are supposed to move. Therefore the cat may, for instance, end up throwing up any food it eats.
Parasite Infestations As Causes For Vomiting In Cats
The parasites in question here are specifically the internal ones, especially worms. They often cause cats to start vomiting.
Physiological Illnesses As Causes For Vomiting In Cats
The physiological illnesses in question here may include pancreatitis, kidney diseases, hyperthyroidism, cancer and diabetes. In the symptom lists for these diseases, you often find vomiting.
Therefore cats suffering from such diseases may vomit.
Diet Changes As Cause For Vomiting In Cats
Diet changes often lead to stomach upsets. The stomach upsets in turn lead to vomiting in cats. Therefore if you have recently changed the cat’s diet in any way, and it is vomiting, that may be the reason behind the cat’s vomiting.
There are even cases where cats may throw up simply due to eating too much or too fast.
Foreign Bodies Ingestion As Cause For Vomiting In Cats
When cats ingest foreign bodies, the end result is often vomiting. Because the foreign bodies can’t move down the GI tract in the normal way, vomiting occurs.
In this case, the vomiting is a ‘good’ outcome. That is because the alternative to it would be for the foreign bodies to move further down the GI tract, and possibly cause obstructions that can be fatal.
Do Cats Vomit Out Of Spite?
Often, when discussing the common causes of vomiting in cats, we get this question – on whether cats do vomit out of spite.
And the answer is that cats don’t vomit out of spite. But stress, which some may misinterpret as spite, can cause a cat to vomit.
How To Differentiate ‘Real Vomiting’ From Throwing Up Hairballs
Another important thing worth understanding, before delving into cat vomit color chart analysis, is the phenomenon where cats throw up hairballs.
Why do cats vomit hairballs? The answer is that, while grooming themselves (using their tongues), cats often end up ingesting huge masses of hairballs.
Because their bodies can’t digest their hairballs, they subsequently throw them up.
Therefore if, for instance, you find cat dark brown vomit with hairball, this would be the reason behind it.
Of all the different types of cat vomit, this one (where the cat throws up hairballs) is considered to be the most benign.
In fact, you will rarely find it in a typical vomit chart for cats. This is because most people don’t even consider it to be a form of vomiting in the real sense.
Types Of Cat Vomit And What It Means
Another area we need to explore, before delving into cat vomit color chart analysis, is that of different types of cat vomit and what they mean.
While learning how to chart vomiting in cats, most of us focus on the cat vomit colors alone. That is how we end up with the cat vomit color chart.
But the type of cat vomit is just as critical as its color.
And as it turns out, cat vomit may be foamy, chunky or liquid.
If you go through most types of cat vomit pictures, these are the key types of cat vomit you will be able to decipher.
Foamy Cat Vomit Meaning
In most cases, where cat vomit is foamy, it is due to the air that the cat takes in while vomiting.
Therefore vomit that is very foamy may mean that the cat was struggling to vomit, and retching.
So this is the core answer to the what does foamy cat vomit mean question.
Chunky Cat Vomit Meaning
Chunky cat vomit means that there was something in the cat’s stomach at the time of vomiting.
In other words, it means that the cat is not vomiting on an empty stomach.
Therefore in this situation, there is the possibility that the cat is vomiting due to something it has eaten.
Sometimes, when you look into the chunky cat vomit carefully, you may discover foreign objects (or bits of foreign objects) in it.
These mean that the cat is vomiting on account of foreign object ingestion.
Liquid Cat Vomit Meaning
Liquid cat vomit means that there is nothing in the cat’s stomach at the time of vomiting.
In other words, it means that the cat is vomiting on an empty stomach.
Consequently, you may infer that the cat is not vomiting due to something it had eaten.
What Does The Color Of Cat Vomit Mean?
Having understood why cats vomit and the different types of cat vomit, we can now start delving into cat vomit color chart analysis.
And a good point to start, in cat vomit color chart analysis, is by trying to understand what the color of cat vomit means.
Now cat vomit typically comes in red, pink, green, white, brown, yellow and black colors. It may also come up ‘clear’ – that is colorless. So those are the key colors in the cat vomit chart.
In other words, when you pose the what color is cat vomit question, the answer is likely to be one of those colors.
The different cat vomit colors have different meanings. And that is really the basis for the cat vomiting chart.
For instance, where you have cat vomit red in color, it may be due to presence of blood in the vomit. But it may also be due to the cat having eaten red food before vomiting.
Where you have cat vomit brown in color, it may similarly be due to the presence of blood in the vomit. Or it may be due to the cat having eaten brown food before vomiting.
Further, in a case where you see cat vomit yellow in color, it may be due to the cat vomiting on an empty stomach.
So because the stomach is completely empty, the acid inside it irritates it. And the end result is the yellow vomit.
In the case of cat green vomit, the green color may be due to presence of bile in the vomit. Or it may be simply be due to the cat having eaten green stuff (grass, house plants and so on) before vomiting.
Where it is black cat vomit, it may be due to presence of dry blood.
Making Sense Of Different Cat vomit Color Shades
Sometimes, in order to get the real cat vomit color meaning, you may have to look at the shade of the vomit color.
For instance, you may, in one case, find cat vomit dark green. In another case, you may find the cat’s vomit to be green, but in a lighter shade.
Therefore when posing the why is my cat’s puke green question, you may need to specify the shade.
Light green may be due to the presence of bile. What color is cat bile? It can be greenish or yellow. So if the cat vomit is light green, it may be due to bile.
On the other hand, dark green vomit may be due to the cat eating green stuff – like grass, house plants… and so on.
Sometimes, due to the difference in shades, cat vomit color may appear different from what one would expect.
For instance, black cat vomit may appear gray. Therefore what comes across to you as grey cat vomit may in fact just be black vomit that is dilute.
Another instance of the vomit color shade having an effect comes into play when it comes to brown.
Therefore when, for instance, you ask, what does brown cat vomit mean, the answer may depend on the shade.
If it is dark brown cat vomit, this may be due to presence of blood.
But if it is light brown cat vomit, it may be due to the cat having eaten brown kibble.
Cat Vomit Color Chart
|Color of Cat Vomit||What The Cat vomit color May Indicate|
|Red||May indicate the presence of blood in the vomit, which would then make it a real emergency. May also be due to the cat having eaten red food.|
|Green||Often a great cause of worry, green color may mean that there is bile in the vomit. Or it may mean that the cat had eaten green stuff.|
|Pink||This may mean that there is blood in the cat vomit. It may also mean that the cat had eaten pink stuff.|
|Yellow||Just like green, this can be an indication of bile in the vomit. Or it can be a sign that the vomit contains food that is not fully digested. Further, it may be a sign that the cat’s stomach was completely empty. [So because it is empty, the acid irritates the lining, resulting in the yellow vomit].|
|White||Where the white stuff is in the form of foam, it may be indicative of gastritis.|
|Black||Is most likely a sign of blood in the vomit/bleeding in the GI tract (and hence cause for great concern)|
|Orange||May mean that there is bile in the vomit or that there is food that wasn’t fully digested in the vomit|
|Brown||If it is dark brown, it may be a sign of blood in the vomit (hence cause of very great concern). But it may also be a sign of food that isn’t fully digested in the vomit|
Cat Vomit Color Red
As is clear from the cat vomit color chart above, red color may be due to the presence of blood in the cat’s vomit.
Therefore there may be an injury in the cat’s GI tract. The blood from the injury then leads to the red color in vomit.
Less worryingly though, the red color may also be due to the cat having eaten red stuff before vomiting.
Cat Vomit Color Green
According to our cat vomit color chart, green may indicate that there is presence of bile in the vomit. Therefore this vomit may be coming from a part of the GI tract past the stomach, where there is bile.
Less worrying though, the green color may be due to the cat having eaten green stuff prior to vomiting. Even then, the vomiting may be a sign of toxicity from the ‘green stuff’, so this situation is not entirely worry-free.
Cat Vomit Pink Color
In the best case scenario, the pink color in the cat vomit may be due to the cat having eaten pink stuff before vomiting.
But in the worst case scenario, the pink color in the cat vomit may be an indication of ‘fresh blood’ in the cat’s vomit.
Cat Vomit Color Yellow
In most cases, when cats vomit is yellow in color, it is due to irritation of the stomach by acid. So this is the answer to the why do cats vomit yellow liquid question.
Therefore if a cat’s stomach is empty (completely empty) the acid in it starts irritating it. This often leads to yellow vomit.
So that is what one needs to keep in mind, when figuring out how to treat cat vomiting yellow.
Cat Vomit Color White
As per our cat vomit color chart, white color may be due to gastritis.
So if, for instance, a cat eats something new, and it has an upset stomach, the resultant vomit may be white in color.
Cat Vomit Color Black
In the cat vomit color chart, black is typically indicative of blood – specifically dry/drying blood.
This may be blood coming from very deep down the GI tract.
Therefore if you had the why is my cat’s vomit black question, this is the answer.
But one may then ask, why do cats vomit blood? And the answer is that it may be due to GI injuries, parasite infestation or even certain infections.
And when it comes to vomiting in cats when to worry, then one situation is like this one – where you see black vomit.
Cat Vomit Color Orange
In the best case scenario, the orange vomit may be due to the cat having eaten orange stuff before vomiting.
But the orange color in cat vomit can also be due to the bile or food that wasn’t fully digested.
Cat Vomit Color Brown
In the cat vomit color chart brown may be due to the cat having eaten brown colored stuff before vomiting.
But there are also cases in which the brown color may be due to there being blood in the cat’s GI tract.
Therefore if you had the what does brown cat vomit mean question, that is the answer to it.
What Color Should Cat Vomit Be?
In other words, what is normal cat vomit color? Or what color should cat throw up be?
The answer is that there is no such thing as ‘normal’ cat vomit color.
Ideally, a cat shouldn’t be vomiting – unless it is throwing up hairballs.
Therefore whatever the color of cat vomit, if the cat is vomiting too much or too frequently, it is cause for worry.
Admittedly, some cat vomit colors are less worrisome than others.
For instance, if a cat that had eaten brown kibble throws up brown vomit, then one may easily attribute the brown color to the kibble dye.
But where a cat throws up black vomit, it is always cause for a great deal of worry.
Ultimately though, there is no color we can single out and say that it is the color that cat vomit should be.
How To Treat Cat Vomiting?
How to treat cat vomiting will depend on the reason behind it.
For instance, where a cat is vomiting due to diet change, all you may need to do is switch back to food that the cat is accustomed to.
Where a cat is vomiting due to foreign object ingestion, and it seems to have vomited the entire foreign object, all that may be necessary is close observation.
In a case where the cat is vomiting due to parasites or infections, it may be necessary to have a vet examine it, then prescribe the right medications.
When Should I Be Concerned About My Cat Throwing Up?
There are at least four situations that should be cause for concern.
Firstly, if the cat is vomiting too much, that should be cause for concern.
Secondly, if the cat is vomiting too frequently, that should be cause for concern.
Thirdly, if the cat vomit color is one of those that are worrying (as per the comments in the cat vomit color chart), then that should be cause for concern.
And finally, if the vomiting is accompanied by other worrying symptoms – such as intense lethargy, bloating, spasms and so on, that should be cause for concern.
When To See A Vet About Cat Vomiting?
If a cat is vomiting too much or too often, it may be best to consult a vet urgently.
Where the cat is vomiting blood, it may be best to see a vet. This is because only a vet may be able to know how to treat cat vomiting blood properly.
Where besides vomiting, there is also diarrhea, it may be best to see a vet. Again, this is because you may not be able to figure out how to treat cat vomiting and diarrhea properly at home, without endangering the cat.
In most situations, one may end up wasting precious time trying to work out how to treat cat vomiting at home.
Therefore wherever there seems to be severe vomiting, it is best to take the cat to the vet straightaway.
Final Verdict – Cat Vomit Color Chart
Key elements in the cat vomit color chart include red, green, yellow, pink, orange, white, brown and ‘clear’.
Green and orange may be due to the presence of bile in the vomit. But they can also be due to the cat having eaten green and orange stuff respectively before vomiting.
Red, pink and brown may be due to the presence of blood in the vomit. But they can also be due to the cat having eaten red, pink or brown food respectively before vomiting.
White may be due to gastritis, whereas yellow may be due to the cat’s stomach being completely empty (and therefore irritated by acid).
Black in cat vomit is almost always an indication of blood.
Once you understand cat vomit color meaning, it is usually easy to figure out the right course of action to take next.
All in all, where a cat vomits too much or too often (regardless of the cat vomit color), it is best to consult a vet urgently.