How to Induce Vomiting in Cats

After cleaning your house for a while, you decide to take a break and grab a cup of coffee for some much-needed energy. As you sip your delicious beverage, you spot your cat licking the milk spilt on the bleach-ridden floor you are yet to rinse. As your instincts kick in to save your beloved kitty from potential health risks of ingesting bleach, you believe that if you can induce vomiting, then he will be okay.

Then again you hear some warning bells go off in your mind that inducing vomiting can do more harm than good. If you have ever been at such a crossroads, here is what you need to know about how to induce vomiting in cats, when to do it and how not to do it.

Methods to Induce Vomiting in Cats

  • Using Hydrogen PeroxidePetPlace recommends giving your feline some hydrogen peroxide, but this should only be after your vet gives you the go-ahead. Even if hydrogen peroxide is labeled as toxic, it is safe to be ingested by cats. However, you should note we are not referring to the hair coloring hydrogen peroxide. Moreover, it is only safe if it is a 3% solution. The amount of dosage depends on body weight; for every 10 pounds, one teaspoon is recommended. After administering the product, ensure that your cat does not ingest again the poisonous substance you are trying to eliminate from the body. After walking your cat for a while and shaking the belly to mix the hydrogen peroxide with the stomach contents, your cat should vomit in about 20 minutes, failure to which you should give another dosage of the solution.
  • Using Veterinary MethodsThe Spruce Pets advises us that the best way you can induce vomiting is by having your vet do it. One of the emetics used is Xylazine which induces vomiting within five minutes. However, it can cause respiratory or Central Nervous System (CNS)depression; therefore, the vet will also administer Antisedan to reverse the effects. Dexmedetomidine also has the same results as Xylazine in that it causes vomiting in a few minutes, and the side effects are the same; hence the vet will still administer Antisedan to reverse them. Alternatively, if your cat suffers from cardiovascular disease or is quite elderly, a combination of Hydromorphone and Midazolam is recommended because it does not have any effect on the CNS.

How Not to Induce Vomiting in Cats

  • Using Salt – Sometimes, some of the methods you might think of inducing vomiting in your kitty are not safe, and ASPCA outlines them. For instance, you might think of turning to readily-available salt yet too much salt levels in the blood will put your cat’s life at risk. You can notice salt toxicity through an unsteady walk, tremors, seizure, and even or feline may slip into a coma.
  • Ipecac – While it has been used to induce vomiting in children, the Ipecac syrup is toxic to pets. Like salt, it is a life-threatening method that causes difficulty in breathing, excessive drooling, lower heart rate, abnormal heart rhythm and in unfortunate outcomes, a deadly heart condition.
  • Gagging – Gagging has been the most preferred method to induce vomiting in humans, but in pets, it is not safe. Unlike humans, cats do not have the gag reflex; thus, instead of vomiting, the kitty will most likely bite you for causing discomfort. As for its health, you will cause trauma to the throat.

When Should You Not Induce Vomiting in Cats?

Bemidji Veterinary Hospital informs us of a few instances when inducing vomiting is not advisable. For example, if the pet has been exposed for a long time and is already showing symptoms of toxicity, vomiting will not help because the substance has been absorbed. Also, if the cat has vomited already, there is no need to make it vomit again. If you do and the cat had ingested a corrosive substance such as bleach or acid, bringing it up again will cause more damage than is already done. The same goes for substances such as hydrocarbon products. On the other hand, there are instances when inducing vomiting is the most recommended way to save your pet. Such include when your pet has ingested rat poison, chocolate, garbage, toys, pieces of clothing, compost or anything eaten in excess.

It is Not Easy to Induce Vomiting in Cats

According to Wag!, while inducing vomiting in cats is sometimes the only option to keep them safe from the effects of whatever they have ingested, it is not as easy as it sounds. The article explains the physiological mechanism, which leads to the nauseating feeling and vomiting is much different in cats compared to dogs. While most drugs used to induce vomiting in dogs are made for that particular reason, those used in cats are sedatives with vomiting as a side effect. Therefore, the chances of sedating your cat without the eventual expected outcome of vomiting are high. Additionally, using emetics meant for dogs to induce vomiting in cats is not as effective because the felines are usually insensitive to them. Hence, the article advises that although most sources recommend giving a higher dosage when vomiting takes longer than usual, the excess emetic may be useless because all in all, it is not efficient of cats regardless of the amount.

How Do You Know You Have Given Too Much Emetic?

Since some sources recommend giving a bit more of the emetics when the first dosage is not effective, you might end up giving too much than is necessary. If you realize that you have administered the emetic but instead of the cat vomiting it is overly sedated or it will not stop vomiting, it most likely means you have given a strong concentration or too much of the solution. Sometimes, the cat may collapse after emesis or may aspirate after vomiting. Other signs of emesis gone wrong are abnormal heart rate or seizures.

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