The beautiful Ragdoll cat dubbed the “puppy cat” is beloved due to its gentle lapcat ways and soft voice, but their sensitive stomachs cause their owners to worry.
Why Is My Ragdoll Throwing Up? The Ragdoll cat has a delicate stomach that has difficulty with regular cat food. Also, a tendency to gobble down food along with their thick coat of medium length fur can cause stomach distress and vomiting.
While there is no test to see what your cat can eat there are ways to determine what is causing issues in your kitties wee little tummy. Proper grooming and quality food ensure that your furbaby is healthy, so you don’t have to pick up any disgusting messes.
Read further to learn about the quality of food a Ragdoll should have and when to take your baby to the vet.
Quality of the food
If you notice that your Ragdoll is vomiting, but the content that comes out appears digested look at the quality of the food that you are giving them.
Cats are carnivores so the first thing on the label should be some form of natural and whole protein.
Check the label of the food that you are buying for your feline to make sure it isn’t filled with nasty things such as byproducts. Cats can digest stuff for example bones better than humans, but it often hurts their tummies to do so.
Next pay attention to the types of meat in the food and the way that your Ragdoll reacts. If you feed them chicken do they usually get sick afterward?
How about red meat or salmon? Cats have allergies to food just like a human would, however, there is no testing available to see what exactly your Ragdoll might be allergic to.
It is up to you as a cat owner to observe what you are giving them and what they are reacting badly to keep them healthy.
If you are unsure start them on the Bland Diet which constitutes of boiled rice or potatoes and then introduce different meats one at a time to see how they react.
Quick story, I have a cat that didn’t like healthy wet food but was a frequent fast eater with constipation and vomit issues as a result.
I had to get better food for my fur baby and encourage him to eat the wet stuff. Not easy to do… A tip: if your cat refuses to eat the wet stuff put some on your finger and then place it on the side of their mouth.
This will cause them to lick their lips and get a taste of the food without forcing it on them. This might take several sessions for the stubborn ones. Cough.
Due to these food allergies, there is a rise in the raw food diet for cats, or the safer cousin, cooking food for them. Raw food sounds scary until you realize that is how cats have eaten for most of their history until now.
If that is too much then cooking chicken, beef, pork, lamb, salmon, or tuna with approved grains and some fiber will help with allergies and any other issues they might be experiencing.
We highly recommend reading our Ragdoll Cat Food Guide here. It contains information on the best food for Ragdolls and also shows you great examples that you can offer your Ragdoll unhesitatingly.
Eating too fast
The first thing that you have to ask yourself is are you feeding your Ragdoll mostly dry or wet foods. Cats, in general, do not drink a lot of water. Instead, they get the majority of their water content from the food that they are eating.
This is a problem if you only feed your cat dry food.
While it sounds conducive to how cats naturally eat, they like to graze throughout the day, putting a bowl down with just dry food often causes your cat to woof it down so to speak.
The telltale sign is if in your Ragdoll’s vomit there are chunks of the food that they ate. This means that your cat filled their stomach too much and didn’t even digest the food itself. Which causes a double problem.
They are not getting a lot of water content from the food, and they just lost some from the act of throwing it up.
If the recommendation from your vet is that your cat eats only dry food or you cannot get your feline to eat wet food there is a solution.
Purchase a slow eater contraption from your local store or online that fit into the food bowl and have soft prongs sticking out.
This will make your kitty have to move around the prongs to eat ensuring that they digest slowly. Also, it might be a good idea to invest in a water fountain for your cat to encourage them to drink more water.
Another vomiting issue that comes with Ragdolls is hairballs. If you are new to cats be prepared for the hunched over heaving that occurs with a long-haired cat.
This is distinctive from other vomit due to, well, the globs of hair. Standard across the board for cats, worse in our thick haired friends.
Your fur baby will continue to groom, as they should, but there are ways to prevent them from getting too many hairballs.
You should brush your cat around twice a week.
To a cat, grooming is stressful and invasive, so there are some tips to help make sure it is a positive experience for them and a less wound inflicted incident for you.
Grooming a Cat:
- Groom when they are relaxed, after eats or exercise.
- Do not groom when you are in a bad mood.
- Keep it short just 5 or 10 minutes until they are used to it.
- Pet your cat while grooming to make sure they are at ease.
For thick haired cats make sure to get the belly (oh no) and legs first because that is where knots typically occur. Good news for Ragdoll owners since these cats don’t usually get matty hair.
Use a metal comb gently at first and then use a rubber comb to get loose hair and dead skin going back and forth on the fur.
If the experience was stressful to them, make sure to give lots of pets and love afterward to make sure they know everything is ok.
If you need more help with that, read our Ragdoll Grooming Guide here!
How often are they vomiting and what to look for
Since cats do have a habit of vomiting, it is hard to know when it is time to take them to the vet because of an underlying issue.
The biggest clue is the frequency of your Ragdoll’s vomit. If you find yourself cleaning up vomit every day or multiple times a day, there is an issue, and a trip to the vet is in order.
In some cases vomiting more than twice a month is used as an indication to visit the vet, first check and make sure it isn’t an above issue.
Once you take your kitty to the vet they will weigh your fur baby, weight loss without effort is often an indicator of disease, then they will do an ultra-sound or in some cases an x-ray.
The ultrasound is used to determine if your cat might have inflammation of the small intestine.
Yes, your cat can get IBD, inflammatory bowel disease. If this is the case a change of diet and some anti-inflammatory medication, such as steroids, will be in order.
However, your vet will make sure that there are no other issues such as tumors or cancer before giving your cat a diagnosis of IBD.
As gross as it is, pay attention to the color of your cat’s vomit to understand what is going on.
- Yellow-bile fluid that is caused by prolonged fasting, foreign body, worms.
- Clear or Foamy-Mostly likely caused by hairballs, or rather pre-hairball gastric liquids. Also, stomach upset.
- Pink-Blood mixed with vomit. Ulcer, gastrointestinal diseases infections, or a foreign object might be the cause.
The more that you know about your cat, the better prepared you will be to help them when they need it.
Ragdoll cat digestive issues. Digestive problems are common for Ragdolls including celiac disease, constipation, diarrhea, and IBD. Monitor their weight and eating habits to ensure there are no underlying issues.
Recommended diet for ragdoll cats. Since Ragdolls can get up to at least 20 lbs, diet is essential to maintaining their health. High-quality food with both wet and dry options so that they are getting the correct water content and fiber.
Why does my cat keep throwing up her dry food? Eating too quickly or too much will cause a cat to throw up. After the food expands in their tummy, it makes them nauseous. Try a slow eater tool to place in your cat’s bowl or change to wet or premium food.