Why is my cat vomiting white foam with diarrhea?

Written by tracy hodge | 13/05/2017
Why is my cat vomiting white foam with diarrhea?
There are many conditions in cats that may cause vomiting and diarrhoea. (kitten image by Annika from Fotolia.com)

A cat that vomits white foam and has diarrhoea may suffer from gastritis or the cat may be exhibiting symptoms of a more serious condition. It can often be difficult for the average pet owner to distinguish between the two. If your cat vomits white foam that is accompanied by diarrhoea and it is a persistent condition, you should seek the advice of a veterinarian. This will ensure a correct diagnosis and proper treatment plan.


Vomit may contain specks of blood, bile, bits of food or white foam. Diarrhoea is characterised by loose stools and an increase in the frequency of defecation.

Adrenal Gland Disease

The onset of adrenal gland disease such as Addison's disease can be a cause of vomiting white foam in dogs and cats. This condition is caused by the adrenal glands not producing enough cortisone. Cats that suffer from this condition usually begin to show symptoms between four and eight years of age. Female cats seem to be affected more often than male cats. Other symptoms that may be associated with adrenal gland disease in cats are diarrhoea, depression, low blood sugar and muscle weakness.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, may occur in cats. IBD begins in the cat's gastrointestinal tract. The symptoms of IBD may begin when the gastrointestinal tract is invaded by inflammatory cells. The symptoms of IBD in cats are vomiting (often with foam), diarrhoea and weight loss. Your veterinarian may order blood tests, a fecal examination, X-rays, urinalysis and abdominal ultrasound in order to rule out any other possible cause of vomiting and diarrhoea. Most cats that suffer from IBD find relief with dietary changes and medication.


Enteritis is also known as inflammation of the small intestine, and it may cause symptoms in cats such as vomiting, diarrhoea, weight loss and nutrient malabsorption. The vomit may contain bile, blood, food or white foam and may occur with watery diarrhoea. Cats affected by this condition will appear thin and look sickly.


Cats will occasionally vomit, often when expelling a hairball. However, if vomit is excessive, occurs with diarrhoea or causes the cat to lose weight, consult your veterinarian.

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