Like humans, cats can experience nausea from some chronic diseases and medications. While motion sickness, ingesting a plant or a toxin, or excess acid can lead to nausea in cats, the most common causes are chronic renal failure, liver disease, pancreatitis, irritable bowel disease and cancer.
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Signs of nausea in cats include vomiting, lack of appetite, turning the head away from food, drooling, licking or smacking the lips, and repeated swallowing.
Veterinarians often suggest Pepcid AC (famotidine), an over-the-counter medication that can relieve the build-up of acids in the cat's stomach. Most cats get a very small dose, commonly a quarter of a 10 mg tablet. Your veterinarian can tell you how much to use.
Ranitidine (brand name Zantac), metoclopramide (brand name Reglan), cimetidine (brand name Tagamet) and maropitant citrate (brand name Cerenia) are all prescription drugs that can relieve nausea in cats.
Tagamet, Zantac and Cerenia rarely cause side effects in cats. The most common side effect of Reglan is constipation, but cats may also become disoriented or frenzied. Both Reglan and Tagamet can affect the absorption of other oral medications.
Such homeopathic remedies as sepia and pulsatilla can relieve nausea in cats and are sold at most health food stores. Since homeopathy is most effective when it is customised for the individual cat, it should be used only under the supervision of a holistic veterinarian.
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