My cat (10 y.o.) goes through this routine every morning:

  • water is available before I wake up
  • I feed her a regular portion of dry food (1/3 her daily total)
  • she drinks lots of water
  • 5-10 mins later she throws up between 1 and 3 times
  • by the time I'm done cleaning up, she is begging for food

I can alleviate this by feeding her a quarter portion, waiting an hour and then another quarter portion, then she misses a half portion cause I'm out. Then I feed her two regular portions over the evening, with no throwing up.

Occasionally she'll throw up even after a quarter portion.

This doesn't seem to come from eating wet food too fast, but rather drinking too much water after a dry breakfast (but not at other times). Is there anything I can change to stop this?

  • 1
    Cats should not relay over dry food only, deal with dry food as a complementary meal, one time a day is enough to supply your cat with most minerals and vitamins . Dry food may be a main cause of kidney disease give wet food a try and check the results.
    – Suhayb
    Aug 24, 2017 at 17:38
  • My cat is 16 he is greedy but not over weight. He drinks so much water. The vet checked him and he is fine. But, when i come home even after a few hours, he has been sick everywhere. and its always watery food..what i think he is doing is filling him self up with water then eats more, then drinks more water. So i have removed the water fountain and giving him water when i am here. I think its become a habit..
    – Mandy
    Feb 6, 2022 at 19:52

4 Answers 4


My cat has the same problem. I solved the problem by giving my cat a small portion of wet food before I give her the dry food. Wet food with gravy/gel works best for my cat.

I believe the reason for my cat throwing up is that the dry food expands when it gets wet in the belly of the cat.

It is OK for cats to throw up once or twice in a week. If it continues for more than a week or happens more than two days in a row, you need to take your cat to a vet. If your cat gets dehydrated, you have to take the cat to a vet right away.

If your cat continues to vomit daily for more than two days, you have to take it to a vet, as it might be something wrong with your cat that needs treatment. If your cat stop eating for more than 24 hours, it needs medical help right now or like yesterday (the liver might get damaged if your cat doesn't eat for more then 24 hours) and then it might be the eol (end of life).


Anecdote isn't evidence, but my old lad (11 years old at the time) started throwing up every morning after eating dry food and drinking immediately.

Turned out to be the early signs of kidney disease. I would get your cat checked out by a vet -- catch it early and you can prolong their life substantially (old lad lived to nearly 20).

See Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease for more detail, as recommended by a number of vets. Of particular interest may be the statement:

CKD cats often vomit in the morning. This tends to happen because if a cat goes a long time without eating (such as overnight), excess stomach acid has more time to attack the stomach lining and cause vomiting.


Dry food expands on contact with water, either from a bowl/fountain or stomach acids.

Therefore, if she eats dry food too fast, she will fill her stomach and, when it expands, the food has nowhere to go except back out her mouth.

If she doesn’t have a weight issue, the simplest solution is free feeding. She will eat many smaller meals throughout the day, which can expand without overflowing.

If she does have a weight issue, however, free feeding will make it worse. You will need to give her more but smaller meals. An automatic feeder can help with this. Or you can switch her to wet food.


1 cat was vomiting regularly because he ate too fast. I ended up giving him 6 very small meals and so far this appears to have worked.

The female is fine but I can't leave food for her because the male will eat it instead. I give them:

  • about an 8th of a cup, 5 times a day
  • a tablespoon of wet for dinner

I was considering getting rid of him but then I tried this and it seems to have worked. I know there will be occasional hairballs but the vomiting was driving me nuts and he became overweight. Now there is no vomiting and he is losing weight.


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