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Help. Cat hacking up clear fluiud at night

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

For over a moth now my cat has been doing the hairball dry-heave late at night, and only ever bringing up clear fluid. While I can find lots of sites stating give him butter/mineral oil/etc to help prevent cats ceveloping hairballs, I can't find anything on this scenario. I presume he has something hairball-like that he cannot digest or spit up, but how can I help him? He eats a raw diet with added salmon oil and seaweed (for his teeth) plus some Orijin (healthy high-protein) dry between meals. He loves butter. Nothing makes a difference for this.


Could it be something else? How do I help him get this obstruction out?


Many thanks.

post #2 of 8

Are you sure it's hairball related? Cats always hack when they have to bring something up. I've read cats will puke up stomach acid when they expect to be fed, but haven't. Did you used to feed him at night so it became a routine, and then suddenly stopped? I've read the routine will cause the hydrochloric acid in a cat's stomach to build up in preparation of digesting the food and when it doesn't come...they must puke up the acid. 


If that's the case, and what once was a routine suddenly stopped, you may have to give him a little something to nibble on.


If it is a trapped hairball, an extra bit of fiber won't hurt. Cats love grass. You can also add pureed pumpkin to his food, too. :)

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Great suggestion. He does it after midnight, as in I'm awakened by his hacking, and I vow to find the mess and clean it in the morning. :)


I've never fed him that late. He's a 10 year old rescue cat, I have no history. I've had him 2+ months, he just saw the vet last month (before I noticed much hacking) so the issue never came up.before this he was fine, as far as I know.


It's clear fluid. When I was feeding him only dry food, still the good brand, but only dry, the fluid was dark brown like his food, and not as often. Since the raw it's clear but persisting, more often than before. But only once a night if at all.


He is an indoor cat. When I gave him cat grass, he'd bring that up at night too.


So it doesn;t sound like an acid build-up to me. What do you think?

post #4 of 8

My cat will hock up clear/white fluid when he's working on a big hairball.  I supply some wheat grass or pond grass and he usually manages to get it up in a few tries. 


As long as the cat is eating and pooping and acting cat-like, I wouldn't worry too much.  If any of those fail to occur, to the Vet. 

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

But is it cat-like to have lttle spit puddles to clean up each morning? :) I'd hate to miss some way I could help him. Should I give the cat-grass another go, would that help or make it worse?

post #6 of 8

Hock up grass? Wow! Sensitive tummy! One of our cats has a really sensitive stomach, but grass is one thing she keeps down. You know it doesn't have to be specifically "cat" grass, right? You can feed cats any kind of grass - I was growing containers of a regular grass seed mix, and they all dealt with it perfectly fine. In fact it got the one kitty on a green-high and she'd sneak into my indoor greenhouse and massacre the containers, lol. I used to have a spinach seedling....until she came along.

There's also the pureed pumpkin.

Does the fluid have a slight hint of acid? It's happened to the one cat I mentioned before - but it was never multiple times, it's just once, then she's fine, and I either wait to feed her until the next morning, or wait an hour to feed her that night.

It could really be a massive hairball, then, :) But yeah - you can use any grass - wheat, bluegrass, rye... so long as it's organic in nature and hasn't been sprayed with chemicals.

post #7 of 8
Originally Posted by WCM View Post

It's clear fluid.


It doesn't take a month to retch up a hairball. Is the vomitus foamy when it comes up? That is, as pointed out, a common sign of gastric irritation. I'd have the vet work it up and make sure that he or she knows about the diet you're feeding.

post #8 of 8

Cats vomit for a million and one reasons, not just hairballs.  My cat vomits because of hyperthyroidism.  She was just diagnosed with it.  One of the signs I went by was vomiting.  Make sure there is nothing underlying.  Giving too many things like hairball remedy/butter/mineral oil can cause diarrhea if given too often.

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