Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy

or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

PetMD Seal

Regurgitation in Cats



When a cat's stomach contents (i.e., food) move backwards, up into the esophageal track and into the mouth, this is referred to as regurgitation. This medical condition can be congenital or it can be acquired from a variety of causes. Fortunately, modifications to your cat's diet, in conjunction with medication, will correct the condition in most cases.


Regurgitation can occur in both dogs and cats. If you would like to learn how this medical disorder affects dogs, please visit this page in the PetMD health library.




Common symptoms associated with regurgitation include:


  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Coughing
  • Weight loss
  • Runny nose
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • A ravenous appetite
  • Swelling in the neck
  • Increased breathing noises




Regurgitation can occur in any breed, although Siamese cats and Siamese-related cats are predisposed to the condition. Also, regurgitation occurs more commonly in dogs than in cats.


There are several medical problems that can cause regurgitation, including:


  • Problems with the throat, often present at birth
  • Congenital problems with the espophageal tract
  • Acquired problems with the throat that can involve cancer, foreign bodies present, rabies, poisoning, and muscle disease (myopathy)
  • Acquired esophageal disease that can develop from an enlarged esophagus, tumor, cancer, hiatal hernia, narrowing of the esophagus, and problems with the automatic nervous system




First, your veterinarian will determine whether vomiting alone caused the symptoms associated with regurgitation. If the condition has been prolonged, an examination of the throat area will be performed to determine the extent of any long-term damage. X-rays and other forms of diagnostic imaging procedures may also be used to examine internally for damage.




Related Articles

Narrowing of the Anal or Rectal Opening in Cats

Rectal stricture occurs when a cat's rectal or anal opening is constricted due to the presence of scar tissue from inflammation, a previous injury,...

Narrowing of the Esophagus in Cats

The esophagus is the tubular organ that runs from the throat to the stomach; an esophageal stricture is an abnormal narrowing of the internal...

Bacterial Infection (Campylobacteriosis) in Cats

Campylobacteriosis (a certain type of bacterial infection) is not commonly found in cats, but when it does occur, it is most likely to affect...

Aspirin Poisoning in Cats

Aspirin, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, has been found to have beneficial effects for some animals but it can also be toxic to...