Hello there, I am hoping for some advice. I am a first time cat owner. My cat is named Tuesday. She's a 1.5yo domestic short hair cat we got from the shelter as a kitten. She is an inside-only cat and has an unrelated "sister" the same age. Her sister is totally healthy.
About 2 months ago Tuesday began vomiting periodically, every 10 days or so. It has become more and more frequent where now it is every 2-3 days. Her vomit is very watery, projectile, and covers at least 8 square feet. As in, the entire couch, the entire bed. She gives no notice about throwing up, no weird coughing or retching noises. Just all of a sudden, it explodes out of her. I know that is gross but I don't know if it might be relevant. She usually vomits several hours after eating.
We took her to the vet this week. They tested her poop and it came back negative for whatever parasites/worms they look for. She is about the same healthy weight she was before this started, a few ounces less but nothing major. No diarrhea.
The vet massaged her gut and felt something unusual, she said around 1-2" in her intestinal area. She took x-rays but they were inconclusive. There was a grayish area but she couldn't tell if it was a foreign body or not. We came back the next day for another set of x-rays which were also inconclusive. The second day, the vet again felt the suspicious area in her intestine. Today she sent the x-rays to a radiologist who also could not determine whether we are dealing with a foreign body.
As an aside, it would not be surprising if there is a foreign object stuck in her gut. She eats ANYTHING, food or not. She is a healthy weight yet she acts like she's completely starving. If you turn your back from your own food (while cooking or eating) for even a few seconds, she will steal it even. She will open sealed bags of chips or bread. She chews paper and eats the little scraps that fall off her cardboard scratcher. She has eaten hair bands and legos (we know because she threw them up....but that was before this all started, we have not found any foreign bodies in her vomit in awhile). We have cat-proofed the house as much as possible, and we are pretty low clutter to start with. She also drinks a lot of water.
So....we have the option of an ultrasound with a specialist for $3xx. The vet thinks this would probably say once and for all whether there's a foreign body in there. Or, we could proceed straight to exploratory surgery (quite a bit more $$$), or we could try something non invasive like changing her diet or....?
Regarding her diet, til now she has only eaten Trader Joe's canned food which as I understand is reasonably high quality. No dry food except maybe a piece here and there if I need to bribe her
The vet gave us a few cans of "bland" food, she threw that up too.
Regarding surgery, when she was spayed as a kitten the doctor said she had a hard time coming out of anesthesia. Not sure if that is relevant.
I would greatly appreciate any wisdom or advice! I like our vet and trust her, it's just that I am new to cat issues and it might help me to hear from others with more experience!
Thanks so much.