Cat Still Vomiting After Cerenia: What You Should Know

Cats may experience bouts of vomiting due to various underlying conditions. While there are medications like Cerenia (maropitant citrate) that can provide relief, some cats might still vomit despite the treatment. If your cat is one of them, here’s a comprehensive guide to understanding the reasons and necessary steps.

Why is Cerenia Prescribed?

Cerenia is a widely-used medication for the treatment of vomiting in cats. It’s administered either intravenously or subcutaneously, helping control and reduce vomiting episodes for up to five consecutive days.

Possible Reasons Your Cat Still Vomits After Cerenia

Underlying Medical Conditions: It’s essential to identify and treat the root cause of the vomiting. Conditions like gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and more can result in persistent vomiting.

Gastrointestinal Obstruction: The safety and effectiveness of Cerenia have not been evaluated in cats with gastrointestinal obstructions. This can be a significant cause for continued vomiting.

Toxin Ingestion: If your cat has ingested toxins, it might vomit even after being administered Cerenia.

Drug Interactions: Cerenia is metabolized by certain enzymes and is highly protein-bound. If your cat is on other medications, especially those that are protein-bound like NSAIDs, there could be a potential interaction affecting its efficacy.

Adverse Reactions to Cerenia: Know the Signs

To gauge if your cat’s vomiting is due to an adverse reaction to Cerenia, it’s crucial to be aware of the possible side effects. Here’s a concise table for quick reference:

Adverse Reaction Frequency in Cats Given Placebo Frequency in Cats Given Cerenia
Moderate Response to Injection ✅ 1.6% ✅ 22.6%
Significant Response to Injection ✅ 1.6% ✅ 11.3%
Fever/Pyrexia ✅ 3.2% ✅ 1.5%
Dehydration ❌ 0% ✅ 2.3%
Lethargy ❌ 0% ✅ 1.5%
Anorexia ❌ 0% ✅ 0.8%

What Should You Do Next?

Re-Evaluation: If vomiting persists, it’s essential to revisit the vet for a thorough check-up and potentially adjust the treatment strategy.

Monitor for Other Symptoms: Alongside vomiting, watch out for other signs such as dehydration, lethargy, and fever. These can provide additional clues about the cat’s health.

Dietary Considerations: Sometimes, a dietary adjustment can alleviate persistent vomiting. Consult with your vet about potential changes or special diets.

Report Adverse Reactions: If you suspect any adverse reaction, it’s important to report it to the manufacturer, Zoetis Inc., or directly to the FDA for better assistance.


While Cerenia is a potent medication for treating vomiting in cats, it’s essential to remember that no drug guarantees 100% efficacy. Understand the possible reasons for persistent vomiting, monitor your pet closely, and always seek professional advice when in doubt. Your feline friend relies on you to make the best decisions for their health and well-being.

FAQs: Cerenia and Vomiting in Cats

Q1: Can Cerenia be used for long-term treatment in cats?

A1: Cerenia is approved for use in cats for up to five consecutive days. The long-term safety of this medication has not been extensively studied, and it is not recommended for chronic or prolonged use. If your cat is experiencing persistent vomiting, it is crucial to work with your veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and explore other appropriate long-term treatment options.

Q2: How quickly should I expect results after administering Cerenia to my cat?

A2: Cerenia starts working rapidly, and you may observe a reduction in vomiting symptoms within a few hours of administration. However, the effectiveness can vary depending on the underlying cause of the vomiting and the individual response of your cat to the medication. Continuous monitoring and follow-up with your veterinarian are necessary to assess the treatment’s effectiveness and make any needed adjustments.

Q3: Are there any specific breeds of cats that should not receive Cerenia?

A3: Cerenia has been tested and found to be safe for use in cats four months of age and older, irrespective of the breed. However, as with any medication, individual cats may have different reactions, and certain breeds may have specific sensitivities. It is vital to provide your veterinarian with a complete medical history of your cat to ensure Cerenia is a safe option.

Q4: Can Cerenia be used alongside other medications my cat is currently taking?

A4: Cerenia is highly protein-bound, and concomitant use with other protein-bound drugs has not been extensively studied in cats. Some commonly used protein-bound drugs include NSAIDs, cardiac medications, anticonvulsants, and behavioral medications. If your cat is taking any other medications, it is imperative to inform your veterinarian to assess potential interactions and ensure safe administration.

Q5: What should I do if I miss a dose of Cerenia for my cat?

A5: If you miss a dose of Cerenia, administer it as soon as possible. However, if it’s almost time for the next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with the regular dosing schedule. Do not double up on doses to make up for a missed one, as this could increase the risk of adverse effects. Always consult your veterinarian for guidance if you are unsure of what to do after a missed dose.

Q6: Are there any environmental or lifestyle factors that could influence the effectiveness of Cerenia?

A6: While Cerenia works to control and reduce vomiting in cats, environmental and lifestyle factors such as stress, dietary habits, and exposure to potential toxins can play a significant role in the overall well-being of your cat and the effectiveness of the medication. Maintaining a stable and safe environment, providing a balanced diet, and minimizing exposure to stressors can contribute positively to the treatment outcomes.

Q7: How does Cerenia differ from other antiemetic medications available for cats?

A7: Cerenia works by blocking the binding of substance P to the NK1 receptor in the vomiting center of the brain, providing a different mechanism of action compared to other antiemetic medications. This unique mode of action makes Cerenia a preferred choice for many veterinarians when dealing with acute vomiting in cats. However, the best choice of medication will depend on the specific circumstances and the underlying cause of vomiting, requiring a thorough evaluation by a veterinarian.

Q8: Are there any specific signs that indicate an adverse reaction to Cerenia that I should be vigilant about?

A8: While adverse reactions to Cerenia are relatively rare, being vigilant about any changes in your cat’s behavior or physical condition after administration is important. Signs of an adverse reaction could include excessive vocalization, retreating, hissing, scratching, fever, dehydration, lethargy, or any other unusual symptoms. If you observe any of these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately to ensure prompt attention and care.

Q9: How should I store Cerenia, and what is its shelf life?

A9: Cerenia should be stored at controlled room temperature, away from light and moisture, to maintain its efficacy. Always check the packaging for specific storage instructions and expiry date. It is crucial not to use the medication beyond its expiration date, as this could reduce its effectiveness and safety. If you have any doubts about the storage conditions or the medication’s integrity, consult your veterinarian or the product manufacturer.

Q10: What should I do in case of an overdose of Cerenia in my cat?

A10: An overdose of Cerenia can be serious and requires immediate veterinary attention. Signs of overdose may include severe lethargy, lack of coordination, or other unusual behaviors or symptoms. Do not wait for symptoms to appear; if you suspect an overdose, contact your veterinarian or an emergency pet poison hotline right away to receive guidance on the necessary steps to take.

Q11: How does the dosage of Cerenia vary by the age and size of a cat?

A11: Dosage of Cerenia for cats is typically determined by the cat’s weight, rather than age. The standard dose is 1 mg/kg of body weight, administered once daily. It is vital to ensure the accurate weight of the cat to calculate the correct dosage. Kittens and smaller cats will require a lesser amount compared to larger cats. However, Cerenia is not recommended for kittens under four months of age.

Q12: In what forms is Cerenia available, and how do I choose the best one for my cat?

A12: Cerenia is available in both injectable and tablet forms. The choice between the two depends on the severity of the cat’s condition, the ease of administration, and veterinarian recommendation. The injectable form is often used for quicker relief in a clinical setting, while tablets can be given at home for convenience. Your veterinarian will guide you on the best form based on your cat’s specific needs.

Q13: Can Cerenia be used as a preventive measure for cats prone to motion sickness?

A13: Yes, Cerenia has proven effective in preventing vomiting due to motion sickness in cats. Administering the medication at least two hours before travel can help prevent the onset of motion sickness symptoms. It is important to follow your veterinarian’s guidance on dosage and timing to ensure the medication’s effectiveness in these scenarios.

Q14: What is the mechanism behind Cerenia’s ability to prevent and treat vomiting in cats?

A14: Cerenia works by inhibiting the binding of substance P, a neurotransmitter associated with vomiting, to its receptor (NK1) in the brain’s vomiting center. By blocking this interaction, Cerenia effectively reduces the cat’s urge to vomit and alleviates associated symptoms. This targeted approach distinguishes Cerenia from other antiemetic medications.

Q15: Are there any natural or holistic alternatives to Cerenia for treating vomiting in cats?

A15: Some pet owners might prefer natural or holistic alternatives to manage vomiting in cats. Options such as ginger, slippery elm, or probiotics can sometimes be used to soothe the digestive system. However, the effectiveness of these alternatives may not be as consistent or reliable as Cerenia, and they might not be suitable for all situations. Consultation with a veterinarian familiar with holistic pet care is recommended before trying these alternatives.

Q16: How does Cerenia interact with other antiemetic medications?

A16: Cerenia’s unique mode of action generally allows it to be safely used in conjunction with other antiemetic medications that have different mechanisms of action. However, it’s crucial to have a veterinarian oversee such combinations to ensure safety and efficacy, as interactions can depend on the specific medications involved and the cat’s overall health condition.

Q17: Is Cerenia suitable for cats with existing liver or kidney issues?

A17: Cats with liver or kidney issues may have altered drug metabolism and excretion capabilities, potentially leading to an increased risk of adverse effects. While Cerenia has been deemed safe for use in cats, careful consideration and veterinarian supervision are necessary for cases involving pre-existing liver or kidney conditions.

Q18: What role does hydration play in the effectiveness of Cerenia for treating vomiting in cats?

A18: Adequate hydration is crucial when treating vomiting in cats, as vomiting can lead to significant fluid loss. Cerenia helps in reducing vomiting, but it’s also essential to ensure the cat is well-hydrated to aid in recovery. This may involve providing access to fresh water, administering subcutaneous fluids, or other veterinarian-recommended hydration methods.

Q19: Are there any specific dietary considerations to be aware of when administering Cerenia to a cat?

A19: While Cerenia does not require any specific dietary adjustments, maintaining a bland or sensitive stomach diet can sometimes be beneficial when dealing with vomiting in cats. Providing smaller, more frequent meals and avoiding sudden changes in diet can help minimize gastrointestinal upset. Your veterinarian can provide tailored dietary recommendations based on your cat’s condition.

Q20: How does stress contribute to vomiting in cats, and can Cerenia help in such cases?

A20: Stress can be a significant factor in vomiting for cats, potentially leading to or exacerbating gastrointestinal issues. While Cerenia can help manage the physical symptoms of vomiting, addressing the underlying stressors is crucial for comprehensive care. Creating a calm, stable environment, and utilizing stress-reducing products or techniques may be beneficial in conjunction with Cerenia for the best outcomes.


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