Signs Your Cat Has A Sensitive Stomach
Usually, its pretty obvious if your cat has a sensitive stomach. Sometimes, though, the signs arent so clear. For that reason its important to observe their behavior, especially around the times they eat. If you notice your pet has any of the following symptoms, they likely require extra care when it comes to eating.
- Frequent vomiting this doesnt include hairballs or scarf and barf where food is ingested too quickly and comes up whole within minutes of a kitty downing their grub. Vomiting refers to food thats been forced out of the stomach, not the esophagus, and is usually followed by drooling and/or retching.
- Blood in vomit even if its infrequent! If it happens once, its indicative of a greater issue and should be addressed immediately.
- Frequent diarrhea a bout caused by eating something bad is one thing, but if your kitty has diarrhea consistently thats indicative of a digestive issue.
- Inappropriate Elimination urinating or defecating outside of the litter box.
- Anorexia Refusing to eat their food or eating very little food
- Lethargy Acting lethargic, listless and/or depressed
Common Causes Of Upset Stomach In Cats
An upset stomach in cats, though quite common, can mean a myriad of things. Stomach upset, or gastritis, technically means an inflammatory response of the lining of the stomach causing vomiting, nausea, and a certain degree of abdominal pain.
The most common cause of gastritis in cats is food intolerance. Cats have a very sensitive gastrointestinal system and can react adversely to any abrupt changes in the diet. Simply changing cat food without proper gradual transition can elicit an inflammatory response causing stomach upset. Eating indigestible materials such as grass, clothing, cotton, etc. is also a common trigger of upset stomach in cats.
There are certain gastrointestinal conditions in cats that can cause an upset stomach as a symptom or clinical sign. Hyperacidity, or excessive production of gastric acid, irritates the lining of the stomach causing gastritis. If left untreated, this can lead to stomach ulcers which cause chronic gastric upset that needs to be managed with long-term medications.
More serious conditions such as kidney or liver disease can cause upset stomach in cats through various pathways. These conditions usually cause nausea or an increased gastric acid production often leading to upset stomach or vomiting.
Cat Upset Stomach Diarrhea
Cats may experience stomach upset from a variety of causes, including attempting a new medication, eating too quickly, or eating incorrectly. If your cat exhibits recurring symptoms such as vomiting, gas, or diarrhea , it could simply be an allergy to food.
Despite being a symptom, diarrhea is not a disease rather, it is a sign of a variety of illnesses. Diarrhea could be the only symptom, or it could be one of several signs of a more serious problem. When diarrhea persists for an extended period of time, it is considered severe, and your cat may also exhibit other symptoms. Document the details, such as how frequently and when diarrhea occurs, as well as what it looks like. Your veterinarian will most likely request that you bring a fresh sample of fecal matter to your appointment. If your cat is healthy, your veterinarian may advise you to withhold food for up to 24 hours.
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Worried About Your Pet
âA cat with diarrhea should be taken to a veterinarian for treatment immediately, if the cat is depressed or otherwise seems disoriented or not acting normally ,â says Dr. Bragdon.
If the cat is vomiting, not eating and not drinking in addition to having loose stool, warned Dr. Bragdon, the cat needs to see a veterinarian. âA cat experiencing vomiting and diarrhea loses water that much more quickly,â notes Dr. Bragdon.
Even if eating and drinking normally, the cat will not be able to drink enough to replace water lost. âThe combination of diarrhea, vomiting and lack of appetite should cause immediate concern and the cat should be taken to a veterinarian,â cautions Dr. Bragdon.
How Can I Treat My Cats Upset Stomach
Treatment for upset cat stomach should target the underlying cause while helping your kitty feel better by reducing nausea and inflammation.
Treatment depends on the specific diagnosis. Treatment for liver disease, for example, is very different from treatment for IBD, which is very different from treatment for intestinal parasites. Surgery or surgical biopsy procedures may be necessary for some situations. Your vet may also recommend lab tests or imaging studies, such as abdominal ultrasounds or X-rays.
While proper treatment must address the underlying cause, its also important to ease any pain and suffering your kitty is experiencing. Your vet may prescribe anti-nausea medication, which can be administered orally or via injection. Additional medications, such as antacids, antibiotics, dewormers, probiotics, prokinetics or pain medication may be prescribed, depending on your cats needs.
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Eye Drops And Ointments
Bathe any discharge from the eye. If you are right-handed, use the index finger and thumb of your left hand to hold the eyelids open. Animals have strong eyelid muscles so you will need to be firm.
What Causes Upset Stomach In Dogs
There are dozens of potential causes of your dogs upset stomach. The most common reasons are the same ones humans would have an upset stomach.
These include eating something he should not have eaten or eating too fast right before playing or exercising.
Stomach issues may also be due to parasites, viral or bacterial infections, or a range of other conditions.
Your dog may get an upset stomach if there are issues with his kidneys, liver, stomach, digestive system, or other organs.
A dogs upset stomach can also be from diabetes, cancer, or a range of other conditions.
As you can tell, some of the causes of a dogs upset stomach are minor and nothing to worry about. Others are much more serious.
That is why dog owners should always take their pup to the vet for upset stomachs that last more than a few days.
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Does Your Cat Have An Upset Stomach Or Is It Something More
Contributed by Dr. Alison Birken, owner and DVM of Victoria Park Animal Hospital.
Working as a small animal veterinarian, one of the most common ailments I see in cats is upset stomach. About 50 percent of the appointments I see in a day are cases of vomiting or diarrhea. Most of these cat digestive health stomach issues are caused by a simple problem with a simple solution. The most common causes of non-complicated vomiting and diarrhea are:
- Food Indiscretion
I generally prescribe some medications, and within a few days, the cats are back to being themselves. On occasion, however, its not so simple. So as pet parents, when should we be concerned that an upset stomach may actually be caused by cat digestive problems? The best way to answer this question is to start by asking how often your cat is experiencing an upset stomach. An occasional episode of vomiting or diarrhea is usually not anything more serious. If your cat is having an episode every few months that resolves quickly or with medication, I am not too concerned, especially if these episodes are associated with eating something unusual, or a situation that may have caused stress .
The next question to answer is, are there other clinical signs associated with the vomiting and diarrhea that may indicate cat digestive problems? And finally, how severe is the vomiting and/or diarrhea? Clinical signs you should look for that require more advanced testing include:
Tips to Prevent Diarrhea:
When To Contact Your Vet
If your cat has had mild diarrhoea for less than 24 hours, but is otherwise fine , you may want to try settling them at home before contacting your vet . However, if he/she doesnt improve within 24 hours, gets any worse, or develops any other symptoms you should contact your vet for advice. Always speak to your vet if you have an elderly cat or kitten with diarrhoea because they are more at risk of becoming dehydrated.
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Keep The Kitten Hydrated And Fed
Diarrhoea and vomiting cause severe dehydration in cats of all ages.
Cats also have a relatively weak thirst drive, meaning they will often not drink enough to be fully healthythis can be a major issue with dry food for cats.
A plentiful supply of water is crucial to helping your kitten recover from bouts of diarrhoea or sickness.
There is also a persistent myth that you should not feed cats that are sick. This is untrue as long as the food you offer is high-quality and delivers nutrients and energy in small, easily-digestible portions.
Your best bet is to cover all your bases by offering high-quality wet food, guaranteeing nutritional value and enough moisture to keep your kitten well hydrated during recovery.
Antacids For Cat Stomach Problems
Cat stomach problems may be mild due to food intolerance ormore severe as in the case of kidney failure. The medication variesaccording to the type of stomach problem present. Most cats exhibitgastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, constipation andlack of appetite. Pet owners should seek medical help to determine thetype of stomach problem and its severity.
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Feeding The Cat With A Sensitive Stomach
It is not uncommon for the cat to have a very sensitive stomach, especially towards the foods on the market, even more so it is essential to pay close attention to the choice of foods and the products contained in them.
When choosing food for cats with a food-sensitive stomach, it is choosing a product that has only one, at most two, easily digestible protein sources with reduced allergenic potential.
In such a way that the cats body is not overloaded with an excessive variety of different proteins.
Very often, to adopt a correct and adequate diet for cats with sensitive stomachs, it is necessary to take notes and to have a sort of diary to be sure of what is correct or not to administer to the animal.
Here is a list of foods that are generally recommended or not recommended in such situations.
How Do I Get My Cat With An Upset Stomach To Eat
It’s important that your cat continues to eat regular as prolonged loss of appetite can be harmful to your cat. If your cat doesn’t eat, she could develop fatty liver disease, which is potentially fatal, which prolonged anorexia in a cat can be life-threatening.
While working with your vet to control your cat’s symptoms with medication, you can also try the following if your cat is turning her nose up at her food:
- Warm her food in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds the heat will make it smell more appetizing. Test it before serving her to make sure it isn’t too hot!
- Try feeding her canned food if you’ve been giving her dry food, and vice versa.
- Make the experience more pleasant: Gently speak to her and pet her as you offer food.
If your cat won’t eat for more than 48 hours, then it’s time to get your vet involved.
While cat upset stomach can be unpleasant for your kitty, it’s not unsolvable. Proper veterinary care and nutrition will resolve most cats’ tummy issues and hopefully, save your carpet as well.
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Causes Of An Upset Stomach In Cats
So, what can cause an upset stomach in cats? As mentioned above, there are lots of possible causes. Some are more serious than others.
Determining the cause of vomiting and diarrhea in cats is often difficult, and you might find that your veterinarian simply rules out the more concerning causes before treating the symptoms, rather than trying to find an exact diagnosis:
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Diagnosis Of Painful Abdomen In Cats
To diagnosis your cats condition, the veterinarian will want a full medical history and will also conduct a thorough physical examination that may lead to further diagnostic testing. What information you provide the vet can help immensely in narrowing down potential causes. Knowing if there has been any reaction to a specific type of food, exposure to dangerous substances or circumstances, and all of the other symptoms your cat has shown can aid in this process.
If the vet has determined further tests are required, there are a few common ones they will conduct. The common diagnostic testing includes a CBC , a urinalysis, and a biochemical profile. The three tests are generally used to check for signs of inflammation or infection, and to examine how well the organs are functioning. A fecal test may be conducted as well if parasites are suspected.
Often, an X-ray or ultrasound of the abdomen will be taken. These scans can discover any inflammation, tumors, kidney stones, or ruptures in the organs.
Your vet may also perform a biopsy or even a peritoneal fluid analysis, which checks the type of fluid in your cats abdomen if fluid is detected.
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Kitten Gastroenteritis: When To Call The Vet
When you rehydrate yourself after a gastroenteritis attack, the effects of the attack are usually felt within a few hours. If you continue to experience vomiting and diarrhea after the first few days of treatment, consult a veterinarian. Cats are prone to the condition of gastroenteritis. Kittens occasionally become ill and should be treated, especially if left untreated. The most important thing to do is to rehydrate the kitten and treat diarrhea and vomiting.
A Food Sensitivity Or Allergy
It can also be something in the food that the cat is specifically sensitive to. âIf the diarrhea persists and if your catâs diarrhea seems to be linked to food, your cat may be intolerant to certain types of protein or other ingredients,â explains Dr. Bragdon. A veterinarian will work with you to determine which foods to try to resolve the diarrhea.
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How To Prevent Kitten Upset Tummy Trauma
You may not get away with an entirely problem-free kittenhood, but ensuring your kitten gets the best nutrition possible will certainly help.
Cats are obligate carnivores, needing meat to give them the nutrients required for health.
Kittens also need to grow incredibly quicklythey will typically double their weight every couple of weeks for the first six months of their life.
A kittens daily calorie needs are approximately as follows:
To deliver these calories healthily and with the least amount of strain on the kittens digestive system, the food you choose should mirror their natural diet and be made up primarily of:
All the vitamins and minerals your kitten needs will be contained in food with the right proportions of animal protein, fat, and carbs, namely:
Choosing a kitten food where the main ingredient has a BV of 90% or more guarantees high-quality protein being delivered to your kitten in a small, manageable portion.
Only the best protein will keep your kitten growing healthily.
Hairballs: How To Treat & Prevent
One of the most common causes for nausea and vomiting in cats can be linked to hairballs, a naturally-occurring phenomenon that most cats experience. Although an occasional hairball isnt reason for concern, excessive hairball production and sickness should be addressed promptly.
If your cat displays the following symptoms, contact your vet immediately, as a hairball may result in a life-threatening blockage:
- Ongoing vomiting, retching, gagging, or hacking without producing a hairball
Grooming: An easy way to prevent hairballs is to groom your cat frequently, which simply entails brushing your cat often. By removing excessive hair and dead skin, you can actually improve his digestive health because cats are self-cleaning animals, they lick dead fur, debris and any microorganisms that may be living on their skin and coat.
If you practice good grooming and notice hes still coughing up an abnormal amount of hairballs accompanied by vomiting, its best to consult your veterinarian for advice. For pet owners who find it difficult to groom their cat , you may want to consider the services of a professional groomer.
Hairball products: For acute cases of hairballs in your furry feline, you may want to consider a specially-formulated product designed for relief. The majority of these products contain gentle laxatives that allow hairballs to pass more easily through your cats digestive system.
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