Cat Digestive Disorders
Is your cat sick? Does she seem weak or vomit often? If her symptoms linger, it might be more than just a stomach bug. Your kitty could have a permanent digestive disorder that impairs her ability to absorb nutrients from food. If so, you need help from an experienced vet to get your cat’s digestive system back on track.
Proper digestion is necessary for your cat to remain energetic and healthy. Any condition that reduces your cat’s ability to absorb food or pass it through her gastrointestinal (GI) tract is considered a digestive disorder.
What Is a Digestive Disorder?
Mild digestive issues in cats are quite common, and most only last a few days. However, permanent digestive problems are also possible, which can lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and malnutrition. These issues require long-term management to keep your kitty healthy and happy.
What Types of Digestive Problems Can Cats Have?
As with humans, cats can suffer from a variety of digestive issues. While any cat can be diagnosed with these problems, Sphynx, Rex, and Ragdoll breeds are particularly susceptible. Here are some of the most commonly diagnosed feline digestive conditions:
- Acute gastroenteritis occurs when the GI tract becomes swollen.
- Colitis causes the large intestine to become inflamed, resulting in frequent, painful passing of feces, which may contain mucus and blood.
- Constipation and diarrhea can be side effects of other digestive problems or manifest independently.
- Pancreatitis is the inflammation or infection of the pancreas.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) causes your cat’s GI tract to be chronically inflamed and uncomfortable.
- Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is an enzyme deficiency that makes it impossible for your cat to digest food properly.
- Small intestinal malabsorption occurs when the small intestine is inflamed and unable to absorb nutrients properly.
What Causes Digestive Problems in Cats?
While underlying diseases, tumors, and intestinal parasites can certainly result in digestive problems, many causes are external and easy to control. These include:
- Eating spoiled food
- Ingesting toxic plants
- Swallowing hair and foreign objects
- Dietary changes
- Insufficient fiber intake
- Lack of exercise
Signs of Cat Digestive Problems
Watch your cat for symptoms of digestive distress, which may include:
- Frequent need to use the litter box
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Yowling in pain while using the litter box
- Vomiting and regurgitation
- Weakness and fatigue
Note: If your cat is vomiting or has diarrhea, she’s probably dehydrated. Contact us right away if you notice these symptoms, so we can begin treating your cat without delay.
How to Treat Cat Digestive Problems
Because of the wide range of causes and symptoms, the treatments we recommend for feline digestive problems vary widely. The primary goal of any treatment is to improve your cat’s quality of life.
Early treatment may include an IV drip to combat dehydration. We may then recommend a special diet featuring soluble and insoluble fiber and moderate fat levels to support healthy intestinal function. A highly digestible diet helps prevent irritating your kitty’s sensitive stomach and GI tract.
If your cat’s digestive issues are ongoing, you’ll need to manage her nutrition long-term. Keep your cat on a prescription diet, monitor her hydration level, and call us if her symptoms return.
Visit Germantown Vet to Treat Cat Digestive Problems
Diet and nutrition are the most important factors in maintaining a healthy digestive system, and Germantown Vet can help. Trust us to meet all your pet’s health needs, so you can both be happy!