Most of us have experienced the heart-aching feeling when our beloved pet cat exhibits signs of a stomach problem, such as diarrhea or vomiting. It’s natural to worry about our furry friend’s health and wonder how to help.
As responsible pet owners, we want to do whatever is necessary for our cats’ well-being and comfort. In this article, I’ll discuss how to detect the signs of an upset stomach in cats, how to diagnose it, what to do at home, and when you should take your dear kitty to the vet.
By understanding more about cat diarrhea and vomiting, you will feel better equipped to deal with it if your cat has one of these issues.
Common Causes of Cat Diarrhea and Vomiting
As a pet parent, it can be disheartening when your cat starts to show signs of illness with symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting.
Thankfully, these symptoms are usually short-term and easily treatable. Understanding the common causes of diarrhea and vomiting in cats is essential to ensure your cat becomes healthy again.
A dietary mistake is often the leading cause of digestive discomfort in cats. Suppose your cat has eaten something it shouldn’t have, like foods high in lactose. In that case, it can trigger an upset stomach with digestive issues like diarrhea and vomiting. This can be the case for kittens.
Your cat may also suffer from digestive issues due to food allergies or responsiveness and exposure to parasites or bacteria through contaminated water or food. One common cause of cats’ vomiting is the swallowing of their hairballs.
Additionally, some cats might likely develop conditions such as IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) that could lead to episodes of vomiting and diarrhea.
While these conditions are uncommon in cats, they should still be considered since they can contribute substantially to causing chronic digestive problems.
Home Remedies for Cat Diarrhea and Vomiting
When dealing with stomach problems in cats, there are a few home remedies to try before you take them to the vet. If your cat’s diarrhea and vomiting don’t go away after a day or two, it’s time to visit your vet. But if you’re looking for home remedies, try these out.
Adding probiotics to your cat’s diet can help promote the balance between good and bad bacteria in their gut. You can buy special probiotic powders especially made for cats, but I’d advise you to ask your vet first which product best fits your cat.
Yogurt offers beneficial bacteria for the belly, which is good for getting things running smoothly again. Aim for plain yogurt free from added sugars and fruits for your cat. Cats that eat yogurt prefer creamy ones compared to Greek-style yogurts.
Offering your cat a bland diet that won’t upset their stomachs further can be a good idea. This typically includes boiled chicken and white rice.
However, it might be best to ask your vet beforehand about the right ingredients, especially if your pet has other health issues like kidney or liver problems.
When to See a Vet for Cat Diarrhea and Vomiting
It can be difficult to know when a veterinarian is needed when diarrhea and vomiting occur, especially when these common issues can disappear on their own. Seeking veterinary care sooner rather than later can make a big difference in diagnosis and treatment options.
Generally speaking, I recommend seeking professional help if any of the following applies to your cat:
- Other symptoms, such as lack of energy or loss of appetite, accompany your cat’s diarrhea and vomiting.
- Symptoms last more than 24 hours.
- There’s blood present in either their vomit or stool.
- Your cat is exhibiting changes in behavior, like not using the litter box or hiding more than expected.
- Your cat is older or has an underlying condition, placing it at risk for dehydration or other major complications from diarrhea and vomiting.
Treatment Options for Cat Diarrhea and Vomiting
Once your vet has determined the fundamental cause of your kitty’s diarrhea and vomiting, they’ll provide you with a treatment plan tailored to your cat’s needs. Treatment plans might include dietary changes, supplements, medications, and additional diagnostic procedures.
There are specific treatments and options that you could consider to help with your pet’s diarrhea and vomiting:
- Diet & Nutrition: A change in diet or adding certain supplements can be helpful when managing your cat’s symptoms. Your vet may recommend regular food instead of dry food for cats with digestive issues, as regular food provides more moisture than dry food.
- Medications: Depending on the cause of the upset stomach, your vet may prescribe medications such as antibiotics for bacterial infections, antiemetics for controlling vomiting, antidiarrheals for reducing diarrhea, and other medications that reduce gastric acidity.
- Extra Tests & Procedures: In some cases, more tests and procedures may be required based on the cause of diarrhea and vomiting. Your cat might need a blood test if the vet suspects anemia to be the case due to blood loss from extended vomiting or diarrhea. Ultrasound imaging can also be conducted.
A few fecal floatation tests may be necessary to help eliminate the possibility of parasites causing diarrhea in your cat. Vets will also evaluate your cat’s health history and ask for tests such as X-rays and bloodwork.
These tests may be enough to determine the initial cause of your cat’s digestive problems. In some cases, more advanced forms of diagnosis may be needed like endoscopy, to examine the gastrointestinal tract (GI).
Your vet might also check to see if a barrier in their GI tract is blocking the normal flow of food. Veterinarians might also take biopsies of the small intestines to rule out an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
All in all, the information will assist you in deciding how to best proceed with treatment, such as dietary changes or medications prescribed by your vet.
Lifestyle Changes to Help Your Cat’s Digestive Health
Regarding cats, their health can be impacted by their eating and lifestyle habits. That’s why it’s critical to make the necessary changes that’ll promote your cat’s digestive health.
Therefore, taking a holistic approach toward your cat’s lifestyle change might be the best option for them. Let’s consider your furry friend’s aspects of their life, including their diet, exercise, environment, and well-being.
So if your cat has been suffering from excessive diarrhea and vomiting lately, then there are crucial life changes you can follow to restore your cat’s digestive health:
- Regular Exercise: Like people, cats can benefit from regular physical activity, such as playing with their toys or exploring the outdoors. This helps them balance their digestive system and works off any excess energy that might cause problems.
- Healthy Food: Providing your cat with nutritious food is vital for digestive health. You can add high-fiber ingredients to your cat’s diet, such as chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin, which help improve digestion.
- Reduce Stress: Getting your cat used to grooming, routine brushing, loud, playful noises, and introducing them to new toys can help lower cat stress levels. This is vital for their overall well-being.
- Regular Checkups: Make sure you take your furry friend to regular checkups with the veterinarian. Any problems, like parasites or infections, can be identified quickly and treated effectively with the proper medication.
In conclusion, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed when you discover your cat has diarrhea and is vomiting. Your cat can be brought back in shape with the proper knowledge and patience. Begin by identifying the cause of your cat’s symptoms and then take action.
You’ll need to contact your vet to check on your furry friend and perhaps prescribe the right treatment for your pet. The vet’s plan will involve changing your cat’s overall diet and lifestyle for the better.
It’s also important to monitor your cat’s symptoms and look for any signs of behavioral changes. Dehydration, weight loss, lack of energy, and changes in appetite are all signs of a potentially serious problem.
Nonetheless, remember that cats are living souls, just like us human beings, so taking the time to apprehend their needs and supply them with the best care is crucial.