Once you adopted a cat, you probably soon discovered that they became an irreplaceable member of the family. Cats are easy to love, and they know it. However, when a cat doesn't feel their best, they can't act their best. If your beloved companion animal is sick to their tummy, don't worry. Consider taking these actions if your cat has stomach issues.
Consider the Causes
If your cat appears to have gastrointestinal problems, those issues may be caused by a variety of different things. Sometimes more than one thing is contributing to the problem. Stomach problems may be obvious if your cat experiences vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea. Possible causes of stomach trouble in cats include:
- Hairballs – Sometimes a cat can simply have hairballs that need to come up when it seems their stomach is hurting.
- Food allergies – Sometimes a cat may simply have a food allergy. Food allergies are the third most common allergy that cats may have. A cat may vomit or have diarrhea after eating a certain dish if they have food allergies.
- Inflammatory bowel disease – Feline inflammatory bowel disease happens when a cat's gastrointestinal tract is inflamed and cannot properly digest and absorb food.
- Fungal infections – Fungal infections can be serious and should be treated immediately. Serious systemic fungal infections are generally rare in cats but can be life-threatening.
- Bacterial infections – If your cat has a bacterial infection, your cat may have a weakened immune system because cats usually are able to fend off bacteria when they're exposed to it each day.
- Diabetes – Yes, sometimes cats get this worrisome disease, too, and it may cause problems with your cat's digestion on top of other symptoms.
- Cancer – This is the worst-case scenario, so you should be vigilant about protecting your cat and getting to the bottom of the problem just in case.
These are just some of the possible underlying causes of stomach troubles in your cat.
Return to Your Cat's Normal Diet
If you recently changed your cat's diet for no important reason, try to change your cat's diet back to what it was before they became ill.
The problem may simply be that your cat's body was having a hard time adjusting to the new diet. Be sure to check with your veterinarian to ensure that the old diet was providing adequate nutrition before doing so.
Make Sure Your Cat Isn't Exposed to Toxins
Observe your cat's living area and double-check all things that your cat can possibly access. Make sure that your cat doesn’t have access to any toxins. Some things that can be toxic to cats include:
- Medicines such as antidepressants, cold medicines, diet pills, and pain relievers
- Human foods that include caffeine, alcohol, garlic, raisins, chocolate, and chives
- Common houseplants and flowers like mistletoe, azaleas, lilies, and tulips
Many other things may be toxic to cats, too, so be sure to ask your vet if you think anything may be toxic to your cat that you have in your home.
Take Your Cat for a Checkup
If your cat has any health problems, including stomach issues, it's wise to take your cat to the veterinarian for a full checkup. Take notes on all the problematic behavior and symptoms to discuss with your vet. Although you may be able to call in and report symptoms, your vet needs to be hands-on with your pet and provide an examination to get to the bottom of the problem.
Gastrointestinal issues are no fun for cats or their human owners. Unfortunately, they are quite common. Your cat's stomach issue may just be something that requires a simple fix, but get it checked out with an experienced and caring veterinarian just in case. Contact the Escalon Small Animal Clinic for an appointment today if your cat is not feeling well.