Did you know that the average cat digestion time is 20 hours? Many steps make up this complex process, and a lot can go wrong. Digestive trouble is no fun for anyone, but it can be particularly miserable for your cat! After all, she can’t tell you what’s hurting her or even if she isn’t feeling well. It’s up to you to monitor her behavior and pick up on small changes like diarrhea or loss of appetite, that could signal a bigger issue.
We’re breaking down some common symptoms and digestion issues your cat might experience so that you can be better prepared to handle them if they occur. With the right information, care, and support moving forward, your feline friend will be back to her old self in no time!
Signs and Symptoms of Stomach Trouble
What might seem like a one-off bout of diarrhea could actually hint at something going on in your cat’s GI tract, so it’s always important to keep an eye on her behavior and note anything that seems out of character. If your cat does start acting strangely, head straight to the vet to determine the source of the issue and how best to treat it.
Here are a few symptoms that might indicate a digestion issue in cats:
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive thirst
- Weight loss
- Dry, tacky gums
Common Digestive Issues in Cats
Symptoms like vomiting can be caused by a wide range of issues, so it’s always best to consult a vet about your cat’s health. But it also helps to be familiar with some of the more common digestion issues in cats.
Colitis is a condition in which the colon or large intestine becomes inflamed. The most obvious sign of this condition is mucus or blood in your cat’s stool, so be sure to check her litter box regularly for any abnormal feces. Colitis can be caused by a number of issues like a tumor, intestinal parasites, a viral infection, or even bowel cancer.
You might think of gastroenteritis in cats like a stomach bug in people—in other words, vomiting, diarrhea, and general abdominal pain, none of which is enjoyable. This inflammation of the digestive tract is usually caused by your cat eating something he shouldn’t, like a toxic plant or other foreign object, but it can also be caused by issues like stress, intestinal parasites like roundworm, and certain medications.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
As opposed to acute gastroenteritis, IBD is a chronic inflammation of the GI tract that can take many forms. Essentially, inflammatory cells thicken the walls in a certain region of the GI tract, such as the small intestine or stomach. This disrupts the digestive process and can lead to weight loss, lethargy, decreased appetite, and a number of other issues. The disease typically affects middle-aged and older cats, and its cause is still unknown.
How to Handle Your Cat’s Stomach Issues
Consult Your Vet
Because there are many different causes of digestive distress, we don’t recommend self-diagnosing your cat. If you notice any sustained symptoms like the ones we’ve discussed, take a trip to your veterinarian to get your cat checked. He or she can get to the root of the problem through a physical examination and tests such as ultrasounds and blood tests. Once the source of the issue has been uncovered, your vet will provide a treatment plan or recommendation—be sure to follow everything exactly so that your kitty recovers on schedule.
Depending on the digestive issue, your vet might recommend an easy digestion cat food that will be gentler on your kitty’s stomach. Restricting your cat’s diet to foods that you know are safe will benefit you both in the long run. Moving forward, you may be able to add certain foods or treats back into her diet to gauge whether or not they upset her stomach. Once you know what to avoid, you can keep her more comfortable and minimize the risk of future messes on your floor!
Introduce a Supplement
If you’re looking for further preventative care and a way to ease your kitty’s stomach issues, consider introducing Wapiti Labs’ GI Tract supplement for cats. Made with natural ingredients like coix seed and magnolia bark, our unique formula works to reduce stomach discomfort, soothe and protect the GI tract, and resolve food stagnation. And it’s not just for cats with bellyaches—if your curious kitty likes to eat grass or other things he shouldn’t, or if he experiences stomach issues while traveling or being separated from you, he can also reap the benefits of our calming formula. Just be sure to check with your vet before altering your cat’s diet or routine!
Support Your Feline Friend with Wapiti
We’re passionate about animals here at Wapiti Labs, which is why we’re always looking for new ways to support our furry friends and their pet parents. Our supplements are crafted with natural ingredients like elk velvet antler and ginseng to support everything from joint health and mobility to energy levels in your cat or dog. We’re looking forward to helping you keep your pet happy and healthy for years to come!