Does my cat have an upset stomach?

Does my cat have an upset stomach?

Like people, cats do get upset stomachs. Below are some of the most common symptoms of an upset stomach in cats, and what you should do if your cat is sick. 


Signs & Symptoms of Upset Stomachs in Cats

Vomiting and diarrhea are common signs of inflamed, irritated stomach and intestines, or gastrointestinal upset in cats or kittens.

Vomiting is your cat's way of emptying their stomach of indigestible material to prevent it from getting further into their system. When that indigestible material makes its way fully through your cat’s digestive system diarrhea is often the result.

Other signs that your cat has an upset stomach include, licking lips (sign of nausea), loss of appetite and lethargy.

Causes of Upset Stomachs in Cats

There are many possible causes for your cat's upset stomach including, viruses and parasites, a reaction to eating something bad, or more serious conditions such as cancer or organ problems.

If your cat exhibits any severe symptoms, take them to the vet immediately. Depending on the severity of your cat's symptoms, your vet can make a proper diagnosis. 

Typically there are two different types of conditions that can cause your cat to have an upset stomach, conditions affecting the inside of your cat's gastrointestinal tract (GI) and conditions from outside of your cat's GI tract.

Issues within your cat's GI tract include:

  • Parasites
  • Intestinal foreign bodies
  • Cancer
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Hairballs
  • Ingestion of toxic substances
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Food sensitivities & allergies
  • Bacterial overgrowth

Issues outside of your cat's GI tract include:

  • Liver disease
  • Urinary tract infections (UTI)
  • Infections
  • Cancer
  • Kidney disease
  • Hormonal disorders
  • hyperthyroidism
  • Pain or Stress
  • Pancreatitis
  • Brain disorders (Vertigo)
  • Cancer of almost any system
  • Diabetes

What To Do If Your Cat Has an Upset Stomach

Treatment of upset stomach in cats focuses on the underlying problem. Depending on what has caused your cat's symptoms, treatment can be as simple as temporarily withholding food or as complex as surgery or chemotherapy.

Periodic or Infrequent Vomiting

If your cat is vomiting periodically or infrequently, avoid giving your cat any food for approximately 12 hours. Provide your cat with a couple of tablespoons of water every 30 minutes or provide them with ice cubes during this brief fasting time.

Reintroduce the water bowl after the 12 hours has passed, and offer your cat with a few teaspoons of easy to digest bland food. If your cat is able to keep down their food and water, continue to feed them small amounts of food every hour or two.

If the vomiting stops, return to feeding them as usual the next day.

For Severe Vomiting

If your cat is having repeated bouts of vomiting or diarrhea contact your vet immediately. Continuous or severe vomiting and diarrhea could be a sign that your cat is seriously ill and requires immediate treatment. 

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If you're concerned that your cat may be sick, contact our North Memphis vets to book an appointment today.

Is my cat sick? Does my cat have an upset stomach?, Memphis Vet

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