What are the main digestive disorders in cats?

  What are the main digestive disorders in cats?

What are the main digestive disorders in cats?

Cats are very sensitive animals with their digestive system. It is therefore not uncommon for them to experience symptoms at this level, including vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation, which are the most frequently observed. While in most cases these disorders are not serious or treated easily, sometimes they can be symptoms of more serious problems. Let's find out about these main digestive disorders, their causes, and the answers to them, as well as our advice on what to do when they appear.

What are the main digestive disorders in cats?

The three main digestive disorders observed in cats are diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting.


Diarrhea is the passing of loose or watery stools, more often than not with normal bowel movements.
Multiple causes
Generally not serious, cat diarrhea can occur with eating disorders. In most cases, it is triggered when the cat's owners change their diet or brand of kibble. Indeed, it is quite normal for the tomcat's digestive system to need a few days to get used to a new product.

Other felines can also feed on a variety of foods and objects that can cause diarrhea. This phenomenon is observed with the ingestion of decomposed animals, spoiled food, toxic food, or even small objects.

Finally, diarrhea can be triggered by stress or the invasion of internal parasites, such as the famous intestinal worms.

Appropriate treatment

To treat diarrhea in cats, different solutions can be put in place, but they will depend on its cause and severity. If the cat does not seem to be really affected and the diarrhea stool is low, it is not necessary to see the vet, at least if the phenomenon does not last. It is important, however, to ensure that the cat can drink fresh, clean water at all times, as it becomes dehydrated more quickly in this context. You can also skip feeding it for 24 hours and then refill it in small portions to help it get back to normal.

If the problem persists beyond 48 hours or if your animal seems weak, not very active, or has a fever, contact your veterinarian. If he suspects intestinal parasites, just deworm him and remember to repeat this every month until he is six months old and then every three to six months. If another factor is involved, the practitioner can prescribe an appropriate treatment after consultation.

Also, if you find blood in your cat's stool, it could be intestinal worms or irritation of the digestive tract. But stay alert, because the blood in the stool can also be a symptom of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, of a foreign body, stuck in the digestive system of the cat, of poisoning, of a tumor, or even of 'blood loss. Better to consult the veterinarian to identify the cause and set up an appropriate treatment as soon as possible.

The constipation

Unlike diarrhea - or almost - constipation is characterized by difficulty passing stools. The latter is rarer and harder, sometimes even absent.

Various causes

Sedentary, overweight, or obese animals, who go out little, who only consume kibble, and who drink little, may suffer particularly from constipation. However, other factors - much rarer - can be involved, such as a stuck foreign body, a tumor, or a lump that interferes with the normal passage of stool, etc.

Multiple solutions

Cat constipation is not considered serious, however, as long as you do everything possible to relieve it quickly. Indeed, if it does not present seriousness, strictly speaking, it can however cause the formation of a hard stool plug which causes intestinal obstruction, an absolute emergency situation.

It is therefore advisable to restart digestion by giving the cat more fiber for a few days, in particular by adding cooked zucchini to his ration and to make him drink well. The mash helps to hydrate it because it is a wet diet.

If no results are found, a laxative may be needed to help pass stool. However, do not give your little companion a laxative that is not formulated for cats and without the advice of the veterinarian. It is also recommended not to abuse it so as not to accustom the body of the tomcat to no longer pass stools normally, without the help of these products which solicit his sphincters.


Various origins

Again, vomiting is often not serious. In most cases, the cat will vomit up hairballs that have formed in its stomach or food that has gone bad or that it has swallowed too quickly.

It is also not uncommon for the presence of intestinal worms to cause vomiting in addition to diarrhea.

The cat can also vomit more regularly if it suffers from gastritis, irritations of the stomach which can, in some cases, be of an allergic origin. In this case, it is imperative to quickly identify the allergen and not to give it to the tomcat. Milk and cereals are the most common allergens.

However, as with any digestive disorder, vomiting can have a more serious cause. They can be caused by tumors, food poisoning, chronic diseases, or even neurological disorders.

Various responses

If your cat throws up every now and then but is still not losing shape, then there is no cause for concern. If these are hairballs, you may want to make sure you brush them more regularly to remove more of the dead hair before they ingest it while grooming. In addition, you can offer it a one-off treatment that helps remove hair or special kibbles that have the same function.

If your cat suffers from gastritis, you should limit the most irritating foods and space out smaller rations throughout the day. This will make it easier for the cat to digest its portions. Regular administration of the dewormer will also relieve vomiting associated with the presence of intestinal worms.

Finally, if the cat's vomiting persists, do not wait to see the vet. It may be another disorder of more serious origin.

What to do about the digestive disorders from which the cat suffers?

As we have said, digestive disorders may not be serious in cats. In the majority of cases, they are usually punctual and transient or they only require a few precautions without causing particular concern. However, this is not always the case and it should be kept in mind that this type of disorder can have a more serious origin.

Consequently, we advise you not to minimize them and to watch your tomcat. It is therefore imperative to make an appointment with the veterinarian if you notice one or more of the following signs:
  • the digestive disorder lasts beyond 48 hours;
  • the cat seems more weakened, less inclined to play;
  • the animal is feverish;
  • symptoms intensify;
  • several digestive disorders are cumulative.
While promptly consulting the practitioner is recommended, do not panic. In most cases, the situation is not serious and simple treatment can fix it quickly.

However, it is still imperative to identify the origin of the manifestation of this digestive disorder (s). Indeed, they may be likely to repeat themselves. In this case, they are only one symptom of a problem that needs to be known to implement the appropriate treatment.

Remember that treating the symptom is not enough to cure the problem in question. For example, with allergic gastritis, treating the vomiting will not be enough to cure the animal, which will only be relieved temporarily. Without formal identification of the allergen involved, vomiting will recur again and again. The same is true if parasites are involved. Relieving the vomiting and diarrhea it causes will not be enough to get rid of it. A dewormer should be administered. Ditto in case of disease or tumor for example, which can cause disorders, but which will last for lack of appropriate care.

Finally, remember that if in doubt, it is best to consult the veterinarian. Even if the digestive disorder observed is not serious, you will be reassured and your pet can be relieved more quickly.

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