What You Need to Know About Feline Gastrointestinal and Digestive Disorders
Having to clean up the occasional hairball or deal with flatulence every now and again is par for the course to average cat owners. In most cases, hairballs occur naturally as cats groom and occasional gas is common. Here at New England Cat Care in Woodbridge, we want people to be able to distinguish between typical cat stomach problems and when more complicated gastrointestinal issues arise.
Understanding Feline Gastrointestinal and Digestive Disorders
A digestive disorder is anything that decreases food absorption or the digestion of food. Whereas gastrointestinal disorders cause pain and are centralized to a cat’s stomach and intestines. Felines tend to develop digestive disorders, but most of these complications resolve themselves after several days. However, there are situations where felines have frequent or chronic problems with digestion, and long-term management of their symptoms is required. Frequent bouts of digestive disorders or gastrointestinal disorders should not be ignored as they can lead to malnutrition, electrolyte imbalances, acid-base imbalances, and dehydration. Our veterinarians encourage all cat owners to learn to recognize the symptoms of cat stomach problems.
Common Feline Digestive Disorders and How to Recognize Them
There are a number of common digestive disorders associated with felines, and the origins and severity of each ranges from simple things like food sensitivities to more complex issues like the absence of digestive enzymes. It should also be noted that there are some breeds of felines like the Ragdoll, Rex, and Sphinx who are more prone to certain digestive disorders than others. Here are some of the most common cat stomach problems seen in our clinic:
Diarrhea: Can be caused by a dietary change, internal parasites, certain types of infection, body organ dysfunction, and stress. Diarrhea symptoms include loose or watery stools and fecal incontinence.
Colitis: Occurs when the large intestines becomes inflamed, typically in cats five years or younger. Colitis can develop as a result of allergies, a change in diet, the swallowing of foreign objects, polyps, or tumors. Symptoms of colitis include painful and frequent fecal elimination, and feces containing blood and or mucus.
Acute gastroenteritis: Occurs when the digestive tract becomes inflamed. The condition is the result toxic plant consumption, food allergies, eating spoiled food, and swallowing foreign objects. Diarrhea and vomiting may occur.
We treat a host of other digestive disorders in our clinic including: Irritable bowel syndrome, pancreatitis, constipation, small intestinal malabsorption, and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.
Time Is of the Essence
If you believe your cat is experiencing a gastrointestinal disorder you should not hesitate to have it evaluated by a veterinarian. Schedule an appointment with your vet if you notice your cat has lost weight, signs of dehydration, appears to have abdominal pain, is vomiting, or displaying signs of weakness. Here at New England Cat Care in Woodbridge, cats are our business. We are dedicated to making sure the people who entrust the care of their cats to us are confident in our abilities to manage whatever issues their trusted companions are facing. To schedule an appointment or to learn more about cat stomach problems give us a call at (203)-387-6369.