What would life with a cat be like if you didn’t occasionally find thrown up hairballs or blobs of barely chewed dry food on the floor? Not to mention hearing that unmistakable sound of your kitty vomiting up said hairballs and food in the middle of the night. And let’s not even get started on litter box issues. Digestive issues in cats can be pretty common. Most are nothing to be worried about, but some are more serious. Here’s a quick run-down on what you need to know.
Vomiting: Occasional vomiting is normal, especially if your cat tends to eat too fast, has hairballs, or eats grass. Severe, chronic vomiting (often accompanied by abnormal thirst) can be a sign that your cat ate something toxic or contaminated. Talk to your vet if vomiting is severe and lasts for more than one day.
Diarrhea: Mild diarrhea can be brought on by things like stress or a dietary change. Severe diarrhea can indicate that your cat has a viral or bacterial infection. Diarrhea with blood or accompanied by vomiting requires veterinary attention. Your vet can perform tests and hydrate your cat.
Constipation: Constipation can be common in cats. A cat should normally have a bowel movement once a day. Older cats, especially those with long hair, can be more prone to constipation and bowel blockages. You can try home laxative-type remedies like hairball treatments, but if your cat is constipated for more than 2 days, see your vet.
Food Sensitivities: Some foods just won’t agree with your cat. You may have to experiment with different types of commercial cat food before you find one your cat tolerates well. Certain cats cannot digest sugars in milk, or have allergic-type reactions to eggs or fish. Be careful with people foods if your cat has a sensitive stomach.
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