Cat Digestive Problems

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Cat owners are often dealing with what appears to be digestive disorders in their pets because of frequent vomiting. It is important to learn the signs of true cat digestive problems to be able to understand what your cat is going through and how you can help.

Considerations

  • Cats experience varying levels of digestive discomfort as a regular part of their lives. At some point, cats will experience fits of vomiting and occasional bouts of diarrhea. It is common for cats to experience these types of disturbances in infrequent and isolated instances. However, if a cat shows signs of sustained digestive difficulty, he should be taken to a veterinarian immediately.
    Sometimes cats will regurgitate their food soon after they have finished eating in a response to something blocking the esophagus like food or fur. Vomiting is characterized by the smell of stomach acid in the discharge, while regurgitation lacks that odor. Repeated regurgitation is not the sign of digestive problems in cats, but repeated vomiting is.

Hairballs

  • Hairballs are a common problem with cats, but they could be an indication of digestive problems. Cats will usually swallow their own fur during the course of cleaning themselves, and even though it is not completely healthy for them to swallow their fur, most fur should pass through the cat either when they relieve themselves or in the form of the occasional hairball. Repeated hairballs are an indication that the fur is not properly passing through the digestive system and that something could be wrong with the cat's stomach or intestines.

Kittens

  • Vomiting in kittens is especially hazardous, and if it is not treated it could be fatal. If a kitten experiences repeated episodes of vomiting over a period of one day, then it has serious digestive problems that need to be addressed or they could become life threatening.

Types

  • Some of the more common and dangerous cat digestive problems include the following:
    (a) Cats can have a deficiency in the amount of digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas. This results in a noticeable loss of appetite and weight loss.
    (b) In some cases a cat will swallow something that will get lodged in the intestines. If a cat repeatedly tries to vomit and nothing comes out, he may have a blockage in their intestines that requires immediate attention.
    (c) Cats have a certain amount of worms and parasites that live in their digestive tract. If a cat is showing signs of fatigue, bloody stool or weight loss then he may be experiencing an unhealthy rise in the amount of parasites in his digestive system.
    All of these conditions are extremely serious, and any indication that a cat is suffering from any of these symptoms should be cause to take the cat to a veterinarian immediately.

Misconceptions

  • It is important to take a cat that suffers from frequent vomiting and diarrhea to a veterinarian as soon as possible because these can also be symptoms of other feline diseases. Feline distemper and feline leukemia exhibit many of the same symptoms as some of the more common digestive disorders. A veterinarian can diagnose the condition properly and offer a course of treatment.

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