From physical to mental health, your cat's gut health is responsible for her overall health. Every part of your cat's digestive system is involved in absorbing the nutrients she gets from the food. With thousands of different microorganisms, both bacteria and microbes survive in the digestive tract and are referred to as gut microbes. While the harmful bacteria should be ruled out, good bacteria should be retained for the healthy flora inside your cat.
Have you ever seen your cat throw out right after eating something or being troubled by diarrhea as a pet parent? These are signs of an unhealthy digestive system or gut problem in your cat. While it is essential to maintain the good bacteria in the body, it is also observed that they can be harmed and erased by certain food additives, medications, antimicrobials, and more. Many things contribute to your cat's gut health – both good and bad.
Along with the food you serve your cat, you must provide her with the right amount and see which food reacts to be harmful to your kitty. Like humans, cats and all other animals can suffer from digestive tract issues, some of which disappear on their own while others need to be taken care of. But what do you do to correct the digestive problems in your cat?
We'll find out in this article. Read on!
What Are Digestive Disorders In Cats?
Any disorder that reduces your cat's ability to digest and absorb food's nutrients while it passes through the digestive tract is called a digestive disorder. A working and efficient digestive system are essential for your cat to build and repair tissues, which again help in gaining energy.
Then there is another condition, gastrointestinal disorder, which occurs in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, leading to health-related problems such as heartburn, nausea, vomiting, bloating, belching, gallstone, peptic ulcers, etc. As mentioned earlier, some of these digestive disorder gets corrected on their own while others need to be ruled out with proper diet and medications. Some seemingly common features of digestive tract issues can be seen in the form of dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and malnutrition, which you, as a pet parent need to identify and take care of.
Types of Digestive Disorder in Cats
Before you can be sure if your cat is stomach sick, let's try to understand some of the common types of digestive disorders in cats:
A common type of digestive disorder in living beings - diarrhea can occur in your kitty from infection, stress, or trauma, eating spicy or forbidden ingredients from table scrap, eating stale food, a sudden change in the diet plan, or internal parasite. Another reason could also be an organ dysfunction in the body.
When your cat eats food or drinks water contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms such as E. coli, or Clostridium perfringens, she may experience a troubled stomach and show symptoms such as vomiting or abdominal pain. This condition can also occur if your cat eats toxic plants, swallow something it shouldn't, has food allergies, etc.
Other common digestive issues caused due to insufficient water intake is ingestion of a foreign object or hairballs, eating stale food from the garbage, trauma or stress, tumor, aging, or metabolic disorder.
Colitis is the inflammation in the colon resulting from inflammatory bowel movement or infection leading to painful passing of feces, often bloody stool. Change in the food, a food allergy, or tumors can also contribute to the condition.
Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency
If your cat loses weight, gains weight, or releases soft feces, she suffers from this condition. It happens when the body lacks exocrine pancreatic enzymes, resulting in the problem of digestion of food. The pancreas is an essential organ in the body, and when it doesn't make enough enzymes to digest the food, your kitty may experience an upset stomach. Diarrhea, bloating and belching, abdominal pain, greasy stool are some of the symptoms of this condition.
What Causes Digestive Problems In Cats?
Now that you know the different types of digestive problems in cats, you might want to know what causes your kitty to suffer from these nasty gut problems. Here we have clubbed some of the causes of digestive issues in cats:
Your cat must have the correct amount of nutritional diet. Incorrect or what you call a bad diet leads to a lot of stomach-related issues. Diets that contain more sugary substances and cereal-based food can cause big-time trouble for your fur baby. Besides giving them a bloating and gas-filled tummy, it also develops bad breath in your kitty. Besides a disturbed gut, an incorrect diet is also related to kidney problems. You can contact one of our team for a well-balanced diet.
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Viruses are harmful, and some can be life-threatening for cats. One such fatal virus is feline infectious enteritis or FIE, responsible for many stomach-related issues. Specific symptoms of this condition are vomit and diarrhea with blood in it, dehydration, high fever, depression, sudden loss of appetite, etc.
Although good bacteria is a good thing to have, harmful bacteria can be responsible for many physical ailments to your furry baby. Bacteria can be ingested by the intake of contaminated food and water. The bacteria can be passed on to cats from other infected pets in the household or other animals.
Cats love to groom themselves, and they do this by licking themselves. While grooming herself, your cat may swallow some amount of fur or hair. This hair gets accumulated in the digestive tract and can cause stomach-related problems. However, some amount of hair is easily digested down the digestive system and comes out along with the feces. But some hair accumulates into a big fur ball and cannot be pushed down the digestive tract and hence cause trouble for the cat.
Food allergies have become quite common in felines as they cannot digest some ingredients, which in turn leads to a troubled stomach and vomiting right after your kitty eats. Cats frequently affected by this will prevent themselves from eating for longer hours as they know eating will make them throw up immediately.
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Worms are yet another reason for your cat to experience a bad gut. While grooming, your cat ingests around 50% of fleas present in her body. These infected fleas carry larva, which in turn will take the form of tapeworms that present in the intestine, which in turn will create stomach-related issues, diarrhea, and such in cats.
How To Correct Gut Issues In Cats?
It is always great to understand your cat's digestive issues and identify the causes before correcting them. By now, you must have understood the grounds of the frequent stomach problems that you see your furry child suffering from. But what are your options? Include these steps for a healthy and happy feline gut-
As we know, gut bacteria are helpful for better digestion for your cat. However, the kind of gut bacteria that thrives in the cat's digestive tract depends on the type of food you feed her. Avoid feeding food with high carbs, such as rice or potato, which will lead to bacteria that love feeding on carbs. It is again related to stomach issues such as inflammation, bloating, and stomach pain.
These are compounds in the food that promotes the growth of good bacteria. These can be found in fiber-rich food that provides nutrients to your cat and helps in good gut health. It also helps in improving the immunity of cats. Although most of the food that your cat eats has prebiotics in them, you still need to consult us and provide your cat with some quality prebiotics supplement.
These are live bacteria and yeast that are good for the gut. It helps your kitty's body to fight against harmful bacteria and keeps her feeling better. Probiotics help pass the food through the gut by balancing the working of the nerves that helps in maintaining the gut movement. A quality probiotic supplement can complete a nutritional diet for your kitty.
A proper diet, probiotics, and prebiotics will help your kitty not just maintaining a healthy gut but also help her in:
- Get relief from irritable bowel movement - they make digestion easy and the ease regular bowel movement
- Relief from diarrhea caused by antibiotics - The probiotics and prebiotics will enable the body to fight against an internal issue and prevent diarrhea
- Correct skin problems - these have properties to reduce allergies and inflammation, providing healthy skin
- Improve oral health - gum problems and bad breath can be taken care of
- Prevent her from allergies - her body will develop a more robust immune system and can fight back allergies from food and environmental factors
You love your kitty as much you'd love your kid, but it is essential to keep track of the food you feed her and how they react. Gut problems are quite common in felines, but you shouldn't leave them to get better on their own. Since your kitty cannot explain to you what's wrong, you will need expert help, so don’t hesitate to contact us.