Your Cats Digestive System
As obligate carnivores, cats dont need the longer gastrointestinal tracts required by omnivores like dogs and humans, who eat a much broader diet, or herbivores like cows and rabbits, who eat plants. A cats digestive tract is relatively short, and a high-protein meal moves through quickly. It typically takes a cats food about 20 hours to pass through the whole GI tract, whereas in a human, digestion may take as long as 72 hours. The fast transit rate of food through the feline GI tract reflects its adaptation to a hunting lifestyle, making the cat ready to pounce on the next prey item.
Different illnesses arise in different parts of the intestinal tract, so in figuring out the cause of your cats problem, its helpful to determine whether the diarrhea originates in the small intestine or the large intestine .
For example, because the small intestine is where most nutrients get absorbed, problems here can mean the body is missing out on a lot of the nutrition in your cats food, which can create additional problems, like weight loss and nutrient deficiencies. Your cats poop can offer important clues:
The color of your cats poop may also help you figure out whats going on. This Cat Poop Color Chart describes the most common poop colors and what causes them:
Cat Vomit And Diarrhea
Cat owners know that part of owning a cat is to deal with cat vomit and diarrhea. Many times, the symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea clear up on their own after a day. When your cat is vomiting and has diarrhea at the same time, its a sign you need to contact a vet like Nashville Cat Clinic in Nashville, TN.
Cat Diarrhea And Vomiting: Causes And When To Go To The Emergency Vet
Is your cat having diarrhea or vomiting? Are you concerned about what could be causing these symptoms? Do you want to know whether or not they constitute an emergency for your feline friend?
Vomiting and diarrhea can be concerning symptoms for cats, and its important to get to the bottom of them as soon as possible. Sometimes, both symptoms will clear up on their own in a short while. However, there are some situations that require emergency vet care. Read through the article below to find out more about both.
If youre ever concerned about your cats health or behavior, you should always consult with an emergency vet to make sure everything is okay with your pet. Even if the cause of their behavior isnt something that requires immediate care, its important to be on top of your pets health and know for sure.
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What Could Be The Reason For The Vomiting
Occasional vomiting may be caused by:
Cats often ingest hair while grooming. If it forms into clumps it may irritate the stomach, eventually being vomited up. If your cat vomits hairballs frequently your vet may suggest treatments or diets to reduce hair build-up and grooming your cat regularly to reduce the volume of hair ingested.
Eating too rapidly
Cats that gobble food too quickly may regurgitate. If youve got multiple cats make sure you have separate feeding bowls in separate locations to reduce competition. Try serving dry food in a used egg carton, or putting kibble in plastic bottles with holes that dispense the food as it rolls. These puzzle feeders slow eating, create mental challenge, combat boredom and increase exercise which combats weight gain.
Eating too much at once
Cats naturally eat small amounts and often. While not always practical, specialists suggest 5 small meals a day. Dry kibble absorbs fluid in the stomach and swells which may cause vomiting, especially in older cats.
Eating spoilt food or hunting
Like us, they can be susceptible to the bacteria or spoiled food or something theyve caught. This may result in irritation of the stomach.
If Your Cat Is Having Diarrhea Or Vomiting For More Than 12 Hours
If your cats diarrhea or vomiting last longer than twelve hours, or if they are nearly uncontrollable, go to the emergency vet. Diarrhea and vomiting that last this long can quickly lead to severe, even fatal, levels of dehydration.
Your cat will need fluids to stabilize her, and then will need to be properly examined and diagnosed by your vet to find out whats going on. She may need to stay overnight for treatment.
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Helping An Outdoor Cat With Diarrhea
If you have an outdoor cat, monitoring their bathroom habits can be a challenge. If you suspect your cat has diarrhea, staining of fur on the back of their legs and rump, weight loss, signs of dehydration, etc, you will need to try and isolate them in an area with a large litter box or two. If your cat is used to pottying outside, you may have to use dirt instead of litter and be sure they have plenty of privacy.
All of this information helps you know what is normal and abnormal for your cat. It will alert you to problems sooner which may avoid a vet visit. These key pieces of information change in pooping habits, changes in poop color, firmness, amount, etc. are very valuable when providing information to your cats veterinarian. It may save you a lot of time and possibly eliminate a lot of extra testing.
Should I Call The Vet If My Cat Throws Up
You should call your veterinarian right away if:
Your cat vomits more than two to three times in a row.
Your cat has other symptoms, such as not eating and diarrhea. If your cat is also having diarrhea, it will be difficult to keep them hydrated without seeing your veterinarian.
Your cat does not eat or drink for 12 hours and has vomited several times in a row.
Your cat has already been diagnosed with an illnesses . This is an emergency, and your cat should be seen immediately, as this could mean that their disease is progressing. Early medical intervention is necessary in these patients, as they can become dehydrated very quickly.
Your cat has vomited a worm. You need to deworm your cat and any other animals in the household as soon as possible. It is also important to keep the environment clean and scoop the litter boxes several times a day to ensure that your pets do not get reinfected.
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Red Or Bloody Diarrhea In Cats
Bloody diarrhea is always concerning and should be addressed by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Dark red or black discoloration of feces indicates upper GI bleeding and blood digestion.
Bright red coloration within the feces or coating the feces is a sign of lower intestinal tract bleeding.
Is My Cat Vomiting
It can be tricky to spot the difference between vomiting, retching and regurgitation.
But knowing the difference helps your vet target the most appropriate tests.
- Vomited bile or a large volume of partially digested food
This is food that doesnt get as far as the stomach and sits for a while in the gullet. Signs include:
- Little effort is involved sometimes the cat just lowers his head
- A sausage-shaped offering
- No signs such as restlessness, lip licking or drooling
Also known as dry heaving, this involves reverse stomach contractions. Signs include:
- Little abdominal effort
- Only a small volume of vomit is produced
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Common Infections That Can Cause Diarrhea In Puppies
This section of the article was written by Dr. Pippa Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS.
As someone with a Puggle puppy, Im all too familiar with poop.
My new fur-family addition came with several unwanted extras in the tummy department in the form of campylobacter, roundworms, tapeworms and giardia.
Well, 2 fecal analyses and 3 courses of treatment later, Im relieved to say she now passes PFPs .
What Tests Will My Vet Do To Find The Cause Of My Cats Diarrhea
Your veterinarian may run fecal tests that include fecal flotation, antigen testing, cytology, and culturing to screen for infectious or inflammatory disease.
Bloodwork evaluates for metabolic or systemic causes of diarrhea and assesses the consequences of cat diarrhea, such as dehydration or anemia.
Abdominal ultrasound, radiology, and endoscopy can be used to check for foreign body ingestion or cancer as causes of cat diarrhea.
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How Is Gastroenteritis Diagnosed
Gastroenteritis is a diagnosis of exclusion, which means that your veterinarian needs to eliminate or rule out other possible causes. The first step toward finding the cause of the vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy is a good medical history.
Some key information in your cats medical history includes:
- Your cats current diet, how often you feed your cat, and how much he or she eats.
- Everything your cat ate or drank within the past 48 hours.
- Any new foods, treats, or rewards.
- Recent exposure to pesticides, medications, cleaning agents, or similar materials in your home environment.
- Recent exposure to a new animal or person.
- Previous episodes of vomiting and diarrhea .
- Any illness within the past month.
- Any chronic illnesses that your cat may have.
- Any medications, vitamins, or supplements given within the past month
Your veterinary health team may have you fill in a questionnaire prior to your visit. See handout Diarrhea Questionnaire and Checklist for Cats for an example.
After obtaining the medical history, your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination. Your veterinarian will look for evidence of dehydration, abdominal pain or tenderness, bloating or gas, swellings, and any other physical abnormality. Your cats temperature and other vital signs will also be checked.
At this stage, your veterinarian may recommend diagnostic testing, which could include:
Other Things That Can Help With Diarrhea
In addition to rest, fasting, and a bland diet, there are some other things you may find helpful in dealing with diarrhea issues at home.
Probiotics may be helpful when dealing with diarrhea. Since the digestive tract makes up about 60 to 80% of your pets immune system, keeping it healthy is important. Probiotics help support a healthy immune system by keeping the intestinal bacteria in good balance and aiding in digestion. You can try regular, unflavored, probiotic-rich yogurt , or you can pick up a probiotic like Purinas FortiFlora, Nutramaxs Proviable, VetriScience Fast Balance GI Paste, VetriScience Probiotic Everyday, Under the Weather Ready Balance Gel.
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My Cat Has Diarrhea And Vomiting But Is Acting Normal Is This A Concern
If your cat is vomiting then it needs to be taken more seriously and it may be a diarrhea. This might be a more serious issue and can lead to dehydration quickly, especially if your feline is not eating or drinking.
Sometimes in the early stages of dirrahea a cat may seem okay with showing little symptoms but suddenly it may take a turn for the worse. Also, remember that cats are experts in hiding their unwell feelings. In this case, you must need to see a vet so they will help you to diagnose the issue of your cat. Moreover, if your cat is suffering from any other medical issues such as traditions or pancreatitis, they will examine it completely and suggest a treatment.
The Common Causes Of Vomiting And Diarrhea
When a cat has developed vomiting and diarrhea, there are a few possible reasons why. First, cats might have vomiting and diarrhea because they picked up a stomach bug from somewhere. This might be a viral or bacterial illness. Next, some cats end up vomiting because they ate something they shouldn’t have. Some cats are curious and end up eating non-food items. We also see cats who share a house with other animals and eat food that isn’t meant for them. Finally, cats can also develop vomiting and diarrhea when they experience high levels of stress and anxiety. Cats can sense a shift in their environment. This can create a lot of stress for cats and can cause them to start vomiting or develop diarrhea.
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Symptoms Of Diarrhea In Cats And When Should I Worry
It can be jarring to find that your cats stool looks different from how it normally would.
It will be wet and sloppy, or even watery and bubbly. The color can vary from orange to brown and it can smell pungent.
Those with diarrhea tend to pass stool three times a day or more. In some cases, there will be mucus or even blood visible within the poo.
Cats who have diarrhea will be thirstier and hungrier than usual. This is because they are trying to make up for the fluid and nutrients being lost through their gut.
Your kitty can have a mild stomach ache and gas.
You may notice they are less eager to play and want to sleep more than usual. As the diarrhea improves, these symptoms should quickly disappear.
If your cat is really not themselves, or if the diarrhea does not improve within a day or two, it is time to act.
While less common, diarrhea can be a sign that your cat is sick and theres something more serious.
You know your cat better than anyone. If they are not happy, have your vet check them over.
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Various Bacteria Fungi And Infections
There are many forms of bacteria, viruses and fungi that can be the primary cause of your cats vomiting and diarrhea. The most well-known bacteria that causes cat vomiting and diarrhea is Salmonella, which is found in infected meats and food. Cats also frequently get yeast infections, caused by fungi. When the yeast infection affects the intestines, your cat will have watery stools and may vomit as well.
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Vomiting And Diarrhea: Can It Wait Until Morning
Vomiting and Diarrhea: Can It Wait Until Morning?
No pet parents want to face this situation
You get home from work, ready to have dinner and then relax. But, as soon as you open the door to your home, you notice theres a funny smell.
Upon a little searching, you realize your furry best friend had an upset tummy, and has vomited or had diarrhea while you were out. And, your pal seems to be feeling down, with less energy than usual.
Your regular vet is already closed. So, do you take your pet in to an emergency or urgent care veterinarian, or do you wait until morning?
Unfortunately, theres no easy answer to this question. And theres no one size fits all answer that will be correct for every pet. Instead, the answer depends on a number of different factors.
Signs that your dog or cat needs to go to the vet right away
Often, if a pet has vomiting or diarrhea, they may be feeling down compared to their normal selvesless energetic and less playful. They may also eat less, due to nausea or stomach pain, or inability to keep food down.
Just like for humans, an upset stomach is no fun for your furkids. So, its expected that theyll act different than usual. However, here are some signs that youll want to bring them to the vet sooner rather than later:
Of course, regardless of symptoms, it never hurts to be on the safe sideso when in doubt, its always best to seek veterinary advice.
Why is my dog or cat throwing up, or having loose stool?
- Tests for infectious diseases
Why Is My Cat Throwing Up
Your veterinarian will ask a variety of questions to determine why your cat is vomiting. These include:
Have you switched your cats diet recently?
Have you started any prescribed or over-the-counter medications?
What diet, including all treats, is your cat on?
Do you have other cats in the house, and if so, are they also vomiting?
Is your cat indoor and/or outdoor?
How often is your cat vomiting, and what does the vomit look like?
Is your cat still eating?
How long has your cat been vomiting?
There are several possible causes of cat vomiting, and these questions will help guide your veterinarian in the right direction. Possible reasons why cats throw up can be broken into two categoriesgastrointestinal causes and non-gastrointestinal causes.
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Cat Diarrhea: 5 Treatment Options You Should Try
What do you do when you find diarrhea in the litter boxor worse yet, when your cat doesnt quite make it to the litter box? An immediate call to the veterinarian might be in order, but sometimes you might want to try some home treatment first. Heres how to respond when your cat develops diarrhea.
When Is A Vet Trip Essential
If youre unsure what to do, take a look at this list. If you recognize any of these signs in your cat, see the vet:
- Repeated vomiting: If this goes on for more than 4 hours, contact the vet.
- Dehydration: If the cat cant hold down water, theres a risk of dehydration.
- Losing fluid in diarrhea: Sickness and diarrhea makes dehydration more likely.
- Blood in the vomit: This is a sign of internal bleeding and should not be ignored.
- Dullness or lethargy: A cat who seems unwell or withdrawn could have gut pain.
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A History Of Infections
My puppy didnt have the best start in life and picked up her infections by contact with feces in the unhygienic conditions she lived in. When dogs come into contact with poop, they can catch all sorts of diseases, especially the very young whose immune system isnt strong enough to protect them.
My recent experience of anxiously awaiting the next bowel movement to see if there was any improvement helped me view puppy tummy upsets from the other side of the consulting room table.
It has taken nearly 4 weeks to go from bloodstained, mucoid diarrhea to PFPs, so have a little patience if your puppys poops arent perfect yet despite a course of treatment. It can take a while to get to the bottom of things because your pup might have more than 1 infection .