Day 1: Cat Vomiting and Diarrhea

Welcome to Day 1 of this 4 Day program. We hope you find the tips helpful. Today we are going to talk about what to do if your cat has diarrhea or is vomiting.

Pointer #1
Younger animals can
easily die from dehydration
so make sure to offer
liquids at all times

Part 1: Cat Diarrhea

It is not abnormal for pets to have a case of diarrhea every once in a while. Normally you see this happen after your cat ate a certain type of food or treat that does not sit well in their stomach. Also, cats can also experience diarrhea when they are in stressful situations.

On rare occasions you may also see blood in the feces, but this is normally only seen in cases of severe stress or illness.

Signs of Severe Illness:

The main issues with diarrhea is that in severe cases it can lead to severe dehydration, acid-base imbalances, and electrolyte problems.

If the diarrhea is severe you might see your cat have a loss of appetite, become weak, vomit, and become very weak and lethargic.

When to see the vet

If diarrhea is accompanied by vomiting, fever and your cat refuses to drink water, you need to consult your vet as soon as possible.

Causes of Diarrhea?

There are many things that can cause diarrhea, some of which include, medicines, food allergies, changes in their diet, eating too quickly or too much, and eating things that are rotten.

Infections from parasites, bacteria, and viruses may cause more severe cases of diarrhea. Even other diseases can cause secondary diarrhea like pancreatitis, liver, kidney, and stomach problems.

What You Should Do

Pointer #2
Most cases of diarrhea
can be treated at home
by restricting food initially

Most minor cases of diarrhea are usually solved by with holding food for a few hours, but still allow your cat access to water so they do not become dehydrated.

After that slowly start your cat back on their regular food in small amounts, avoiding table scraps and treats.

***Do not fast small kittens, overweight cats, or give medications without talking to your veterinarian before hand.

Some veterinarians will prescribe a special cat food if the diarrhea is severe. Other common medications given include IV fluids to resolve dehydration, antibiotics, and pain medications.

Herbal remedies

Natural and herbal remedies can be given to pets with diarrhea. In fact, many of these compounds both help cure cases of diarrhea and help to prevent it in the future.

Some common herbs used for GI health include:

Plantagomjor (Plantain)
Alchemilla vulgaris (Lady’s Mantle)
Arsen alb.

Tips for Preventing Diarrhea in Pets:

You can do several things to help prevent future cases of diarrhea in pets, some of which are:

>Only feed your cat a high quality diet. A good quality brand should have all the nutrients cats need for optimal health.

>Do not give your cat table scraps or other types of human food, because these are often much to rich for them.

>As stated earlier, if your cat is starting to experience diarrhea, a small fasting period may help.

>Cats like to eat the same food on a regular basis. Sudden changes to what they normally eat should be avoided. If you must change their diet, do it gradually over a week.

>Regularly examine your cat's feces for signs of mucus, parasites, or blood.

>Have your cat dewormed.

>Don't let your cat near rotten food.

>Keep your cat current on vaccinations.

Part 2: Cat Vomiting

Sudden Vomiting

Most cats will occasionally vomit and most of the times it is due to hairballs.

Pointer #3
The majority of cats
vomit just once and
recover without incidence

When to Worry about Your Cat's Vomiting?

You should call your vet if:

>You think your cat has been exposed to or eaten toxic substances, garbage, poisonous plants, antifreeze, or any human medications.

>There appears to be blood in the vomit.

>Your cat has vomiting AND diarrhea.

>Your cat vomits after every meal.

>Your cat appears lethargic, weak, or depressed.

>Your cat refuses to eat.

>Your cat is vomiting continuously.

>Your cat has a fever or a stomach ache.

What Causes Vomiting?

The most common cause of acute vomiting is due to hairballs.

Chronic Vomiting

Some of the possible causes for chronic vomiting are:

Tumor of the pancreasKidney failureLiver failure
Uterine infectionAddison’s diseaseIngestion of foreign object
GastritisCanine distemperParvovirus

Causes of Hairballs?

Long haired cats tend to have the most hairballs, and in short haired cats that groom a lot. The hairball builds up in the stomach, with a small amount passing through to the feces.

Once the hair in the stomach reaches a critical mass, the cat vomits it back up. The hair ball is usually not round, but cylindrical in shape. Sometime there is even cat food mixed in with it.

Anything that causes a cat to groom more can result in more hairballs. For example: fleas, stress, skin disorder.

Are Hairballs Harmful?

The majority of hairballs are harmless and pass with little negative affect on your cat's health.

Hairballs are only harmful when your cat cannot pass them. If this is the case, you might see your cat retching, but nothing comes up.

Also your cat might have a decreased appetite, lethargy, and diarrhea.

Treating Hairballs

Conservative treatment with laxatives like Lax-aire are usually tried first before more intensive therapies are tries.

Other therapies include IV fluids, GI motility drugs, and surgery.

3 Hairball Natural Remedies

There are a wide range of natural remedies available to help treat hairballs. Some of these are very safe and effective, but you should contact your vet before giving them.

1. Psyllium nigrum you might be aware of as it is a great source of fiber for pets and humans.

2. Aloe ferox is an herb from Africa known for its ability to help GI tract movements.

3. Nux vom This is a common homeopathic herb that is prescribed to help with common GI problems like indigestion, constipation, and vomiting.

Figuring Out the Cause

Pointer #4
Gently palpate your
cat's abdomen
for signs of pain

If your cat's vomiting is severe or happens on a regular basis you should contact your vet.

The veterinarian will want to know things like how frequently your cat vomits, what it looks like, does it happen after eating, etc.

Normally a short fasting period is enough to clear up most cases of vomiting and diarrhea in dogs and cats. But some cats like older cats, obese cats, and cats with liver problems, should be fasted unless you talk to your veterinarian.

Other treatments normally given for this condition include anti-emetics, fluids, and in severe cases, antibiotics.

How to Prevent Hairballs

Here are some things that you can do to help prevent hairball formation in your cat:

>Brush your cat regularly. The more hair you collect with the brush, the less hair your cats will have to swallow, and thus the less likely your cat will have hairballs.

>Soft tipped brushes work much better at removing hair from cats then stiff tipped or metal brushes.

>A high quality hairball prevention diet, like Purina Healthy Weight Management with Hairball Control can be a great way to prevent hairballs.

>Lots of fresh clean water on a daily basis is a great way to keep your cat's GI tract healthy.

Check your email tomorrow for Day 2, where we'll cover what to do when your cat is not eating and how to prevent dehydration.

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