Written by: Dr John Abbass, DVM. M.Phil (Pet diseases)
“What greater gift than love of a cat”.Charles Dickens
Cats are such lovable and precious creatures. They are the most commonly kept pet animals. Just like humans, they are also prone to a number of health-related conditions. The worrisome thing for every cat owner is how to evaluate and manage these health-related issues, to stop further complications in their family pet.
If you are worried about your cat’s health and looking for useful tips and recommendations to keep your cat healthy then you are in the right place.
Cat Informers, along with offering you with its other services, is also providing you guidelines related to the health and wellbeing of your cats.
What health problems can cats have?
There are a number of diseases which affect cats ranging from mild to life-threatening conditions. Cat owners must have sufficient knowledge of these common issues to save the precious lives of their beloved furry friends.
Feline immunodeficiency virus, feline leukopenia virus, diabetes and obesity are common health problems in cats. Here, we will provide an overview of common gastrointestinal health conditions.
Vomiting is basically the evacuation of food from the stomach. Generally, there are many causes of vomiting in cats. It is often normal, if a cat vomits occasionally, but this may be due to some serious underlying problems.
Types of Vomiting in Cats
There are mainly two types of vomiting in cats and they are acute vomiting and chronic vomiting.
Acute vomiting is all sudden and lasts for less than two to three days and resolves by itself. Cats don’t show any other symptoms. There are possibly no other underlying causes in this case.
Whereas chronic vomiting lasts for many days and the vomiting is more frequent. This leads to serious complications in cats such as depletion of electrolytes and severe dehydration that is life threatening. In this case, cats also show some other symptoms such as abdominal pain, dullness and reduction in weight.
Main Causes of Vomiting in Cats
There are dozens of reasons your cat might vomit. Here are some major reasons.
This is noteworthy that, your cat may ingest any foul substance or spoiled food that may be less harmful or highly detrimental if it is any herbicide, pesticide or household cleaners, these toxic chemicals badly disturb the cat’s stomach and induce sudden vomiting. These poisonous substances may be life-threatening for your cat. It is suggested that if you suspect, your cat has ingested any chemical, seek veterinary attention immediately.
Do cats throw up if they eat too fast?
At times, you might have noticed that your cat eats too fast and ingests too much food. This habit can predispose it to frequent vomiting in cats just after eating their meals. The vomit include digested or undigested food.
The only panacea of this is to divide your cat’s meal into smaller portions to stop obesity along with other problems.
If you have more than one cat you must make sure that each cat takes their meal only. Otherwise they may eat the food of others which is causing the overeating. So, you can prevent this occurring by feeding cats in separate rooms or keeping a different feeding schedule for each cat.
Hairballs and Vomiting in Cats
Hairball (trichobezoar) is a mass of undigested hair moistened by bile and other gastric fluids that get into the gastrointestinal tract of your cats when they lick hair while grooming themselves.
This is the most common cause of vomiting in cats and pet parents usually complain about this. This is quite normal, if your cat expels a hairball after one or two weeks. If this doesn’t happen occasionally, these filthy hairballs can clog the intestine which can lead to life threatening conditions.
Vomiting, retching, coughing, lack of appetite, constipation and dullness are common clinical features of hairballs.
Preventing Hairballs in Cats
research study explored that adding insoluble sugarcane fibers into a cat’s diet can reasonably reduce the development of hairballs in the gastrointestinal tract. There are specific hairball preventive chews or diet formulas which help in dealing with this condition by facilitating fecal elimination of hairballs.
Mild laxatives and a number of other products are available which can help cats in passing hairballs through stools.
It is suggested that you should do regular grooming of your furry friend. This can reduce the hairball formation and develop a bond between you and your cat. Long haired cats, such as Persian cats, which shed a lot of hair are more prone to develop hairball formation.
So, it is advised to specially take care of them and give them proper grooming, even a hair cut every six months.
Train your furry friend to stop compulsive grooming by herself. This can be achieved by encouraging her to play with toys and engaging her in other activities.
Intestinal Parasites in Cats
There are a number of intestinal parasites which reside inside the gastrointestinal tract of your cat.
Common ones are roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and other protozoan parasites such as toxoplasma and isospora species.
Parasitic infestations lead to sudden vomiting in cats along with dullness and drastic weight loss.
A proper parasite control regime should be made and appropriate antiparasitic drugs must be used as prescribed by the registered veterinary practitioner.
Does Kidney Disease in Cats cause Vomiting?
Some chronic kidney disease and liver diseases can cause vomiting in cats. At times, there is no direct link between vomiting and these diseases. But vomiting can be a non-specific sign of these diseases.
Cat owners should request a liver function test (LFT) and Kidney function test (KFT) if they are concerned and what to understand the root cause of the problem.
Other causes of Feline Vomiting
There are other reasons your cat may vomit which include any infectious gastroenteritis (inflammation of alimentary canal), any medication and pancreatitis. Chronic vomiting may be due a neurological disorder, long term parasitic infestation, intestinal obstruction or chronic toxicity in cats.
Despite being normal in cats vomiting may be an alarm for any underlying medical condition. Give your cat a high quality diet and keep an eye on her behavior. It may be necessary that a proper examination be done with different diagnostic tools. If you are unsure you should seek advice from a veterinarian to figure out the underlying cause to save the precious life of your cat.
Timely diagnosis, long term benefits.