Colic in Cats

Written by sophie reynolds
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Colic in Cats
Cats, especially kittens, are prone to colic. (cat image by John Hofboer from

Cats of all ages are susceptible to colic. Colic is a build-up of gas in the abdomen, causing abdominal pain. Just as infants are more susceptible to colic, kittens are more prone to colic than are adult cats.

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Feeding low-quality commercial foods with additives and preservatives can cause colic in cats. Ingesting spoiled food, garbage or toxic substances such as household products or pesticides can cause colic in cats. Colic can also be caused by a bacterial, viral or parasitic infection; liver failure, kidney disease, ulcers, inflammatory bowel or other disease.

Colic in Cats
Eating spoiled food can cause colic in cats. (white angora cat eating from food bowl image by Stephen Orsillo from

Warning Signs

Warning signs that a cat may have colic include abdominal pain, arched back, abdominal distension, loss of appetite and overall weakness. As abdominal pain increases, a cat may roll around or thrash on the floor or, in very acute cases, may be lethargic or lose consciousness.

Colic in Cats
Colic in cats can become life-threatening. (sleeping cat image by KtD from

Diagnosing Colic

If a cat becomes unconscious or the colic is acute, the cat should be immediately taken to a veterinarian. A veterinarian may need to x-ray or to perform an abdominal ultrasound or other testing on the cat to properly diagnose.

Colic in Cats
An animal appearing to be in acute distress needs immediate, professional treatment. (Cat image by Suzanne Hollens-Riley from

Treating Colic

Treatment includes withholding food for at least 24-hours, feeding the cat a bland diet of cooked rice and chicken, and electrolyte therapy.

Homeopathic Remedies

Herbs, botanicals and homeopathic remedies may act as a digestive aid and detoxify a cat's system.

Colic in Cats
Anise is an herb used to prevent and to treat mild colic. (a plate of anise stars image by Flashon Studio from

Tips to Prevent Colic

There are a number of things that you can do to relieve the symptoms and prevent the onset of an episode of colic. Feed your cat a high-quality, well-balanced commercial food which is, preferably, all natural and without additives or preservatives. Keep spoiled food, garbage, chemicals and poisons away from your cat. Provide plenty of clean, fresh water. At the first sign of abdominal distress, discontinue food for 24-hours to rest the stomach.

Colic in Cats
Avoid sudden dietary changes. Do not feed your cat table scraps. (pie without a slice image by Ivan Hafizov from

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