Every cat owner is familiar with the occasion hairball, but sometimes, an upset stomach is much more than a collection of fur in the cat's stomach. Symptoms can range from lethargy and a lack of interest in food to a sensitivity when picked up or touched along the belly area. While occasional indigestion is sometimes nothing more than that, a chronic upset stomach should be checked out by a veterinarian in case it's a symptom of something more severe.
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Things you need
- Fresh water
- Ginger or chamomile tea
- Grooming tools
- Meat-based baby food
- Plain, puréed pumpkin
Determine how long the upset stomach has been going on. If the cat has been showing signs of distress and lethargy for several days, take it to the vet. A chronic upset stomach can be a sign of something serious, such as a foreign body lodged in the stomach or intestines, or the irritation of the lining of the digestive tract, known as gastritis.
Remove food for up to 24 hours for cats and only a few hours for kittens. This can help the stomach reset itself, which can be particularly effective if the upset stomach is caused by stress. If the cat's food has recently been changed, this can also cause the upset stomach. Consider switching back to the old food, and slowly weaning the cat onto the new brand.
Provide plenty of fresh water. Vomiting associated with an upset stomach can cause dehydration, and preventing the problems associated with this secondary condition is vital. Drinking fresh water will also help flush out the cat's system if it ate something that's disagreeing with its stomach.
Offer mild ginger tea or chamomile tea. Both types have properties that settle both human and feline stomachs. Offer the tea mildly brewed and cool.
Give the cat some baby food instead of its regular food or as a treat. Baby food is bland and may help settle the cat's stomach if the problem is the overactive production of acid. Make sure the food is a plain, meat-based purée, free of garlic or seasonings that can further irritate the stomach.
Offer the cat plain puréed pumpkin. Pumpkin is a flexible dietary additive that can be effective in calming upset stomachs as well as curing both diarrhoea and constipation. This cure-all can be found in any grocery store, but be sure not to give pumpkin filling, as this can further irritate the stomach.
Place an object in the cat's food dish. Eating fast can be the source of a number of stomach upsets, which often result in the cat vomiting immediately after eating. Placing a ball in the food dish can help slow down eating, as it forces the cat to push the ball out of the way and eat around it.
Tips and warnings
- Keep your cat well-groomed and free of any loose fur. This can help cut down on hairballs and stomach upsets.
- Keep any dangerous substances, such as cleaning chemicals, well out of your cat's reach. While these can smell and taste interesting, they can cause serious damage to the cat's health. Take the cat to the veterinarian if vomiting continues for more than two days or if there is blood in the vomit.
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