That icky mess your cat made on your carpet could be significant. If it happens too often, you have a sick feline on your hands. Luckily, most of the time an improved diet will clear up the problem. But it some cases, you will need to take the cat to the vet to find out what else is going on.
Your cat might have allergies that are causing her stomach upset. If she has a dull coat, frequent ear infections, or lots of gas, as well as vomiting or diarrhoea, she could be having a bad reaction to something in her kibble. Commercial pet foods commonly contain additives and preservatives, and all too often contaminants such as pesticide, mould, and drugs given to the animals rendered to produce the meat meal.
Infections, parasites, table scraps and rotten food raided out of the garbage can also cause a cat to get the heaves.
Your cat may just have been born with a naturally sensitive stomach. Common symptoms of feline irritable bowel syndrome include vomiting, loss of appetite and diarrhoea.
The experts at FelineDiet.com warn, "Persistent and prolonged vomiting can be a sign of something far more serious such as cancer or kidney disease." Disruption to the digestive system caused by vomiting and diarrhoea can mean your cat fails to derive adequate nutrition from her food. Take your cat to the veterinarian if symptoms persist.
Commercial Pet Foods
To address your cat's digestion problems, your veterinarian may recommend one of several available commercial pet foods. For example:
Hill's Prescription Diet i/d, d/d, or z/d; or Science Diet Sensitive Stomach for Adult Cats Purina One Adult Cat Sensitive Formula or EN GastroEnteric Feline Formula Eukanuba Sensitive Stomach Adult Cat Royal Canin Special 33 Feline Nutrition, Hypoallergenic DR25, Sensitivity Control SC 31, or Intestinal GI 32 Nutro Natural Choice™ Complete Care™ Senior Pro Plan Extra Care Sensitive Skin & Stomach Formula for Cats Iams Response LB/Feline Canned formula IVD or Iams Low-Residue Adult/Feline Dry Formula
Home-Made Pet Food
Your vet may recommend a diet that approximates what your cat would be eating if he were hunting all his own meals: chunks of raw, organic muscle and organ meats and ground-up bones. Make sure the bones are splinter-free. Include small amounts of vegetables and, if your vet agrees, supplements; but remember that in the wild carbohydrates from grains form little or no part of a cat's diet. Yet carbs may be the major ingredient in commercial kibble. However, including a judicious amount of cooked rice or oats in your cat's diet may aid digestion.
Dr. Jean Hofve, DVM, says, "Cats need at least 50% of their diet (preferably 100%) in the form of wet food (canned or homemade), for optimal health, Include a variety of meats and flavours to prevent finicky behaviour and food allergies and intolerances."
Your vet may prescribe probiotics as well as antibiotics and vitamin supplements. (See Reference 4) The Cat Health Guide recommends omega-3 fatty acid from fish sources, not from plant sources. Evidence for the effectiveness of omega-3 is merely anecdotal so far, but it has a low risk of side effects. As always, consult your vet.
- vetinfo4cats.com: "Choosing a Cat Food for a Sensitive Stomach"
- Jean Hofve, DVM: "Selecting a Good Commercial Pet Food"
- FelineDiet.net: "Sensitive Stomach Cat Food: Preparing a Sensitive Stomach Feline Diet"
- Cat Health Guide: Feline Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Dr. Jon Rappaport: "Vet's Advice on Sensitive Stomach Cat Food"
- "Your Cat: Simple New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life"; Elizabeth M. Hodgkins, DVM; 2007.
- "Raising Cats Naurally"; Michelle T. Bernard; 2008.
- "The Whole Pet Diet: Eight Weeks to Great Health for Dogs and Cats"; Andi Brown; 2006.