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Colic in Cats

Updated March 23, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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About the Author

Sophie Reynolds

Sophie Reynolds has been a writer since 1990. She has written everything from children's stories to auto maintenance and estate planning articles. Reynolds holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Juris Doctor. She has worked as a lawyer, a tax and estate planner and a business and personal security consultant. Her areas of expertise include cooking, entertaining, electronics, relationships and green living.

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