It is not uncommon for cats to develop digestive problems at some point in their lives. Symptoms of digestive problems can be quite varied and include the following:
- Changes in appetite along with vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation
- Increased or decreased thirst
- Dull and/or unkempt coat
- Weight loss (in chronic situations)
Cat digestive problems may be acute or chronic. While acute digestive issues are often self-limiting in cats, cats with chronic digestive problems require a comprehensive veterinary examination to assess underlying causes and determine appropriate treatment. A fecal exam for parasites, a complete CBC/blood chemistry profile, feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus tests, X-rays and/or ultrasound (if your cat is vomiting), and a urine analysis and thyroid profile for older cats are recommended. Endoscopic or surgical biopsies may also be needed in chronic digestive cases.
If digestive problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation continue for more than a few days, or if symptoms intensify, always consult your veterinarian. This is crucial to avoid dehydration, infections, and organ complications of the liver or kidneys. Veterinarians will often give symptomatic medications to relieve symptoms, as well as intravenous or subsequent fluids to treat and prevent dehydration.