How To Relieve Cat Stomach Issues
Reviewed for accuracy on August 28, 2018, by Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM
When youre hit with an upset stomach, you seek sympathy from your cat while contemplating the contents of your medicine cabinet. But cat stomach issues are different. If your cat throws up, or you wake up to the nasty reality of cat diarrhea, your kitty relies on you to find out whats wrong and how to get her back on track.
Feed Only Bland Foods
Commercial pet foods contain ingredients that most healthy cat’sdigest well, but the added chemicals can cause the cat to not feel sohot if his stomach is upset. A bland meal that cats do well with isboiled chicken with rice. One could try giving a cat a bit of chickenwith rice to see if his stomach handles it well. He can be fed more ofthis recipe as he begins to feel better. Once theres a significantimprovement in a cat’s condition, his regular food can gradually bereintroduced. Another food item that cat’s may tolerate wellwhen they have an upset stomach is baby food in a jar that containsmeat. One needs to make sure this product doesn’t have any onions orgarlic in it before giving it to a cat.
How To Prepare Catnip For Cats
If youve decided to grow your own catnip, you can offer it to your cats fresh from the plant.
Heres how to prepare fresh catnip for cats:
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Catnip Seems To Make My Cat Aggressive
Some cats, usually males, will become aggressive when you give them catnip, possibly because of catnip’s connection to mating behaviour. If this is the case with your cat, then stop.
You might consider an alternative like honey-suckle or valerian. Talk with your vet, he or she will be able to tell you if they think catnip is right for your pet or recommend other alternatives.
Administering Catnip To Your Cat
There are some wellness best practices you should follow when administering catnip to your kitty. Make sure you use it as a treat for your cat, as opposed to making it her regular cat food.
You can also use it for training your cat to do healthy things, like sleep in her cat bed all you have to do is spray some catnip spray on it, and shell be drawn to it. You can also have a special catnip toy you let her play with.
Its better to use fresh catnip as opposed to dried catnip. You can buy a fresh catnip plant in the pet store. Just note that this is an invasive species, so dont plant it in your garden simply put it in its own pot. If you want to grow your own, place it in an area where your cat cant access it so she doesnt accidentally have too much.
After that initial 10 to 15 minute period with catnip, your cat may not be able to sense it again for a few hours, so keep that in mind. Additionally, if you have multiple cats, make sure there is enough to go around so that they dont fight with each other over it.
Theres no hard and fast rule on how much you should give your cat for the first time. Just remember that if you give it to her too much, your cats brain will become desensitized to it, and things like her scratching post, cat toys, and cat bed will not be as fun for her anymore.
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How Much Fresh Catnip Can You Offer A Cat
Cats normally only consume safe amounts of catnip, so theyll likely refuse more once its had enough. However, other cats can get carried away. To prevent this, give catnip in small doses.
Its estimated that cats can smell catnip at an astounding ratio of 1:1 billion in the air. A cats nose is already 14 times more sensitive than a human beings, and catnip further increases this sensitivity.
When offering it fresh, you can give your cat some of the herb every 2 weeks or so. Remember that fresh catnip is more potent than other forms.
Why Do Cats Love Catnip
Catnips allure lies in a volatile oil found in its stems, leaves, and even seeds called nepetalactone. According to Science Advances, this active ingredient alters the behavior of domestic and wild cats.
About 70-80% of all cats exhibit changed behavior after exposure to catnip. However, its important to note that this response is deemed hereditary.
Some cats might not react to the catnip at all, and thats fine. It doesnt mean your cat is unwell, nor is it a sign that theres something wrong with its response system.
Catnip affects each cat differently, meaning that your cat could respond in the usual way, with excess energy, or in peculiar ways.
Some cats rub their heads and bodies onto the herb, while others enjoy rolling around it. You might even notice your cat salivating and wanting a bite of the plant.
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Home Remedies For Cat Vomiting And Upset Stomach
Vomiting and upset stomach can happen for various reasons. It can either be something that happens once and never happens again, or it can be a recurring problem.
Your kitty may have developed a tummy ache from slurping that bit of milk you just offered after breakfast.
It could also be that she cannot tolerate that new cat food you just brought her, or maybe she simply eats too fast. Hairballs are also notorious causes of vomiting.
If the upset stomach is a one-time thing, think about the following possible causes:
- Sudden diet change
- Eating something that blocks their stomach
- Medication side effects
- Viral or bacterial infections
If your cat seems to have recurring vomiting and upset tummy, one of these might be the cause:
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Metabolic disease
- Motility disorders
- Many other causes
It cannot be repeated enough that in some cases, vomiting may also indicate serious issues such as intestinal obstructions, kidney disease, internal parasites, or even cancer. Any of these would obviously require prompt veterinary attention!
If your cat has an upset tummy but is still bright and alert, home remedies may be helpful.
Your Own Careful Sleuthing Can Sometimes Detect The Food Behind Unpleasant Gastrointestinal Symptoms
She has a sensitive stomach is a common refrain heard by veterinarians. People want to know why their otherwise healthy cat vomits or has diarrhea or flatulence on a not-infrequent basis. The symptoms are not life-threatening or even terribly severe. The cat soon returns to herself. But owners are rightfully concerned.
And food manufacturers are onto them. Worry over GI upset has become big business so much so that if you google cat food for sensitive stomachs, lots of ads will pop up to entice you to try a particular brand.
But before you switch foods, there are a number of other steps to take. The first is to talk to your cats veterinarian. There are a lot of reasons a cat may be vomiting here and there or having other GI problems, and they dont all have to do with the food she eats. Even if your pets symptoms are mild and she generally seems fine, you want to rule out various conditions that could cause stomach upset and treat them, if necessary before deciding on your own that the problem is in the diet.
You might never be able to figure out the exact reason for the disconnect between a food and your cats gastrointestinal tract, but the good news is that if you can identify which component of your pets diet is bringing on the unpleasant symptoms, you can easily switch it out for something else. There are always other choices. Heres how to go about it, says board-certified veterinary nutritionist Cailin Heinze, VMD.
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Does Your Cat Have Tummy Troubles
An upset stomach is more common in cats than you might think. But how can you tell if itâs a serious problem?
Every cat owner recognizes the warning signs of an upset feline stomach: the mournful meow, gagging, and heaving retch. But in a flash, the cat seems to snap back to good health while youâre left scrubbing the carpet.
The scenario is a familiar one for Cynthia Bowen of Cleveland, Ohio. As the owner of four Maine Coons, Bowen has cleaned her share of messes. âIt would happen every couple of months or so,â she says. âOtherwise, they were perfectly healthy.â
Although itâs not a pleasant subject, vomiting is something cats seem to do almost on cue. Many cat owners accept this as a natural part of owning a pet, but it doesnât have to be that way. Knowing what triggers an upset stomach and what you can do about it will make for a better relationship with your cat.
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Where Did Catnip Come From
Nepeta cataria, the scientific name for catnip, is an herb in the mint family. It can grow up to three feet high. Indigenous to Europe, it was transplanted to North America during European settlement. But catnip actually isnt the only herb known to get cats to boogie. A study suggests that valerian root, silver vine, and Tatarian honeysuckle can also have a similar effect on cats behavior to catnip. These alternative herbs are safe, but here are 12 dangerous mistakes cat owners should never make.
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What’s The Strongest Type Of Catnip
Various forms of catnip exist, including sprays, dried leaves, and the entire plant. Although each varies in its concentration of nepetalactone, there is minimal difference in how profoundly these different forms affect cats.
Since catnip is not a drug, its effects dont depend on the amount given or the concentration. There only needs to be enough nepetalactone to trigger the endorphin response. This causes a cats body to release those endorphins at a strictly regulated level that is not proportionate to the amount of nepetalactone inhaled. This is why cats cannot fatally overdose on catnip.
Don’t: Keep Fresh Catnip Around All The Time
There are different types of catnip that can be used, such as fresh, dried, or sprayed. Some cats prefer dried catnip to fresh. If you have fresh catnip, you may ask yourself, can cats eat catnip leaves? While it is safe to consume catnip leaves, you should be sure to monitor your plant to make sure your cat is not eating too much. Fresh catnip is thought to be easier on your cats mouth. However, it is a live plant and will require some upkeep.
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How To Use Catnip Herb For Cats
Felines react to catnip with a burst of energy and what appears to be happiness. It can give your cat the zoomies and make it wild during playtime. This can be a great way to brighten up your cats day and encourage certain behaviors. The question comes, of course, of how to give catnip to cats.
To use catnip for cats, crush the herbs leaves into a fine powder. This can be sprinkled on toys, food, beds, or scratching posts. Catnip contains nepetalactone, an essential oil that stimulates feline pleasure receptors. Catnip comes in spray form, but it contains less nepetalactone.
Too much catnip wont kill your cat, and the worst that will happen is an upset stomach. This may result in vomiting and diarrhea if the feline consumes too much. The good news is that catnip is easy to ration with toys, and most cats will stop interacting with the herb once theyve had enough.
How Do I Get My Cat With An Upset Stomach To Eat
It’s important that your cat continues to eat regular as prolonged loss of appetite can be harmful to your cat. If your cat doesn’t eat, she could develop fatty liver disease, which is potentially fatal, which prolonged anorexia in a cat can be life-threatening.
While working with your vet to control your cat’s symptoms with medication, you can also try the following if your cat is turning her nose up at her food:
- Warm her food in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds the heat will make it smell more appetizing. Test it before serving her to make sure it isn’t too hot!
- Try feeding her canned food if you’ve been giving her dry food, and vice versa.
- Make the experience more pleasant: Gently speak to her and pet her as you offer food.
If your cat won’t eat for more than 48 hours, then it’s time to get your vet involved.
While cat upset stomach can be unpleasant for your kitty, it’s not unsolvable. Proper veterinary care and nutrition will resolve most cats’ tummy issues and hopefully, save your carpet as well.
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Benefits Of Catnip For Your Cats
The most common benefit of catnip is that it helps cats relax. They often dive into playtime and run around the home with this good feeling. Some cats relax and take a nap, feeling more affectionate than normal. In any case, it makes them exceptionally happy. However, the advantages dont end there.
There are health and training benefits from giving catnip to cats, including:
- Encouraging play to keep your cat healthy and fit.
- Reducing stress levels in anxious cats.
- Helping calm your cat down during car trips to the vet.
- Eliminating restlessness in nervousness cats.
- Bribing your cat as a treat to improve training efforts
What Is Catnip Poisoning
A cats response to catnip is mediated through the olfactory system, or sense of smell. As with any scent, the active ingredient of the scent source enters the nasal passages and binds to the receptors in the olfactory system. This action stimulates the sensory neurons which then go on to trigger the olfactory bulb to send signals to the brain. Felines are especially sensitive to the smell of catnip because they have a specialized receptor in the hard palate known as the vomeronasal organ. This olfactory organ is receptive to the active ingredient in catnip, called nepetalactone, causing the feline to display dramatic behavior of running, jumping, drooling, rubbing, licking and rolling on the ground. Researchers believe the plant to cause a similar release of feel-good pheromones as marijuana, but catnip does not affect all cats in the same way. Only 50 to 60 percent of felines can pick up on the scents released by the weed-like plant and kittens, as well as older felines, are not affected at all.
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What Can I Feed My Cat With A Sensitive Stomach
There are several different recipes that you can use to make homemade cat food for your feline friend. However, if your cat has a sensitive stomach, there are a few things that youll need to keep in mind.
First, its important to avoid any ingredients that might trigger an upset stomach. This means avoiding things like onions, garlic, and other spices.
Second, youll need to make sure that the food is cooked thoroughly. Undercooked food can often lead to digestive problems in cats.
How To Cure Cat Stomach Upset
Detecting whats behind your cats vomiting is crucial, and that means a trip to the vet. A cat who throws up multiple times in a day or who has not eaten in 48 hours needs to see a vet immediately.
Dr. Arguelles says, Veterinarians have anti-nausea medication that can be given as an injection or as an oral tablet as well as medications to help with diarrhea and poor appetite. A temporary switch to a bland diet may be recommended until the cats symptoms subside.
In some cases, a veterinarian will recommend heartworm medicine for cats or a prescription dewormer for cats. A cat that is vomiting more than once per month should be examined by a veterinarian, who will dewormor recommend your cat be on monthly prevention with Revolution, Advantage Multi or Heartgard, says Dr. Arguelles. Many heartworm medicines for cats also kill some of the intestinal parasites that can cause cat stomach upset.
She says a vet may also recommend abdominal radiographs to check for an obstruction, foreign body or other problem, or lab work to seek underlying metabolic causes of vomiting, such as kidney disease and hyperthyroidism.
Dr. Rondeau says if your cat has just started vomiting or is suddenly lethargic, wont eat or is hiding, definitely bring him to the vet. But we also see a lot of cats with chronic vomiting In those cases, maybe they arent lethargic, but the owners notice some vomiting and see the cat has lost weight for those, it is definitely time to check with the vet.
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Can The Right Food Help Soothe My Cat’s Stomach
Appropriate nutrition is incredibly important to soothing a cat’s upset stomach. A sick or injured GI system is often weakened and unable to digest food normally. Feeding your cat the right food can help speed recovery and minimize pain, nausea and discomfort.
In mild cases, you may be able to improve your cat’s symptoms with a change in food alone, like switching to Hill’s® Science Diet® Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin formula.
It can be wise to feed a cat a combination of canned and dry food to provide additional moisture to meals. For more serious conditions, your vet may prescribe a highly digestible therapeutic food, such as Hill’s® Prescription Diet® cat food to help soothe and heal the gut.
When in doubt, ask your vet for a dietary recommendation. If you do switch foods, make the change slowly by mixing your cat’s old and new foods together for several days.