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What To Do For Cat With Upset Stomach

Home Remedies For Cats With Diarrhea

Caring for a Cat with a Sensitive Stomach

By: Shanna Freeman& Dr. H. Ellen Whiteley | Updated: Apr 14, 2021

Diarrhea is a problem that most pet parents might not want to talk about, but it can be even more serious for cats than for humans. If you’re cleaning your cat’s litter box and notice that her stools have been loose lately, it could be cause for concern.

When the body needs to get rid of something quickly, it speeds up the action of the intestines and cuts down on water reabsorption from the gut. Diarrhea is actually a defense mechanism. Once the cat’s body has expelled the suspect stuff — and no more is taken in — diarrhea usually clears up by itself. So it’s possible that your cat has just eaten something that didn’t agree with her stomach and there’s no real reason to worry.

However, certain viruses and diseases, a change in diet or a food allergy can also trigger diarrhea. If it’s one of these causes, the diarrhea may not clear up for several days. Because it also removes a lot of fluid from the body, bouts of diarrhea lasting more than 24 hours may cause dehydration, which is a potentially serious condition.

Start by making a mental checklist of the previous 24 hours. Did your cat rummage through the garbage? Drink some milk ? Have a snack of “people” food? Eat a new food of any kind? Have a major stress or trauma ? Now think about the past week. Has there been an increase in stress for the cat? Did she eat some nonfood item? Has she been showing other symptoms of illness?

What Should I Do If My Cat Is Vomiting More Than Once A Month

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.

Cat Upset Stomach Home Remedy: Chamomile

Have you ever heard of the benefits of chamomile for cats? Yes, you can give your cat chamomile infusions to help soothe their symptoms of stomach upset. To help, you can ingest the chamomile with a syringe . Place it on the side of your cats mouth and administer a small amount. If your cat rejects it actively by vomiting again, DO NOT force it to drink the chamomile. Instead, offer your cat water or chicken broth.

Chamomile has important digestive, soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it is good and effective to treat stomach problems in cats. However, as weve already mentioned, this depends on the cause and severity of your cats stomach upset. If the vomiting, diarrhea or pain does not remit, it will be essential to establish veterinary prescribed treatment.

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What Is The Symptomatic Treatment For Acute Vomiting

Non-specific symptomatic treatment is often prescribed initially in mild cases of acute vomiting. Your veterinarian will usually advise you to feed your cat an easily digested, bland diet in small quantities given frequently. A veterinary prescription diet specifically formulated to be easy to digest is often recommended. Alternatively, a specific home-cooked diet may be recommended. It is important that the cat does not receive any other foods other than what your veterinarian advises during this period.

“Water should be freely available and is important to prevent dehydration.”

Water should be freely available and is important to prevent dehydration. If the cat is improving, the quantity of food offered at any one time can gradually be increased back to a normal quantity and then the cat’s normal diet can be reintroduced gradually over several days.

In some cases, your veterinarian may prescribe medication to control vomiting or relieve inflammation, for example maropitant citrate famotidine or metronidazole . This approach allows the body’s healing mechanisms to correct the problem.

If your cat does not improve with symptomatic treatment, your veterinarian may make a change in medication or perform further tests to evaluate the problem more thoroughly.

What To Feed A Cat With Upset Stomach

Pink Watery Cat Vomit

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Helping A Cat Suffering From Stomach Issues

The specific solution for your cats stomach issues depends largely on which condition is causing them. In most cases, a combination of anti-vomiting medications and shifts in diet will be all it takes to make your kitty feel better again. For more severe ailments and conditions, your pet may need to undergo surgery, but these instances are relevantly rare. We also recommend chatting with your veterinarian about utilizing natural pet supplements to help your cats stomach recover. These supplements can play a huge role in harmonizing your felines stomach and ensuring their GI tract stays in peak condition, especially when combined with any medication or diet changes your veterinarian suggests.

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Dry Heaving And Vomiting In Cats

All cats will vomit or dry heave every so often. However, severe or frequent dry heaving may be a sign that your kitty is suffering from a more serious health issue than an upset stomach. Here, our Tracy vets explain some of the causes of dry heaving or vomiting in cats, what conditions may cause them and how they are diagnosed.

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A Bland Meal That Cats Do Well With Is Boiled Chicken With Rice

What To Feed A Cat With Upset Stomach. Fresh fruits and vegetables are a good option for most cats. Many canned foods are high in protein and water and low in carbohydrates which more closely mimics a cats natural diet. Feed Only Bland Foods Commercial pet foods contain ingredients that most healthy cats digest well but the added chemicals can cause the cat to not feel so hot if his stomach is upset.

Adding more fiber to his diet will increase the bulk of his stools helping solidify them for more regular digestion. Say you feed your cat wet food but wish to move them to dry. Changing food cold turkey can lead to more stomach upset.

Feed your cat some bland foods like boiled chicken and rice when her fast is over. For example if your cat is experiencing stomach sensitivity on dry food it is reasonable to try a low-carb higher-protein canned food diet like Royal Canin Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Moderate Calorie canned cat food or Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Formula canned cat food. If you swap to dry in one go you could induce an upset stomach.

You can create bland food by cooking chicken and removing all fat skin and bones and mixing that into well-cooked white rice according to Two Rivers Veterinary Clinic. In some cases drinking water may cause a cat with an upset stomach to vomit further dehydrating him. Cats can get upset stomachs from for a variety of sources ranging from trying a new medication to eating their food too fast.

What Causes Indigestion In Cats

HOW TO Fix an Upset Stomach In Cats – Runny Stools and What To Do

Indigestion is a symptom associated with a host of different issues. Indigestion can be caused by:

Intestinal parasites

Enzyme deficiency


Additionally, illnesses of the body that arent limited to the GI tract can still cause indigestion. Things such as a UTI, hormonal problems, infections, or chronic pain can upset your cats stomach.

With pets, it can be difficult to tell if they are experiencing indigestion until they show more overt symptoms. Try to pay attention to your pets mood to see if they seem down, depressed, or inhibited in some way as compared to normal.

Overall, most indigestion is caused by food allergies and subsequently acid reflux. Acid reflux in your cat can be identified by:


Vomiting soon after eating a meal

Loss of appetite

As mentioned, these mild symptoms will be difficult to identify until they become a more serious problemGERD, or gastroesophageal disease. Your cat may experience symptoms such as:

Excessive drooling

Paw licking apart from grooming

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Intestinal Blockages In Cats

An intestinal blockage is anything that obstructs the passage of food and fluids through the digestive tract, or prevents normal motility of the intestines. Treatment almost always requires surgery, and it may be fatal. Fortunately, many cats do well with prompt veterinary treatment.

In cats, the condition is often due to ingesting a foreign object, such as a small toy or a string that gets stuck in the stomach or intestines. Sometimes, blockages are caused by underlying health conditions, such as a tumor or intestinal motion problem. Rarely, it can be caused by a hairball.

An intestinal blockage is a very serious condition that must be addressed right away. Common symptoms include a cat being unable to keep down food or water, frequent vomiting , and generally not feeling well .

To prevent an intestinal blockage, dont allow unsupervised access to any toys or small objects that could accidentally be swallowed. Be especially vigilant about preventing access to strings, thread, yarn, tinsel, etc. Supervised playtime with string toys is fine, just put the toy away when playtime is finished.

How Is Gastritis Diagnosed

“If the gastritis is chronic, more involved testing will be undertaken.”

Tests for gastritis may include blood tests, urinalysis, abdominal x-rays, abdominal ultrasound and endoscopy. In acute cases, only minimal diagnostics such as blood and urine tests are required. If the gastritis is chronic, more involved testing will be undertaken to determine the exact cause of your cat’s vomiting.

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How Do I Know If I Should Take My Cat To The Vet

If your cat is vomiting periodically or infrequently, avoid giving your cat any food for about 12 hours. Provide kitty with a couple of tablespoons of water every 30 minutes or provide them with ice cubes during this brief fasting period. After 12 hours begin providing your cat with small amounts of bland food and gradually return to normal feeding if vomiting has stopped.

If your cat is experiencing repeated bouts of vomiting, you should contact your vet immediately. Continuous or severe vomiting could be a sign that your cat is seriously ill and requires immediate treatment. Contact your vet if your cat displays any of the symptoms below:

  • Repeated vomiting

Ziwi Peak Mackerel Recipe Canned Food Recipe

6 Remedies That Will Settle Your Cat

Our Top Pick for the Best Wet Cat Food for Sensitive Stomach and Diarrhea: If youre looking for the best wet cat food for sensitive stomach, a high-quality diet made with a limited number of ingredients like this Ziwi Peak Mackerel Recipe Canned food. This recipe features 100% ethically sourced meat and seafood including fresh mackerel for a protein-rich, highly digestible diet. It contains no grains or artificial additives to upset your cats stomach but is supplemented with chelated minerals and essential vitamins. Though not made in the United States, this brand is highly trusted in the industry and uses only the freshest, most high-quality ingredients. Plus, it is made with a novel source of protein and carbohydrate to minimize the risk of food allergies.

  • Pros: Novel source of protein and carbohydrate, protein-rich, limited number of main ingredients, grain-free carbohydrate, chelated minerals, highly digestible recipe
  • Cons: Not made in the United States, expensive to feed as a staple diet

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Is It Time To Schedule A Vet Visit

Consistent vomiting and diarrhea despite dietary changes, weight loss, ongoing lethargy and malaise, and behavior thats out of the norm for your cat are signs that its time to schedule an appointment with your vet. All the above could be symptoms of an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.

At the appointment, your veterinarian will assess your cats health, perform pertinent tests, and help determine the cause. It could be something small, such as a common bug that can be treated with a prescription, or it could be something greater, such as a gastrointestinal or other systemic disorder that needs to be carefully managed. Whatever the case, swift attention is recommended for the health and happiness of your pet.

Stomach issues are the second most common reason why our pet parents visit the vet. From chronic GI issues to a sudden bout of toxicity, by enrolling in pet insurance you can save up to 90% on vet bills. This means you can say yes to life-saving treatments. Start by getting a free quote.

Find Out Whats Causing Your Cats Diarrhea

Diarrhea is a sign of another disease or condition, not a disease itself. There are many possible causes of your cats diarrhea, but loose stool is usually attributed in some way with inflammation that occurs in your cat’s gastrointestinal tract . Some of the wide-ranging causes include:

  • Viruses
  • Parasites in the intestines, like Coccidia and intestinal worms
  • Conditions, like inflammatory bowel disease, colitis, pancreatic disease, cancer or hypothyroidism
  • Ingestion of toxic chemicals or poisonous plants
  • Food intolerance
  • Food allergies

With many possible causes, it can be hard to take care of a new case of feline diarrhea without talking to a veterinarian. You may be tempted to immediately try changing your cat’s food without a veterinary visit. However, even if that resolves the diarrhea, the underlying causes may still be harming your cat.

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How Do I Recognize Vomiting

Vomiting may begin with a stage of nausea, in which the cat appears restless, and possibly anxious. The cat may lick its lips, salivate, and repeatedly swallow. Vomiting itself involves forceful contractions of the abdominal muscles, leading to expulsion of fluid, froth, or food. The severe effort associated with vomiting may be distressing to the cat.

It is important to differentiate this from the abdominal contractions associated with coughing. Cats may cough up some froth or foamy material that they subsequently swallow. Cats usually crouch down on all four legs when coughing with the neck stretched out. It is helpful if you can show a video to your veterinarian of your cat exhibiting the behavior so they can help you distinguish coughing versus vomiting.

“It is also important to differentiate vomiting from regurgitation.”

It is also important to differentiate vomiting from regurgitation, which is usually associated with problems affecting the esophagus and is a more passive process. Features that help to differentiate vomiting from regurgitation include:

  • vomiting typically involves abdominal contractions and effort
  • regurgitation typically occurs quickly without abdominal contractions
  • regurgitation often occurs right after eating or drinking

How Can I Treat My Cat’s Upset Stomach


Treatment for upset cat stomach should target the underlying cause while helping your kitty feel better by reducing nausea and inflammation.

Treatment depends on the specific diagnosis. Treatment for liver disease, for example, is very different from treatment for IBD, which is very different from treatment for intestinal parasites. Surgery or surgical biopsy procedures may be necessary for some situations. Your vet may also recommend lab tests or imaging studies, such as abdominal ultrasounds or X-rays.

While proper treatment must address the underlying cause, it’s also important to ease any pain and suffering your kitty is experiencing. Your vet may prescribe anti-nausea medication, which can be administered orally or via injection. Additional medications, such as antacids, antibiotics, dewormers, probiotics, prokinetics or pain medication may be prescribed, depending on your cat’s needs.

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Fasting Or Eating Less

Food can make a cat feel worse when he has an upset stomach. Byremoving a catâs food for 24 hour can help give his stomach time take abreak and eliminate the cause of the irritation. During the fast, a catshould have access to clean water so he doesnât become dehydrated.Adult cats shouldnât fast for more than 24 hours and kittens should notgo longer than 4 hours without food. If one is hesitant tomake their cat fast for a day, they can try feeding the cat smallerportions of food several times throughout the day instead of a few bigmeals. A cat may also benefit from just eating less. Cats may vomit orget upset stomachs when they eat too much or too fast.

What Causes Cat Indigestion

Yes! Cat indigestion. Chances are, youve experienced indigestion yourself, and while not life threatening, it is a miserable experience that can persist over several days or even be a chronic issue in your life. While food and quality nutrition are important, just as important is understanding what foods affect the G.I. tract for you or your pet. While there are certainly common culprits, what causes your cat indigestion can be a highly individual thing. Email us at and we will help you find the right food and supplements for your cat.

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Chronic Conditions & Disease

If your cat is experiencing recurring bouts of vomiting, diarrhea/constipation or other chronic digestive issues, it may be indicative of conditions such as:

  • Fungal/bacterial infections
  • Motility disorders
  • Cancer
  • Metabolic diseases

Although most pet owners dont want to assume the worst-case scenario, its important to act quickly if you recognize a pattern of chronic symptoms. If you observe persistent nausea, vomiting, excessive hacking/retching or other related warning signs, contact your veterinarian immediately for a complete examination. By taking a proactive role in your cats health, you can ensure his happiness and well-being for years to come.

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