Ask a Vet: Why Is My Cat Having Stomach Problems?

Gastrointestinal (GI) issues in cats are not unusual and your pet can experience them for a number of reasons. Since there are many common causes, being able to recognize changes in your cat’s digestion can help you and your veterinarian provide the best care.

More Than Just Germs

There are many environmental factors that can be the cause of your cat’s upset stomach. Walking through his daily routine and understanding his habits is a great place to start when determining why he’s having stomach issues.
  • Is Your Cat Stressed? Cats can experience GI issues as a result of stress-related anxiety. Different stress-inducing events include  moving to a new home, or welcoming a new baby or pet.
  • Imappropriate consumption. Human food,  toys, as well as items like string or rubber bands, can have negative effects on your cat’s digestive system. In some cases, these can cause serious health issues. If your cat is a picky eater, try a new food instead of supplementing his existing diet with food that isn’t “pet-approved.”
  • Changes in diet. A sudden introduction of a new food to your pet can cause an upset stomach, so be sure to take your time in transitioning from current food to new food. Give your cat seven days to transition. Over that time, you can steadily increase the proportion of new food so your cat’s digestive system has time to adjust.
  • Bacterial infections, viral infections and intestinal parasites. If your cat is an outdoor cat, it’s possible that he may have picked up an intestinal parasite from a contaminated source in his favorite hunting spots. Check with your veterinarian as they have medications that can help eliminate parasites and treat bacterial infections and get your cat back in good shape.
  • Chronic illness. If you’ve tried everything and your cat still isn’t feeling better, it’s possible they may have a chronic illness. Just as cats with sudden GI changes, cats suffering from chronic diseases may vomit or show changes in stool consistency and volume. Visit your veterinarian.

How Your Veterinarian Can Help
Cats with digestive issues can exhibit many signs, but the two most noticeable are diarrhea and vomiting. It is important to contact your veterinarian when your pet shows these signs in order to help diagnose the issue and decide the best course of treatment. Be prepared to share any details about your pet’s current diet, signs, changes in appetite and other helpful information.

We know having a sick pet is hard. That’s why we specially formulate our diets with the right nutrition your pet needs to help them feel better. To learn more about ROYAL CANIN® products, visit