home care for the cat with vomiting or diarrhea

Home Care for a Cat with Vomiting and Diarrhea

Vomiting and diarrhea are the most common symptoms seen in cats. They can occur alone or together. It can be a very minor self-limiting problem or a very significant major problem.

Below are some common questions pet owners ask when their cat has vomiting and diarrhea. The focus of this article will be on how you can care for these problems at home.

What Are Diarrhea and Vomiting?

Vomiting is the act of expelling contents from the stomach through the mouth. Diarrhea is the act of having abnormally loose or liquid stools. This can also be associated with an increased frequency of bowel movements. Some cats will have a large amount of liquid or abnormally loose stools once and others will have semi-formed stools frequently with straining.

Why Does My Cat Have Diarrhea and Vomiting?

Vomiting and diarrhea can be caused by a variety of problems including eating too much, eating something that is not digestible, changes in a cat’s diet, eating spoiled food or garbage, infectious agents (including bacterial, viruses, or parasites), as well as systemic problems such as cancer, diabetes, pancreatitis, kidney disease, or liver disease. For a full list of possible causes, read Gastroenteritis in Cats.

Vomiting and diarrhea can affect your cat by causing extreme fluid loss, which leads to dehydration, electrolyte disturbances, and/or acid-base imbalances.

How Do I Treat Vomiting and Diarrhea for Cats at Home?

Specific treatments of vomiting and diarrhea are dependent on the cause. Here is the general approach to treating vomiting and diarrhea:

Diarrhea and Vomiting in Cats: When to Worry

If the vomiting and/or diarrhea continue after your pet eats, if your pet doesn’t want to eat, or if your pet acts lethargic, medical attention is warranted.

If your cat is losing weight, if you see blood in the vomit or feces, or if your cat has ineffective vomiting (they are retching, but unable to produce vomit), this is a medical emergency.

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The information presented in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for the advice of a veterinarian.