There are a number of ailments that can befall a cat. However, one of the most common of these ailments is colitis (inflammation of the colon or large intestine). A painful disease, it causes a great deal of physical and psychological stress, and can drastically reduce the quality of a cat’s life.
Wondering whether your cat might have colitis? Then this is the article for you. Below, we’re going to discuss the most common symptoms of colitis in cats.
What are the Signs of Colitis in Cats?
The signs of colitis in cats are many. The most prominent of these signs include the following:
Has your cat’s stool been watery or mucusy as of late? If so, there’s a very good possibility that he or she is suffering from colitis.
When the colon becomes damaged, it can sometimes lose the ability to absorb moisture from waste. As a result, this moisture remains in said waste, presenting it as loose or mucus-filled.
In some cases, colitis will make it difficult for a cat to defecate at all. Monitor your cat daily to ensure that he or she is using the litter box.
Another sign that could indicate the existence of colitis in your cat is weight loss. This is particularly true when the colitis is caused by worms or infection, both of which are known to cause weight loss.
A cat’s colon is located in its stomach. Therefore, it should stand to reason that an inflamed colon would cause stomach pain in your cat. If you notice your cat licking his or her stomach more than normal, there is a reason to believe that colitis is present.
Another sign of colitis in cats is severe flatulence. Normally, cats would relieve themselves of gas on rare occasions. However, if their colons were to become inflamed, their level of flatulence would increase substantially.
Lack of Interest in Food
Once colitis presents itself in a cat, that cat sees eating as a painful and laborious experience. For this reason, cats with colitis will often show a lack of interest in food. If your cat isn’t touching his or her bowl, colitis could be at the root of the problem.
Excessive Need to Use the Litter Box
While colitis will cause some cats to become constipated, it will cause other cats to have to use the litter box more often than they do already. If your cat is passing stool more than 3 times a day, there is cause for concern, and you should bring him or her to a veterinarian.
What Causes Colitis in Cats?
Colitis presents itself in cats for a variety of different reasons. The most causes for colitis in cats are as follows.
One of the more common causes of cat colitis is worms. Cats get worms by ingesting worm larvae. Once ingested, these worm larvae go to town, feasting on the cat’s interior organs.
When worms end up in the colon, they can very easily cause it to become inflamed, leading to colitis. For this reason, you need to do everything in your power to keep your cat protected.
Worms most commonly come from fleas and animal feces. So, treat your cat with a flea medication and keep your litter boxes clean.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Cases of chronic colitis often go hand-in-hand with irritable bowel syndrome or IBS. While the two conditions are separate, they carry the same general consequences. It’s just important to know that, if your cat has IBS, he or she could also have colitis, and could be in serious pain or discomfort.
There is also a chance that a cat could get colitis as a result of a colon infection. Harmful bacteria (ie. Salmonella, Bordatella, etc.) that passes through the colon could easily infect a cat whose immune system is compromised. Sick, young, and elderly cats are at the greatest risk of infectious colitis.
Psychological stress could also cause colitis in cats. If you’ve just moved to a new apartment, or if you have a strange new animal in your home, your cat could take on stress as a result. In some cases — but not all — this will lead to an inflamed colon.
Consumption of Poor Foods
Like most animals, cats will eat just about anything. Unfortunately, this becomes a problem when the cat eats something rotten or decayed. Should your cat ever get into the garbage, he or she could easily ingest bad bacteria and induce colitis.
The treatment of colitis in cats involves a good deal of testing and assessment. Your cat will undergo everything from x-rays to blood tests to ultrasounds to endoscopy and more, all of which will be carried out to assess the severity of your cat’s condition.
In some cases, cats will be hospitalized so that they can be monitored over time. However, in most cases, this isn’t necessary.
Most cases of colitis can be remedied with medication and at-home care. The medication will relieve pain from inflammation and might even eliminate an existing infection.
Usually, colitis will go away. The key to preventing it from coming back in the future is to be diligent about your cat’s environment. Clean his or her litter box every day, give him or her flea medication, make sure that he or she is up-to-date on vaccinations, keep your trash covered, and bring him or her in for regular veterinary appointments.
On the search for more information? Learn more about feline colitis now!
On the Search for Other Pet Tips?
And there it is, that’s how to identify colitis in cats. If you notice any of the above-reviewed signs in your cat, you’re advised to take him or her to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
On the search for other pet-related tips? Florida Independent has you covered.
Browse our other articles now!