Cat Diarrhea and Throwing Up: Causes, Treatment, and Veterinary Costs Explained

Cat Diarrhea and Throwing Up: Causes, Treatment, and Veterinary Costs Explained

Causes and Treatment Options for Feline Stool and Vomiting
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Explore the comprehensive guide to understanding and managing cat diarrhea and vomiting, covering causes, treatment options, and veterinary costs.
general care
7 minute read
By Team Dr.Tail
Big cat with upset stomach staring.
Big cat with upset stomach staring.
When our feline companions experience gastrointestinal distress, it can be concerning and stressful for both them and their owners. Cat diarrhea and vomiting are common symptoms that can indicate various underlying health issues, ranging from minor digestive upsets to more serious conditions. Understanding the causes, treatment options, and potential veterinary costs associated with these symptoms is essential for providing prompt and effective care to our beloved cats. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the intricacies of cat diarrhea and throwing up, exploring the possible reasons behind these symptoms, outlining treatment approaches, and shedding light on the financial considerations involved in seeking veterinary care.
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Causes of cat diarrhea and throwing up

When your feline friend experiences gastrointestinal distress, it can be attributed to a variety of underlying factors. Here's a comprehensive look at the common causes of vomiting and diarrhea:
  • Intestinal Parasites: Intestinal parasites such as roundworms can wreak havoc on your cat's gastrointestinal tract, leading to diarrhea and vomiting. These parasites may be acquired through contaminated food, water, or exposure to infected animals.
  • Hairballs: Cats are meticulous groomers, but ingesting excessive amounts of hair can lead to the formation of hairballs in the stomach, causing irritation and triggering vomiting and regurgitation.
  • Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas, known as pancreatitis, can cause severe abdominal pain, ulcers, diarrhea, and vomiting in cats. This condition may be triggered by dietary indiscretion, such as consuming fatty foods or toxins.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): IBD is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the gastrointestinal tract, leading to symptoms like chronic vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss. Cats with IBD may have sensitivities to certain dietary ingredients or environmental factors.
  • Food Allergies: Some cats may develop allergic reactions to certain ingredients in their food, leading to gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting. Identifying and eliminating the offending allergens from your cat's diet is essential for managing this condition.
  • Foreign Bodies: Ingestion of foreign objects, such as hair ties, string, or small toys, can cause intestinal obstruction or irritation, resulting in vomiting and diarrhea. Prompt veterinary intervention is crucial to prevent serious complications like intestinal blockage.
  • Gastroenteritis: Gastroenteritis, or inflammation of the stomach and intestines, can be caused by infections, dietary indiscretion, c or exposure to toxins. Cats with gastroenteritis may experience symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and lethargy.
  • Kidney Disease: Chronic kidney disease can lead to disturbances in fluid and electrolyte balance, resulting in symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss. Cats with kidney disease may also exhibit increased urination and thirst.
  • Liver Disease: Liver disease can impair the liver's ability to metabolize toxins and produce essential proteins, leading to gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Cats with liver disease may also develop jaundice and lethargy.
  • Dietary Changes: Introducing new food or abruptly changing your cat's diet can disrupt their gastrointestinal tract, leading to diarrhea and vomiting. Gradual dietary transitions and sticking to a bland diet may help alleviate these symptoms.
These are just a few of the potential causes of cat diarrhea and throwing up. Identifying the underlying cause often requires diagnostic tests such as bloodwork, fecal analysis, and imaging studies. Prompt veterinary care is essential for accurate diagnosis and effective treatment of gastrointestinal issues in cats.

Treating cat diarrhea and throwing up

When your feline companion is experiencing diarrhea and vomiting, it's crucial to provide prompt and appropriate treatment to alleviate their discomfort and address the underlying cause of these symptoms. From dietary modifications to veterinary interventions, here's a comprehensive guide to treating cat diarrhea and throwing up:
  1. Bland Diet: Transitioning your cat to a bland diet can help soothe their upset stomach and alleviate diarrhea and vomiting. Offer easily digestible foods such as boiled chicken or turkey with plain rice or boiled potatoes. Avoid feeding rich or fatty foods that may exacerbate gastrointestinal symptoms.
  1. Fluid Therapy: Ensure your cat remains well-hydrated by offering them plenty of fresh water. If your cat is reluctant to drink, consider offering diluted chicken or beef broth to encourage fluid intake. In cases of severe dehydration, your veterinarian may administer fluids intravenously or subcutaneously to restore hydration levels.
  1. Probiotics: Supplementing your cat's diet with probiotics can help restore the balance of beneficial bacteria in their gut and promote gastrointestinal health. Probiotic supplements are available in various forms, including powders, capsules, and treats, and can be beneficial for cats with diarrhea or digestive disturbances.
  1. Medications: Depending on the underlying cause of your cat's diarrhea and vomiting, your veterinarian may prescribe medications to alleviate symptoms and address the underlying condition. Anti-diarrheal medications, antiemetics to control vomiting, and medications to reduce inflammation or combat infections may be recommended based on your cat's specific needs.
  1. Deworming: If intestinal parasites are suspected or diagnosed as the cause of your cat's gastrointestinal symptoms, deworming medications may be prescribed to eliminate the parasites and alleviate symptoms. It's essential to follow your veterinarian's recommendations regarding deworming protocols and preventive measures to prevent reinfestation.
  1. Dietary Management: In cases where food allergies or sensitivities are suspected, transitioning your cat to a hypoallergenic or novel protein diet may be necessary to identify and eliminate the offending allergens. Your veterinarian can provide guidance on selecting an appropriate diet and implementing dietary trials to manage food-related gastrointestinal issues.
  1. Diagnostic Tests: To accurately diagnose the underlying cause of your cat's diarrhea and vomiting, your veterinarian may recommend diagnostic tests such as fecal analysis, blood tests, imaging studies, and abdominal ultrasound. These tests help identify infections, inflammatory conditions, organ dysfunction, or other underlying issues contributing to your cat's symptoms.
  1. Veterinary Care: Seek veterinary care promptly if your cat's diarrhea and vomiting persist or worsen despite home care efforts. Your veterinarian can conduct a thorough physical examination, perform diagnostic tests, and develop a tailored treatment plan to address your cat's specific needs and promote their recovery.
Remember to monitor your cat closely for any changes in their condition and follow your veterinarian's recommendations for ongoing care and management.

Home remedies for a cat with diarrhea and throwing up

For immediate relief, try a bland diet of boiled chicken and rice to soothe your cat's upset stomach. Ensure they stay hydrated by offering diluted chicken broth or water. Probiotics can help restore gut health, while deworming treatments may address underlying parasites. Monitor closely and seek veterinary care if symptoms persist. Avoid new foods and consider dietary sensitivities. These natural remedies can provide relief while addressing the root causes of your cat's discomfort.

Veterinary tests and diagnostic costs

Understanding the clinical signs, diagnostic process and associated expenses is crucial when seeking veterinary care for your cat's gastrointestinal issues. Common tests include physical examinations, blood tests, fecal analysis, imaging studies, biopsies, and endoscopy. Costs vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the test, the need for sedation or anesthesia, and the veterinarian's location and expertise. On average, physical examinations range from $50 to $100, blood tests from $100 to $300, fecal analysis from $20 to $50, and imaging studies from $100 to $500 or more. Biopsies and endoscopy procedures can range from $200 to $1,500 or more. Veterinary consultation fees may also apply, typically ranging from $50 to $150. Emergency veterinary clinic costs should also be considered, especially for urgent situations.
Consulting your vet and discussing potential tests and costs can help develop a diagnostic plan that meets your cat's needs and your budget, ensuring effective treatment and long-term wellness.