If you were under the impression that Irritable Bowel Syndrome occurred only among humans, you are far from the facts since it is common for animals and in particular cats to suffer from it. They experience similar symptoms as humans.
IBS among these four legged felines is also a gastrointestinal disorder as in human beings. Also either the small or the large intestine or both are affected. Irregular movement of bowels is the chief effect of IBS in cats due to contraction of the digestive tracts. Apart from this, the distribution of food and waste in the cat's digestive system is affected. This leads to accumulation of mucus and toxins in the intestines of the cat.
These toxins that accumulate hurdle the proper functioning of the digestive tract. This leads to trapping of gases and stool which in turn causes distention and constipation. It might come in as a surprise to know that human IBS factors have almost the same effect on cats. Stress, poor eating habits, overdose of antibiotics, viral and bacterial infection, food allergies and parasites were found to cause IBS in felines too.
Also since cats like chewing and also swallowing objects, the chance of blockage is high. This is yet another trigger of IBS.
IBS Symptoms in cats:
There are many common symptoms of IBS between cats and human beings. Some of them are presented in the following list.
- Constipation that is often a symptom of IBS. In cats, it is characterized by small, hard, pebble-like stools. This makes movement of bowels difficult.
- Often, diarrhea is common among cats with IBS where the stools are soft and watery. These cats experience alternate periods of diarrhea and constipation.
- Cats also experience mild to severe abdominal pain.
- Mucus mixed with stool is a common symptom of IBS in cats.
- Cats with IBS may also have nausea and may vomit. This is a sure sign of IBS
- Flatulence or pain due to accumulation of gas is an indication you're your cat has IBS.
- The cat cannot tolerate certain food types
- Anorexia is also surprisingly common among our feline friends.
Finding a cure for your cat's IBS
Irritable Bowel Syndrome might be caused by various factors. It is important to zero down on the right one. A vet alone can help you in doing this. He can immediately tell you what triggered IBS in your pet. Even if you prefer using natural methods to control IBS in your cat, consult a vet first so that further complications are avoided. Then continue with your methods with the consent of the vet.
You can control IBS in your cat by changing its diet. Consult a vet or a nutritionist when you decide to make a change so that they can prepare a custom diet program for your pet.
Find the right type of food that agrees with your cat's digestive system. Cats are very similar to humans in the fact that they prefer variety in food. Some like raw food while some others prefer canned food. Certain cats may like home-made food too.
Keep experimenting with your cat's diet till you find one that suits it best. Keep a journal to keep track of the various food items your cat has to avoid. This will help you a lot in the later stages to feed your cat with non-IBS triggering foods and thereby keep IBS in control.
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