first aid for cats
first aid for cats
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vomiting and diarrheaThe most common symptoms in cats.. They can appear singly or together. It could be a very small self-limiting problem or a very important major problem.
Below are some common questions pet owners ask when their cat is suffering from vomiting and diarrhea. The focus of this article is how to treat these problems at home.
What are vomiting and diarrhea in cats?
Vomiting is the expulsion of stomach contents through the mouth. Diarrhea is the act of unusually loose or watery stools. This may also be accompanied by increased frequency of bowel movements. Some cats have a large volume of watery or unusually loose stools at one time, others often have semi-formed stools with straining.
What causes vomiting and diarrhea in cats?
Vomiting and diarrhea can be caused by a variety of problems, including overeating, eating something that cannot be digested, changes in cat food, eating junk or spoiled food, infectious agents (including bacteria , viruses or parasites) and systemic diseases such as cancer, diabetes , pancreatitis, kidney disease or liver disease. For a full list of possible causes, see:Gastroenteritis in cats
Vomiting and diarrhea can bother your cat and cause extreme fluid loss leading to dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and/or acid-base imbalances.
A common question that pet owners often ask is: "What can I do at home?"
Home treatment for vomiting and diarrhea in cats
Specific treatments for vomiting and diarrhea depend on the cause. This is the general approach to treating vomiting and diarrhea:
- Administer only the prescribed medication. Consult with your vet before administering ANY medication. Some medications are dangerous for cats.
- Coping with vomiting and diarrhea can be difficult. We often hold on to food for 2-4 hours when we vomit, sometimes longer when we have diarrhea. These are general guidelines. If your cat is sick, lethargic, or if vomiting and/or diarrhea persists, contact your vet.
- Suspend food and water for two hours. The stomach lining can often be very irritated. Some cats, even with an upset stomach, want to eat and continue to vomit. Give your stomach a break for a few hours.
- If your cat has not vomited after two hours of waiting, offer small amounts of water (a few tablespoons at a time). Continue offering small amounts of water every 20 minutes until your pet is hydrated. Some cats do not drink water. You can offer fresh water, water in another bowl, fill the bowl with fresh water, or add ice cubes to the water to encourage some cats to drink. Sometimes offering tuna juice can encourage cats to drink.
- If vomiting does not occur after giving small amounts of water, gradually introduce a bland diet.
- Small, frequent meals of a light, digestible diet such as: Hill's Prescription Diet Feline i/d. You can make homemade boiled chicken diet. Do not overfeed your cat, as she may eat the entire dish and vomit again. Feed a square piece of meat about 2.5 cm, cut into smaller pieces. If he doesn't vomit, offer a small amount more about an hour later. Give small amounts frequently, every three to four hours on the first day. You can gradually increase the amount and decrease the frequency depending on your cat's tolerance.
- Many veterinarians recommend Pepcid AC® (the generic name is famotidine) to reduce stomach acid. This helps many pets. The most commonly used dose is 0.25 to 0.5 mg per pound (0.5 to 1.0 mg/kg) every 12 to 24 hours. A 10 pound cat should receive approximately 2.5 to 5 mg (full dose) once or twice daily. This is an oral medication that can be found in the antacid section of most pharmacies. Pepcid (famotidine) does not require a prescription. It is generally used for three to five days.
- Feed the bland diet for two days.
- Then gradually return to regular cat food over a day or two. First, mix some of your cat's normal food into the bland diet. Feed him a meal. Then feed a 50/50 mix at one feeding. Then, give her ¾ cat food and ¼ soft food for one meal. Then go back to feeding your cat his usual food.
- If your cat leaves, stay with him until you know his problems are resolved. Observe your cat's general activity and appetite. Pay close attention to the presence of blood in the stool, worsening of signs or appearance of vomiting.
- Have your cat examined by your vet if you have any questions or concerns.
- Medications should never be given without first consulting your vet. Please do not administer to cats without first consulting a veterinarian to avoid toxicity.
- This is important!If vomiting and/or diarrhea persist or worsen, if you notice blood in his vomit or stool, or if you experience any other symptoms, call your vet immediately. If your pet is not eating, is lethargic, if vomiting persists, or if any of the other physical abnormalities listed above occur, it is important to see your veterinarian. Your pet needs the professional care that your vet can provide. If your pet exhibits the clinical signs listed above, expect your vet to run some diagnostic tests and make treatment recommendations based on the severity and type of clinical signs.
When is vomiting and diarrhea an emergency in cats?
If vomiting and/or diarrhea persists after your pet has eaten, if your pet does not want to eat, or if your pet is lethargic, medical attention is needed. Please consult your vet.
If your cat is losing weight, if you see blood in the vomit or stool, or if your cat is vomiting ineffectively (gagging but unable to vomit), it is a serious medical emergency.
Excellent links for more information on feline vomiting and diarrhea.
For more details on vomiting, seevomiting in catsmichronic vomiting in cats(more than 1 or 2 weeks).
Related topics - go toAcute Diarrhea in Cats,Gastroenteritis in cats, zdehydration in cats.
Disclaimer: Tips in the Home Care article series are not a substitute for veterinary care. If your pet has a problem, it's always best to see your vet as soon as possible. But in some cases it is not always possible to seek veterinary help. Maybe you're traveling, it's late at night and there's no 24-hour clinic near you, or you just can't afford it. Whatever the reason, when your pet has a problem, you need answers. Most vets won't give you any information over the phone; they will tell you to bring your pet in for a visit. When these difficult situations arise, many pet owners don't know what to do and end up doing the wrong thing because they don't have good veterinary advice. If your pet has a problem and you can't get to the vet, the information in this series of articles can help you avoid accidentally hurting your pet. However, this information does not replace the vet.
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A bland diet, such as plain chicken and rice, or a prescription diet for sensitive stomachs. Fluids given at the veterinary clinic (this helps restore hydration and electrolytes, which are commonly lost via the vomit and diarrhea).What can I give my cat for vomiting and diarrhea? ›
A bland diet, such as plain chicken and rice, or a prescription diet for sensitive stomachs. Fluids given at the veterinary clinic (this helps restore hydration and electrolytes, which are commonly lost via the vomit and diarrhea).What home remedy can I give my cat for diarrhea? ›
In many cases of simple diarrhea in adult cats, it is recommended to withhold food for 12-24 hours, and provide small amounts of water frequently. Then, a bland diet such as boiled (fat-free) chicken and rice is offered in small amounts.What does it mean if my cat is throwing up and has diarrhea? ›
Gastroenteritis is inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract (the stomach and intestines). It can be caused by infection with bacteria, viruses, parasites, medications, or even new foods. The condition often causes abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and other clinical signs.Will Pepto Bismol stop diarrhea in cats? ›
Bismuth subsalicylate, better known as Pepto-Bismol, is used to treat diarrhea and minor stomach problems, such as stomach inflammation in dogs and cats. The active ingredient in Pepto-Bismol and the new formulation of Kaopectate is salicylate.What medicine can I give a sick cat? ›
- Cranberry juice concentrate.
- Hydrogen peroxide 3%
Most kitty colds will resolve on their own with time and supportive care. If your cat is ill enough to require medications for her cold, she will be better served by receiving medications intended for use in cats from your vet.Should I give my cat Pedialyte? ›
However, due to a change in their formula, it is imperative that you do not under any circumstances give your cats or kittens Pedialyte anymore! Recently the Pedialyte company started adding zinc to the Pedialyte and zinc is extremely toxic to cats and kittens and will actually make them even sicker.How can I firm up my cat's stool? ›
Adding certain sources of fiber to your cat's food—particularly the prebiotic fibers inulin and psyllium—can improve diarrhea both by absorbing excess water in the intestines and by providing food for beneficial bacteria that live in the intestinal tract. Always start with a very small amount of any fiber.What stops diarrhea fast naturally? ›
Bland, starchy, low-fiber foods like those included in the BRAT diet (bananas, bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) are binding, which can bulk stool and help you get rid of diarrhea fast. You can also try probiotics, glutamine supplements, or home remedies like herbal teas and rice water.
White rice in their regular cat food. Canned pumpkin or pumpkin treats for the fiber (Nummy Tum-Tum is a great pumpkin-based treat for cats) Bland food (Hill's Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Cat Food) Probiotics labeled for cats (Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Fortiflora Probiotic)What do vets give cats for vomiting? ›
In some cases, your veterinarian may prescribe medication to control vomiting or relieve inflammation, for example maropitant citrate (brand name Cerenia®) famotidine (brand name Pepcid®) or metronidazole (brand name Flagyl®). This approach allows the body's healing mechanisms to correct the problem.How can I soothe my cats upset stomach? ›
Fluids must be given carefully. In some cases, drinking water may cause a cat with an upset stomach to vomit, further dehydrating him. Giving the cat ice chips to lick may help. Unflavored Pedialyte can be given via dropper very slowly to cats that are at risk of becoming dehydrated.When should I be concerned about my cat vomiting and diarrhea? ›
If Your Cat is Having Diarrhea or Vomiting for More Than 12 Hours. If your cat's diarrhea or vomiting last longer than twelve hours, or if they are nearly uncontrollable, go to the emergency vet. Diarrhea and vomiting that last this long can quickly lead to severe, even fatal, levels of dehydration.Why is my cat pooping liquid? ›
What are some causes of diarrhea? Infectious agents, such as bacteria, viruses, coccidia, and intestinal worms (hookworms, roundworms, whipworms), or non-infectious irritants, such as chemical toxins or poisonous plants, are some of the more common causes of diarrhea.Should I feed my cat after vomiting and diarrhea? ›
Withholding food for up to 24 hours and gradually starting on a mild diet will help most of the simple GI upsets. It is important that you call and have your pet examined if any of the following apply to him or her: If vomiting and diarrhea persists for longer than 24 hours and/or your pet is not acting normally.What over the counter medicine can you give a cat for upset stomach? ›
Pepcid (famotidine) is a commonly prescribed heartburn medication to relieve tummy troubles for dogs and cats. Pepcid lowers the amount of stomach acid the body makes and helps relieve acid reflux. This medication works best before the first meal of the day on an empty stomach.Can I give my cat Tums for diarrhea? ›
Calcium carbonate, also known as Tums®, is an oral calcium salt that is used to treat pets with low calcium levels (hypocalcemia), as an antacid and/or as a phosphate binder in dogs and cats. Calcium carbonate can also be used as an oral antacid and for conditions such as esophagitis and/or gastroduodenal ulcerations.Can you give cats human anti diarrhea medicine? ›
You should never give Imodium to your cat if:
The diarrhea is a way for their body to flush itself out and remove toxins and infections. If your cat has any medical conditions that can make them more susceptible to the negative side effects of the drug. Some health conditions are: Liver disease.
Your vet will recommend a specific prescription diet designed and formulated for dogs and cats recovering from gastroenteritis. This may be for 7-10 days to allow sufficient time for their gastrointestinal tract to recover. After this, you should gradually transition your pet back to their regular food.
“If your cat has medical issues or needs regular medication, they shouldn't be left alone. But if your cat is relatively young and healthy and you'll be out for a short amount of time – during the working day or just overnight – that's probably okay.”How many days does a cat stay sick? ›
Most healthy cats are able to make a full recovery from a cat cold without medical intervention in about 7-10 days. If your cat experiences more severe symptoms and medical treatment is required, the recovery period may last longer and be harder, depending on how serious it was.Will cats still purr if they are sick? ›
Sick cats often lie quietly in a hunched position. They might neglect grooming. They may be purring, which cats do not only when they're happy, but also when they're sick or in pain. A cat with breathing difficulties may refuse to lie on his side and may keep his head raised.What is the most common cause of cat poisoning? ›
Rodenticides (rat or mouse bait): These are a common cause of cat poisoning and most people don't realise that eating a poisoned rodent can also poison your cat. These baits are designed to attract animals so consider the use of them very carefully and try to use alternatives where possible.How do you know if your cat is crying for help? ›
Signs Of Obvious Distress
Cats are typically very stoic animals, so if your cat suddenly seems to be in distress, it is a cause for concern. Howling, crying, hiding, and otherwise acting in a way that is out of character for your pet should alert you that something may be seriously wrong.
Symptoms of cat food poisoning by Salmonella
Vomiting. Diarrhoea. Lethargy. Dehydration.
Add a small amount of chicken broth or tuna juice to their water. Instead of dry food, try giving them wet food. Place some ice cubes in their water bowl.How much water does it take to rehydrate a cat? ›
Cats need to consume about 4 ounces of water per five pounds of lean body weight per day, so the average 10-pound cat should drink about one cup of water per day.Can I give Gatorade to my cat? ›
Also, it's probably best to avoid giving your cat cures for human dehydration like Pedialyte or sports drinks like Gatorade. Moyal says they can be too sugary and have too much sodium, respectively. Water is your best bet.Is wet food or dry food better for cats with diarrhea? ›
Is dry food better for cats with diarrhea? If wet food is too rich for your kitty, then switching over to dry food can absolutely help to alleviate the symptoms of diarrhea. However, wet food has a much higher moisture content than dry food, which helps to keep your cat hydrated.
Treats or new foods (canned or dry) can cause diarrhea if they are contaminated, are suddenly introduced, contain ingredients that are toxic to cats, or contain ingredients that cats are allergic to.Does pumpkin help cats with diarrhea? ›
The fiber in pumpkin can both reduce excess moisture in your pet's digestive tract and add bulk to stools, helping to remedy diarrhea. The water in pumpkin also helps to alleviate constipation. The secret: moderation and portion control.Should you let diarrhea run its course? ›
Since diarrhea is your body's way of getting rid of toxins, it is best to let it run its course. However, you may use over-the-counter antidiarrheal remedies for convenience, including: Attapulgite (Kaopectate) Loperamide (Imodium)What kills diarrhea fast? ›
Look for over-the-counter products like Imodium or Pepto-Bismol, which have the ingredients loperamide and bismuth subsalicylate, respectively. The active ingredient in Imodium works swiftly because it slows the movement of fluid through the intestines. This can quickly restore normal bowel function.What soaks up diarrhea? ›
Use disposable absorbent material (paper towels, kitty litter, baking soda or disposable cloths) to soak up visible vomit and/or stool. Scrape up vomit and/or stool with paper plates or cardboard. Dispose of soiled items/waste/gloves in a plastic trash bag.What medicine can I give my cat to stop throwing up? ›
In some cases, your veterinarian may prescribe medication to control vomiting or relieve inflammation, for example maropitant citrate (brand name Cerenia®) famotidine (brand name Pepcid®) or metronidazole (brand name Flagyl®). This approach allows the body's healing mechanisms to correct the problem.What anti vomiting medications can cats take? ›
Maropitant citrate (brand name: Cerenia®) is an antiemetic used to treat vomiting and motion sickness in dogs and cats. It also may act as a mild pain control medication.Can cats have Pedialyte? ›
Pedialyte used to be indicated for treating sick kittens. However, due to a change in their formula, it is imperative that you do not under any circumstances give your cats or kittens Pedialyte anymore!Is it OK to give my cat Pepto Bismol? ›
Aspirin and Pepto-Bismol
Similar to Tylenol, both aspirin and Pepto Bismol are highly toxic when used in treating cats. Both medicines contain salicylates which can cause respiratory failure and hyperglycemia.
Pepcid (famotidine) is a commonly prescribed heartburn medication to relieve tummy troubles for dogs and cats. Pepcid lowers the amount of stomach acid the body makes and helps relieve acid reflux. This medication works best before the first meal of the day on an empty stomach.
It can also be used to help reduce the severity of motion sickness or to provide minor sedation. Benadryl can help some cats who are vomiting as well. Although we do consider diphenhydramine safe to use for cats, there are a number of possible side effects: Sedation (which can be pronounced)What electrolyte can I give my cat? ›
Pet-A-Lyte is a supplemental oral liquid electrolyte solution that replaces fluid lost from vomiting, dehydration, and diarrhea.Can cats rehydrate with salt water? ›
Cats CAN drink saltwater
While you won't be refreshed by a glass of saltwater, your kitty actually can be. Feline kidneys can filter out the salt from water, which allows them to consume and rehydrate by drinking salt water.