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What To Feed A Cat With An Upset Stomach

María Besteiros
By María Besteiros, Expert veterinary assistant and canine/feline hairdresser.. Updated: April 12, 2022
What To Feed A Cat With An Upset Stomach

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As cat caregivers, we know that digestive problems are a relatively common issue in felines. Causes of upset stomachs in cats vary. Treatment will always depend on the cause. If your cat is suffering from an upset stomach, diarrhea or vomiting, we recommend consulting a veterinarian as soon as possible.

If your cat does have an upset stomach, changing their diet is one of the first things you can do to help. Since your veterinarian will need to determine the cause of their gastrointestinal upset, you will have to amend their diet accordingly. Still, there are general guidelines on what to feed a cat with an upset stomach. Keep reading AnimalWised to find the best home remedies for a cat with an upset stomach.

You may also be interested in: Home Remedies for Stomach Pain in Dogs
  1. Symptoms and causes of an upset stomach in cats
  2. Treating an upset stomach in cats
  3. Home remedies for upsets stomach in cats
  4. When to go to a vet if my cat has an upset stomach

Symptoms and causes of an upset stomach in cats

As we have said, there are multiple causes of an upset stomach in cats. Each cause will be accompanied by its own symptoms. The most common causes and symptoms of upset stomachs in cats include:

  • Intestinal parasites: especially common in kittens. If your cat has a swollen belly, it is likely to be infested with parasites. In more severe cases, this can cause diarrhea, vomiting or anemia. For more, read about intestinal parasites in cats.
  • Infectious diseases: such as panleukopenia, also more common in kittens. Does your cat have an upset stomach and diarrhea? Infectious diseases in cats are responsible for cat having diarrhea with blood. This can be accompanied by vomiting, fever, anorexia and dehydration. For more, read about the causes of blood in cat feces.
  • Blockage in the digestive system: such disruptions can include foreign bodies, hairballs and, in general, any ingested substance that can produce irritation. The cat will appear upset, experience gagging, stop eating, vomit, etc. For more, we recommend reading my cat keeps making chocking noises.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease in cats: which can cause chronic vomiting in cats, in addition to soft stools, poor appearance of the coat and other symptoms. Is your cat vomiting and has diarrhea? If so, we suggest taking a look at causes of diarrhea in cats.
  • Intoxication in cats: poisoning can also cause digestive symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea in cats, hypersalivation, hemorrhages or a neurological condition.

Treating an upset stomach in cats

Before offering some home remedies for stomach pain in cats, we must distinguish between whether your cat’s clinical picture is mild or serious. If your cat’s stomach pain or discomfort is mild, you can try and treat it at home with these following remedies. However, if the case is severe, you need to consult a veterinarian immediately. If your cat is vomiting excessively and experiencing severe diarrhea, it can result in dehydration, which in worse cases can lead to death. Read how to tell if a cat is dehydrated. If in doubt, go to the veterinarian.

Soft diet for cats with an upset stomach

Does your cat have diarrhea, but seems fine? If your cat has a stomach ache, diarrhea and/or vomiting but is not presenting other symptoms, we recommend removing its available food and water. The reason for this is that if a cat has both food and water at its disposal, it is likely to vomit again. After half an hour or so, you can slowly give your cat a little water.

It is important your cat drinks so it does not become dehydrated. However, this drinking needs to be controlled so your cat doesn’t vomit more. If you see your cat is tolerating liquid intake, you can try give them some food. In this such case we recommend changing your cat’s diet to a soft diet for cats.

We recommend offering your cat ham or boiled turkey and chicken as food options. Make sure there is no salt, sauce and/or bones present in these foods. The chicken or turkey can be cooked alone in water and given in small pieces, without skin and at room temperature. Cooked ham should not be offered cold so it can be more appetizing for the cat. Offer small amounts at first. As your cat’s symptoms disappear, you can begin to offer your cat a little more. For a more detailed briefing, read soft diet for cats with diarrhea here!

Cat upset stomach home remedy: chamomile

Have you ever heard of the benefits of chamomile for cats? You can give your cat chamomile infusions to help soothe the symptoms of an stomach upset. To help, you can ingest the chamomile with a syringe (no needle, of course). Place it on the side of your cat’s mouth and administer a small amount. If your cat rejects it actively by vomiting again, DO NOT force it to drink the chamomile. Instead, offer your cat water or chicken broth.

Chamomile has digestive, soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it is good and effective to treat stomach problems in cats. However, as we’ve already mentioned, this depends on the cause and severity of your cat’s stomach upset. If the vomiting, diarrhea or pain does not remit, it will be essential to establish veterinary prescribed treatment.

What To Feed A Cat With An Upset Stomach - Treating an upset stomach in cats

Home remedies for upsets stomach in cats

Among our cat upset stomach treatment with home remedies we include:

  • Cats like heat, so being able to rest in our arms or near our body can relieve them of discomfort.
  • Some cats appreciate a soft massage in the abdominal area, but remember that it is a particularly sensitive area for them, so not all cats will accept manipulation in this part of their body. In those cases, just putting your hands around them to warm them up or wrapping them in a blanket is sufficient.
  • It is essential you keep your cat in a quiet environment where it can relax and you can observe any changes to its behavior.
  • Make sure to keep your cat’s litterbox clean, especially if your cat has been vomiting or has cat diarrhea.

As you can see, most home remedies for stomach problems in cats include a soft diet, warmth and a calm environment. We need to emphasize that these remedies are only effective in mild clinical conditions, produced by mild gastroenteritis, mild gastritis in cats, etc.

In severe cases, such as panleukopenia, veterinarian treatment must be established. Only symptom management might sometimes be complemented with these home remedies. If the cause is due to an infestation of parasites, it is crucial to administer adequate antiparasitic medication. If the cause is stress, you need to find the trigger and remove it.

For more about these causes and cat upset stomach symptoms, we recommend reading our following articles:

What To Feed A Cat With An Upset Stomach - Home remedies for upsets stomach in cats

When to go to a vet if my cat has an upset stomach

Stomach pain in cats or upset stomach in cats, as we’ve said, can occur due to several different causes. Some of these causes are mild, so they can be solved by applying the home remedies for stomach pain in cats. But there are serious situations of upset stomach in cats that do require veterinary attention, such as the following:

  • Hemorrhages in cats, the appearance of blood in cat vomit or stool.
  • Fever in cats.
  • Vomiting or diarrhea that does not subside, worsen or other symptoms manifest.
  • Lethargy and depression in cats.
  • Abdominal pain in cats is not always caused by a problem in the stomach. Problems in other internal organs can cause discomfort or swelling in the belly.
  • In the case of kittens and older or sick cats, we must be especially vigilant, as they can become dehydrated very quickly. This is why, in this case, you should consult your veterinarian as soon as possible.

For some more general information on what to feed your cats, take a look at our video below with a guide to the feline diet:

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to What To Feed A Cat With An Upset Stomach, we recommend you visit our Home Remedies category.

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What did you think of this article?
Tony Senewiratne
Is rice mixed with fish a good feed - for minor protiens we give it it balanced commercial cat food
The key question is rice a good part of their diet
Leah Palmer
Thank you! I think I scrolled through several articles before I found yours. I like this one because you have useful suggestions for treating my cat's sore tummy without an unaffordable trip to the vet. I hope the chamomile works. I'll be sure to let you know how she feels later today. Thank you again.
Great article for alternatives for immediately running for the Vet. Will try the teas first to see if my kitty's vomiting subsides and am changing his food slowly as well. Thank you very much.
Administrador AnimalWised
You're very welcome!
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What To Feed A Cat With An Upset Stomach