Colitis in Cats

Colitis in cats is a condition that manifests through the inflammation of the lining of the colon, causing a lot of discomfort. Colitis may be acute or chronic and cause symptoms such as diarrhea and abdominal pain.

The Feline Colon

The colon is a segment of the intestine and plays an important role in the defecation process. The colon or the large intestine may get infected resulting in colitis.

It may also happen that the small intestine is involved, so the cat is diagnosed with enterocolitis.

Colitis Causes

Colitis can be caused by a wide range of viruses or bacteria that can get in the colon through the ingestion of infested foods or non food items. The colon has a number of healthy bacteria that are necessary for the normal digestion process, but the balance of these bacteria may be disrupted and an infection may occur.

Colitis may occur as a consequence of intestinal worms.

Kittens and senior cats are more exposed to contracting infections. Also, cats affected by chronic diseases or stress may be more prone to colitis.

Chronic colitis may be a sign the cat has a colon tumor or polyp.

Signs of Colitis

Diarrhea is the most common sign indicating a possible large intestine infection. The cat may eliminate in the house and may be very vocal.

If the cat has diarrhea, this may contain blood or mucus, which can indicate that the infection is more advanced. The feces may contain worms or worm segments, if the infection is caused by intestinal worms.

Colitis in felines may also manifest through:

  • Frequent episodes of vomiting, which can lead to dehydration
  • Abdominal pain
  • Behavioral changes and sudden irritability due to pain
  • Stress

These symptoms can be indicative of several other feline diseases, so a vet examination is recommended.

Diagnosing Colitis

Colitis can be easily identified through a feces sample, which can indicate the presence of an infection. Additional blood tests can also be done, to check the overall health of the cat and to see if the condition has affected the cat in any other way.

The vet may also choose to biopsy the inflammatory cells in the colon, if he suspects cancer.

Colitis Treatment

The treatment of the large intestine infection may consist of a cure of antibiotics, which will eliminate the viruses or bacteria causing the infection. If the condition has caused severe dehydration, the vet will recommend liquid therapy.

If the cat has worms, additional treatment must be prescribed in this respect.

The vet will also recommend a different diet, possibly some probiotics or fiber supplements, which will eliminate diarrhea, allowing the colon to recuperate. The cat may fast for 24 hours, which can reduce the amount of feces and support the recovery process.

If the cat is stressed, the vet may recommend a few drugs or other alternative techniques to eliminate stress in your pet.