Diagnosing Feline Colitis

A feline colitis is the inflammation of the large intestine lining. Colitis may be acute or chronic, in case the symptoms are present for more than 2 weeks.

The large intestine, also known as the colon, stores the feces before the bowel movement, when the feces are eliminated.

The inflammation of the small intestine is known as enteritis and when both the small and the large intestines are affected, the condition is called enterocolitis.

Causes of Colitis

Colitis may be caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi. The condition may occur when the cat has intestinal worms.

Cancer or pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) may cause secondary diseases such as colitis or enterocolitis.

Colitis may occur as an allergic reaction to different food ingredients or if the cat has eaten garbage, human food or foreign objects.

A stressed cat is more exposed to colon lining inflammation.

Signs of Cat Colitis

The most visible sign of colitis is diarrhea. The cat may defecate even outside the litter box because he cannot control his behavior. The stool is very watery and may contain blood or mucus.

The cat has decreased appetite, vomits, has abdominal pain, is dehydrated and lethargic. The cat defecates more often.

If the colitis is chronic, the cat will lose weight.

These symptoms are frequent in other medical conditions or when parasites are present, so visit the vet for a proper diagnosis.

Diagnosing Feline Colitis

If you notice any of the colitis symptoms, you should take your cat to the vet. Acute colitis may not be a severe issue, but chronic colitis may point to serious illnesses.

The diagnosis of feline colitis is an ample process involving blood, urine and feces tests, so as to be able to determine the causes of the inflammation.

The vet will want to know your cat's medical history, as well as what he might have eaten lately.

The vet will analyze the feces to detect harmful bacteria, Giardia or worms.

Other blood tests are needed to determine if the cat has diabetes, liver or kidney disease. A colonoscopy and a biopsy are needed to determine if the inflammatory cells are not cancerous. Ultrasounds or x-rays may also show if cancerous tumor is present.

Pancreatitis may cause colitis, so an immuno-reactivity test will be needed to determine if the cat has an inflammation of the pancreas.

Try to think if there were any causes for stress such as changes or loss in your cat's life and let the vet know.

Colitis Treatment

The treatment for colitis depends on the cause of the disease. If the condition is caused by parasites, dewormers will be prescribed.

If bacteria or viruses are the main cause of the large intestine inflammation, some antibiotics should solve the problem.

Antifungal medication is needed to get rid of the fungi that may have caused the diarrhea.

The vet may also recommend some anti-inflammatory medication.

Therapy or tranquilizers may be prescribed for a cat that has stress related colitis.

The diet of the cat must be supervised as part of the treatment. Offer a low fat, high fiber content diet and plenty of water to prevent dehydration.