Ulcers in Cats

Stomach ulcers are lesions that develop in the soft tissue lining of the stomach. Sometimes, there is a production of an excess amount of stomach acids that erode the lining of the stomach. This erosion of the stomach lining can cause ulcers. Ulcers are usually a sign of another underlying condition and, hence, if you suspect that your cat has an ulcer, it’s imperative that you take your pet for a vet check at the earliest worry.

Causes of Ulcers in Cats

Some of the causes of ulcers in cats are stress, inflammatory bowel syndrome, tumors and the administration of medication such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Ingestion of a sharp object or a caustic substance can also cause gastric ulcers. Apart from this, underlying conditions such as metabolic and infectious diseases or internal parasites can cause ulcers in the stomach lining. Bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori are also known to cause gastric ulcers in felines.

Symptoms of Feline Ulcers:

  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Blood in vomit
  • Blood in stool
  • Lethargy
  • Pain in the abdomen 
  • Anemia

Diagnosis of Feline Ulcers

Since stomach ulcers have an underlying cause, they are difficult to diagnose. If your pet exhibits any or some of the above symptoms, it’s best to seek medical care. The vet might recommend a physical exam, an endoscopic exam, X-rays and additional tests such as blood tests, urine analysis and an ultra sound, to determine the cause for the ulcer. The endoscopic exam is especially important as it allows the veterinarian to look into the stomach of the cat. The veterinarian will also want to rule out any gastro intestinal complication before initiating treatment.

Treatment for Cat Ulcers

Once the veterinarian has identified the reason for the ulcer, medication will be prescribed to treat the underlying problem. The cat will also be given medication to reduce the amount of stomach acid present. Apart from this, drugs have to be administered to assist in the healing of the stomach lining. Medication aimed at soothing the stomach will be prescribed so that the ulcer can heal quickly.

If Helicobacter pylori bacteria are the cause of the ulcer, a course of antibiotics are usually given. The anti-ulcer medication is to be administered to the cat over a period of 6 to 8 weeks. You should feed your pet the same amount of food that he normally eats but you should break it up into smaller meals and feed him several times a day instead of feeding your pet 3 big meals a day. A low-fat diet is also recommended for cats suffering from gastric ulcers.

Natural Treatment

Licorice has been found to be beneficial in the treatment of gastric ulcers as it relieves abdominal pain and has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe the stomach. Licorice also promotes cell growth and, hence, helps to rebuild and strengthen the stomach lining and walls. You could also try to use marshmallow as it reduces pain and inflammation or silvery elm, since it lubricates the digestive tract. All these are naturally available ingredients that help treat feline gastric ulcers.

Your cat depends on you to take care of its health. You should feed your pet a healthy diet, ensure that he has plenty of exercise and have him checked by a veterinarian at regular intervals to maintain optimum health.