Irritable Bowel Syndrome is very common in human beings but very few people are aware that this condition can occur in animals.
High on the list of sufferers, are our feline friends, who can contract the condition for a variety of different reasons.
The condition is also referred to as feline inflammatory bowel disease by vets and other animal experts.
It is not that difficult to tell whether your pet may be suffering from irritable bowel syndrome in cats. The main identifiable symptoms are chronic or extreme vomiting and diarrhea.
Chronic or extreme refers to symptoms that are present over an extended period of time and that take place on a regular basis.
However, these symptoms are not to be confused with the presence of a fur or hairball. With a hairball, the cat is more likely to cough and then vomit one or more balls of fur.
These hairballs can also be passed in the feces, but should not cause diarrhea. This means that if your kitty is vomiting and has had diarrhea for a few days, it would probably be best to see a vet.
Your vet will want to eliminate other causes for the vomiting and diarrhea before making a diagnosis for IBS. If he or she suspects that IBS may be the cause of the symptoms, they will probably need to confirm the diagnosis with an x-ray. X-rays are not harmful to your cat so don’t be distressed when the vet asks for one.
There are a number of different treatments that may be recommended by your vet. The most popular treatments are natural, as cats can easily suffer from kidney disease that can be aggravated by the intake of some medications or drug treatments.
Natural therapies normally come in the form of some sort of supplement that contains probiotics. Probiotics are natures way of ensuring the health of the digestive tract and are used in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome in cats as well as humans and other animals.
Another natural treatment for irritable bowel syndrome in cats is to take care of their diet. Just like humans, certain foods can make the condition worse while eating some healthy foods will reduce the symptoms.
For example, cats don’t often eat fruits or vegetables in their diets which could mean that they lack fiber. Make sure that your cat has access to green grass to help clean the digestive tract. Your cat should be happy to eat outdoor grass such as the lawn or you can grow grass that is available from your local pet store should your kitty live exclusively indoors.
Alternatively, you can look for cat food that has been manufactured especially for felines suffering with IBS. These cat foods normally incorporate some type of fiber that can be useful for digestion in cats as well as other elements that are beneficial.
Limiting or even excluding treats and some other foods is essential in combating irritable bowel syndrome in cats. Your vet will be able to help you determine the foods that irritate the condition and find replacements to ensure that your kitty stays strong and healthy.
Your vet may recommend a change in the type of meat that your cat receives from fish, chicken or beef to more exotic meat such as different types of venison or rabbit, etc. This can be a great change for the cat and may take some time to get used to. You can introduce these dietary changes slowly by incorporating it into their usual food at first. Feeding the cat only raw food may also be advisable.
Most importantly, it is essential to keep your cat away from dairy products. Cats love milk and cheese but their little tummies and bowels cannot deal with digesting dairy. Your cat should not be drinking milk whether it is suffering with IBS or not.
Prevention is better than cure, however, very few people know that IBS can occur in cats until it is too late and the feline has already contracted the condition. If you are however aware that the condition can develop in cats, the same dietary guidelines mentioned above should be followed to prevent the disease from taking root in the first place.