Colitis in Cats
Is an inflammation of the lining of the colon or the large intestine of your pet

Colitis in cats is not a life threatening situation and will occur in all cats at some point in their lifetime.

However, if it becomes chronic, it can cause potential dehydration as well as a very substantial weight loss in your cat. If this does happen, it can very easily threaten their overall health.

There is also one other very troubling aspect about colitis: it can have several potentially very dangerous diseases or conditions that are causing it to move from the mild or acute stage to the chronic stage.

WHAT IS COLITIS IN CATS ?

Colitis in cats is an inflammation of the lining of the colon or the large intestine, and will come in two different forms; acute and chronic.

It can and does affect all breeds of cats and can develop at any age, and even with the acute form, it can cause a lot of discomfort in your cat.

It is considered to be acute when it hits your cat very suddenly and lasts for only a few days.

In this stage, it will cause vomiting, diarrhea, as well as abdominal pain in your cat.

Vomiting in short bouts can very easily occur in even the healthiest of cats, and is not considered to be any type a real threat.

Diarrhea is also considered to be a normal on occasion, especially if your cat has eaten something that upsets their system.

However, if these two conditions remain active in your cat for more than two weeks, it has moved way past both a normal occurrence as well as the acute stage.

It is now in the chronic stage which is a whole new ball game.

The colon in your cat is a part or segment of the intestine, and it is critical in the defecation process that helps to flush the toxins out of their body.

Both the colon and the large intestine in your cat can very easily become infected, and when it does, it is referred to as colitis in cats.

Cats green eyesColitis in cats can be treated with the right diet

However, if your cat’s small intestine has become involved, it is referred to as enterocolitis, and this can be much more dangerous.

SYMPTOMS YOU CAN WATCH FOR

The symptoms of colitis in cats will be quite obvious, as it will usually start with vomiting that is quickly followed by diarrhea.

Every cat can develop either one of these symptoms several times in their lifespan, but when it is combined, it is a much larger threat.

However, the next symptoms will confirm to you that it is colitis, and has moved to the chronic form if it has now lasted for several days.

Fresh and bright red blood will start to appear in your cats stool, as well as mucus. Your cat will also begin to defecate several times a day and will quite often not make it to their litter box.

As a cat owner can attest to, most cats are extremely immaculate in their behavior when it comes to their litter habits, and these accidents will not only be stressful to you, but to them as well.

By now they will also have severe abdominal pain, and combined with their loss of control, will become even more stressed.

Once the stress sets in, they may also start to demonstrate other behavior changes and will start or howl or cry out.

In some cases, you may see worms or worms segments in their feces, which is another real warning sign.

THERE ARE SEVERAL POTENTIAL CAUSES

Colitis in cats is almost always the result of inflammatory disorders, and collectively they are referred to as inflammatory bowel disease.

These specific disorders include Lymphocytic-plasmacytic enteritis, or granulomatous.

Lymphocytic-plasmacytic enteritis, also known as LPE, is a form of inflammatory bowel disease in cats that has the presence of very minuet cells.

This includes plasma cells that are present within the intestinal wall of your cat.

However, colitis can also be the result of infectious agents and this includes bacterial, viral, fungi, or parasite infections.

Colitis in cats can also be caused by a dietary intolerance, a dietary allergy of some type, or cancer of the colon.

Colon cancer in cats can be a life threatening situation, and colitis is one of the main signs of this killer.

It can also be the result of what is referred to as Intussusception, which is a condition where the bowel in your cat actually wraps around itself.

HE or Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis is another inflammatory disorder that is a situation where a hemorrhage has occurred in your cat’s intestinal tract.

The signs of this will be a seeded like appearance, resembling raspberries, in your cats stool.

It can also be the result of an inflammation of your cat’s pancreas, referred to as pancreatitis.

This can be a very serious development in your cat as it is caused by the leakage of active digestive enzymes into your cat’s pancreatic tissues.

TREATMENTS THAT CAN HELP

There are several treatments for colitis in cats, and the treatment will depend on which form it is.

If it is acute, a very simple one to two day fast that is followed by a very bland diet is usually quite successful.

The bland diet can include chicken or duck mixed with rice, and after a few days, you will start introducing regular food back into their diet.

However, if it is chronic, you may have to use a hypo-allergenic diet.

This is a diet that will contain some very basic ingredients and is geared toward food intolerance or an allergy that may be triggering the colitis.

This typically will contain on single source of protein that may be fish, duck, or lamb, as well as a minimal amount of fiber to begin with.

You can buy this diet commercially, or make them on your own.

However, you should always consult with your veterinarian on the correct mixture. Once this is settled, you slowly introduce this new diet to your cat.

Anytime you introduce a new diet to your cat, it must be done very slowly, simply because cats are perhaps the most finicky eaters of any animal alive.

In some cases, fiber supplements may also have to be utilized just to ensure that your cat is getting enough fiber.

If there are any signs of worms in your cat’s feces, de-worming products will also have to be utilized.

Parasites are one of the leading causes of colitis in cats, and even if you do not see any signs, you should still request that your veterinarian utilize this treatment.

Antibiotics will also be used in the chronic form as they will also help to kill any parasites as well as to help prevent them from shedding in the stool of your cat.

In the most severe of cases, anti-inflammatory as well as immunosuppressive drugs such as corticosteroids may be used.

However, these drugs can have some very serious side effects and you may want to get a second opinion before you use them.

Summary

Colitis in cats in the acute form is a natural occurrence that every cat will experience at some point in their life.

However, if it becomes chronic, not only is the potential dehydration and weight loss a real danger, so is the underlying condition or disease that is causing it.

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