How Do You Treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Cats?
Pain and discomfort are common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in cats. Therefore, it is critical that the cat receives veterinary treatment as soon as possible to maintain a high quality of life. Proper treatment can manage symptoms and the condition shouldn't affect life expectancy. Keep reading to learn more on how to treat and get rid of symptoms of IBS in cats.
Characteristics of IBS include frequent urges to defecate, constipation or diarrhoea, and cramping in the lower intestines. The cat can get irritable bowel syndrome from stress, intolerance to foods, or disruption in the body's chemical processes.
Irritable bowel syndrome is sometimes confused with IBD (inflammatory bowel disease). However, IBD causes long-term signs, while IBS is more of acute inflammation.
What are the symptoms of IBS in cats?
Irritable bowel syndrome in cats can cause a variety of symptoms. For example:
- Difficulty with defecation
- Chronic intermittent diarrhoea
- Frequent passing of faeces
- Blood or mucus in the faeces
- Abdominal pain
- Changes in appetite
- Weight loss
What are the causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in cats?
In many cases, the exact cause of irritable bowel syndrome is difficult to determine. However, it is mainly associated with stress. As a result, stress may arise from factors like a change in routine or living situation, the addition of new children or pets to your home, lack of stimulation, or trauma. Other possible causes include:
- Separation anxiety
- Neural dysfunction
- Dietary intolerances
- Lack of dietary fibre
- Abnormal colon function
Find out the best digestive aids for dogs and cats in our previous blog post and enhance your cat's digestive system:
How do you treat symptoms of IBS in cats?
The cat will likely need outpatient treatment unless the level of dehydration is severe. Nevertheless, a vet is likely to recommend a combination of treatments for IBS since there is no single cure.
First, it may be necessary to conduct a hypoallergenic food trial. Cats are fed a diet that consists of protein and carbohydrate sources they have never consumed before. Among the options are venison, rabbit, or duck-based. It is also possible to try hydrolyzed diets. However, any other substances, for instance, table scraps, flavoured medications, or treats should not be fed to a cat during a food trial.
For improvements to be noticeable, it usually takes a few weeks or longer. However, if the cat still suffers from IBS after this time period, change the diet again. Cats tend to react positively to easily digestible diets, with high fibre and low fat.
However, ensure the cat's diet is appropriate for their age, breed, and level of activity by consulting the veterinarian throughout the process.
Stress management to treat symptoms of IBS in cats
The cat's living conditions will need to be addressed immediately if they are causing it undue stress. Sometimes, cats may receive anti-anxiety medication. This assists them in coping with situations that can't be resolved in any other way.
If you want to help ease your cat's anxiety, you can make use of diffusers or sprays that contain calming essential oils. Assuring the cat gets not only adequate exercise but also reduces stress is achievable by increasing the level of human interaction.
First, the inflammation may be treated with corticosteroids. However, you may get a prescription for certain antibiotics and immunosuppressive medications. Each of these treatments can cause side effects, therefore close veterinary supervision is necessary.
Recent research has proven that prebiotics can help treat IBS. Consequently, they support the growth and maintenance of the beneficial bacteria that help maintain intestinal health.
Below is one of the best tablets that can help alleviate symptoms of IBS in your cat: