Colitis in cats: causes, symptoms and treatment

Colitis in cats: causes, symptoms and treatment

Colitis in cats

Colitis in cats, or feline colitis, is essentially an inflammation or irritation in the cat’s colon. It can be chronic or acute and it causes your feline friend to suffer cat diarrhea. This cat disease needs an accurate diagnosis in order for the treatment to be targeted and effective. The colon, just like in all mammals, is the organ in charge of absorbing water in feces and this is where they get stored until they are ready to be expelled by the cat.

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Causes of colitis in cats

There can be several causes of colitis. We can mention the following:

  • Viral infections
  • Dietary indiscretion
  • Bacterial infection
  • Intestinal parasites such as roundworms, Giardia, or Coccidia
  • Dietary intolerance
  • Food allergy
  • Bowel cancer
  • Idiopathies
  • Cancer
  • Pancreatitis
  • Stress

Symptoms of colitis in cats

As we stated before, the most obvious symptom of colitis is diarrhea. Most of the time, you will find them outside the litter because of the urgency to go. The stool is very watery and smooth, usually accompanied by blood or mucus.

If you notice any discomfort or change in behavior in your cat, make sure you know what the symptoms are:


The veterinarian will need to get an accurate diagnosis of the disease in order to elaborate an effective treatment. When you visit the clinic it is important that you provide the vet with important information that includes:

  • Recent exposure to other cats.
  • If your cat can freely roam on your backyard.
  • If he has had any contact with a trashcan.
  • Any recent change in the cat’s food.
  • If your cat has recently eaten something he should not have had.
  • If your cat has been given food by strangers.

There is a battery of tests that the veterinarian will need to run to confirm the diagnosis. These include chemistry test, X-rays, fecal tests, ultrasound, endoscopy, electrolyte tests and others.

Your veterinarian will then prescribe medication and instructions for you to take care of your feline friend. In more severe cases, the doctor might keep him in observation during a day or two.

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