Gastritis in cats: causes, symptoms and treatment

Gastritis in cats: causes, symptoms and treatment

Gastritis in cats

Gastritis in cats can be of two kinds: acute or chronic. It is defined as the inflammation of the gastric mucosa. Usually, it is associated with more serious conditions. Gastritis is often the result of eating something spoiled or it could simply be a consequence of a cat disease somewhere else.

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Causes of gastritis in cats

Due to “dietary indiscretion” (eating pretty much everything that is put before them), gastric in cats in its acute form is very frequent in kittens. Acute gastritis can result from the ingestion of raw or spoiled food or other products not fit for consumption such as garbage, foreign objects, toxic plants, scraps, or leftovers. Cats that are being overfed can also suffer from gastritis.

Some of the major causes of gastritis in cats can be:

  • Cat worms
  • Pancreatitis in cats
  • Liver disease in cats
  • Kidney disease
  • Food allergy
  • Overactive thyroid glands
  • Inflammatory bowel syndrome
  • Drugs (damage to the stomach lining)
  • Fungal infection
  • Antibiotics
  • Gastrinoma or other neoplasia
  • Peritonitis
  • Stress
  • Uremia
  • Viral infections

Symptoms of gastritis in cats

The most common sign of gastritis is vomiting in cats. A cat suffering from gastritis will display abdominal discomfort or intense pain, followed by the sensation of heartburn, especially after eating. Since cats cannot be as intense as us when undergoing pain, these symptoms usually go unnoticed.

Some other symptoms and signs to look at are:

  • Frequent vomiting which may include bile and fresh or digested blood.
  • Weight loss – more likely with chronic gastritis
  • Abdominal pain
  • Increased thirst
  • Diarrhea in cats
  • Some behavioral change
  • Loss of appetite


The treatment for gastritis will be based on the specific cause. Acute cases are usually resolved without any medical intervention:

  • Withhold food for 24-48 hours.
  • Feed a small amount of easy-digestible food if not vomiting is present in 24 hours.
  • Small amounts of water.
  • Slowly increase the amount of food over the following two to three days.
  • If vomiting returns, let your veterinarian know.

The general treatment for gastritis may include gastrointestinal protectants and anti-vomiting medications. A proton pump inhibitor such as omeprazole is used in severe cases with stomach ulceration.

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