Colitis in Cat: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Animals have a similar structure of the digestive system to humans, so the diseases of the digestive system are identical with us. One of the most common pathologies of the gastrointestinal tract is colitis.


The main cause that causes colitis in cats is poor nutrition. Low-grade, rotten, low-quality products, food from “your table” do not contribute to the improvement of the gastrointestinal tract. Toxic toxins, which are the product of food breakdown, irritate the mucous membrane.

This creates a favorable environment for the development and activity of pathogenic bacteria. The large intestine reacts to this phenomenon with increased peristalsis, diarrhea, vomiting and other symptoms characteristic of colitis.

Other factors that provoke the development of the disease include:

  • contaminated or tap raw water;
  • hot or cold food;
  • eating foods that are not typical for animals (sweets, pasta, etc.);
  • infection with helminths;
  • infectious and non-infectious pathologies;
  • dysbiosis;
  • allergies;
  • metabolic disorders;
  • accidentally swallowed foreign objects, including wool, stuck in the colon;
  • used as food rodents;
  • injuries to the intestines (tubular bones used in food may well cause mechanical damage to the digestive tract).

Finally, colitis often develops against the background of stress associated with a change of residence, the appearance of another pet in the house, etc.


Acute colitis is characterized by a bright clinical picture. The first symptoms may appear within a couple of hours after the action of the provoking factor. The cat does not show activity, hides from the owner, does not respond to the call, most of the time lies. There is no appetite, vomiting may occur.

As the disease develops, the animal’s temperature rises, convulsions appear, and the mucous membranes turn blue. Characteristic symptoms — dirty-white plaque on the tongue, the smell of rotten meat from the mouth.

The stool is liquid, vitreous, with an admixture of blood and pus. Defecation is frequent, and you can see that the sphincter is in a relaxed state, the posterior rectum is gaping.

The cat’s belly is inflated like a drum. When you press on it, even at a distance, you can hear bubbling, bubbling sounds. The animal experiences severe pain when examined.

The chronic stage of colitis is almost asymptomatic. Alarm can only be caused by a stool that smells bad and has a non-specific color of feces.

Diagnostic methods

Diagnosis of colitis consists in differentiating it from other diseases of the gastrointestinal tract with similar symptoms. To make a diagnosis, the veterinarian, in addition to visual examination and anamnesis, requires a number of diagnostic studies:

  • coprological analysis of feces;
  • colonoscopy;
  • biopsy;
  • General and clinical blood tests;
  • enema with barium, followed by an x-ray of the colon.

After determining the diagnosis, the specialist prescribes appropriate treatment.

Treatment, prognosis

With timely treatment, the prognosis is favorable. The course of therapy lasts 5-7 days. Ot consists of three stages: restoring the water-salt balance, stabilizing the stool, and relieving symptoms of intoxication.

To remove toxins, adsorbents are prescribed — activated carbon, white clay, Smecta. With the help of an enema, the intestines are washed or a drug based on sodium sulfate is given (once).

To restore the water balance, rehydration therapy is necessary by oral administration of ringer’s solution (alternatively, a weak solution of table salt) or injecting saline solution with glucose.

In the case of bacterial infection, the use of antibiotics (Tylosin), Antiprotozoal drugs (Metronidazole, Furazolidone) is indicated.

In the allergic nature of colitis, corticosteroids (Prednisone) are prescribed, in the chronic form — anti-inflammatory drugs (Azathioprine, Sulfasalazine). To restore normal intestinal microflora, probiotics (Pro-Kolin, Lactobifid, Lactoferon) are necessary.

Possible complications

Lack of treatment for colitis leads to sensitization of the body with toxins. This affects the work of the liver, kidneys, and digestive tract, disrupts the digestive process and impairs the absorption of nutrients. The pet is threatened not only with exhaustion, but also with death.

What to do at home

The owner must follow the instructions of the veterinarian. Self-medication can make the situation worse and worsen the cat’s condition. You can use decoctions of medicinal herbs (chamomile, plantain), which have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. However, they should not completely replace traditional treatment.

Great importance is given to the nutrition of the animal. A pet should receive balanced quality food that helps restore the intestines (Sensitive, Royal Canine GastroIntestinal).

Prevention of colitis

Any disease can be prevented, and colitis is no exception. Preventive measures include timely vaccination and deworming, regular check-UPS, exclusion of stressful situations and, of course, proper pet feeding.