Your cat doesn’t have back-t0-back meetings scheduled 9-5 and isn’t furrowing his brow over the health care crisis. But even without the worries and stress, cats can still suffer from ulcers—small, painful sores in the lining of the stomach or small intestine.
Most cats that develop ulcers get them because they are taking aspirin for long-term conditions like arthritis. Kidney or liver problems or snacking on unsafe household items can also cause cat ulcers.
While curing an ulcer frequently requires veterinary care, there are things you can do to keep his insides safe.
When it Comes to Ulcers, Cat Appetite can’t be Trusted
Some cats–just like dogs–will chew just about anything that catches their attention. Be sure not to leave batteries, pennies or other potentially harmful articles where your kitty can get them. If you see your cat swallow something he shouldn’t and you even suspect it might be hazardous, call your vet immediately.
Keep Kitty Busy
Ulcers in cats can occur for various reasons, and the ingestion of rough materials, such as wood and bone, is one potential cause. To prevent such issues and promote your cat’s oral health, it’s important to provide them with safe and appropriate chewable toys.
Choosing toys made specifically for cats, such as dangly plush or stuffed mice, can satisfy their natural hunting instincts while keeping their adventurous appetite under control. These toys are designed to be chewed and played with, allowing your cat to engage in appropriate oral stimulation. The soft and plush materials of these toys are gentle on their teeth and gums, reducing the risk of injury or irritation.
When selecting chewable toys for your cat, opt for those made from non-toxic and durable materials. Avoid toys with small parts that can be easily swallowed or pose a choking hazard. Regularly inspect the toys for signs of wear and tear, and replace them if they become damaged to ensure your cat’s safety.
Providing your cat with appropriate chew toys serves multiple purposes. Not only do these toys help prevent the ingestion of rough materials that can lead to ulcers, but they also promote dental hygiene. Chewing on toys can help remove plaque and tartar buildup, contributing to overall oral health and reducing the risk of dental problems in your cat.
Additionally, engaging in interactive play sessions with your cat using these chewable toys can strengthen the bond between you and provide mental stimulation for your feline companion. Playtime offers an opportunity for exercise, mental engagement, and a healthy outlet for their natural predatory instincts.
Remember to supervise your cat while they are playing with chewable toys to ensure they are using them safely. If you notice any signs of discomfort, injury, or excessive aggression during play, consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues or behavioral concerns.
By providing safe and appropriate chewable toys, you can help satisfy your cat’s need for oral stimulation while reducing the risk of ulcers caused by the ingestion of rough materials. Regular playtime and monitoring of their toys will contribute to their overall well-being and promote a happy and healthy feline lifestyle.
Grooming Helps Keep a Cat Stomach Happy
Regular brushing will help reduce the amount of hair your cat swallows during his grooming sessions. Although this may not prevent ulcers from forming, it may help reduce irritation of the stomach and small intestine that could worsen an existing condition.
Beware of Ulcers: Cats Should be Given Pills with Caution
Just like over-the-counter analgesics like aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen can cause ulcers in people, they are a major cause of ulcers in cats, too. These drugs are very potent and a dose that’s right for a human could be dangerous for your kitty, particularly when it is given for long periods of time. Check with your vet before starting any treatment plan. And whatever you do, don’t give acetaminophen to cats. They lack the enzyme that gets rid of it, and their livers are unable to handle it.
Give Medicine with a Meal
If your vet has recommended that you give your cat aspirin, always administer it with cat food so it won’t directly irritate the stomach lining. Also keep in mind that since aspirin is very acidic, you should look for a buffered brand, which will be easier on your cat’s stomach.
Keep your Cat Stress-free
While emotional stress doesn’t appear to be a major cause of ulcers in cat, it may play a small role. To help keep your kitty healthy and relaxed, make sure to give him ample attention and include plenty of playtime in his life. Having another pet at home can also give your cat someone to play with.
When to See the Vet
While some cat ulcers will heal on their own, others can result in internal bleeding. Symptoms to watch for are blood in the stool or vomit or vomit that looks like it has coffee grounds mixed with it.
Get to your vet as soon as you notice any of these symptoms. In most cases, feline ulcers can be treated with prescription drugs like cimetidine (Tagamet) and sucralfate (Carafate), which help reduce the amount of irritating acid in the stomach.