Cat Health Animals Cats

Managing Upset Stomach in Cats: Expert Strategies for Relief

Cats are usually good at hiding their pain, but sometimes they may show signs of an upset stomach. This can be caused by various factors, such as eating something that doesn’t agree with them, having an infection, or suffering from a chronic disease. In this article, we will explain how to know if your cat has an upset stomach, what the possible causes are, and what you can do to help them. Let’s deep dive into the article to understand and manage upset stomach in cats.

How to Know if Your Cat Has an Upset Stomach

The most obvious symptom of an upset stomach in cats is vomiting. However, other signs may indicate a problem with their digestive system. These include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Drooling
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach pain (often seen as a hunched posture)
  • Grumpiness
  • Hiding away more

If your cat is showing any of these signs, there is a chance they have an upset stomach. However, other conditions can cause some of these signs, so it is best to consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.

Causes of Upset Stomach in Cats

There are many possible causes of an upset stomach in cats. Some are more serious than others. Here are some of the most common ones:

Food intoleranceSome cats may be sensitive to certain ingredients in their food, such as dairy products, grains, or additives. This can cause inflammation and irritation in their stomach and intestines.
Dietary changeSwitching from one type of food to another too quickly can also upset your cat’s stomach. Their digestive system needs time to adjust to the new food, so it is recommended to make the transition gradually over a week or more.
Foreign objectCats are curious animals and may swallow things that are not meant to be eaten, such as string, hairballs, bones, or toys. These can get stuck in their stomachs or intestines and cause obstruction, perforation, or infection.
InfectionBacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi can infect your cat’s digestive system and cause inflammation, diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. Some common examples are salmonella, giardia, roundworms, and ringworms.
Chronic diseaseSome diseases that affect other organs or systems can also cause cats upset stomachs. For example, kidney disease, liver disease, pancreatitis, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or inflammatory bowel disease

Common Causes of Upset Stomachs in Cats

Cats, just like humans, can sometimes end up with upset stomachs. There are various reasons this can happen:

1. Eating the Wrong Stuff: Cats are naturally curious, and sometimes they eat things they shouldn’t. This can include stuff like strings, dental floss, or even toxic plants like lilies. Eating lilies is really dangerous and can lead to kidney failure, so it needs immediate attention.

2. Stress: Stress can mess with a cat’s tummy. It might lead to problems like indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation. If your cat is stressed, they may also seem nervous and react more to their surroundings.

3. Intestinal Parasites: Parasites can affect cats of all ages, but they’re more common in kittens who haven’t been dewormed yet. If you suspect parasites in a kitten, it’s important to see the vet because they can make kittens very sick if not treated.

4. Food Allergies or Sensitivities: Cats, like people, can develop allergies or sensitivities to certain foods. Common food allergens for cats include beef, chicken, fish, and dairy. This might lead to an upset stomach, but it often shows up as itching and licking.

5. Underlying Health Issues: Sometimes, more serious health problems can lead to stomach issues in cats. These conditions often come with other symptoms like vomiting, weight loss, and changes in fur or energy. Some of the common ones are inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), gastroenteritis, hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, liver disease, and hairballs.

6. Hairballs: Cats sometimes cough up hairballs, which is normal. If it happens occasionally, it’s usually not a big deal. But if it becomes frequent or your cat struggles with it, especially if they’re an overgroomer or have long hair, it can lead to stomach problems. In such cases, your vet might suggest supplements.

Cat With an Upset Stomach: When to See the Vet

If your cat has an upset stomach now and then, it’s usually nothing to worry about. However, if your cat has:

  • Severe diarrhea lasting more than a few days.
  • Vomiting along with other symptoms of illness like being tired or not eating.
  • Repeated episodes of vomiting throughout the day.
  • Other symptoms of pain and discomfort.

It’s a good idea to contact your vet. These could be signs of more serious issues, like foreign objects in the stomach, pancreatitis, or even cancer.

What to Feed a Cat With an Upset Stomach

Most vets recommend giving your cat a bland diet when their stomach is upset. This can be boiled chicken and rice or a little pumpkin, which adds fiber to help firm up their stool. You can also find specially designed dry food for upset stomachs at pet stores, but always check with your vet before making any diet changes.

Home Remedies for Cat Upset Stomach

In addition to a bland diet, there are some home remedies you can try with your vet’s approval:

  • Use cat-specific probiotics to balance their gut.
  • Add a bit of plain Greek yogurt to their regular food for the probiotics.
  • If hairballs are the issue, consider hairball remedy supplements to help prevent and eliminate them.

Before trying these remedies, make sure to discuss them with your vet to rule out any serious concerns. Your vet can guide you on which remedies are safe and suitable for your cat.

Treatment for Cats with an Upset Stomach

The treatment for an upset stomach in cats depends on the cause and severity of the condition. Some general tips are:

  • If your cat vomits once and shows no other symptoms, it may not be a serious problem. You can try to withhold food for 12 hours and then offer small amounts of bland food, such as boiled chicken or rice. Make sure they have access to fresh water at all times.
  • If your cat vomits multiple times a day or has diarrhea for more than 24 hours, you should take them to the vet as soon as possible. They may be dehydrated or have a serious infection or obstruction that needs medical attention.
  • Your vet may prescribe medications to control vomiting, diarrhea, pain, or infection. They may also recommend probiotics to restore the balance of good bacteria in your cat’s gut.
  • Your vet may suggest a special diet for your cat that is easy to digest and low in fat and fiber. This can help reduce inflammation and irritation in their stomach and intestines.
  • In some cases, your cat may need surgery to remove a foreign object or treat a perforation or tumor.


An upset stomach in cats can have many causes and symptoms. It is important to monitor your cat’s behavior and appearance and seek veterinary help if you notice any signs of distress. With proper care and treatment, your cat can recover from an upset stomach and enjoy a healthy life.

I hope you liked my article. Please let me know if you have any feedback or questions.

About the author


PetsCareWorld is a website dedicated to providing reliable and helpful information about pets and their care. Our team consists of experienced pet owners, veterinarians, animal trainers, and writers. The team shares a common love for animals and a desire to help others. We cover topics such as pet health, nutrition, grooming, training, behavior, and more. Our articles are based on scientific research, expert opinions, and personal experiences. We also feature stories, tips, and reviews from our readers and community members. We want to teach and motivate pet owners to choose wisely and take good care of their pets. We give honest and helpful information that makes pets and their owners happier. We like to hear from our readers and get their ideas. We hope to make a nice and friendly group of pet lovers. Thank you for visiting PetsCareWorld and we hope you enjoy our content.

Leave a Comment