Feline Colitis is the medical term given to inflammation in a cat’s colon, otherwise known as the large intestine. This medical condition can be either chronic or acute. As with humans, the colon is used during the digestive process and will be the final call of waste material before it is evacuated from the body. As it is stored within the colon, the excess fluid that was used to help move the waste will be extracted back into the body.
IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) comes in various forms and can be caused by a number of inflammatory cells. One of the most common occurring is Lymphocytic plasmacytic enterocolitis. This is the presence of lymphocytes, a white blood cell and antibodies in the form of plasma. These two will be present in the mucous that is contained in the colon and small intestine. Another common form is Eosinophilic enterocolitis which can be found in both the intestines and the stomach.
To make things a little clearer, feline colitis is when the inflammation is just in the colon (large intestine). If it is both the colon and small intestine then it is enterocolitis, and when the disease is present in the stomach too, it becomes gastritis.
What Are The Causes of Feline Colitis?
Here are some of the more common causes of Feline Colitis:
• Dietary Issues – Cat’s can be sensitive to certain foods and have an intolerance or allergy. Issues of the diet can also include eating contaminated foods and foreign objects (quite common when cats scavenge around in garbage). They may also pick up a virus or bacteria such as salmonella when eating the wrong types of foods.
• Intestinal Parasites – There are many parasites that can be evident in the intestine such as Cat Worms like roundworm, hookworm, tapeworm and coccidia – all of which can be the cause of Colitis
• Pancreatitis – Inflammation of the pancreas
Signs and Symptoms
In the first case, you will probably notice Cat Diarrhea and an urgency to visit the litter tray. On closer examination, there may be some spots of blood in the stool or mucous. This is the most obvious symptom but others include the following:
• Discomfort – Does your cat look as though they are having problems to evacuate feces?
• Weight Loss – This is usually evident when a cat has chronic Colitis
• Loss of Appetite
• Abdominal Pain
Feline Colitis Treatment
If you think that your cat has Colitis then you must take your cat to a veterinary clinic as soon as possible, preferably with a stool sample for immediate examination. One of the first questions that your veterinarian will likely ask you is if the problem is chronic, acute or sporadic.
Following this the veterinarian will then test the stool sample for the presence of bacteria or parasites, take a full blood count and also analyze the urine. If the cause is still not decided upon, further testing in the form of X-rays and colonoscopy may follow.
As soon as the cause is found, treatment can begin in eliminating this cause. For example, if the cause is intestinal parasites then medication will be given to eradicate them from your cat’s body. It might be necessary to change the diet to one that is easier to digest, high in fiber and low in fat. It is likely that your cat will be given antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications. Furthermore, if the cat is suffering from dehydration, fluids will be given.