Colitis In Cats Treatment - How To Manage And Relieve IBD Discomfort
Colitis in cats can be worrisome but with the right treatment, can be managed or even eliminated. Many times, effective treatment is based on determining the underlying cause of inflammation that is occuring in the colon. Treatment for colitis in cats can vary from medication to creating a routine to reducing stress factors. Here are some of the main forms of treatments that your vet might prescribe if your cat is suffering from colitis.
Treatment for colitis in cats
IBD in cats can be treated and managed with medication, as well as changes in diet and environment.
Sometimes colitis can settle simply by changing your cat’s diet. You may even see improvement in your cat’s condition within a week. However, there is no surefire diet that will resolve colitis in all cats. You may have to do it via trial and error to find one that will help your cat’s colitis. Here are some of the common dietary changes that are recommended:
- Fasting - Fasting for 24 to 48 hours will allow your cat’s digestive system to rest and thus, reduce the severity of colitis. Do make sure that fasting is carried out under the supervision of your vet.
- Bland diet - A bland diet, such as plain cooked chicken, plain rice or plain flavoured yoghurt can help you manage your cat’s colitis. Feed your cat in small portions so that its digestive system is not ‘overloaded’.
- Elimination diet - If your vet suspects that food intolerances are causing the colitis, an elimination diet may be carried out to determine which exact food your cat is unable to stomach.
- Novel protein diet - Your vet may also suggest a novel protein diet, where your cat is fed a single, new form of protein that it has never eaten before. This works for food allergies as cats can only be allergic to food that it has been exposed to before. Do read labels carefully if you are purchasing the novel protein over the counter to ensure that ingredients are suitable for your cat. You can try Petcubes wild kangaroo which is a holistic diet formulated for cats with allergy sensitivities.
- Hydrolysed diet - Digestion is a problem for cats with colitis due to the inflamed colon. Thus, hydrolysed diets whereby a single food source that has been processed to make it highly digestible may help with absorption of nutrients as well as colitis symptoms.
Medication can also help to get IBD in cats under control. Your vet may prescribe the following medications, depending on the underlying cause of the condition.
- Anti-parasitic and deworming medication if parasites are identified in the GI tracts.
- Anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive medication such as corticosteroids and prednisolone are used to suppress inflammatory reactions if an underlying cause cannot be found and dietary modifications are not helping.
- Antibiotics that aim to change the balance of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria in the cat’s gut.
- Medication to thicken the cat’s faeces to provide some relief for the cat until the colitis is under control.
- Intravenous fluid and electrolyte replacement to prevent dehydration for cats presenting with severe symptoms such as frequent diarrhea and vomiting.
How to treat colitis in cats naturally?
Several natural healing methods have been known to help reduce irritation and inflammation in the intestines.
- Acupuncture can help offset and reduce inflammation by modulation of the autonomic nervous system.
- Omega-3 fatty acids can help to soothe the inflamed colon lining.
- Probiotics aim to increase the ‘good’ bacteria as well as inhibit ‘bad’ bacteria in the gut. They regulate and improve natural immune functions and modulate inflammatory reactions to bacteria. Probiotics also promote cell survival and help to stimulate protective responses that reduce inflammation.
- Soluble fibre can help relieve straining and discomfort. It can be added to your cat’s diet in the form of food or supplements.
Remember to consult your vet before starting on any treatment at home to ensure that it is safe for your cat.
Stress colitis in cats treatment
Cats are creatures who thrive on routine, so much so that colitis in cats can be triggered by stress and anxiety due to changes in the environment. A new diet, moving house, new family member, or new pet are all changes that can cause stress in cats.
If the colitis is caused by stress, establishing a routine as well as a calm, quiet environment can help to reduce your cat’s anxiety. Provide enough stimulation for your cat so that it’s not bored as boredom can also cause stress in cats.
Will colitis in cats go away on its own?
Acute colitis, which comes on suddenly and lasts only a few days usually resolves on its own without need for medical intervention. In fact, acute colitis is fairly common in cats.
Chronic colitis, which lasts more than 2 to 3 weeks and episodic colitis, which comes and goes over time needs to be treated in order for the cat to heal.