Around two-thirds of all cat owners think that a sensitive stomach has an impact on the general health of their cats. Food intolerances can lead to dull fur and bad skin. However, only in around a quarter of cases an intolerance can cause repeated vomiting and/or diarrhoea. It’s important to differentiate intolerance from a real allergy, i.e. a reaction triggered by the immune system.
How a Sensitive Stomach Affects Cats
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Intolerances are mostly when the body is unable to correctly digest one or more ingredients. One factor frequently misunderstood by cat owners is lactose. Adult cats are often unable to digest lactose, leading to heavy diarrhoea. Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary to give adults cat milk.
Owners are generally stunned when their well-adjusted cat suddenly suffers from a sensitive stomach. This can be an age-related process, as in the case with lactose. In some cases it is a slowly developing intolerance due to changing enzyme activity in the digestive tract. In other words, certain substances can no longer be utilised correctly.
Changing the food too regularly
Changing the consistency of the food between wet and dry regularly or even daily is often poorly tolerated, resulting in recurring diarrhoea. You should try to stick with one type. In order to confront the sweet tooth of many cats, it’s worth changing the flavour every now and then.
Go to the vet in severe cases
If there are severe symptoms triggered by a sensitive stomach, it’s essential to seek out a vet. In less serious cases, you should go through the listed criteria or create a “feeding log” in order to gather reference points and be able to adapt the diet.
Less well-tolerated sources of protein
When providing commercial food for cats with a sensitive stomach, the most important step is choosing a an easily digestible food. This means maximum of two sources of protein. This reduces the risk of allergies greatly, too. For instance, Hill’s Science Plan Sensitive Stomach fulfils these criteria by using chicken as the only protein. Carbohydrates are provided by easily digestible rice. This means that the body isn’t overloaded with a wide range of different proteins and uses vitamin E as an anti-oxidant to support its immune defence.