Browse our veterinary-reviewed Dog and Cat Illness Guide to learn more about pet health. Always talk to your veterinarian if you have a concern about your pet's symptoms or health.
Pet Assure allows pet owners to save on their pet's veterinary care, even pre-existing conditions. Click here to learn more.
Gastroenteritis is a disease where the gastrointestinal tract (stomach and intestines) becomes inflamed.
- Ingestion: spoiled food or foreign objects
- Infections: bacterial, viral, or fungal
- Certain medications: corticosteroids, anti-cancer drugs, antibiotics
- Diseases: pancreatitis, liver disease, kidney disease
- Vomiting: foamy, with yellow bile and blood
- Diarrhea: in large amounts a few times a day
- Loss of appetite
- Gagging after eating or drinking
- Abdominal pain
Many cases of vomiting and diarrhea resolve quickly and easily. If the signs continue for more than one day, or if there is blood in the diarrhea or vomit, bring your cat to your veterinarian. Some tests performed may include:
- Blood tests
- Urine test
- Stool examination
- X-rays or ultrasound of the abdomen
- Tests for pancreatitis
The goals of treatment are to renew lost fluid and to give the gastrointestinal tract a rest. Your veterinarian will do a few things:
- Rehydration: orally or through IV
- Diet: your cat will not be allowed any food, and you will gradually introduce water and easily digestible food
- Drugs: to stop the vomiting and diarrhea
- Antibiotics: if the cause is a bacterial infection
To prevent gastroenteritis, you should:
- Keep your cat on a healthy diet
- Keep a clean environment to avoid infection
- Be careful that they don't swallow non-edible objects
- Bring them for routine de-worming
Most cats with gastroenteritis will recover quickly with rehydration and medication from your vet.
Medically Reviewed by Sara Ochoa, DVM