Causes and Types of Digestive Disorders in your Cat

Causes and Types of Digestive Disorders in your Cat

Digestive disorders are one of the most common reasons that people will bring their cat to the vet. A digestive disorder is anything that prevents proper digestion or alters the rate which food passes through the digestive tract. An upset in digestion can lead to many issues such as dehydration, malnutrition or potentially other serious health issues so it is important to seek veterinary advice if you are concerned your cat may have an issue.

Causes of Digestive Disorders in Cats

There are many potential causes of digestive disorders in cats, these are a few of the most common ones:

  • Eating new foods
  • Eating inappropriate foods such as certain human foods
  • Inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract
  • Food Intolerance/sensitivities
  • Infections
  • Lack of digestive enzymes
  • Breed specific issues such as those seen in Sphynx, Rex and Ragdoll cats

To help in determining the underlying cause of your cats’ digestive upset the vet you see may need to carry out certain tests which may include blood and faecal sampling.

Some Commonly Diagnosed Conditions in Cats Include:

Acute Gastroenteritis

Is an inflamed digestive tract. Common causes of this condition are eating spoiled food, swallowing foreign objects, eating toxic plants, internal parasites, stress and food allergies.


Usually seen in younger cats its and inflammation of the large intestine that results in frequent and painful passing of the feces. Often if your cat is suffering from colitis you will see blood and mucous in the stool. Most frequent causes include tumors, polyps, food change, allergies and stress.


Inflammation of the pancreas possibly caused by dehydration, infection, disease or trauma

Irritable Bowel Syndome

Chronic inflammation and discomfort of your cat’s digestive tract. Some suspected causes include food intolerances and mental distress.


Caused by infections, parasites, stress, sudden food change, inappropriate foods, and digestive disfunction.


Usual causes include dehydration, insufficient fibre intake, foreign bodies, aging, spinal cord disease, tumors, metabolic or endocrine disease, lack of exercise and trauma.

Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency

This condition is usually characterized by weight loss, increased appetite and large amounts of soft stool.

Small Intestinal Malabsorption

Inflammation of the small intestine can impair the intestines ability to absorb nutrients which can result in persistent diarrhoea, weight loss and loss of appetite in your cat.

If you have any concerns about your cat’s digestive health you can make an appointment to speak to a veterinarian at one of our three vet clinics located in Kilmacud, Foxrock or Dun Laoghaire.