A cat’s stomach (stomach) comprises many important organs, together with their abdomen and intestines, liver, kidneys, and bladder. A swollen stomach can merely be an indication of weight acquire and a message to chop down on cat meals, but it surely can be a symptom of many well being situations, a few of them life-threatening.
A cat’s stomach ought to really feel tender and relaxed, with out swelling, ache, or discomfort.
Man issues may cause an enlarged, agency stomach in cats, together with being pregnant, weight problems, worms, constipation, organ enlargement, and fluid accumulation.
In case your cat has a agency, swollen stomach, search veterinary recommendation. Your cat will want a full bodily examination, and probably additional investigation corresponding to bloodwork or diagnostic imaging.
In case your cat’s abdomen is agency in addition to enlarged, that is much less more likely to be easy weight problems, so search veterinary recommendation to find out an underlying trigger.
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Why Is My Cat’s Stomach Agency?
A cat’s belly area is normally tender and relaxed, though many cats aren’t massively eager on having their stomach space examined! In grownup cats in good physique situation, you need to be capable to really feel the ribs with mild strain alongside their sides and a relaxed curve of the stomach beneath. Cats typically have a small “tuck” of pores and skin and fats hanging beneath the stomach, known as the primordial pouch.
There are various causes of stomach enlargement in cats, some physiological and a few extra regarding. The belly cavity can turn out to be massive and agency if extra fluid or fuel is current, or if an organ is enlarged, corresponding to with tumors.
Learn on to discover the most typical causes of a swollen stomach in cats.
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1. Weight problems
Overeating can result in a potbelly or bloated look to your cat’s tummy. Nonetheless, the stomach is usually tender when extra fats deposits are the reason for the enlargement, fairly than arduous or painful. Fats deposits round and underneath the stomach are extra generally seen within the feminine cat, particularly if spayed, however these can happen in any pet cat with a excessive meals consumption.
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2. Being pregnant
Cats turn out to be sexually mature from round 4 to six months of age, and free-roaming females can simply turn out to be pregnant at a younger age. Cat being pregnant lasts round 63 to 65 days and belly enlargement will happen by the mid-late levels. Pregnant cats would possibly present behavioral adjustments corresponding to nesting in addition to a swollen, arduous stomach.
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A buildup of feces within the colon (constipation) could make a cat’s tummy really feel agency. This may be uncomfortable and cats might draw back from their stomach being touched. You may also discover them taking fixed journeys out and in of the litter field or see adjustments to their urge for food.
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4. Intestinal Parasites
Worms that infect the gastrointestinal tract may give the looks of a bloated abdomen, particularly if there’s a massive parasite infestation. That is extra widespread in kittens than in older cats. Affected cats will want deworming remedy, which ought to resolve the pot-bellied look.
5. Organ Enlargement
If any organ within the belly cavity turns into infected, contaminated, diseased, or cancerous, it might swell and enlarge. This will turn out to be noticeable externally, resulting in the looks of a swollen stomach, which regularly feels agency to the contact when examined gently.
Organs can change in form and measurement for a couple of causes, together with:
- Tumors may cause enlarged organs with irregular form and measurement, such because the liver, spleen, gastrointestinal tract, or kidneys.
- Organs also can enlarge if contaminated or infected, for instance with hepatitis or kidney illness.
- The bladder can turn out to be arduous and swollen if there’s a urinary blockage, normally because of stones, an infection, or irritation.
- The gastrointestinal tract also can turn out to be blocked, maybe with one thing the cat has eaten, meals or poop, hairballs, or worms.
- The uterus can turn out to be arduous and swollen if a uterine an infection (pyometra) is current, filling the organ with massive quantities of pus and fluid.
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6. Stomach Fluid
The buildup of free fluid within the belly cavity can result in a agency, bloated look of a cat’s tummy. It’s at all times a trigger for concern. The fluid might be sampled by a veterinarian to find the sort: this may be urine, blood, or an effusion (fluid leaked from bodily tissues).
- Urine shall be current if there’s harm to the bladder or urinary system.
- Blood might be discovered after trauma/harm, post-surgery, with sure tumors, or because of a blood clotting dysfunction.
- Numerous varieties of effusion shall be leaked with well being situations corresponding to most cancers, liver illness, coronary heart illness, and an infection or irritation of the stomach itself.
- Some infectious ailments corresponding to feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) may cause fluid to build up within the stomach.
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7. Different Causes Of Swollen Stomach In Cats
There are another the explanation why your cat’s stomach might really feel agency, however they’re much less doubtless in cats. Fuel accumulation, Cushing’s illness, and hypothyroidism are all uncommon causes of a swollen stomach in cats. Kittens are extra susceptible to gaseous bloat after a big meal, as are grownup cats who eat very quick or gulp numerous air as they eat.
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When To Fear?
It may be tough to know when to be involved on the subject of the one that you love cat. It’s a good behavior for pet homeowners to repeatedly examine their pets over, their pores and skin and coat, ears, eyes, enamel, tummy, and paws to examine for any adjustments or abnormalities. This may very well be carried out as a part of a grooming regime, for instance. Figuring out what your cat’s stomach normally appears like is useful to have the ability to detect any adjustments early.
For those who’ve observed your cat’s stomach feels agency, listed below are some helpful inquiries to ask your self:
- Have you ever modified your cat’s meals just lately? Take into consideration your cat’s urge for food, and examine that your cat is being fed the correct amount for his or her age and measurement.
- Might your cat be pregnant? In case your cat is a feminine, is unspayed, and has entry to the outside it is a distinct chance.
- How are your cat’s urge for food, thirst, and litter field habits? A change in consuming, urination, poop, or urge for food may very well be important.
- Has your cat’s stomach modified measurement shortly? Or has their tummy grown very slowly over time? A fast change is extra regarding for underlying illness.
- Does your cat appear in any other case properly? Contemplate every other signs, corresponding to vomiting or diarrhea, coughing or sneezing, any discharge, or indicators of discomfort.
In case your cat has an enlarged tummy, it’s at all times greatest to hunt veterinary recommendation. They will study your cat totally and focus on any potential issues. Your veterinarian would possibly advocate additional testing corresponding to blood checks, urinalysis, and imaging corresponding to x-rays. If fluid is discovered, this can be sampled utilizing a needle (abdominocentesis), and tumors would possibly require a biopsy.
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Cat Stomach Feels Agency: Ultimate Ideas
Cats are available all sizes and shapes, and a few are positively on the chunkier aspect than others. Nonetheless, a swollen or agency stomach isn’t regular in cats and might point out a well being downside. In case your cat’s stomach has modified and feels massive, swollen, or agency, it’s time for an appointment with a veterinarian for investigation.
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Continuously Requested Questions
Why is my cat’s abdomen bloated and arduous?
An enlarged stomach in cats might be because of weight problems, being pregnant, constipation, or intestinal parasites. It can be brought on by organ enlargement by way of most cancers, an infection, or irritation, or by way of fluid accumulation because of varied well being situations.
Can worms make a cat bloated?
Intestinal worms may cause a cat to look bloated or pot-bellied, though normally, this requires fairly a excessive parasite burden. Cats with worms might present extra delicate signs, corresponding to an elevated urge for food, weight reduction, or diarrhea.
How do I do know if my cat’s abdomen hurts?
A cat with a painful stomach will doubtless cease consuming and should change their toileting habits. They may disguise away, react negatively to the touch, have a hunched, curled-up posture, and would possibly whimper or vocalize extra.