Professor Daisy’s tips on preventing an upset stomach
Today I am going to talk to you about a very serious subject: stomach upset. I know, it is No Fun to have an upset stomach and it is even worse to throw up or have diarrhea. But first I have to give you some important advice– if you have more than a mild digestive upset, or your vomiting or diarrhea gets worse or continues, please have your mom or dad take you to see the veterinarian. Luckily, there are some simple ways to help you avoid getting a stomachache in the first place.
Let’s take Harley as an example. He throws up all the time! Part of the problem is that Harley loves to eat, and his eyes are bigger than his stomach. Um, that’s just a saying, because his eyeballs are only about as big as a grape and I think his stomach is as big as a potato. Anyway, here are some tips:
- Don’t eat too fast! If you are a food-gobbler, try a slow-feed bowl. Or, just learn some table manners.
- Don’t switch foods quickly. If you try a new brand of pet food, try to slowly introduce the new food into your diet.
I think Harley would eat anything, even candy or stuff he found on the street (if he was allowed outside). Here are some more tips:
- Stick to a high-quality grain-free food.
- Limit treats to no more than 10% of your dietary intake, and make sure they’re healthy snacks.
- Don’t drink your milk! Unlike kittens, adult cats no longer have enough of the enzyme lactase which is needed to digest the lactose in milk.
Harley wanted me to include this photo, because he’s pretending to have an upset stomach. I can tell he’s faking, because he never covers his mouth when he vomits. But this brings me to another point:
- Don’t eat stuff that isn’t food! Ingesting “foreign bodies” like string, pieces of plastic, rubber bands, etc. is almost guaranteed to cause an upset stomach or worse, an intestinal obstruction.
Last week, Harley threw up on my favorite toy. I wish he had better manners! Harley, why you do that? Please keep your vomit to yourself.
Finally, a common cause of vomiting in cats is from hairballs. I am lucky because my curly fur does not shed very much. Here are my last tips:
- Avoid hairballs with frequent grooming with a tool such as the FURminator de-shedding tool.
- To prevent or treat hairballs, you can try a product like Hairball Plus for Cats (they taste just like treats!)
Remember, vomiting and diarrhea are nothing to be embarrassed about. If you’d like to study some more, learn more about common digestive problems in cats.