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Your cat’s health is important, so what does it take to craft a fulfilling life for your feline friend? One thing that is very important to help support your cat’s overall wellbeing, is the maintenance of their digestive system. The cat digestive system is a vessel through which they breaks down food, create energy to power their active lifestyle, and also synthesise all kinds of body-boosting agents. For this reason, is it is important to understand not just how the cat digestive system works, but what kind of cat digestive problems it can fall victim too, and how best you can act to safeguard your cat’s digestive system, and help them stay illness-free and leading a happy life.
The digestive system in a cat works very much in the same way as in a human….but smaller of course. And, like in a human, there are certain functions that the cat digestive system fulfills. This include:
The most well-known function of cat digestion is to break down food taken from their diet. From this, your cat can create the energy that it needs to move, and that also powers other body function like immunity, hormones and sexual reproduction. It is here you can begin to understand that an efficiently functioning immune system bodes well for multiple other functions in the body. Secondly, this vital sequence of events that go on the cat digestive system also leads to the synthesis of molecules that can help grow and repair your cat’s muscle and bone, as well as the construction of other internal components.
What many don’t consider is that the cat digestive system also works to help detoxify the body. There are certain organs that make up the digestive system such as the liver and the kidneys which operate by filtering harmful toxicities and chemicals out of the blood in order to protect your cat from illness. Improper upkeep of these organs can lead to a number of cat digestive problems.
Promoting Overall Wellbeing
Often overlooked, the cat digestive system, when working correctly, has a profound influence on your cat’s overall wellbeing. Cat digestive problems have the potential to make trouble for their overall happiness and leave them feeling in distress. That is why it is important to take the necessary steps to support cat digestion or be able to spot and react to the signs of potential cat digestive problems.
The Symptoms of Cat Digestive Problems
Since your cat’s digestive system is so complex, and comprises the work of multiple organs, the problems that can occur are various in their nature. What isn’t varied is the symptoms that can occur. There are common ‘tell-tail’ signs that your cat can exhibit that point to a cat digestive problem. These include:
- Loss of Appetite
- Abdominal Pain
- Straining to Defecate
These symptoms are fairly easy to spot in cats so don’t hesitate to seek the help of a professional if you spot them. To make finding them easier, you should look at making a routine out of keeping an eye on their bowel movements, how much they are eating and their behaviour on a day to day basis. You lead a busy life and that means that these signs can go unnoticed, and like with any problem, the earlier you spot it, the easier it is to fix.
What Causes Cat Digestive Problems?
Another beauty about the similarity between cat digestion and human digestion, is that the causes of problems bare similar origins. Some causes include:
Cat digestive problems can quite often be simply down to what they are eating. This is especially the case for a cat that is old or suffers from a more sensitive digestive system. A diet that is too high in processed food, additives and unnatural chemicals could be a cheap alternative to high-quality cat food, but down the line, it can lead to the build-up of toxicities that can damage their digestive system and create trouble for the other bodily functions that rely on it. Similarly, eating human food can cause problems because as the name suggests, it is not suitable for cats! Digestive care cat food can be the best cat food for cats with digestive problems as they can help mediate the effects of a poor diet.
One of the most common causes of digestive problems in all species is bacteria. Either a result of contact with other cats or carried in on rotting food or out of date products, when introduced into the body, bacteria release toxins and damage the delicate cat digestive system. The threat of bacteria underpins why it is important to keep an eye on what your cat is eating and what it might be picking up off the ground that isn't part of what you feed them.
A lack of exercise isn’t just a surefire way to make your cat get fat, but it can also spell disaster for their digestion! Exercise is one of the main drivers behind the metabolic rate that directs your cat’s ability to break down and convert food. A cat should be naturally active to help this, but an inactive cat can have trouble digesting food and getting the most out of their diet.
Lastly, how old your cat is has a profound effect on their digestion. Like with almost anything, age has a tendency to slow the functionality of digestion. That is why you might find that it is important to ensure that you are building the most supportive lifestyle for your cat's digestive system as they get older.
How to Help Your Cat’s Digestion
There are multiple things that you as a loving owner can do to help enshrine the digestion of your four-legged friend. Firstly it is important that you get your cat eating specific digestive care cat food. This can mean food that is designed specifically to support digestion, or just a balanced and healthy diet. For a younger cat, ensuring that they are getting enough protein for growth and repair is essential, as well as a wealth of vitamins and minerals to support vitality too. With an older cat, digestive care cat food is more necessary as they will naturally have a less responsive digestive system.
Secondly, your cat can absolutely benefit from getting regular exercise as this will help them metabolise food and get the most out of their nutrition. Cats can be rather elusive in their nature so it is hard to regulate their exercise, but maybe try hiding your cat’s food to make them search for it, or introduce more climbing apparatus into the house for example.
Digestion Supplements for Cats
Your cat, especially as they get older, can also benefit from the enormous range of naturally sourced supplements that are available on the market. These can help complement a balanced diet and exercise and help them achieve the best possible foundation for healthy digestion. The cat digestive system is complex, but luckily such supplements have been developed that have been tailored to suit specific individual areas that need support. Supplements can deliver your cat nutrients that they might otherwise be unable to obtain from regular cat food, and they are also a great way to help support the digestion of an older cat.