If the nocturnal gurgles and rumblings of your cat’s stomach are causing your sleepless nights, it may prompt you to question the health and functioning of your cat’s digestive system. Predominantly, such noises from a cat’s stomach are a mere byproduct of ordinary digestive activity. Though these sounds are often not indicative of any severe health issues, it is still worth investigating their origin to ensure they aren’t symptoms of something more significant. If your cat’s stomach is making noises, continue reading to discover potential causes and learn when it might be necessary to consult with your veterinarian.
Deciphering the Reason Behind My Cat’s Stomach Gurgles
The murmuring, gurgling sound that a cat’s stomach generates is scientifically termed borborygmus, denoting the effervescent sound created by gases navigating their way through the stomach and intestines. Visualize this process as gas pockets being intermittently “popped” due to the almost rhythmic forward propulsion of digested food. Gases are a perennial feature in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, either being ingested during meals or produced by the flourishing bacteria that aid in digesting nutrients from food. Regardless, gas plays a fundamental role in the digestive process.
That said, some cats may have more audible digestive sounds than others, usually within an hour or two post meals. Conversely, others may only exhibit these sounds when they are visibly uncomfortable or show signs indicative of a potential condition.
Signs to Monitor When Your Cat’s Stomach is Making Noises
You might be asking yourself, “My cat’s stomach often gurgles — are there other signs that might indicate a problem?” Firstly, monitor your cat’s general wellbeing aside from the stomach gurgles. If your cat shows no other signs of illness or discomfort, and the gurgles are part of their typical post-meal routine, it’s less likely to be a matter of concern. Nevertheless, it’s always beneficial to consult your vet about these sounds during your cat’s next check-up.
However, if a cat with borborygmus begins exhibiting signs of illness or discomfort, a prompt veterinary consultation is highly advisable. Symptoms to watch out for include decreased appetite, vomiting, regurgitation, changes in stool quality or quantity, alterations in eating habits, abdominal discomfort, and lethargy. These crucial signs may be subtle and challenging to identify, especially in households with multiple cats. In these situations, extra vigilance is encouraged. If your cat has stopped eating entirely, this situation is considered an emergency that necessitates immediate consultation with your vet.
Understaing Gurgling Sound in Cat’s Stomach
Delving into Feline Digestion
During the course of regular digestion, a range of sounds are generated as a result of the complex interactions within the gastrointestinal tract, primarily the movement of the system and the associated expulsion of gases. After your feline friend has enjoyed their meal, it’s entirely feasible to detect a mild borborygmi – a subtle murmuring or gurgling noise – if you gently place your ear against their abdomen.
However, these auditory signals are not confined to times when the cat’s stomach is satiated with food. Even on an empty stomach, similar guttural echoes can be observed. This is because the acids and gases in the stomach, which facilitate digestion, remain active, and the absence of food causes these sounds to echo within the vacant organ. However, if you, like many pet parents, tend to spoil your cat with ample food, it’s unlikely your domestic feline will ever experience such a state of emptiness.
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The borborygmi can become more pronounced if your cat happens to ingest a lot of air while dining, which might occur if they hastily consume their favorite meal or eat anxiously. If this becomes a regular phenomenon, you can mitigate it by providing smaller, more frequent meals for your cat.
Besides the standard guttural sounds you’d expect, there may be noises that raise some concerns. These include sounds that are louder than usual, persist over an extended period, or coincide with a broader array of symptoms. The subsequent sections will explore whether these may signal trouble brewing within your cat’s digestive system.
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The Hidden Threat of Parasites
At times, those amplified gurgling noises emanating from your cat’s stomach might be indicative of something more sinister than standard digestion. They may signal the invasion of internal parasites. Parasites like coccidia or giardia often lead to diarrhea. In healthy adult cats, however, there might be no discernible symptoms of the parasitic presence. For particularly young, old, or already unwell animals, these parasites pose a substantial risk as they deprive the cat of nutrients and can instigate dehydration.
Hence, if your kitten exhibits consistent digestive discomfort in their stomach and/or intestines, it is prudent to seek veterinary advice. Despite adhering to a strict deworming schedule, parasites can still infiltrate your cat’s system. This could be due to something the cat ingested or exposure to a parasite not covered by your deworming medication.
Detecting a specific parasite can be challenging, which is why repeated stool samples might be necessary. If you suspect that your cat’s gurgling noises stem from parasites, you should consult your vet for the appropriate medication. Not only can they prescribe the most effective treatment, but they can also confirm the existence of a parasitic infestation and rule out other potential pathologies.
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Unpacking Digestive Tract Disorders
In this section, we’ll examine various disorders or conditions that can negatively impact digestion and possibly explain your cat’s gurgling sounds:
- Foreign Body: Though this issue is more prevalent among larger animals like dogs, cats too can swallow items they shouldn’t. Objects such as thread, string, or pieces of plastic can obstruct their intestinal transit and lead to discomfort. The ingestion of such items isn’t just signaled by guttural noises. It can also result in reflux, discomfort, or even perforation of the intestine. If your cat exhibits vomiting and a lack of appetite in addition to the gurgling sound, then it’s advisable to consult a veterinarian.
- Malabsorption: This is the medical term for a condition where food isn’t properly digested at the point where nutrients should enter the bloodstream. There are numerous causes of this phenomenon. Besides gastric noises, your cat might increase their food intake, but maintain the same weight or even lose some. The same can happen with certain parasites. Malabsorption generally occurs due to pancreatic issues, and must be attended to by a vet.
- Indigestion: While more common in dogs, cats can also grapple with indigestion problems. If a cat has easy access to rich food (such as a neighbor who enjoys spoiling other people’s pets) or they eat too much too quickly, it can lead to indigestion accompanied by loud intestinal sounds. If the food becomes lodged, it can cause an impacted bowel which is not only loud but can be extremely painful. While it might resolve naturally, chronic indigestion necessitates medical intervention.
- Dysbiosis: This occurs when the flora of a cat’s digestive tract undergoes alteration. The microbial action of this flora is affected and there is an imbalance, sometimes leading to the buildup of gut flora which can cause complications. If this occurs, gurgling sounds are only one of the potential issues. If this balance doesn’t restore itself naturally, a vet must be consulted.
As you can discern, if your cat’s stomach produces gurgling or bubbling sounds before or after a meal, it’s usually no cause for concern and will likely rectify itself promptly. However, if these noises are accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, or any other signs of discomfort, a vet visit is in order.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
If your cat persistently makes bowel sounds over an extended period, there might be an underlying pathology that affects the intestines. When vomiting, weight loss, or other symptoms present alongside, it could be an inflammatory intestinal disease at play, a condition more common in older adult cats.
The symptoms can be mild and nonspecific, making diagnosis difficult. As such, an endoscopy and/or biopsy might be required. This serves to ensure that inflammatory bowel disease is indeed present and not another pathology like intestinal lymphoma. If the cat does test positive for inflammatory bowel disease, this likely elucidates the noises in the gut. Therefore, while gurgling noises emanating from your cat’s digestive system are typically harmless, we need to stay alert in case they signal something more menacing.
Potential Causes Resulting from Non-Digestive Diseases
A myriad of illnesses can also cause disturbances in the digestive tract and abnormal gas activity. Here are a few common reasons:
- Ingestion of excessive amounts of gas, a possibility with respiratory or dental issues
- Diseases causing nausea, such as brain, liver, and kidney diseases
- Thyroid disease
Even seemingly benign stress can cause an upset stomach in cats.
Palliative Treatments and Interventions
Suppose your cat’s stomach noises are mild, sporadic, and not associated with any alarming disease symptoms — and you’ve consulted your vet. In most cases, no treatment is needed. However, it’s always worthwhile to try one or more simple remedies for an upset stomach:
- Probiotics: These beneficial bacterial colonies can help balance any bacterial disturbances in the GI tract.
- Prebiotics: These nutrients nourish the “good” bacteria, thereby supporting these colonies preferentially. Digestible fiber is the most common prebiotic.
- Hairball remedies: These may help cats prone to frequent hairball issues. Regular brushing is often just as effective.
As always, consult your vet before starting any new treatment.
Preventing Cat Stomach Gurgling
Many cat parents might ponder, “My cat’s stomach gurgles — is there anything I can do to prevent this?” If the gurgling seems persistent and potentially discomforting, and your vet has ruled out any serious concerns, consider using probiotics and prebiotics to support the feline GI tract. Many are available as over-the-counter dietary supplements.
Therapeutic gastrointestinal foods for “sensitive stomachs” might also be a consideration as these can often prevent GI disturbances through various means. These foods can be obtained from your vet, so feel free to ask if one might be suitable for your furry companion.
FAQs Gurgling Sound in Cat’s Stomach and The Truth Behind!
Is it typical for a cat’s stomach to generate gurgling noises?
Absolutely, it’s an entirely normal phenomenon for a cat’s stomach to produce gurgling or other audible noises. These sounds, scientifically referred to as borborygmi, emanate during the standard digestive process. This process entails the transit of food, liquids, and gases through the cat’s gastrointestinal tract. These noises can be perceived regardless of whether the feline’s stomach is in a state of fullness or emptiness. However, it’s important to take note when these sounds become noticeably louder, more frequent, or are accompanied by other alarming symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, a loss of appetite, or visible signs of discomfort. Such changes could potentially be a signal of an underlying medical issue, and it would be prudent to seek professional consultation from a veterinarian.
How can I alleviate discomfort in my cat’s stomach?
There exist several strategies to pacify a cat’s unsettled stomach:
Serve them a bland diet: A temporary switch to a bland diet comprising plain, boiled chicken or white fish may serve to appease your cat’s stomach. Remember to meticulously remove all bones prior to feeding.
Offer smaller, frequent meals: Rather than providing one or two hefty meals per day, consider supplying your cat with several smaller servings. This approach could potentially be less taxing on their digestive system and may assist in reducing the incidence of gurgling sounds.
Guarantee hydration: Adequate hydration is a prerequisite for effective digestion, so it’s crucial to ensure that your cat has continual access to a fresh, uncontaminated water source.
Limit the provision of treats and table scraps: Such foods can pose a challenge for your cat’s digestive system, potentially contributing to an upset stomach.
Employ probiotics: Probiotics can be beneficial in reinstating the natural equilibrium of bacterial populations within your cat’s digestive tract. Always consult with your vet before initiating any new supplement regimen.
Avoid abrupt dietary changes: If a dietary change for your cat becomes necessary, implement this change gradually in order to preclude disturbing their stomach.
Please bear in mind that these tips are generalized in nature. If your cat continues to show signs of an upset stomach or if their condition appears to worsen, it is always recommended to seek professional guidance from a veterinarian.
Why is my cat’s stomach producing noises and why does my cat have diarrhea?
A noisy stomach accompanied by diarrhea in cats could be symptomatic of a range of conditions. These conditions can range from relatively harmless scenarios, such as dietary indiscretion (the cat consuming something inappropriate), to more grave health issues like gastrointestinal infections, parasitic infestations, inflammatory bowel disease, or even certain types of cancer. Psychological stress can also serve as a catalyst for gastrointestinal disturbances in cats. It’s critical to recognize that diarrhea can lead to rapid dehydration, particularly in kittens and elderly cats. Therefore, if your cat is exhibiting a noisy stomach in conjunction with diarrhea, it is highly advisable to promptly consult a veterinarian for a precise diagnosis and the appropriate course of treatment.