Swollen stomach in cats

Does your cat have a bloated stomach ? If there is something that can be seen immediately and we are very concerned almost instantly, it is having detected that our cat is more swollen than normal. When this occurs, it is essential to determine the causes as quickly as possible to carry out the most appropriate treatment as the case may be.

There are many possible causes and we will discuss all of them in this special. In addition, we will tell you what to do so that your friend recovers as soon as possible, since a swollen stomach in cats is a problem that, very often, must be treated by a veterinarian .

When should we worry

Often a cat with a bloated stomach is an animal that will feel listless, that will have lost its appetite . But we have to bear in mind that it is not always something serious. Furry that eat a lot and / or very fast have a good chance of ending up with an upset stomach. Thus, in these cases it is not usually necessary to request veterinary attention since they usually recover in a couple of days.

However, if our friend eats normally and one day we see him more bloated than normal, then we will have to worry, as it could be the first sign of a disease such as peritonitis , cancer , hepatitis or liver necrosis .



Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is an infectious disease that occurs when the cat’s body reacts the wrong way to feline coronavirus (FcoV) infection. Although there are furry ones that manage to eliminate the virus without problem, there are others that end up developing FIP.

FIP is an inflammation of the blood vessels that, if not treated in time, can unfortunately end the life of the animal . To make matters worse, it is a condition that is difficult to diagnose. Hopefully, it will be detected by a biopsy.



Cancer is a well-known disease that also affects cats. In the case of cats, you have to know that any change in their routine may be indicating that there is something that is not going as it should .

The most common symptoms of cancer in cats are diarrhea, loss of appetite and weight, vomiting, depression, isolation . As we can see, we could end up thinking that you don’t really have a serious health problem; in fact, when cancer is found in cats, the tumor has usually spread. So, I insist, whenever you notice any change in your friend, no matter how small and insignificant it may seem, I recommend that you go to the vet.


Hepatitis occurs when the liver becomes inflamed from being unable to eliminate toxins normally. It can be caused by diabetes, leukemia, infection, or poisoning. If your cat is a victim of this disease, you will notice that he drinks a lot of water than is usual for him, he will also urinate more, the coat will lose shine and his abdomen will be inflamed .

Treatment will depend on the cause, but if you are very sick you will spend a few days at the veterinary hospital where fluids will be administered by vein. Once at home, it will be highly advisable to start giving him a low sodium feed to prevent it from happening again.

Liver necrosis


The word ‘necrosis’ in medicine means ‘death’, and ‘hepatic’ refers to the liver. Thus, liver necrosis means that some part -or all- of the aforementioned organ undergoes changes that prevent it from fulfilling its functions . When necrosis appears only in one sector, it does not cause too many disorders, but otherwise it can lead to liver failure .

The liver is the organ that is responsible for detoxifying the body, so once you start having problems, it becomes increasingly difficult for you to function properly. Taking this into account, the most frequent symptoms that we will see in the cat are vomiting , weight loss and high blood pressure .

To detect it, the vet will perform an ultrasound of the abdomen and a complete blood test to check its state. The treatment, as in other conditions, will depend on the cause, which can range from hepatitis to a serious infection, so the professional will act as the case may be. Usually, he will give you a series of medications and will recommend rest for the furry. But if the situation is very serious, you will have to opt for a liver transplant .

Other possible causes of a bloated stomach


Although there are several diseases that can cause the stomach of our friend and partner to look bloated, there are other problems that we must pay attention to. They are as follows:

Intestinal parasites

Especially recently adopted kittens or recently taken off the street, they usually have internal parasites such as Toxoplasma gondii for example. Sometimes they do not present any symptoms, perhaps a little diarrhea, but it is equally important to deworm the animal as soon as possible and vaccinate it as long as it is in good health and is the right age for it.

Internal parasites are not normally passed from cats to people, because with basic hygiene rules such as putting on gloves to clean the litter box or washing hands before eating, the risk of infection is practically nil . But when the furry goes outside or when it has not been dewormed – which must be done every three months – the probabilities increase.



Also known as indigestion, it occurs when the cat eats more than it should. The stomach swells and the animal begins to feel sick. Your blood pressure as well as your body temperature are likely to rise (it is considered that you have a fever if it is above 39.5ºC).

In general, you should not worry because in a few hours you will feel better. But if we see that it is difficult for him to breathe, or in the event that he does not defecate or urinate, we will request veterinary attention.


Another likely cause of a bloated stomach is swallowing something it shouldn’t : a plant that has been sprayed with a chemical insecticide, a poisoned piece of food, medicine for humans, or a little liquid from a cleaning product. .

If you suspect that your cat has been poisoned you should take it as soon as possible to be examined , especially if it has respiratory problems, if possible with a sample of the poison.

We hope this article has been helpful in determining the cause of your friend having a bloated stomach. Remember that an early diagnosis is the best guarantee for a full recovery… and early.




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