Sometimes I look at photographs of my old life, the life I had before Bob came into it. And it makes me sad because I didn’t have Bob, but also because the floors were so clean back then.
Bob is 15. She’s a tabby cat. She has inflammatory bowel disease. I hope you have a strong stomach because it’s time for some real talk about this illness.
Inflammatory bowel disease can result in weight loss, frequent vomiting, diarrhea, bloody stool, and general discomfort. Because of Bob’s advanced age, she also has arthritis, so sometimes she decides to go outside of the litter box. We keep mega-sized doggy pee pads on hand at all times to cover the floor. We had a shower curtain covering the bed for a while, until she was permanently banned from that room. My point is that, checklist of symptoms aside, this can make your cat’s behavior unpredictable, and it’s good to be aware of any strange new habits.
What is IBD?
IBD occurs when a high number of inflammatory cells invade the digestive tract, thickening the intestinal walls and making it difficult to absorb nutrients and allow the passage of food.
How do you know if your cat has IBD?
Is your cat vomiting more often than usual? Does she seem lethargic? Has she developed any strange pooping habits or seem to go almost constantly? She might have IBD. But only a vet can make that diagnosis, so make an appointment as soon as possible if you notice anything strange or icky going on with your cat.
How do you treat IBD?
IBD is generally treated with a change of diet or anti-inflammatory meds. This generally involves a lot of trial-and-error to get the balance right. Talk to your vet and make a treatment plan. In the meantime, I seriously recommend those doggy pee pads and clean out the litter box often to keep your cat comfortable using it.
Are there moments when you’ll lose your mind?
If your cat has IBD, your life gets a whole lot more difficult. And sometimes there’s nothing you can do about it except close the bathroom door, have a bubble bath, and do you for a few hours.
Should you love your cat anyway?
That sweet, yowly little kitten you once knew is still in there, and he still needs your love. There are days when Bob will poop somewhere strange or on something important. But then she wedges herself between me and whatever I’m reading and breathes her tuna breath into my face, and I’m reminded that she’s still a pretty great cat. Patience is extremely important when dealing with your cat’s irritable bowel disorder. Don’t forget to remind your cat that he or she is the best.