Remedies for chronic tummy upsets and minor ailments


Please read the notes for each remedy so that you can work out what is best to use. You can use them all at once, but that might be overkill!



NB Check that this condition is not due to stress. The remedies listed will help the symptoms, but you need to address the cause as well.
* These remedies are particularly indicated in the treatment of IBS



ALOE VERA*

Aloe vera liquid is very soothing, increases the rate of healing and improves immune response. Cats like the taste, and I used to pour it over fish for one of my oldies who had a sensitive gut.
DOSE: as much as you like


LECTADE

Electrolyte solution from the vet for rehydration. I have found in short-term cases of tummy upset, particularly in kittens, giving them this is all they need to recover. Always keep some in the house!
WARNING: DO NOT
DO NOT DO NOT give your cat human rehydration salts, even the baby variety, as it has the wrong electrolyte balance for animals and may seriously harm your cat. You would only save a very small amount of money by using Dioralyte, and you could kill your cat. So just DON’T.
DOSE: make up a pint and put it out instead of water in a big water bowl. Most cats like the taste, but watch it as it goes slimy in a couple of days. If the cat is seriously dehydrated (or on the brink of dehydration), syringe small amounts down the throat at frequent intervals. As much as the cat will take without distressing it unduly.


SLIPPERY ELM*

Very good for an irritated gut, or for protecting the gut if you have to give anti-inflammatories or drugs which might irritate it – forms long-chain molecules which coat the gut wall with a sort of slimy lining. Dorwest Herbs do a very good version of this called Tree Barks Powder, which includes white poplar bark. I've found it to be more effective than Slippery Elm on its own.
DOSE: 1-3 or more a day, as required. No overdose limit. Can be sprinkled.


PERIDALE*

Peridale is basically chips of silica which absorb liquid and swell up, but cannot be absorbed so are eliminated. It is a good product to use with loose bowels as it absorbs the excess liquid that isn't being taken through the gut, and keeps the stools firmer so that the gut has a chance to slow down. Oddly enough it is also used for constipation, as it maintains it's moist consistency right through the gut. It's a bit like dried pasta. Try opening a capsule and putting the contents in a saucer of water for a few hours, and you'll see what I mean.
DOSE: 1-4 a day, depending on need. Tasteless, so can be sprinkled on food. More if the cat has IBS


KAOGEL*

Kaolin without the morphine that is used in adult Kaolin preparations. This is a baby formula and is a diluted clay solution which slows down the action of the gut and makes the faeces more solid. Be careful of letting cats without diarrhoea eat this, as it can make them very constipated.


PRO-KOLIN OR CANICUR*

A mixture of Kaolin (clay, see above) and probiotic - often a single does of this will fix a wobbly tummy, particularly if you use it right away. Comes in a tube with graduated syringe-type delivery mechanism. Very easy to use with kittens or cats who are difficult to pill. Can also be put on food. Some cats like the taste and will eat it off your finger, it can also be smeared on the coat as long as another cat doesn’t lick it off!


CHARCOAL

Good for stinky guts and wind, but can be irritating if there is irritable bowel, so only use if you're sure this is not the underlying cause. Can also be mixed with food.
DOSE: No more than one capsule a day I would say, perhaps one every other day as these can be quite large – human-sized. MUST NOT be used in cases of IBS or suspected IBS as it will make things worse.


MODUCARE

Plant sterols and sterolins. An immune booster, particularly good for eye problems or upper-respiratory infections.
DOSE: 1 capsule a day if symptomatic – usually only needs one if symptoms recur. Can be sprinkled on food.


MODUCARE WITH SPIRULINA

This has all the benefits of Moducare, plus spirulina for the digestion.
DOSE: One a day – you could try crushing it in food, but I'd put it down the throat for preference.


INTEFLORA

Lyophilised Saccharomyces Boulardii – essential gut flora.
DOSE: One a day, can be sprinkled on food


GARLIC & FENUGREEK

From
Dorwest Herbs – traditional remedy for minor infections – this may be all you need to clear up a tummy, so I'd try this early on if you think there’s a bacteria or other bug involved.
DOSE: 2 Tablets per day.


DENES GASTRIC

Contains mostly Kaolin, but also Liquorice, Sodium Bicarbonate and Peppermint oil, which are all good for wind and stomach cramps that come with tummy upsets.
DOSE: 3 times a day, depending on need. They hate mint, so this has to go straight down the throat.


PRO-SOLUBLE* or PROTEXIN*

Probiotic for cats to encourage normal digestive function. Pinch over food or even in the water. Get it from the vet, or Protexin, which is the same thing.


NUTRI-BIOTIC

This is grapefruit-seed extract, which is benign to natural gut flora, but knocks out anything else. You can get it online from health food suppliers. I would give this as well as the Garilc & Fenugreek to kill any nasties, and then go onto more palliative solutions.
DOSE: 1-2 per day


All of these things are harmless: they do not interact with antibiotics if you need to give those, and they are not harmful in any way to a sick or healthy cat. They can all be given together if necessary. The only one that I would be wary of is the charcoal just in case it causes irritation, as it's quite gritty.

HOMEOPATHY
I have not listed homeopathic remedies here as there are far too many to list, and also they can cause problems if used incorrectly. If the herbal and normal drug route does not work out for your cat, please don't give up: consider both acupuncture and homeopathic consultation rather than let your cat go on and on with an ailment that would make it feel very ill, and will eventually kill it.