Stomach and Intestinal Ulcers in Cats: Without Treatment, Digestive Organs Can Perforate

Hangai Lilla

2024. May 28 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

A stomach or intestinal ulcer forms when the normal protective layer of the stomach or duodenum is damaged. As a result, the underlying cells are exposed to the stomach's acidic digestive juices. The longer the condition goes untreated, the deeper the ulcer can become, leading to bleeding, stomach and abdominal pain, and potentially perforation of the stomach or intestines. The condition known as perforation.


While stomach ulcers are not particularly common in cats, they are an extremely unpleasant condition. It’s good to be aware of the symptoms and possible prevention methods. Our article is based on information from the veterinary website PetMD.

With regular routine check-ups, many causes of stomach ulcers can be diagnosed in time

Symptoms of Stomach Ulcers in Cats

The most common symptom of stomach and intestinal ulcers is vomiting, with or without blood. Other signs that may indicate the presence of the disease include:

  • loss of appetite;
  • abnormally dark stool;
  • excessive drooling;
  • lethargy;
  • pale gums, mucous membranes;
  • weight loss.

Causes of Stomach Ulcers

In cats, stomach or intestinal ulcers usually appear as part of another disease process, either causing excessive stomach acid accumulation or breaking down the normal protective structures in the stomach or intestines. The most common causes of stomach and intestinal ulcers in cats are:

  • parasites;
  • cancer (e.g. lymphoma, gastrinoma, carcinoma, mast cell tumour);
  • kidney failure;
  • ibuprofen poisoning;
  • severe stress;
  • sepsis (commonly known as blood poisoning; a severe reaction to an infection);
  • foreign material in the stomach or intestines;
  • rarely, a side effect of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Treatment of Stomach Ulcers

Once a stomach or intestinal ulcer has developed, it needs to be treated; the condition will not improve on its own. Treatment depends on the cause, symptoms, and severity of the ulcer.

Mild ulcers are usually treated with medications that reduce stomach acid production. Additionally, medication to coat the stomach lining may be prescribed. While bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract are beneficial, if the ulcer irritates these internal layers, the vet may also prescribe antibiotics.

In addition to the mentioned medications, moderate to severe ulcers may require surgical intervention, and even a blood transfusion may be necessary to treat anemia.

Supporting Your Pet Through Recovery

If the ulcer is not severe, treatment can occur at home with medications, and the cat should start feeling better within a few days. For moderately severe or severe ulcers, hospitalization and continued care beyond surgery may be necessary. Cats with mild ulcers generally have a good prognosis, but severe ulcers can be life-threatening.

Cats with stomach ulcers should be fed low-fat, easily digestible food, which should be given at least during the treatment period, but ideally, they should be fed this way for life.

If your pet suffers from any of the aforementioned diseases, consult a vet to develop a prescription diet that can prevent the condition. Regular vet check-ups are also recommended to screen for cancer, parasites, and kidney failure.


cat digestive system sick cat stomach ulcers

Related articles

More articles

Do you like dogs too?
Visit our Love my dogz page too!