Cat with mild bloating

Jcal427

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Hi all,

My cat has had what looks like a bloated belly for basically his whole life. He is a year old now. When he was a tiny kitten he was treated for worms (in addition previous routine treatment before I got him) after vet at his adoption center check up said his stomach was bloated. Tummy went down and he thrived but then returned to being just rounded since then.

I can't tell if it is just his body type or if there is something wrong with him. I don't think he is overweight because I can see his waist.. I feel scared that he has FIP but he acts normal and its been like this his whole life so wouldn't he have gotten really ill or died by now if that's the case?

His stool has come back negative for parasites a few months ago and even then he had the same type of body then, checked out normal when vet assessed his body. They didnt do any tests besides the parasite stool check. He was treated with parasite meds any way because his stool quality was too soft, runny, occasional diarrhea. Started a probiotic at that time and his stool has been perfect ever since. Occasionally soft and not formed after a novel food. Could he just have a super sensitive gut?

He also has his nictitating membranes showing a bit, but vet basically just said she doesn’t know why that would be and that maybe his eyes are just like that? He also has bad breath and gingivitis but vet said that some cats are just born with a tendency toward gum disease, even early in life.

I lost a 3 year old cat to what vet thinks was FIP many years ago and she was lethargic, didn't play much, it was clear there was something wrong with her, she didn't have the bloating tough. He is so not like that. He’s so playful, great appetite. Also lost a 4 year old cat to abdominal cancer, so much bloating, last year and this is just making me feel like I am being paranoid.

Please give me some opinions, I know I should call vet but don't want to bring him in just to hear the same thing again.

Thank you, Jen
 

LTS3

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I think you need another vet. Dental issues are common in cats. Home dental care and an occasional dental cleaning by a vet will keep teeth healthy. Blood work should be done to assess the body's overall function. Just looking at the cat and feeling the abdomen, etc isn't helpful if there's a blood value that is off.

Cats can have sensitive tummies for various reasons. Food allergies / sensitivities are common. IBD and other gastrointestinal issues can cause a sensitive tummy.

Can you post a picture of the cat? Some cats may just have rounded tummies.
 
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Jcal427

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Attached photos. Two of him coming down hallway facing me are stills from a video I took of him running down the hall - his belly moves back and forth as you can see it’s on one side then the other.

I think I misrepresented my vet, she did say he should have routine dental cleanings at vet and I should brush his teeth at home (which I am working on with him.)
I think she didn’t think there was a reason to do blood work- should I ask for bloodwork? Which tests? I haven’t had any issues with her in the past but should they be doing blood work annually no matter the age?
 

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FeebysOwner

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Hi. If your cat has always had a bit of a bloated belly look, then I highly doubt it is FIP - as it would probably have already killed him. The pics don't look bad to me, especially if he has always looked like that. There are cats that do have a tiny bit of their 3rd eyelid showing all the time - if your cat has also always had that, it could be normal for him too. Does the vet think his current weight is good for his age/size?

I think the general rule of thumb is an annual check up for any cat, regardless of age. But, I don't believe I have ever had annual blood work done on any of my cats that were as young as yours is. I would guess he was thoroughly checked out when you first got him (?). I would ask your vet what their practice/schedule is for check ups and blood work, and you can always call around to other vets (referrals from family/friends/co-workers who have cats) and ask what their recommendations are to see if they are in align with your vet.

Any cat - even those with no stomach issues - who has a food change can have changes in their stool if the food change isn't done gradually. So, if you haven't done that in the past, any future changes to his food should be done by adding just a bit of the new food to his existing food, then more new and less old over several weeks.
 
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Jcal427

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Thank you so very much for your extensive reply, I feel a lot of relief just from the few things you described. I’ll definitely be careful with the different foods.
 
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Jcal427

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And the vet said he just shouldn’t gain any weight
 
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Jcal427

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And the vet said he just shouldn’t gain any weight
Well, that he is tge weight for his size should gain more if he stays the same size, I’m assuming. Obviously if he grew in length etc he would gain weight.
 
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Jcal427

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**Should not gain more weight if he stays the same length, etc. sorry so many typos. Thanks again!!
 

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I don't really see anything too concerning. You could put him on a diet, especially if he's on dry food as that can cause weight gain, or decrease dry food and increase wet food. That might help him look more proportional.
 
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Jcal427

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Thanks so much for your reply. He’s on mostly wet food, Very small amount of dry food. I just want him to be healthy, I dont care about his proportional ‘look’ per say, just don’t want him to be overweight (thus unhealthy) or to be sick or bloated.
I appreciate you all taking a look at the photos and giving such reassuring feedback and am glad I decided to port on thecatsite. :)
 

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I will repeat it's good to have an annual check-up with a blood test just to check how everything is going. But I also don't see anything concerning in the pictures.

Your description and occasional soft stool/diarrhea makes me think maybe what you see on the belly is just gas and/or he just didn't poop/urinate yet. It happens to my cat too sometimes - she goes out to the yard to poop sometimes she gets lazy or something and takes her time, or she's a bit constipated. The tummy area looks bloated but it goes back to normal as soon as she poops. In the summer since she grooms herself more she swallows more hair too, that also causes gas/bloating for a while.

Hima gets gassier with wet food, especially her preference pate kind, as she swallows more air when eating than she does when she eats dry food.
 
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