People ask if Siamese cats have sensitive stomachs. My first impression is that this is a complicated question. Even the phrase “sensitive stomach” means more than having a sensitive stomach. It can mean a problem with any part of the alimentary tract beyond the throat, namely the oesophagus, stomach, small intestine and large intestine.
This extends the scope of this anecdotal Siamese cat health problem. And it is largely anecdotal but it is so commonly stated that even a vet will say that Siamese cats can have sensitive stomachs. Or they might say that they are picky eaters. At this time I am not altogether convinced that Siamese cats do have sensitive stomachs.
I have trawled through a very extensive page that I wrote on Siamese cat health problems to try and find any inherited disease associated with Siamese cats which might cause a sensitive stomach. Nothing very obvious came up but the following diseases might be a factor:
- Esophageal hypomotility. Food takes longer to pass through the oesophagus due to lower muscular activity.
- Pyloric stenosis – this is the narrowing of part of the stomach in young Siamese. It can cause vomiting after means and gastric distention.
- Adenocarinomas of small intestine – this is a particular cancer of the small intestine. Siamese cats have an unusually high incidence of this cancer.
- A predisposition to eating wool. Although unlikely this may make the stomach more sensitive. It may irritate the stomach.
- Hepatic amyloidosis – this is a longshot. One of the symptoms of this serious disease is vomiting and nausea. They may be a link to sensitive stomachs although unlikely.
One theory that I might suggest is that perhaps purebred modern Siamese cats (slender with long faces) may suffer more often than normal with vague immune system problems.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is caused by the immune system reacting in a negative way to the presence of certain foods or bad bacteria, or substances produced by parasites in the intestinal tract.
It may be the case that Siamese cats suffer from IBD more often than for other cats but there is no evidence in the reference books that I have for this statement.
It is unlikely that Siamese cat owners feed their cats with poorer quality food than other cat owners! That would be a strange idea. But what if Siamese cat owners are more sensitive to their cat’s health and diet than other owners? This could result in over-reporting of this condition. If Siamese cats do have sensitive stomachs it must be an inherited condition and, as mentioned, I have ticked that box above and not really come up with a standout cause.
If you are a companion to a Siamese cat I’d love to know if you believe that your cat has a sensitive stomach and if so how you dealt with it.