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Why Does My Kitten Have A Bloated Belly After Deworming?

Kittens are beloved the world over for their fuzzy, soft little bodies and ridiculous antics. But as any cat owner can probably attest, they may also be prone to minor health issues, especially if they’re rescued and not purchased from a pet shop or breeder.

Generally, the run-of-the-mill ailments kittens experience are parasitic or bacterial problems like intestinal worms and coccidia.

Treatment is straightforward and mostly successful, provided you don’t wait too long to seek medical attention. Worms, in particular, can usually be cleared up with over-the-counter medication purchased from your local vet. It may take a dose or two, but it’s certainly worth it to alleviate your baby cat’s discomfort.

If you notice that your kitten has a bloated belly or a runny stool after deworming treatment, it may be worth taking them to the vet for a check-up. Bloating is usually a result of gastrointestinal swelling, gas, or discomfort.

Your kitten’s bloated belly should be seen to as soon as possible to prevent escalating ill health or to rule out other potentially more concerning illnesses. In this post, we’ll take a look at the possible reasons for a kitten bloated belly after deworming.

Is It Normal For Kittens To Have Bloated Bellies?

While it is not normal for kittens to have bloated bellies, it is very common. There are various reasons why this may happen, but generally, the cause is a parasitic infection like worms.

The presence of worms in a kitten’s tummy will give them a pot-bellied appearance, making them seem bloated and round. Worms can be treated with oral medication purchased from your local vet, which should kill off the parasites and reduce bloating.

If you’ve noticed that an otherwise healthy kitten suddenly appears to have a round, swollen belly, the chances are high that it has a large worm load living in its intestinal tract.

Your vet can confirm this by examining your kitten’s feces, although owners often notice worms themselves before a trip to the vet is necessary. That being said, it is good practice to deworm your new kitten in any case as a preventative measure.

Once you have dewormed your baby cat and you notice that they are still bloated, it may be that fresh worms have hatched or that they are suffering from a build-up of intestinal gas. In the first case, a second treatment of deworming medication may be necessary.

In the second case, you will need to monitor your kitten for a few days to see if the swelling goes down.

Why Does My Kitten Have A Bloated Belly After Deworming?

One of the most common reasons why kittens have bloated bellies after deworming is that the treatment has not gotten rid of the entire parasitic infection. Often deworming medications only kill off the adult worms.

Eggs may hatch in your kitten’s intestines after the fact, requiring a second dose of treatment. In some cases, your kitten may be bloated due to the medication processing out of their systems or due to a second, underlying issue like digestive sensitivity.

It’s very difficult for our pets to communicate to us that something is wrong, even if the issue is only minor. While a potbelly on a kitten isn’t always cause for alarm, it’s usually a sign that something is amiss and needs to be attended to.

Their stomachs are sensitive, especially to medication, and a powerful antiparasitic like deworming medication can leave them feeling uncomfortable for a few days and have them experiencing diarrhea and other signs of gastrointestinal distress.

If your kitten seems to be in good health and spirits after their medication, it may just be that they are experiencing a build-up of gas due to their deworming treatment or a bit of swelling and unease. It’s best to be sure, so take your kitten to the vet if the swelling does not reduce in two to three days.

How Can I Treat A Bloated Belly In A Kitten After Deworming It?

If your kitten has a bloated belly after deworming, it will likely recover by itself in a few days, particularly if the bloating results from the medication working its way out of its system.

To ease your baby’s discomfort, you can offer them dry kibbles and plenty of fresh water. If the bloating does not go down by itself, you may need to take your kitten to the vet to determine the cause of the problem.

Parasitic infections most often cause potbellies in kittens, and it can take time to eradicate them completely. Treatment is simple and easily available at the vet, but sometimes kittens will be left feeling swollen and suffering from diarrhea, even after treatment.

This is most often caused by a residual worm infection or by other underlying ailments, including food sensitivities.

If your kitten receives a clean bill of health from the vet but is still bloated, consider changing its food and regulating its feeding schedule. Kittens can overeat if they’re not monitored, and this can make them swell up.

Some kittens may also suffer from food intolerances or allergies that cause gastrointestinal swelling and discomfort, making their bellies seem abnormally large.


While a little round belly on a kitten may be cute, it’s not always comfortable for them and is a sign that they are gassy or have swollen intestines. Bloating can go away by itself, but your kitten will require treatment if it is caused by a parasitic infection like worms. Unfortunately, deworming medications can be quite hard on your little cat’s system and may cause them some swelling and bloating while killing off the harmful parasites and exiting their systems. If the potbelly remains after more than a few days, get your kitten to the vet to rule out more severe health issues.