This disease can cause chronic vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and/or weight loss. IBD is characterized by inflammatory cells found in the lining of the stomach and/or intestinal tract. To confirm the diagnosis, an exploratory abdominal surgery or endoscopy with biopsy is needed, but less invasive diagnostics, such as blood tests, x-rays, and ultrasound can help to make a presumptive diagnosis. There is no one specific cause for IBD in cats, and the explanation may vary from cat to cat. Known causes include dietary allergies or intolerances, parasites, bacterial infections, etc. Some cats respond to special diets or supplements. Steroids also may be prescribed, and they often are very effective. Many cats tolerate steroids well enough to use for the remainder of their lives without any serious deleterious effects.