Cats are carnivores and their digestive system plays two roles: It breaks down food into nutrients that the cat’s body absorbs. But it also acts as protective wall against harmful bacteria and other thing that can cause diseases and bad things that your cat may eat.
As food enters their mouth a lot of saliva is secreted. It will lubricate, dissolve a chemically break down the food. As a cat takes food into his mouth, it chews it into small pieces. The tongue will help moving the food into the oral pharynx — a hallow structure at the back of its oral cavity. From there the food is swallowed, and moves down into the stomach.
Inside the stomach the food is mixed with potent acids and enzymes that are produced by the stomach lining. Feline gastric juices are strong enough to soften bone. This means that cats can swallow large chunks of prey like rodents or birds. Feathers, hair and bones that are not broken down in the stomach may end the body through the back.
When the stomach is done with the food it moves through the pylorus. The pylorus is a ring like muscle that constricts or relaxes as needed to control flow into the first section of the small intestine. This is also where most of the digestion takes place. The food is mixed with a bitter yellow liquid called bile that is coming from the liver, and with a fluid from the pancreas. Those fluids and liquids play a big role together with the enzymes. It will balance the harsh stomach acids and break down proteins, fats and carbohydrates. This needs to happen so it can be absorbed through the intestinal lining and into the cat’s blood.
When the small intestine is done with its job, it’s time for the large intestine to do its job. This intestine will absorb extra nutrients and take out the remaining water from the food, because the large intestine works as a storage area for solid material that is left after the digestive process: Poop — and we all know how poop leaves the body.
This process normally takes about 20 hours in an adult cat.