Cat Diarrhea: 5 Treatment Options You Should Try
Jennifer Coates, DVM, is a veterinarian. What should you do if you discover diarrhea in the litter box.or, even worse, if your cat fails to make it to the litter box on his or her own? A visit to the veterinarian may be necessary very away, but there are instances when you may wish to try some at-home remedies first. The following are some suggestions on what to do if your cat suffers diarrhea.
When Does Cat Diarrhea Need Veterinary Attention?
When determining whether or not your cat should be sent to the veterinarian, consider the severity of his diarrhea as well as his overall health. If your cat has just moderate diarrhea and isn’t vomiting, is eating and drinking normally, and doesn’t appear to be in any discomfort, it’s fair to attempt some at-home remedies. Any of the following symptoms, on the other hand, should prompt you to seek veterinary care right once.
- Your cat is either extremely young or very old, or he may be suffering from a medical condition that makes him more prone to the effects of dehydration. If your cat is vomiting, sluggish, sad, in pain, or exhibiting any other concerning signs, call your veterinarian immediately. Symptoms include diarrhea that is very copious, watery, explosive, or extremely frequent
- If the diarrhea involves blood or is black and tarry, it is considered to be toxic.
Options for Treating Cat Diarrhea
You’ll need to decide the form of treatment you’ll use after you’ve determined that your cat is a candidate for at-home treatment. Listed below are five alternatives, along with suggestions on when to utilize each of them.
1. Change Your Cat’s Food
It is not necessary to withhold food from cats that are suffering from diarrhea. In fact, doing so can impair the digestive tract’s capacity to repair itself, putting cats at risk for a potentially severe kind of liver illness known as hepatic lipidosis, which can be fatal. It is preferable, however, to keep your cat’s food as simple as possible. Remove any snacks and table scraps from your home and concentrate solely on the basic, nutritionally adequate cat food that you provide on a daily basis.
It’s possible that one or more of the elements in the new food will cause your cat discomfort.
It is possible for more chronic unfavorable responses to food to occur at any moment, whether a cat has been eating the same food for years or has only recently switched to a different food.
Veterinarians are the only ones who can prescribe the finest low-antigen meals, however certain over-the-counter choices are effective for some cats.
Some varieties of feline diarrhea improve when fed a low-fiber (highly digestible) diet, while others do not. In the event that your cat does not experience diarrhea on a regular basis but produces large amounts of feces when it does, a low-fiber diet may be worth experimenting with. Seek out cat diets that are touted as being highly digestible or as being suitable for cats with “sensitive stomachs.” On their assured analyses, these items should contain a crude fiber content of around 3 percent crude fiber, according to the manufacturer.
Two readily accessible fiber supplements include unflavored psyllium (such as Metamucil) and canned pumpkin (such as Pumpkin Puree).
It is not possible to prescribe psyllium or pumpkin in cats because there are no hard and fast guidelines, but starting with 1-2 tablespoons of either mixed into your cat’s diet and feeding it throughout the day is a sensible place to start.
3. Encourage Water and Electrolyte Intake
It is important for cats suffering from diarrhea to drink enough of water in order to avoid dehydration. Always keep your cat’s water dishes topped off with fresh, clean water, and try adding an extra bowl of diluted chicken or beef broth. The transition from kibble to canned food is another simple strategy to enhance your cat’s water intake. You may even temporarily add an extra tablespoon or two of warm water to your cat’s canned food to make it more palatable.
Normal digestion in cats is dependent on the presence of healthy bacterial populations in the digestive tract of the cat. When their normal function is interrupted, a cat’s diarrhea may persist long after the initial shock (stress, sickness, antibiotic medication, etc.) has been alleviated or cured. Probiotic pills can assist in restoring the natural bacterial population of a cat’s digestive tract. Ensure that the probiotic you choose is labeled for use in cats and that it is manufactured by a trustworthy firm.
5. Anti-Diarrheal Medications
Normal digestion in cats is dependent on the presence of healthy bacterial populations in the digestive system. It is possible for a cat’s diarrhea to remain after the primary insult (stress, sickness, antibiotic medication, etc.) has been treated if the digestive tract is disturbed. It is possible to restore the intestinal bacterial population of a cat with probiotic pills. Ensure that the probiotic you choose is labeled for use in cats and that it is manufactured by a reputable manufacturer.
Monitoring Your Cat’s Condition
Make an appointment with your veterinarian if your cat’s diarrhea does not improve after a few days of home therapy or if his general condition worsens rather than improves.
Diarrhea in Cats
Diarrhea is defined as unformed or loose bowel motions that occur more often and in greater quantities than normal. Increased transit time of fecal material through the colon coupled with poor absorption of water, minerals and electrolytes results in constipation. Diarrhea is not a sickness in and of itself, but rather a symptom of a variety of illnesses. There are a variety of factors that contribute to diarrhea. It is possible to have diarrhea as the lone symptom of a more widespread illness problem, as one of multiple symptoms of a more generalized disease problem, or in conjunction with other symptoms that develop as a result of persistent or severe diarrhea.
How can I tell if my cat has diarrhea?
If your generally well-behaved cat suddenly starts having accidents throughout the home and the feces are unformed and fluid, then diarrhea is almost certainly the cause of his behavior problems. In contrast, if the cat is still using the litter box and covering up its feces, or if the cat defecates outside, you may not detect any signs of diarrhea right away. Longhaired breeds frequently experience staining and soiling of the fur around the back end as a result of diarrheal illness. It is crucial to note that some variance in the consistency of feces is common in normal cats, and that this is okay.
If you have regular liquid or semi-liquid feces that last more than two days, you should see your veterinarian right once.
If your cat is displaying any additional indications of sickness, do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian right away. If you have more than one cat, it is critical to attempt to ascertain whether or not more than one cat is suffering from diarrhea.
What are some causes of diarrhea?
Diarrhea is not a disease in and of itself, but rather a clinical symptom that might indicate one or more of a wide range of health concerns. A significant number of them involve some degree of inflammation in one or more sections of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). The gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) is a continuous tube that transports food from the mouth to the anus. Several of the most prevalent causes of inflammation are caused by infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, coccidia, and intestinal worms, as well as non-infectious irritants such as chemical poisons or toxic plants, among others.
How is the cause of diarrhea determined?
It is critical that you provide your veterinarian with a thorough medical history of your pet. Ideally, you should write everything down in chronological sequence before you go to the clinic to avoid confusion. Provide as much detail as possible about when you first became aware of a problem and how the clinical indicators progressed over time. Was your cat’s diet altered in any way, such as the introduction of a new bag of food? Make a list of the meals and treats that your pet has consumed in the previous 1-2 weeks.
- What is the frequency of the stools?
- Is the cat exhibiting any other symptoms, such as vomiting, lack of appetite, lethargy, or weight loss, at this time?
- Additional diagnostic tests may be recommended by your veterinarian in addition to a comprehensive clinical examination.
- Blood work, stool and rectal swab samples for parasite investigation, DNA testing and culture, radiographs (X-rays), and an endoscopic examination are all examples of in-depth diagnostic procedures.
How is diarrhea treated?
A non-specific technique may be used initially, and frequently in preparation for a more in-depth investigation. When it comes to adult cats that are otherwise healthy, your veterinarian may recommend that you withhold food for 24 hours or that you offer modest amounts of a light, readily digested diet. Water should be readily available at all times. In many cases, the ideal meals are veterinary-supplied diets that have been specially made to provide a balance of fibers that nourish the beneficial bacteria present in your cat’s gut.
- Depending on the situation, antidiarrheal medications, dewormers, and/or probiotics (bacteria that support gut health) may be recommended.
- Profender®, Panacur®, and Drontal® are some of the most regularly used dewormers.
- There are a variety of probiotics available that may be beneficial for cats suffering from diarrhea.
- Many cases of acute diarrhea react well to this conservative approach, enabling the body’s natural healing systems to take over and repair the problem without the need to identify the underlying source of the problem.
- After two or three days, if there is little or no improvement, if the cat does not drink water, or if the cat’s health worsens, the cat’s veterinarian should be called as soon as possible.
- It may be necessary to add blood and urine tests to the clinical work-up in order to rule out underlying organ dysfunction.
If vomiting occurs, dehydration can progress fast. Correcting dehydration may necessitate the administration of intravenous or subcutaneous fluids (fluids that are administered under the skin, usually over the shoulders).
Can I use anti-diarrheal medications from the human pharmacy?
It is never a good idea to provide a drug to your cat without first visiting your veterinarian. Some of the preparations advised for people are quite toxic for cats. Aspirin® and acetaminophen (the primary component in Tylenol®) are both exceedingly poisonous to cats, and products containing these ingredients are extremely dangerous to them.
My cat has chronic diarrhea. Will it get better?
It is possible that chronic diarrhea that has been present for more than two to three weeks may be more difficult to detect and treat successfully. Even the most thorough investigation does not always yield a conclusive solution to the problem. Nonetheless, in the vast majority of instances, a complete clinical work-up, which may include dietary trials, can result in the effective management of diarrhea.
Diarrhea in Cats: Causes, Treatment, and Home Remedies
Many pet owners have had the unpleasant experience of caring for a cat who was suffering from diarrhea. So don’t be concerned; you are not alone! diarrhea is defined by the passage of stools that are frequently watery or mucus-filled on a regular basis Despite the fact that it is unpleasant for everyone concerned, it is usually nothing severe. Make an appointment with your veterinarian, and then continue reading to understand what you can do at home until your cat’s appointment. Most cases of mild diarrhea resolve on their own, just like they do in people, if given enough time.
Common Causes of Diarrhea in Cats
The introduction of a new diet should be done gradually. The disruption of the gut microbiota caused by an abrupt changeover might result in diarrhea (healthy bacteria that live in the digestive system and aid digestion). This is especially critical when you are bringing a new kitten or cat into your house for the first time. It is quite easy to have diarrhea if you are under a little stress and then modify your diet all at the same time. Make sure you feed your new cat or kitten the same food they are used to eating before rehoming them.
On day 1, start with small portions of the new meal and gradually increase the quantity while lowering the amount of the old food over the next few days.
2. Dietary Indiscretion
Dietary indiscretion refers to your cat consuming foods that he shouldn’t be eating. Some cats may rummage through the trash or even stumble find a dead cadaver that they are particularly interested in. Some cats will have the decency to leave them alone, but regrettably, this is not the case with all of them. Ingested waste can induce diarrhea in a variety of ways, including the following: Toxins- These can range from mild to severe toxins, and as a result, they can cause a variety of different symptoms, the most common of which is diarrhea.
- The mechanical effect of indigestible food can act like sandpaper on the lining of the bowels, resulting in irritation and discomfort.
- Typically, we think of dogs as being the ones who eat things they shouldn’t, but it should be noted that some cats are guilty of the same crime.
- A partial blockage can produce diarrhea, but it is a highly dangerous condition that may need surgical intervention to correct the problem.
- E.coli, Salmonella, and other harmful bacteria are consumed by humans, resulting in true “food poisoning.” Some of these nasty bugs may be transmitted to humans through the gastrointestinal tract.
Should it become necessary to clean up your pet’s diarrhea, it is recommended that you use good hygiene practices, such as wearing gloves and thoroughly washing your hands, whenever possible.
A common occurrence in cats is the formation of hairballs. They generally induce constipation, but because they strain to pass even little amounts of fluids, this can occasionally seem as diarrhea. They are a kind of parasite. Generally, but not always, long-haired cats are more prone to hairballs than other types of cats. There are specific diets or supplements available for cats that are suffering from these conditions. Check out our page on hairballs in cats for more details!
4. Dietary Intolerance/Food Allergy
The majority of food allergies are really intolerances, which can be induced by any component of one’s diet. The source of protein or glucose, as an illustration. Such pet meals have a high concentration of additives, flavorings, and preservatives, and the production techniques for some foods might be unpredictable. Certain meals are more likely to produce a response as a result of these factors. Dietary supplements and diets for cats with suspected food allergies should be explored with your veterinarian because they are frequently only accessible by prescription.
Many parasites, particularly in kittens, are capable of causing diarrhea. Giardia, coccidia, and roundworms are examples of parasites. The majority of veterinarians advocate frequent deworming as well as a yearly fecal test as part of an annual physical examination. They are commonly transmitted from cat to cat or acquired through contact with the surrounding environment. Some cats can re-infect themselves even after being treated, which is why it’s critical to maintain litter boxes as clean as possible at all times.
6. Viral Infections
These include dangerous illnesses such as feline panleukopaenia virus, which can emerge in kittens who have not been vaccinated and are often spread from cat to cat. Kittens can also get diarrhea from less harmful viruses such as rotavirus, which causes milder variants of the disease. Continue reading to find out more about preventive vaccination in kittens!.
7. Prescribed Medications
Anti-inflammatory and antibiotic medications, as well as over-the-counter medications, can induce diarrhea in cats. Before determining whether to continue with the drug or to throw it away, a veterinarian should be consulted.
8. Other Causes of Diarrhea in Cats
Various forms of metabolic illness and liver disease can result in diarrhea, as well as other symptoms. Certain cats are more susceptible to Inflammatory Bowel Disease than others (IBD). Because these illnesses are likely to generate chronic symptoms and will not respond to standard treatments, diarrhea that does not clear within a reasonable duration should always be checked further by your veterinarian, as should vomiting that does not resolve within a reasonable timeframe.
Why is it important to treat my cat for diarrhea?
Diarrhea can cause dehydration, so make sure your cat is drinking enough of water when suffering from it. Provide a bland food that is readily absorbed and digested in the gastrointestinal system to your patients.
Diarrhea that does not resolve on its own should be looked into. It is preferable for everyone concerned if diarrhea can be resolved as quickly as possible! Consulting with a veterinarian ensures that your cat receives the most effective therapy possible.
What about giving my cat over-the-counter medication for diarrhea?
Do not give your cat any over-the-counter (OTC) drugs without first consulting with your veterinarian about it. Not only may over-the-counter drugs be harmful to dogs, but they can also mask the presence of an underlying illness.
Home Remedies for Your Cat’s Diarrhea
Your veterinarian may recommend home remedies if he or she believes that your cat’s diarrhea is not due to anything more serious than dietary indiscretion or an isolated food intolerance. This is especially useful if you are unable to schedule an appointment or visit the clinic on the same day as the diarrhea began. 1. Do not eat anything for 24 hours. Home cures for diarrhea are frequently preceded by a food fast – it is advisable to skip one meal each day, with a maximum of 12 hours between meals.
- However, you should always make sure that people have easy access to clean drinking water.
- Attention: This advise is NOT suited for kittens under the age of one year.
- The following are examples of bland cuisine prepared at home: boiling white rice combined with equal amounts of white meat such as chicken or fish The meat should be cooked, steamed, or microwaved, and no additional fat should be added.
- one tablespoon).
- It is possible to purchase proprietary brands of hypoallergenic food for digestive problems, which are preferable to homemade food since they include a precise and designed combination of nutrients.
- In case of diarrhea, the author always has a couple cans of this on hand in the cupboard.
Due to the fact that this may take many days, it is recommended that you purchase one of these specially made diets to ensure that your cat obtains the necessary vitamins and minerals.
More feeding instructions and recipes may be found by clicking here!
Probiotics have been shown to reduce the length of time it takes for diarrhea to subside.
Natural yogurt, on the other hand, can be used as a substitute if you are unable to obtain it immediately.
The use of Electrolyte Solutions Electrolyte solutions are not required for minor bouts of diarrhea, and making them at home is not a straightforward process.
Adding a very tiny quantity of salt-free beef broth to your cat’s water, on the other hand, may encourage him to consume more.
The animal should be sent to a veterinarian as soon as possible if the diarrhea persists for more than 24 hours or if more serious indications arise at any stage (such as vomiting, lethargy, or weakness).
What to Do if Your Kitten Has Diarrhea
If your kitten is experiencing diarrhea, it is critical that you consult with a veterinarian as soon as possible. Your veterinarian will most likely do a parasite screening test on a fresh stool sample to determine whether or not you have parasites. Young kittens are frequently affected by parasites like as giardia and coccidia, which are highly common causes of diarrhea. The presence of a parasite known as Tritrichomonas Foetus in some pedigree breeds, such as Bengal cats, might be problematic.
Although this is a rare occurrence, it has a significant fatality rate due to the complications.
Additionally, recent changes in nutrition or surroundings, as well as the inclusion of rewards to promote good behavior, should be taken into account.
In most cases, the symptoms are modest, and your kitten will look healthy and content if this is the underlying problem.
Home Remedies for Kitten Diarrhea
Kittens require a different approach to home remedies than adults. Young kittens are often fed three to four times per day and allowed to graze on kibble throughout the day. Skip one meal or remove the kibble from the dog’s diet for no more than 5 hours to allow the digestive system to rest. A 24-hour fast is too lengthy for a kitten, and it should never be done on its behalf. Replacing dull meals with more flavorful options is a smart idea. Every 2-3 hours, 1 spoonful of the chicken/rice mixture (see above) can be administered to the dog.
Keep an eye on their energy levels and appetite at all times.
Tips for Cleaning Up Diarrhea
When cleaning the litterbox or any other location, make sure to wear gloves and use a strong disinfectant.
- If your cat’s bottom has been filthy, try to wash it as soon as possible. If you don’t have an antibacterial dog or cat shampoo, you can use an antibacterial soap such as Dial instead
- If possible, obtain a sample of feces to test for germs. It’s possible that your veterinarian will wish to test it for parasites that are widespread in the area. If you have other cats or children in the house, use caution. Every now and then, diarrhea will be brought on by an infection that can be spread to other people. Maintain high hygiene standards and, if at all feasible, keep them apart.
My cat’s diarrhea isn’t getting better. When should I take him to the vet?
If your cat is exhibiting any of the following signs, it is time to book an appointment with the veterinarian:
- The diarrhea is bloody or extremely dark/black in color. Your cat is getting sluggish or weakened. If your cat hasn’t eaten in more than 24 hours or if your kitten has missed more than one meal, you should seek medical attention. Dehydration is present in your cat (look for dry sticky gums or skin tent time)
- The fact that you are aware of an item that may have been ingested and that may have the potential to obstruct the stomach or intestines
- Your kitty is experiencing stomach ache or has a bloated abdomen. There has been no answer to home care for three days, and there has been no reaction to tiny kittens for one day. Multiple episodes of vomiting and/or diarrhea in a short period of time have occurred in your cat.
How will the vet treat my cat’s diarrhea?
If your cat is really ill or dehydrated, he may need to be admitted to the hospital for observation.
- In order to rectify dehydration and replenish lost electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride), your cat may be given intravenous fluids. Blood tests may be performed to assess red and white blood cell counts, as well as to evaluate the function of internal organs (liver, kidneys, and pancreas). In order to pinpoint the source of your cat’s diarrhea, more diagnostic tests may be required. Examples of these procedures include an abdominal x-ray or an ultrasound, a fecal exam, and testing for disorders such as pancreatitis or panleukopenia.
Treatments for diarrhea and any underlying disorders will most likely continue after your cat is released from the hospital and returned home:
- This will almost certainly be followed by a bland food that needs little digestion. Your cat may be sent home with prescriptions for anti-nausea medicine, antacids, pain relievers, and probiotics to replenish the bacteria that normally colonizes its digestive tract.
Vomiting in Cats: A Complete Guide to the Problem Food Allergies in Canines and Felines If your cat is suffering from diarrhea or another ailment, you should consult with a veterinarian.
To book a video consult with one of our veterinarians, please click here. Download the FirstVet mobile application from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store, if you prefer.
Cat Diarrhea: What Causes Cat Diarrhea & How To Treat It
Wellness Overall, cats are tidy creatures who prefer to keep their litter boxes free of debris. However, even the most obedient of cats may become a nuisance when their stomaches are upset. Cats, like many other animals (including people), can suffer from diarrhea, which can be caused by a number of different factors. Cat diarrhea can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, a food or drink your cat consumed, or a virus or sickness that has infected their system. Understanding the cause of your cat’s diarrhea is just as essential as treating it, since it will help you identify the best course of action to take (and if you should be concerned).
Cat has diarrhea? When to talk to a vet
Bonnie Bragdon, DVM, MS and co-founder of the Independent Veterinary Practitioners Association states that while dealing with a cat’s diarrhea, the pet owner must first determine if the diarrhea needs emergency treatment. Cats can get dehydrated as a result of diarrhea, which poses a wide host of health hazards to them as a result of the condition. Dr. Bragdon advises that dehydration “needs fluid treatment and, if left untreated, can result in organ damage and even death,” according to the expert.
Worried about your pet?
You may consult with a veterinarian about it at any time of day or night – for free. In the event that a cat with diarrhea is depressed or otherwise appears disoriented or not acting normally (e.g., unresponsive to stimulation, twitching, vocalizing abnormally, breathing abnormally), Dr. Bragdon recommends that the cat be taken to a veterinarian for treatment right away, according to the veterinarian. Dr. Bragdon said that if a cat is vomiting, not eating, and not drinking, in addition to having loose feces, the cat should be sent to a veterinarian immediately.
Even if the cat eats and drinks regularly, it will not be able to drink enough to restore the water that has been lost.
What’s causing your cat to have diarrhea?
What is the source of your cat’s diarrhea? There are a number of various options available. Let’s narrow it down a little more:
A change in diet
Cat diarrhea is frequently caused by what Dr. Bragdon refers to as “dietary indiscretion,” but it may also be caused by something as simple as a change in the type of food fed to the cat. The change in the brand or kind of cat food, according to Dr. Bragdon, can induce diarrhea in the cat.
Eating something they shouldn’t have
In addition, a cat that has gotten into the trash or eaten a lot of high-fat ‘human food’ may suffer from diarrhea. According to Dr. Bragdon, “If the feces is soft but formed, and the cat is not vomiting or eating abnormally, an appointment at the veterinarian’s office can be postponed for a day or two to determine whether the stool returns to normal on its own.” More information may be found at 11 Human Foods That Are Toxic To Cats.
A food sensitivity or allergy
It is also possible that there is something in the food that the cat is particularly sensitive to. In Dr. Bragdon’s opinion, “if the diarrhea persists and if your cat’s diarrhea appears to be related to diet, your cat may be intolerant to particular types of protein or other substances.” A veterinarian will work with you to identify which meals to try in order to alleviate the diarrhea problem. Check out this article: Does My Pet Have Food Allergies? What to Do When You Run Into One
Parasites or bacteria
Diarrhea can be caused by a variety of diseases, including parasites, bacteria, and viruses. According to Dr. Bragdon, “Kittens should have their feces examined for parasites or worms three to four times as they progress into teens.” Adult cats should be screened for parasites at least once a year. Doctor Bragdon says, “Mother cats may spread worms and other infections to their offspring, and adult cats can contract these illnesses for the rest of their lives or acquire them through hunting (including insects).” You should take your cat to the veterinarian if the diarrhea lasts longer than two days and requires medical attention.
Pancreatitis or other diseases
There are a variety of other disorders that can result in loose or watery stools as well. The diarrhea can be caused by a variety of conditions including pancreatitis, liver illness, and gastrointestinal cancer. According to Dr. Bragdon, if you find that your cat has lost weight, you should take him to the veterinarian right away.
Is your pet eating right?
Free consultation with a veterinarian about your pet’s specific requirements.
How to stop cat diarrhea from happening
According to Dr. Michelle Burch DVM of Safe Hounds Pet Insurance, ensuring that your cat is up to date on immunizations, deworming, and current preventions is an excellent first step in keeping your cat healthy (and hopefully diarrhea free!). The doctor notes that “preventative therapy will assist to prevent intestinal parasite infections as well as a number of viral infections.” Dr. Burch advises complementing your cat’s antibiotic regimen with a probiotic if your cat has been prescribed one.
How to treat your cat’s diarrhea
“If you find your cat has diarrhea, you may attempt home care to help them recover if no other symptoms are present,” says Dr. Burch, who suggests treating your cat’s diarrhea by giving a bland diet of the following alternatives, with probiotics added to the mix:
- Cottage cheese with low-fat cottage cheese and boiling white rice Combine one part cottage cheese and three parts rice
- Set aside. boiling chicken or boiled hamburger, as well as white rice or noodles cooked in water Over boiling white rice, serve beef or chicken broth. Baby meal made from a single component and seasoned with pork and boiling white rice
If you do not see any improvement in your cat’s diarrhea after 48 to 72 hours, or if your cat begins to exhibit other symptoms, Dr. Burch suggests that you take your cat to your veterinarian.
Keep up to speed with the newest news from Pawp veterinarians by reading our educational pet articles.
Home Remedies for Cats with Diarrhea
In order to treat your cat’s diarrhea at home, there are a few various options that you may experiment with. One of them is making dietary changes (although you will want to consult your vet first, as with all of these home remedies). Cat food frequently contains colours and other artificial additives, which may cause your cat’s digestive system to work harder in order to break them down. Making the switch to a more natural brand can assist in clearing up the existing problem and preventing future occurrences.
- You could also think about feeding your cat a bland home-cooked meal until the diarrhea resolves completely.
- Because some cats are averse to rice, you may use simple mashed potatoes in their place.
- Sometimes a 12- to 24-hour fast is all that is needed to get everything back to normal.
- Starting with the bland rice combination, gradually add regular food while decreasing the amount of the bland rice mixture until the cat is back on a normal diet, then repeat the process.
- Even after several days on the bland diet, your cat’s stools may remain soft.
- It is critical for a cat suffering from diarrhea to continue to drink and have access to plenty of fresh water.
- You can offer your cat unflavored Pedialyte, an electrolyte beverage that is intended for newborns and children, to restore their electrolytes.
- To get rid of an attack of loose stools, you may only need to relax, reduce tension, and engage in some light activity (such as taking your cat for a walk on a leash and harness if she enjoys it).
Hopefully, one or more of these home cures can help to restore normal function to your cat’s intestines, making both of you happier in the process. The original publication date was May 20, 2011.
What to Do if Your Cat Has Diarrhea
Cat diarrhea is one of the most unpleasant sights and odors you may experience as a cat owner, whether you’re a first-time cat owner or have many feline pals in the house. Things may get nasty (and stinky!) very fast, and your cat’s diarrhea may not be contained just inside the confines of the litter box. The position your cat is in might even be an indication of something more serious—particularly if blood is found in your cat’s less-than solid feces.
Get to Know Your Cat’s Poop
It’s critical to establish a baseline for what should be considered “normal” litter box behaviors for your cat in order to determine whether or not her diarrhea is an indication of something more serious. Normal cat excrement is rich brown in color, wet enough to adhere to litter, and does not feel too firm or overly mushy to the touch. As described by cat vets at the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), “although the stench is unpleasant, it should not cause you to flee the room,” they say.
- By scooping and inspecting your cat’s litter box at least once a day, you may learn about the usual and odd behavior of your pet cat.
- Water and nutrients are not absorbed properly (which means your cat is not getting the nourishment she requires), and the end consequence is a watery mess.
- VCA Hospitals has created an useful graphic that displays the different varieties of cat feces so that you may obtain a visual grasp of the differences in consistency between the different types.
- It’s possible that you won’t notice if your cat kicks a lot of litter over diarrhea at first.
- However, once you’ve discovered cat diarrhea, it’s critical to determine what’s creating the commotion.
Find Out What’s Causing Your Cat’s Diarrhea
Diarrhea is a symptom of another disease or condition, rather than being a sickness in and of itself. The reasons of your cat’s diarrhea are numerous, but the majority of the time, loose stool is associated with inflammation that develops in your cat’s gastrointestinal system (from the mouth all the way to the anus). There are several causes, some of which are as follows:
- Intestinal parasites such as Coccidia and intestinal worms
- Diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, colitis, pancreatic illness, cancer, or hypothyroidism
- And other factors. Contamination with harmful chemicals or hazardous plants
- Intolerance to certain foods
- Allergies to certain foods
With so many potential causes, it can be difficult to diagnose and treat a new episode of feline diarrhea without first consulting a veterinarian.
You might be tempted to make a change to your cat’s food right away without consulting a veterinarian first. While this may alleviate the diarrhea, it is possible that the underlying reasons are still causing problems in your cat’s health.
When to Call the Vet
Consult your veterinarian if your cat develops diarrhea that lasts for longer than two days. The presence of black or bloody feces in a cat, as well as other indicators of disease such as fever, vomiting, lethargy or sluggishness, and lack of appetite, indicate an emergency. If any of these symptoms occur in conjunction with diarrhea, contact your veterinarian right once. On the day of your appointment, your veterinarian will ask you a series of questions regarding when you first noticed the diarrhea, how your cat’s food or feeding habits have changed recently, and the appearance of your cat’s feces.
It is important to inform your veterinarian of any changes in your household that may have frightened your feline companion’s health.
Renee Rucinsky, DVM, DABVP (feline speciality), who operates a cat hospital in Maryland, recognizes that life occurs and that time passes quickly—so don’t be hesitant about sharing your feelings with the professionals.
We must get all of the facts in order to properly treat the cat’s condition.” If your veterinarian has a thorough history of the problem, he or she may prescribe additional testing to rule out viruses or bacteria, parasites, or other internal disorders that might be the source of your pet’s loose feces.
Other suggestions can include giving a customized packaged meal or administering veterinary-specific probiotics.
However, some cats’ diarrhea is alleviated by less fiber rather than more, so consult your veterinarian about what to try and in what amounts.
- Treatment with antidiarrheal medication in order to minimize intestinal irritation If intestinal worms are the source of the problem, deworming medicine should be used. Steroids, which are used to control inflammation
Some forms of cat diarrhea respond swiftly to treatment, such as medication, probiotics, or dietary modifications. If you are introducing a new diet to your cat, unless your veterinarian advises otherwise, gradually reduce the amount of the old food you are mixing in over several days to make the transition less stressful on your cat’s digestive system. Additionally, do not use human diarrhea medications without seeing your veterinarian first, since some of them include components that are hazardous to cats.
When a cat doesn’t drink enough water, diarrhea can lead to dehydration over a period of time.
However, with proper dietary control, even persistent episodes of diarrhea can be reduced or eliminated with time.
As a result of firmer stools, your cat will be happier and healthier, and you will avoid the hassle of cleaning up those watery poos that can occasionally escape the litter box. Everyone comes out on top.
Cat Diarrhea: Causes and Remedies
diarrhea is defined as the fast transit of ingested material through the colon, which can manifest as any of the following symptoms: increased frequency of bowel movements, loose stool, or an increase in the volume of feces passing through. Diarrhea is not frequently experienced by cats, at least not when they are in good health. The presence of this symptom indicates the presence of an internal ailment, which is mostly often a digestive condition. There is no need to worry if the episode of diarrhea is brief, and it may have been brought on by something in the meal or the water.
The majority of domestic cats will get diarrhea as a result of their owners feeding them human milk.
If you enjoy feeding your cat milk, you should consider purchasing cat milk rather than using the conventional milk that humans use as a substitute.
Petco and PetSmart, as well as other large chain pet retailers, carry a variety of different types of cat litter.
When should I call the vet?
In addition to losing a lot of fluids, a cat suffering from diarrhea for an extended length of time can also lose key minerals and salts that are essential for its health. A visit to your veterinarian is recommended if your cat is experiencing diarrhea. Your veterinarian will thoroughly examine the feline, establish the severity of the diarrhea, and suggest a treatment plan that is appropriate for your cat’s condition. You will be asked a number of questions by your veterinarian in order to establish the severity of the diarrhea.
It is extremely critical that you contact your veterinarian as soon as possible if your cat develops any of the following symptoms:
- If you have blood in your diarrhea or if your stools are black or tarry, you should see a doctor. Have you consumed something dangerous or poisonous? Fever, sadness, or dehydration are all possible symptoms. Gums that are pale or yellow in color
- He hasn’t got all of his vaccines yet. Pain
Do not provide any drugs to your cat, including over-the-counter human pharmaceuticals, unless specifically instructed to do so by your veterinarian. The rapidity with which the symptoms manifested is often a useful indicator of the potential cause of the diarrhea. If the symptoms developed all at once, the illness is referred to be “acute.” It is referred to as “chronic” diarrhea when the symptoms persist for a lengthy period of time (weeks or more). If the symptoms develop, disappear, and then reappearance over a period of many weeks, the diarrhea is referred to as “intermittent.” Cat diarrhea can be caused by a variety of factors, and it is important to treat it as soon as it is discovered.
The sooner you can detect diarrhea in a cat, the sooner the animal may begin therapy, preventing them from becoming severely dehydrated. Cats may become critically dehydrated in a matter of minutes.
How is diarrhea treated?
Because there are so many different causes of diarrhea, the therapy will differ from person to person. In many cases of simple diarrhea in adult cats, it is suggested that the meal be withheld for 12-24 hours and that tiny amounts of water be given periodically to the feline patient. After that, a bland meal consisting primarily of boiled (fat-free) chicken and rice is served in tiny portions. After many days, if the diarrhea does not repeat, the cat is gradually transitioned back to his usual food, which takes several days.
- Special meals may be required in order to avoid particular substances, to boost fiber in the diet, to reduce fat consumption, or to improve digestion.
- Because only a few wormers are effective against every type of parasite, it is critical to choose the most appropriate wormer for the job.
- It is also critical to make every effort to eliminate the worm eggs from the surroundings.
- If no eggs are produced, the test will be negative, even though worms may be present in the sample.
- Whenever a cat is dehydrated, it is frequently required to administer intravenous or subcutaneous fluids to the feline patient.
- If the diarrhea is caused by bacteria, antibiotics will be prescribed.
- In some cases, medications may be prescribed to help with motility issues (slow down the rate at which the intestine moves ingested material through the intestine).
Maintaining good hygiene is essential while caring for your cat who is suffering from diarrhea – after handling him, you must properly wash your hands each and every time. One probable reason of diarrhea in cats is an infection, and in this case you should keep the cat isolated until all of the cat’s equipment, food, litter box, and bedding are completely cleansed and disinfected, according to the manufacturer. You should also wear gloves if you have to deal with the cat’s stool, to protect your hands.
For a period of time, the cat should be confined inside the house to ensure that he does not spread the sickness to others. Cat diarrhea is usually simple to cure, as long as you don’t neglect the problem entirely.
Managing Cat Diarrhea: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
Your cat has been having diarrhea recently, which you noticed when cleaning up their litter box. This has made you a bit anxious. Every year, millions of cat parents are faced with the same problem with their feline companions. Whether your cat’s litter box is of the soft and gooey sort, the streaky bloody style, or the awful watery form, you may rest assured that you are not alone in your observations of your cat’s litter box.
What is Cat Diarrhea?
When someone has diarrhea, they have feces that is softer, looser, and more watery than it should be. In addition to defecating more frequently than normal, cats suffering with diarrhea may have accidents in the home and pass blood, mucus, or even parasites in their feces. Although the majority of cases of cat diarrhea resolve on their own within a few hours or days, cats who have diarrhea for more than a few days or who exhibit more severe signs (such as vomiting, appetite loss, bloody stools, watery stools, or fatigue) should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Symptoms of Diarrhea in Cats
In addition to having unhealthily-looking feces (which are often loose or watery in appearance), cats suffering with diarrhea may have the following symptoms:
- A stool that contains mucus or blood
- Worms in the stool
- Accidents at home The need to relieve oneself more often
- Having difficulty defecating
- A feeling of nausea or vomiting
- Appetite loss, fatigue, or weakness are all possible symptoms. Pain in the abdomen
- Loss of weight
Causes of Cat Diarrhea
There are a variety of factors that contribute to diarrhea. If a cat consumes an uncommon food or if their meal pattern changes unexpectedly, it is common for this to occur. When converting from one type of cat food to another, it’s best to do so gradually over the course of a week, gradually mixing in more of the new food and less of the old food as the transition continues. This transition helps the pet’s digestive system to become acclimated, reducing the possibility of diarrhea. Other possible causes of diarrhea include the following:
- The following are causes of IBD: viruses, parasites, bacterial overgrowth in the digestive system, food allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, antibiotics, and other medications Toxins
- Pancreatitis, liver illness, hyperthyroidism, and cancer are among conditions that can occur.
What to Do If Your Cat Has Diarrhea
Examine your cat’s overall demeanor. Do they look to be in good health or do they appear to be more weary than usual? Is there a change in their appetite or any other symptoms that are out of the ordinary for them? Do they appear to be vomiting as well? It is typically not considered an emergency if the case of cat diarrhea is an isolated incidence that resolves spontaneously in less than a few hours and does not involve additional symptoms. Dogs with diarrhea that lasts for more than a day, or dogs with diarrhea that is accompanied by a substantial change in temperament or other indications, should be handled as an emergency and transported to their veterinarian or veterinary hospital as soon as possible.
Finally, make a note of the frequency and appearance of the diarrhea so that you may bring it up with your veterinarian on your next routine appointment.
How Your Vet Determines the Cause
Veterinarians may use a variety of methods to determine the source of your cat’s diarrhea, including:
- The medical history of the cat
- An examination of the physical body
- Basic laboratory tests (blood work, fecal exam)
- X-rays (radiography)
- And other tests. Gastrointestinal function tests (blood tests) are performed on patients. Endoscopy/colonoscopy, as well as biopsy (in order to get a tissue sample)
- Medicine trials (to determine whether or not a medication is effective)
- Food trials (to determine whether or not a particular food is effective)
TreatmentsHow Nutrition Impacts Diarrhea
The treatment of diarrhea is dependent on the underlying cause. There are several diarrhea treatments available, and your veterinarian may suggest one or more of them depending on a range of variables. Nutrition, on the other hand, is critical in the management of this illness. Nutrition plays an important function in maintaining a healthy cat feces. Inadequate nutrition can result in chronic (ongoing) diarrhea in cats, which is why your veterinarian will do a nutritional assessment on your cat.
It is possible that a lower-fat diet or a food that is higher in complex carbs and digestible complex carbohydrates with extra fiber will be advised in this situation.
In many circumstances, your veterinarian may suggest nutritional therapy throughout the remainder of the cat’s life in order to aid in the maintenance of good digestion in the event of problems that cannot be healed completely.
Numerous cases of chronic gastrointestinal illness in cats react well to a highly digestible meal that contains prebiotic fibers.
These cats are frequently fed hydrolyzed meals or new protein feeds, which are both highly recommended. While cat diarrhea is a frustrating situation, with the proper medication and assistance from your veterinarian, your cat may return to his or her former happy and healthy self.
The Honorable Dr. Patty Khuly She graduated with honors from both Wellesley College and the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Patty Khuly practices in the Philadelphia area. The acclaimed VMD/MBA dual-degree program at The Wharton School of Business provided her with the opportunity to get her MBA. She’s currently the happy owner of Sunset Animal Clinic in Miami, Florida, where she works with animals. But that’s not all there is to it. Dr. K is a geeky reader, an active knitter, a devotee of hot yoga, a music geek, a failing runner, and an indefatigable foodie who loves to travel.
You can read her work at DrPattyKhuly.com and at SunsetVets.com.