When a cat has diarrhea, it not only means that they are likely uncomfortable, but it also likely leaves you with a mess. Our Orange vets talk about diarrhea in cats, what could be causing it and when you should seek veterinary care for your feline friend.
When Cats Have Diarrhea
Mild diarrhea is common in both our canine and feline companions, and it can be caused by switching to a new brand or flavor of food, eating a small amount of something that doesn't agree with them, such as table scraps, or by mild intestinal distress.
That said, there are also a number of more serious health issues that could lead to your pet suffering from diarrhea.
The Many Causes of Diarrhea in Cats
Below are some of the most common reasons for a cat to have diarrhea:
- Stress or anxiety
- Change in diet or treats
- Eating garbage or spoiled food
- Ingestion of foreign objects such as toys, bones, and fabric
- Ingesting toxins or poisons
- Viral infection
- Bacterial infections
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Liver or kidney disease
- Intestinal cancer
- Medications such as antibiotics
But how do you know whether your cat's diarrhea requires a visit to the vet?
When is diarrhea a serious concern?
A sudden instance of diarrhea likely isn't caused by anything serious. Monitor your pet's bowel movements to see if things clear up. More than two episodes could indicate a problem, so it's a good idea to contact your vet if your animal companion has two or more bouts of diarrhea. If your kitty has an ongoing issue with diarrhea then you may also need to speak with your vet about how to stop chronic diarrhea in cats.
When a cat is straining but can only manage to pass a small amount of loose, watery stool, they may be suffering from a painful obstruction caused by ingesting a toy or other foreign object. As this is a very serious issue that requires immediate veterinary attention, contact your veterinarian immediately or go to the nearest emergency animal hospital for care.
Heath issues may be at hand if your cat seems to be having continuous and recurring bouts of diarrhea they are most likely experiencing a health concern. This can be particularly true if your pet is very old, very young, or has a compromised immune system. A number of infections can be very serious, contagious, or even life-threatening. Contact your vet right away if your pet is experiencing repeated episodes of diarrhea.
If your cat is suffering from a number of other symptoms along with diarrhea, then you should seek veterinary care right away. If your pet has any of the following symptoms contact your vet right away to make an appointment:
- Blood in stool
- Unusual drooling
- Lack of Appetite
- Signs of dehydration (Sunken dry-looking eyes, dry nose, or dry, sticky gums)
Treating Cats For Diarrhea
The first step in treating diarrhea in cats will always be to contact your vet. They can make recommendations along with scheduling a veterinary visit if needed. Some common treatment options are:
- Change Your Cat’s Food
- Add More Fiber Into Their Diet
- Encourage Water and Electrolyte Intake
- Start Them on Probiotics
- Give Them Anti-Diarrheal Medications
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.