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Diarrhea in Cats: Common Causes & When It's Serious

When cats get diarrhea it can be uncomfortable for the owner and the pet. Things can get messy pretty quickly if you don't have access to treatment. In this article, our Fort Worth vets discuss the causes of diarrhea in cats and how to stop cat diarrhea.

Diarrhea in Cats

Diarrhea is common in our feline companions. Our Fort Worth vets see a lot of cats suffering from diarrhea for a wide variety of reasons. Diarrhea can be caused by mild intestinal distress due to your cat eating a small amount of something that doesn't agree with them. This can be something like table scraps or a new brand or flavor of food.

Continue reading to learn about several other, more serious health issues that could lead to your cat suffering from diarrhea. 

 Why Does My Cat Have Diarrhea?

Below if you want to find out what causes diarrhea in cats:

  • 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 infections such as parvovirus, distemper or coronavirus
  • Parasites - roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, Coccidia or Giardia
  • Bacterial infections - such as salmonella
  • Pancreatitis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Colitis
  • 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 You Should Be Concerned About Cat Diarrhea

If your cat experiences occasional diarrhea but behaves normally, it's probably nothing to worry about. Keep an eye on your cat's stools to check for improvement. However, if your cat has diarrhea more than twice, it might signal an issue, and you should consider contacting your veterinarian.

If your pup is straining to pass a stool but only passing small amounts of watery diarrhea, they could be experiencing a painful blockage due to the ingestion of a foreign object such as a toy. This is a grave concern and needs veterinary attention right away, contact your vet or head to the nearest emergency animal hospital for care. 

Recurring bouts of diarrhea over a short time could be a sign of a very serious health issue, particularly if your pup is very old, very young, or has a compromised immune system. Infections such as parvovirus are extremely serious, contagious, and life-threatening. Contact your vet right away if your cat is experiencing repeated episodes of diarrhea.

cats showing other symptoms as well as diarrhea should also be seen by a vet as soon as possible. If your cat has any of the following symptoms contact your vet right away to make an appointment:

  • Blood in stool
  • Unusual drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of Appetite
  • Weakness
  • Signs of dehydration (Sunken dry-looking eyes, dry nose, or dry, sticky gums)

If your cat is displaying any symptoms that cause you concern, contact your veterinarian. Your vet will let you know whether your pet's symptoms indicate that an examination is necessary.

How to Treat Cat Diarrhea

Below, our vets will discuss how to stop chronic diarrhea in cats. When addressing diarrhea in cats, it's crucial never to administer human medications to your cat without first consulting your veterinarian. Many human drugs can be harmful to cats and may lead to additional health issues for your feline friend.

If your pup has had one or two runny or soft stools, you may want to give your cat some time to recover by simply fasting for 12 - 24 hours.

A bland diet for 24 - 48 hours may help to resolve your pup's issue. Plain-cooked white rice with a little chicken and some canned plain pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) may help to make your pup's tummy feel better. Once your cat feels better gradually reintroduce their regular food.

Other things that might help to soothe your cat's upset tummy include natural yogurt, probiotics, peeled boiled potatoes, cottage cheese, egg with no oil added, specially formulated cat foods, and medications prescribed by your vet.

Regarding your pup's health, it is always best to err on the side of caution. By taking your cat in for an examination you allow your vet to determine the underlying cause of your pup's diarrhea and recommend the most effective treatment.

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.

If your cat has chronic Diarrhea, it is a serious health concern. Contact our experienced vets today. Our vets at A-Animal Clinic & Boarding Kennel can treat your cat's diarrhea and help your cat feel better again.

New Patients Welcome

We're accepting new patients at A-Animal Clinic & Boarding Kennel! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of companion animals in Fort Worth. Get in touch today to schedule your pet's first appointment.

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