Diarrhea in Cats

Diarrhea in cats can have many causes. Find out everything about the causes, treatment, and prevention of diarrhea in cats, what you should pay attention to when feeding a cat with diarrhea and when cats with diarrhea need to see the vet.

If you discover that your cat has diarrhea, this is not always a cause for concern. However, you should know exactly when it becomes dangerous for your cat. The symptoms and how severe the indigestion is can vary from person to person.

My Cat Has Diarrhea – Do I Need to Go to The Vet Now?

Diarrhea in cats is not uncommon. A visit to the vet is not always necessary. However, the following symptoms are alarming:

  • Diarrhea lasts longer than 24 hours and there is no noticeable improvement.
  • The cat neither eats nor drinks.
  • The cat is lethargic, has a fever, or is otherwise showing signs of being unwell.
  • The droppings are very runny or even water-like.
  • There’s blood in the stool.
  • The feces are tarry.

Important: In particular, very watery and severe, long-lasting diarrhea can quickly lead to a high loss of fluids and the loss of salts and minerals (electrolytes) in our cats. The general condition then deteriorated rapidly.

The veterinarian will first try to balance the cat’s fluid and electrolyte balance with IV fluids or the administration of electrolyte powder. In addition, he will try to diagnose the cause of diarrhea and adjust the treatment accordingly.

Causes of Diarrhea in Cats

If the cat excretes liquid feces in the short or long term, it is usually a question of a cleaning function: there is something in the intestines that has to be quickly removed to the outside. Then there is diarrhea.

Diarrhea is actually more of a symptom than a disease in its own right. When a cat has diarrhea, it can have a number of causes:

  • a food allergy or intolerance
  • parasites, viruses, and bacteria
  • ingestion of spoiled feed
  • poisoning
  • swallowed foreign body.
  • stress
  • feline diseases, such as chronic kidney disease (CRF)

Associated Symptoms of Diarrhea in Cats

In cats, diarrhea usually does not last long and disappears again after a short time. However, if the cat keeps passing liquid feces, diarrhea may be chronic. The following accompanying symptoms of diarrhea are alarming:

  • Weight loss:
    If the cat loses weight permanently, you should be careful. Weight loss is harmful and dangerous for the cat, especially if the animal is noticeably unwell. However, diarrhea is only one of the possible triggers for weight loss.
  • Dry out:
    The skin test shows the first signs of dehydration in diarrhea: In the area of ​​the back, a skin fold is briefly pulled up. If this elapses within a few seconds, everything is fine. If the wrinkle persists, there is significant dehydration.
  • Apathy:
    The cat shows no interest in its surroundings, does not respond to the owner or other stimuli. She no longer eats or drinks. Apathy is a very clear sign that the cat’s well-being has already decreased significantly.

If you have noticed the above symptoms, you should take your cat to the vet as a matter of urgency. It is best to take a stool sample with you. The cat’s droppings provide the vet with useful clues to diagnose the cause of diarrhea. The consistency or the color can also be decisive for the veterinarian. Components that deviate from the norm, such as blood or undigested food residues, can also indicate the cause.

First-aid Measures for Diarrhea

If you have noticed diarrhea in your cat, you should first identify the trigger, eliminate it if possible, and fight diarrhea.

Find Out What Caused Diarrhea!

First, you can consider whether the cat’s eating behavior has changed: have you given it new food or treats? Does the cat take any medication? Pathogens can also be transmitted by other cats or by yourself. Think about who in the cat’s environment has diarrhea.

Avoid Incompatible Food!

Some foods also cause diarrhea in healthy cats: milk, products containing sugar or starch such as cakes, bread, candy, difficult-to-digest protein sources such as lung tissue, skin, and pork rinds, and foods high in fiber. Some cats also generally react to actually harmless food components such as e.g. B. Beef.

Let The Cat Fast!

In the case of digestive disorders, it can help if the cat fasts (but not for more than a day). However, water must be available to her at all times.

Special electrolyte mixtures should be added to the water in severe cases or in young animals. These mixtures must be mixed with the water exactly according to the instructions for use and then correspond to the composition of the body fluid. They are available from the vet and you can store them at the kitty’s pharmacy for emergencies. After the fasting day, the cat should be given a light diet.

Feed Your Cat a Bland Diet When it Has Diarrhea

If your cat has diarrhea, you can offer her a bland diet. Easily digestible and low-irritant food helps the gastrointestinal tract to regenerate. Examples of light foods that are suitable are:

  • Chicken: Chicken is low in fat and easily digestible. Boiling it in lightly salted water until tender will also provide extra mineral intake. Be sure to carefully remove the bones from the chicken.
  • You should also not feed the skin, as it is difficult to digest. Serve the chicken finely pulled and lukewarm. This is how the cat likes it best.
  • Potatoes: Potatoes are constipating. Give them to your cat soft-boiled and mashed. Mixed with some chicken, potatoes make a delicious meal for your cat.
  • Carrots: Carrots can curb the colonization of intestinal pathogens. Cook the carrots for about an hour until they are soft and give them finely mashed to your cat.
  • Apples: Apples thicken the intestinal contents. Grate the apples and mix them into the feed.
  • Rice: Rice has a water-binding effect. Give it to your cat cooked and mixed with some wet food sauce. This is how you bring flavor to the rice. As an alternative to the sauce, you can also use homemade chicken broth (unseasoned).

When feeding the bland diet, you should pay attention to the following aspects:

  • Avoid using spices when preparing light foods. You can prepare the bland diet in lightly salted water. In this way, you ensure an additional mineral intake.
  • Serve the light food in several small portions.
  • The light food should be at room temperature.
  • The cat must always have access to freshwater!

Help The Cat With Diarrhea With Home Remedies

In addition to the bland diet, some home remedies can also help the cat to survive diarrhea. However, home remedies should be used with care and dosed well. It is best to consult a vet before giving your cat home remedies for diarrhea. In addition to flea seed shells and American elm bark, healing earth is also used as a home remedy.

Healing clay is available at drugstores. You can easily mix the finely ground powder with the cat’s wet food. Healing earth is said to bind toxins and promote a healthy intestinal flora. In this way, healing clay can contribute to your cat’s recovery.

Prevent Diarrhea in Cats

There are many causes of diarrhea in cats. Therefore, it is not easy to prevent diarrhea. However, there are a few rules that will help avoid some triggers:

  • Make sure your cat is fed a species-appropriate diet.
  • Do not feed the cat-human food.
  • Do not leave wet food out for too long as it can spoil.
  • Approach the feed change gently.
  • Keep toxic substances, such as detergents and fertilizers, out of the cat’s reach.
  • Avoid plants that are poisonous to cats.
  • Don’t leave foreign objects lying around that your cat could swallow.
  • Protect the cat from parasites and other pathogens by vaccination and deworming.

Conclusion: What to Do if The Cat Has Diarrhea?

Diarrhea in cats is not uncommon. If your cat has diarrhea, you should first find out what the trigger is, then eliminate the trigger, put the cat on a bland diet, or fast for a day with an adequate water supply. Diarrhea often subsides after a short time. If diarrhea lasts longer than 24 hours and the cat shows accompanying symptoms such as fever, vomiting, loss of appetite, and apathy, you should urgently consult the veterinarian.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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