Intestinal problems

Diarrhea in cats: Causes and Treatment

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. May 23, 2017
Diarrhea in cats: Causes and Treatment

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Does your cat have diarrhea? The first thing you have to do is try to find out the cause of this stomach disorder. If you have changed their food, if they have ingested any new ingredients or have purged on any plants or grass etc. Above all, if you don't know the cause and it lasts more than 24 hours, it is essential that you take them to a vet for examination - so a treatment can be given. NEVER medicate them yourself with medicines you have taken in the past. The cause for the ailment may actually be something else and this remedy could be worse than the disease itself.

In this AnimalWised article we'll learn all about diarrhea in cats: Possible causes, symptoms your pet will experience, diets you should follow, and so on. Keep reading and learn how to care for your cat during this time.

  1. Causes of diarrhea in cats
  2. Symptoms of diarrhoea in cats
  3. Feeding a cat with diarrhoea

Causes of diarrhea in cats

Any change in your cat's diet can cause a stomach upset and this causes diarrea and discomfort in the animal. Some of the most common causes are:

  • Having eaten food toxic for cats: Onion, sausage or chocolate can be toxic to a cat, so it is important to know these forbidden foods and to pay attention to their health.
  • Harmful plants for their health: just like food, there are some plants that are not good for cats (apple trees, poinsettias, eucalyptus, tulips, the sago palm, ivy, etc.).
  • Eating off food: Many cats go to the rubbish bins to eat scraps of food. This food may be in poor condition or beginning to rot.
  • Dietary changes: If you have given them a new feed or have introduced new foods into their diet, it is possible that their stomach has not digested it well. This may be the cause.
  • Changes in routine: Cats are creatures of habit, so if you've moved house or have brought a new animal into your home, they may have been stressed. This can cause diarrhea.
  • Having a virus or disease triggers diarrhea or intestinal inflammation. Diarrhea can also be a symptom of another disease so it is always important to take the animal to the vet.
Diarrhea in cats: Causes and Treatment - Causes of diarrhea in cats

Symptoms of diarrhoea in cats

You can see that a cat is suffering from diarrhea as their stools will be liquid and they will go more often than usual. But this is not the only symptom that can determine your cat has diarrhea, there are also other signs such as the following:

  • Abundant flatulence
  • Weight loss and no appetite
  • Fever and general malaise
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Appearance of blood in the stool: in this case it is vital to bring them immediately to a specialist as the animal could have internal bleeding.

If you detect any of these symptoms do NOT medicate them yourself. If you don't know the type of diarrhea that your cat is suffering from and its real cause, giving them medication can cause unbalanced gut flora and make the diarrhea worse. It is important to first get the opinion of a vet if you want to give them medication.

Diarrhea in cats: Causes and Treatment - Symptoms of diarrhoea in cats

Feeding a cat with diarrhoea

If you detect diarrhea in your cat, the first thing you have to do is stop feeding them for at least 12 hours. This fasting period is essential for intestinal cells to regenerate and properly develop bacterial flora (responsible for absorbing nutrients from food). Take into account that normal feed we give to animals does not restore the flora so this imbalance will not be removed.

During these 12 hours, you cannot feed the animal but of course it is important to give them water as they could suffer from dehydration when they have diarrhea. After this time, gradually introduce food back into their diet but always follow the rules of a bland diet so that your cat's stomach is not affected. So, the best ingredients you can give are:

  • Boiled boneless chicken cooked without salt or any spices
  • Boiled (never fully!) white rice containing no salt
  • Unsalted boiled potato
  • White boiled fish without salt

48 to 72 hours after the first signs of diarrhea, your cat will need to follow this bland diet and gradually, you can introduce new ingredients for their stomach to absorb. In addition, it is best that you give it small portions and divide it throughout the day, so digestion will be easier and your pet will feel better.

Then you can start giving them their usual food, but always take into account basic care so that your cat has healthy digestion. Learn all about a cat's diet at AnimalWised.

You may be interested in:

Soft diet for cats with diarrhea

Diarrhea in cats: Causes and Treatment - Feeding a cat with diarrhoea

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Diarrhea in cats: Causes and Treatment, we recommend you visit our Intestinal problems category.

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Diarrhea in cats: Causes and Treatment