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Cat Diarrhea: Why does my cat have diarrhea?

Cat Diarrhea: Why does my cat have diarrhea?

Diarrhea is not only messy, but it can also be very uncomfortable for your feline friend and should be addressed by a vet quickly. Our Los Angeles vets talk about diarrhea in cats, when it is a concern and what you can do to give your kitty some relief.

Cats & 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. 

What causes 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
  • Parasites
  • Bacterial infections
  • 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 to contact your vet about diarrhea in cats

If your pet has a single episode of diarrhea and is otherwise acting normal, it is likely not a cause for concern. Monitor your pet's bowel movements to see if things clear up. More than 2 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.

If your pet appears to be straining to pass a stool but only passing small amounts of watery diarrhea, 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.

Recurring bouts of diarrhea over a short period of time could be a sign of a very serious health issue, particularly 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.

Cats that are showing other symptoms, as well as diarrhea, should also be seen by a vet as soon as possible. If your pet 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

If you are wondering how to stop cat diarrhea our vets offer a few tips along with reminding you that the first step should always be to contact your primary vet. 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.

Is your cat suffering from diarrhea that just won't seem to let up? Contact our Los Angeles vets to schedule a visit today.

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