As a pet owner, you are probably already aware that diarrhea is a relatively common symptom for cats. In most cases, when they are suffering from diarrhea cats just need a bit of time to adjust and the diarrhea cures itself. Dietary changes or mild intestinal irritation are among the main causes for diarrhea in cats, but when they have diarrhea cats could also be very sick and you may need to visit your veterinarian. Indeed, diarrhea in cats can also be caused by parasites, bacteria, or even a more serious disease like cancer, pancreatitis, or liver disease.
Determining the severity of your cat’s diarrhea can be tricky. While you are no doubt serious about pet healthcare, you do not want to run to the veterinarian every time you cat shows the slightest indication of illness. You can help your cat avoid diarrhea by maintaining a consistent diet. You should never abruptly change your cat’s diet and most experts recommend that you choose one brand of food and stick with it. However, if you have found a better pet food or you need to change your cat’s diet for any reason, you should make the changes gradually. Initially, you can mix the old food and new food, adding a little more of the new food every day until the change is complete.
Still, as mentioned, there may be more serious causes of cat diarrhea. If there are parasitic or bacterial infections, your veterinarian will likely recommend some pet medication, cat antibiotics, or other course of treatment aimed at killing the parasites or bacteria. When they are suffering from diarrhea cats need plenty of fluid so they stay hydrated. Kittens with diarrhea should visit the veterinarian immediately. However, adult cats should be taken to the veterinarian only if they have had diarrhea for a prolonged period or if you notice other symptoms like vomiting, lethargy, or changes in appetite.
Obviously, we always try to provide our beloved pets with the best possible care; yet, at the same time we could probably list off a number of occasions where we have ignored particular symptoms. For the most part, we feel that minor symptoms will not likely signify a major illness so it’s best to take a wait and see approach. Nevertheless, while there are some signs of illness that can be ignored, there are also a few that should never be ignored.
- Difficulty Urinating Clearly the inability to urinate is a serious symptom and difficulty passing urine is often associated with painful symptoms. While you’re not likely to ignore this problem, you also might not be aware of the problem because you assume your pet has gone somewhere at some point. Still, if you notice your pet isn’t toileting normally, visit the veterinarian immediately as an obstruction may be the cause and serious illness can ensue.
- Vomiting or Diarrhea All pet owners have probably experienced vomiting or diarrhea from their pet. In fact, vomiting to expel hairballs is quite common in cats and dogs can sometimes eat things that they shouldn’t. You need to be careful if your pet is vomiting or has diarrhea in addition to other symptoms like depression, lethargy, weakness, or lack of appetite.
- Physical Injury Physical injury or trauma may be the result of a run in with a vehicle or another animal. Unfortunately, we can’t always see physical trauma just by looking at our pets. You need to be vigilant about pain, difficulty moving, lameness, or other signs of physical trauma and see your vet immediately if you suspect your pet has undergone physical injury. Internal trauma can obviously be life threatening and only a veterinarian can diagnose and treat internal injuries.
Diarrhea is a symptom that all animals can suffer and while not necessarily a very serious condition, diarrhea can be the sign of a more serious illness. Moreover, left untreated, diarrhea can also be dangerous as it leads to dehydration and malnourishment. Acute diarrhea is less of a concern. Perhaps your cat eats something that doesn’t agree with her stomach, she may have a sudden bout of diarrhea that lasts a few hours or at most a few days. A change in diet like increased consumption of milk is the most common cause of acute diarrhea.
On the other hand, chronic diarrhea is usually a symptom of a more serious illness. The difference between chronic and acute diarrhea is that in chronic cases, the diarrhea persists for a longer stretch of time. Generally speaking, with acute diarrhea there are no other symptoms. Your cat is eating, playing, sleeping, and doing everything it would normally do. However, chronic diarrhea is almost always accompanied with other symptoms. If you notice any of the following symptoms, you should visit a veterinarian:
- Blood in the stools
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Foul smelling stools
- Straining during bowel movements.
Chronic diarrhea should be treated by a veterinarian because it will usually require identifying the underlying cause to treat the diarrhea. Alternatively, there are some precautions you can take to prevent acute diarrhea. Carefully control your cat’s diet and ensure that it includes all of the necessary nutrients for your cat. Also, remember that cheap cat food is often full of inexpensive vegetables and carbohydrates which may lead to loose stools. In most cases of acute cat diarrhea, the problem will be resolved once the normal diet is resumed.
Cat diarrhea can signify a more serious health issue. While many cases of cat diarrhea will be a case of an upset stomach, much as is the case with humans, chronic or prolonged diarrhea is definitely a bigger issue. Normally, cat diarrhea will resolve itself but if cat diarrhea continues it’s important to try to recognize what can be causing the diarrhea. In these cases, it’s often necessary to take your cat to the vet but this article will discuss some of the possible causes as well as treatments for cat diarrhea. However, you should always visit a vet if you suspect your cat may have a more serious underlying condition.
Frequent diarrhea can be a problem especially if it is associated with one or more of the following symptoms:
- Blood or mucous in the stool
- High fever
- Changes in appetite
- Obvious abdominal pain
- Abdominal tenderness or swelling
The causes of diarrhea can be very simple, even a sudden change in diet can trigger an episode of diarrhea. One of the first measures a pet owner should take when their cat has diarrhea is with the cat’s diet. It could be that your cat is eating some food that you’re not aware of but it’s always helpful to try a different cat food to see if this resolves the cat diarrhea. Alternatively, diarrhea in cats can also be caused by some kind of traumatic or stressful incident. Even moving homes or introducing a new family member may be enough to trigger diarrhea. However, more serious issues like parasites, infections, cancer, or pancreatic disease can lead to diarrhea; as such, chronic diarrhea definitely warrants a vet visit.
Otherwise, there are some simple measures that you can take to treat the diarrhea. First of all, you should avoid giving your cat any solid food for at least 24 hours and this will also require that you keep them in the house to prevent them from hunting their own food.Be sure to give your cat plenty of fresh water as diarrhea can cause dehydration.After a day of no solid food and lots of fresh water, start slowly introducing solid foods again.If the diarrhea is gone, no problem, but if it persists make an appointment with your veterinarian.