Cats are fastidious creatures, so when diarrhea strikes it is bound to be distressing for both you and your feline friend. Our Hopkinsville vets offer a few suggestions on possible causes of your cat's diarrhea, what you can try to help your cat feel better, and when it's time to call the vet.
Cats & Diarrhea
If your feline friend has diarrhea you are bound to want to know why and how to stop it fast. Below are some possible reasons why your cat may be suffering from diarrhea and when to call your vet.
Mild bouts of diarrhea are very common in pets and can be caused by mild intestinal distress due to your cat eating something that doesn't agree with them, such as table scraps, or just from the simple act of switching to a new brand or flavor of food.
That said, there are also a number of more serious health issues that could lead to your cat suffering from diarrhea.
Why does my cat have diarrhea?
Below are some of the most common reasons for cat's experience diarrhea:
- Stress or anxiety
- Change in diet or treats
- Eating garbage or spoiled food
- Ingestion of foreign objects such as small pieces of string or tiny bones
- Ingesting toxins or poisons
- Metabolic diseases include disorders of the pancreas, liver, or thyroid.
- Viral infection
- Bacterial infections
- Inflammatory bowel syndrome or disease
- Liver or kidney disease
- Intestinal cancer
- Medications such as antibiotics
How can I stop my cat's diarrhea?
The truth is that the best way to stop your cat's diarrhea will depend upon the cause so there is no definitive answer to this question. If your cat has diarrhea for more than 12 hours it's time to call the vet. (See more details on when to call the vet below). If you are unable to get in to see your vet right away, ask them for suggestions on what you can feed your kitty to help relieve some of their GI distress.
When to contact your vet about diarrhea in cats or dogs?
If your cat has a single episode of diarrhea and is otherwise acting normal, it is likely not a cause for concern. Monitor your cat's bowel movements to see if things clear up. More than 2 episodes of diarrhea could indicate a problem, so it's a good idea to contact your vet if your kitty has two or more bouts of diarrhea.
On the other hand, if your cat appears to be 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 string (cats are notorious for stealing the strings from meat). Intestinal blockages are a very serious concern and need urgent veterinary attention, contact your vet right away or head to the nearest emergency animal hospital for urgent care if you think that your cat has swallowed something they shouldn't have.
Recurring bouts of diarrhea over a short period of time could be a sign of a very serious health issue, particularly if your kitty is very old, very young, or has a compromised immune system. Several infections can be very serious, contagious, or even life-threatening for cats and kittens. 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 veterinarian 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
- Lack of Appetite
- 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.
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.