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Diarrhea in Cats: Common Causes & When It's Serious

Diarrhea in Cats: Common Causes & When It's Serious

Diarrhea can not only leave your cat feeling quite uncomfortable but also leaves a mess for you to clean up. Here, our Bedford vets talk about what causes diarrhea in cats, when it is serious and what can be done to help your kitty feel better.

When Cats Have Diarrhea

Diarrhea can be caused by a number of factors. From changing your cat's food to general tummy upset, the good news is that it is usually mild and should pass quickly.

even so, you should keep in mind that there could be a more serious underlying issue. This makes speaking with your vet important, no matter how serious it seems.

Why does my cat have diarrhea?

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

When should you be worried about cat diarrhea?

A random bout of diarrhea usually doesn't indicate a serious concern. You should continue to keep an eye on your kitty and monitor them for any further bowel issues. More than two 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.

When a cat is straining but can only manage to pass a small amount of loose, watery stool, they may be suffering from a painful obstruction caused by ingesting a toy or other foreign object. This is a serious and potentially life-threatening issue. If it occurs you should speak with your vet or bring your cat to the nearest emergency animal hospital for care right away.

Heath issues may be at hand if your cat seems to be having continuous and recurring bouts of diarrhea they are most likely experiencing a health concern. This can be particularly true 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.

If your cat is suffering from a number of other symptoms along with diarrhea, then you should seek veterinary care right away. 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 your cat has multiple bouts of diarrhea or diarrhea along with other symptoms you will need to contact your vet right away. They will provide you with options for treating your cat and will schedule an exam if necessary. 

Some of the most common methods of treating diarrhea in cats include:

  • 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.

If your cat has persistent diarrhea or if you would like to know how to stop chronic diarrhea in your cats, please contact our Bedford vets.

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