Inflammation Of The Large Intestine
The large intestine helps maintain fluid and electrolyte balance and absorb nutrients it also temporarily stores feces and provides an environment for healthy intestinal bacteria. When the large intestine is damaged by illness, parasites, or other causes, diarrhea is often the result.
Inflammation of the colon may be short- or longterm. Cats with chronic colitis tend to be middle-aged and are often purebred. In most cases, the cause is unknown bacterial, parasitic, traumatic, kidney-related, and allergic causes are suspected. Inflammation may be the result of a defect in the function of the immune system in the colon. An exaggerated reaction to dietary or bacterial factors within the intestine, genetic predisposition, or results of previous infectious or parasitic disease have also been implicated.
Cats with inflammation of the colon have a history of straining to defecate and frequent passage of mucus-laden feces, sometimes containing bright red blood. Feces are often of a small volume and a more liquid consistency. Weight loss and vomiting are uncommon.
Longterm colitis is likely to improve initially, but signs frequently recur. Most cats with inflammatory bowel disease cannot be cured and will need some form of longterm treatment.
Cancers Of The Digestive System
Cancer of the digestive system is uncommon and represents less than 10% of all cancers in cats. When it does occur, it most commonly develops in the small intestine. Older animals are predisposed, occurring with an average age of 10 to 12 years in cats. Siamese cats have an increased risk for some types of intestinal cancer. No specific cause has been identified for most intestinal tumors, although alimentary lymphoma in cats is believed to be caused by the feline leukemia virus, even in cats that test negative for the virus. Intestinal tumors in cats tend to spread rapidly and are usually malignant . Lymphoma and adenocarcinoma are two common types of digestive system tumors seen in cats.
Signs of a possible tumor vary depending on the location and extent of the tumor and associated consequences. Vomiting , diarrhea , loss of appetite, weight loss, and lethargy are the most common signs. Constipation, straining to defecate, abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, and abdominal infection associated with the rupture of the affected bowel have also been reported. Cats with intestinal tumors may also have signs of anemia, such as pale gums.
What Are The Causes Of Diarrhea In Cats
Many factors can cause loose, watery stools in cats.
The clinical appearance of diarrhea in cats due to any of these causes are the same: frequent , soft, and watery stools.
Depending on the cause of diarrhea, a pet might even have dark or bloody stools, vomiting, gas in the form of belching, bloated stomach, and flatulence.
Like in humans, cats also have a gastrointestinal tract which has defense mechanism against irritants of many sorts irritants that cause contents to move a greater number of times than usual.
Common irritants that can cause your cats diarrhea include: worms, parasites, bacteria, viruses, spoiled foods, toxins in the environment, food sensitivities, indigestible foods like hair, cloth, or plastic, as well as bone fragments.
Your cats GI tract then tries to flush out these irritants by using rapid movements. However, because the stools are thrown out so quickly, the colon does not absorb much water from the stools as it normally does.
This results in stools that are abnormally liquid, loose, and watery.
Because there are so many varied factors that can cause diarrhea in cats we have to be alert to the possibility of other conditions lurking behind these symptoms.
However, in most cases, chronic diarrhea and watery stools in cats arise from eating the wrong kind of food, indulging in spoiled food, overeating, parasites, and viral infections.
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Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Sensitive Stomach Dry Cat Food
Despite containing loads of protein from quality sources such as lamb, which is the first ingredient listed, the Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Sensitive Stomach Dry Cat Food is priced quite affordably. Its certainly one of the most affordable options we tested. Even so, its packed with nutrients that are essential for your cats health, such as vitamins A and E or taurine.
While were quite happy with lamb as the first ingredient in this recipe, were less thrilled with the ingredients that follow. Ingredients such as rice, corn gluten meal, soybean meal, and soybean oil dont fill us with confidence that this food is formulated for peak feline health.
At 40% protein, this sensitive stomach cat food sure isnt lacking. However, its pretty low in fiber with just 2.5% max. Theres plenty of omega-6 in this blend, but the ingredients list is longer than wed like and filled with many supplements rather than nutrients from whole-food sources.
Our Editors Pick: Purina One Natural Dry Cat Food Hairball Formula
As the name indicates, PURINA ONE High Fiber Adult Cat Food contains plenty of fiber to help regulate your cats stools and bowel movements.
This is also a hairball-control formula with fiber-rich, and easy to digest nutrients that has helped many cats produce firmer stools.
Purinas natural fiber content prevents hairball and also reduces the looseness or wateriness of stools.
The protein-rich foods also support the immune system which prevents gastrointestinal diseases and infections in cats.
The natural chicken formula is also fortified with vitamins and minerals to provide antioxidants and give your pet healthier and shinier coat.
In addition to these benefits, your cat will also have stronger muscles and healthier heart.
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How Do You Give A Cat Psyllium Fiber
To help your kitty get more fiber to relieve her constipation, you can try adding psyllium powder to her wet food. Contact your veterinarian to figure out how much you should be adding to her food, and how often you should give her the psyllium fiber. The dose may depend on your cats condition and weight, and your veterinarian may tweak his or her recommendations based on how your kitty responds to this treatment.
Closely following your vets instructions regarding how much psyllium fiber to give, and how often to give it, can help ensure you get the best results possible. But it is also important to keep in mind that this remedy might not work immediately. For example, it might take upwards of 72 hours before you begin to see improvements in your kittys condition. Your vet can advise you on what signs to look for to figure out if the psyllium is working or if you should stop giving it to your pet.
Experts note that psyllium fiber is often best used on a short-term basis. Including it in your pets diet long-term might cause it to lose its effectiveness. Your vet will be able to guide you when it comes to how and when to use psyllium fiber. And if your kitty is dealing with chronic constipation, know that there are also other strategies that you could implement to help restore and maintain digestive health.
Choose A Diet With Prebiotic Ingredients
Prebiotics are ingredients in the diet which feed the healthy bacteria of the gut. These good bacteria produce compounds which have been linked to gastrointestinal health. Examples of prebiotic-containing ingredients include cranberries, apples, and carrots.
Remember that these ingredients are incorporated into your cats pet food in a balanced way- dont add them as fresh ingredients without checking with your vet first.
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Metamucil Dosage For Cats
The starting dose for cats is ¼ teaspoon once daily for cats under 8 pounds and ¼ teaspoon twice daily for cats eight pounds and over.
If you dont notice an improvement, you can increase the dose .
You should see an improvement in the stools within a few days if it is going to be effective. Metamucil is very safe in cats. If too much is given, cats may experience abdominal pain and/or diarrhea.
If you see these signs developing, reduce the dose or discontinue completely. Psyllium is also available in a capsule form.
The capsules may contain 500mg or 1000mg, so make sure you read the bottle carefully. The average cat over 8 pounds should receive 500mg per day. You can either give the capsule whole or open the capsule and mix it with food.
Cats under 8 pounds should receive 250mg psyllium per day. Since it is not available in this strength, you can open the capsule and mix approximately ½ of the powder in the capsule with food.
How Can I Add Fiber To My Cats Diet
Switching to a cat food with high fiber thats made for digestive support is the easiest way. Dont give your cat fiber supplements or fiber-rich people food.
This can cause everything from diabetes to toxicity. If your cat is showing signs of constipation, diarrhea or digestive distress, talk to a vet to rule out any serious conditions that wont be helped simply through a high-fiber diet.
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Which Fiber To Look For In Diets
Each pet must be considered individually when considering the amounts of each of types of fibers in the various commercially available diets not all pets with the same condition respond similarly to nutritional management. For example, low fat, highly digestible diets are commonly recommended for intestinal disease 1 however, one study in cats demonstrated that dietary fat content did not affect clinical outcome.7
In general, diseases affecting the large intestine may best be managed by trying diets higher in insoluble fibers, while diseases affecting the small intestine may benefit from the addition of soluble fibers. If it is unclear which type of fiber may be helpful, a moderate mixed fiber diet can be used for an initial trial. In addition, contacting a board-certified veterinary nutritionist to formulate a balanced, home-cooked diet could also be elected by owners who would like more control over fiber sources and content.
What Is Cat Diarrhea
Unfortunately, diarrhea is a universal problem for all mammals. As we know its no picnic, and Im sure cats agree. Its sad to see your cat in discomfort or pain from diarrhea, so what exactly is going on? Is cat diarrhea anything more than loose feces? Allow us to explain this messy subject.
Like humans, your cats digestive tract is built up of different sections. Their colon is the last part of their gastrointestinal tract. Food material that enters the colon has been largely digested meaning, its pretty much fecal matter. Part of the colons job is to absorb vital fluids from feces and further process waste for elimination.
Essentially, if your cats colon absorbs enough liquid, then their feces will come out solid and healthy. If they dont absorb enough water, then the feces will have a higher volume of liquid and it will come out wet or loose . Diarrhea tends to happen when the body tries to expel fecal matter too quickly.
Although diarrhea comes from the colon , it doesnt necessarily mean something is wrong with the colon. It could be from a number of things, paying attention to what type of diarrhea your cat has could prove useful for you or your veterinarian.
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Royal Canin Digestive Care Dry Cat Food 6 Lb Bag
Royal Canin Digestive high fiber cat food for diarrhea led to 95% improvement in stool quality in chronic diarrhea sufferers.
It contains psyllium fiber and probiotics both of which are highly beneficial in improving gut health in cats.
Royal Canin contains an optimal blend of fibers and probiotics shaped into ring-sized kibble that slows down speed of eating in fast eaters. This can also result in better digestion.
Food Intolerances & Food Allergies
Food intolerances and food allergies can also cause diarrhea in cats. Pet parents may not realize that, like people, their feline can develop allergies.
In many cases, food intolerances and food allergies is at the root of chronic diarrhea, which occurs intermittently over long periods of time.
Interestingly, allergies in cats can develop when the cat is fed the same food for too long.
Feeding your feline the same protein every day may, over time, cause gut inflammation and lead to food allergies. Finding new ways to switch up your cats food is a wonderful way to prevent GI inflammation, thus preventing allergies and cat diarrhea.
A telltale sign that your cat may have allergies is overall good health, except for the allergy.
Are your cats energy levels normal? Is your cat at a healthy weight? Does diarrhea occur intermittently without a major life change?
You may want to consider the possibility of food allergies and switch their food. Again, make this change gradually!
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Traits Of The Best Cat Foods For Diarrhea
When looking at all these different cat foods, its easy to get lost in the advertising. Every food claims its the best for cats with sensitive stomachs, so how do you tell which one is actually the best? Of course, you could test every one of these blends, but not only would that be time-consuming and expensive, but it might also be really hard on your cat. Instead, compare the following traits. These are common to all of the best cat foods for diarrhea, so you cant go wrong choosing a cat food that meets all or most of these qualifications.
What Are Some Causes Of Diarrhea
Diarrhea is not a disease in itself but a clinical sign that may reflect one or more of many different problems. Most involve some degree of inflammation of one or more areas of the gastrointestinal tract. The GI tract is the continuous tube that moves food from mouth to anus. Infectious agents, such as bacteria, viruses, coccidia, and intestinal worms, or non-infectious irritants, such as chemical toxins or poisonous plants are some of the more common causes of inflammation. Food intolerances or allergies to specific ingredients of a diet can also be responsible for diarrhea.
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Some soft stool or diarrhea in cats is common with dietary changes or the stress of adapting to a new environment. If your cat has had a small amount of diarrhea once or twice, and if no other symptoms are present it is acceptable to be patient and continue to monitor him/her. Continued, frequent or large amounts of diarrhea can be a sign of something more serious and could lead to dehydration and weight loss.
Why Feed A High Fiber Diet To Your Cat
Most people looking to serve a high fiber cat food are doing it because their cat has some sort of gastrointestinal issue. Most commonly constipation or diarrhea.
Both issues may be solved with the addition of more fiber in the diet.
But its important to learn about the different kind of fibers, because if you choose a cat food with the wrong type, you may actually make the constipation or diarrhea worse!
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Judging Urgency Of Treatment
Small-sized adult cats, along with kittens and senior cats, are at special risk of becoming dehydrated from even a single episode of diarrhea. Use this checklist to determine if you need to rush to your veterinarian or can wait a day.
Understanding Diarrhea In Cats
Diarrhea is loose stools, and it’s not a common occurrence in healthy cats. Your first clue that there is something up with your cat is noticing an increased volume of feces in your cat’s litter box when you go to clean it out.
The first thing you want to do is to monitor your cat and try and find out the severity of your cat’s diarrhea and whether or not it’s an ongoing issue. If you notice it going away rather quickly, it was most likely a reaction to something your cat drank or ate that temporarily upset their stomach and caused the diarrhea.
If the diarrhea problem persists for a week or more, it’s now entering chronic territory, and it could be a red flag that your cat isn’t reacting well to something in their diet. Cats can develop sensitivities or allergies to their foods seemingly out of the blue, and it’s one of the most common causes of ongoing diarrhea.
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How To Know When Diarrhea Is A Medical Emergency
When in doubt, call your vet or an emergency hospital for advice.