What Can I Feed My Cat With Diarrhea
If a cat is experiencing diarrhea, VCA Hospitals states that a vet may advise a pet owner to withhold food for 24 hours. Either this or switch to a low-fiber and easily digestible diet.
Water should never be withheld and should always be out and available.
In some cases, pet owners can feed their cats a bland diet made at home, such as boiled rice or pasta with boneless skinless chicken.
For advice on the best diet to feed a cat with diarrhea, consult with your veterinarian.
When To Contact Your Vet
If your cat has had mild diarrhoea for less than 24 hours, but is otherwise fine , you may want to try settling them at home before contacting your vet . However, if he/she doesnt improve within 24 hours, gets any worse, or develops any other symptoms you should contact your vet for advice. Always speak to your vet if you have an elderly cat or kitten with diarrhoea because they are more at risk of becoming dehydrated.
How Is The Cause Of Diarrhea Determined
It is important to provide your veterinarian with a detailed medical history. Ideally you should write this out in chronological order before you go to the clinic. Be as detailed as possible on the date you first noticed a problem, and the progression of the clinical signs. Was there any change in your cats diet such as a new bag of food? Note what diets and treats your pet has eaten in the last 1-2 weeks. Note any changes in the normal routine of your cat or your household. How frequent are the stools? What is the color, consistency, and smell of the feces? Is the cat showing any other signs such as vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, or loss of weight? To help you put this history together, please see the handout “Diarrhea Questionnaire and Checklist for Cats”.
Your veterinarian will usually ask you to bring a representative sample of fresh fecal material with you to your appointment. Besides a thorough clinical exam, your veterinarian may recommend additional diagnostic tests. In mild cases of diarrhea, these tests may be deferred unless initial treatment fails or the condition worsens. In-depth diagnostic tests may include blood work, stool, and rectal swab samples for parasite examination, DNA testing and culture, radiographs , and endoscope exam.
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When Should You Call Your Veterinarian For Cat Diarrhea
If you changed your cats diet in any way and shes experiencing diarrhea, consider extending the transition to the new food over several more days.
Monitor your cat for changes in behavior and demeanor. If there are other symptoms or your cats diarrhea does not resolve, there may be other issues your veterinarian will want to examine.
If there have been no dietary changes, again, monitor your cats behavior and demeanor. If shes lethargic, not eating well, not drinking well, has vomiting or any other unusual symptoms, call your veterinarian.
Even with no other symptoms, if the diarrhea lasts several days, check with your veterinarian. In addition to tracking your cats symptoms for her appointment, also note the frequency of her bowel movements and appearance.
What To Do If Your Cat Has Diarrhea
As soon as you notice your feline has diarrhea, you should assess their behavior. Determine how they are feeling by observing their energy levels and watching their appetite. Look out for additional symptoms like vomiting and bloody stools, and be sure to examine the color of your cats stools. Diarrhea can often resolve on its own after a few hours with no other symptoms, but if it is prolonged, along with other symptoms that are out of the norm then you should consult your vet right away.
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Diarrhea Treatment Depends Upon Severity
When questioning how to help a kitten with diarrhea, the first priority is to determine how severe the diarrhea appears to be. If your kitten has had a few episodes of slightly soft stool, and is otherwise up to date on veterinary care, you can likely monitor your kitten at home while feeding a consistent, high-quality diet. If your kitten is experiencing severe diarrhea, lethargy, vomiting, or other signs of illness, however, you need to seek veterinary care as soon as possible to prevent dehydration and other significant complications.
Dr. Barnette is a graduate of the University of Florida, where she received both her B.S. in Zoology and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine . She has 15 years of clinical experience as a small animal veterinarian, treating dogs, cats, and occasional exotic patients. She now works as a freelance veterinary writer, creating educational content for veterinarians, veterinary team members, and dedicated pet owners. Dr. Barnette lives in southwest Florida with her husband and daughter and enjoys kayaking, biking, and hiking. Learn more about Dr. Barnette at .
My Cat Has Chronic Diarrhea Will It Get Better
Chronic diarrhea that has been present longer than two to three weeks may prove more difficult to diagnose and treat effectively. Even extensive work-up does not always provide a definitive answer to the problem. However, in most cases a thorough clinical work-up, including food trials, can result in successful management of the diarrhea.
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Cat Diarrhea: 5 Treatment Options You Should Try
What do you do when you find diarrhea in the litter boxor worse yet, when your cat doesnt quite make it to the litter box? An immediate call to the veterinarian might be in order, but sometimes you might want to try some home treatment first. Heres how to respond when your cat develops diarrhea.
How Does Diarrhea Affect The Health Of A Cat
Diarrhea can make a cat feel unwell, and it can also cause serious problems in the body.
In addition to making a cat feel miserable and yucky, diarrhea causes lots of problems in lots of body systems in addition to the digestive system. Severe diarrhea causes dehydration and electrolyte imbalances that can negatively impact the cardiovascular system, the endocrine system, the musculoskeletal system, and a cats overall metabolism.
Furthermore, cats with chronic diarrhea can experience severe weight loss and litter box problems, such as defecating outside the litter box. This puts cats at risk of losing their home or even their life to euthanasia in severe cases.
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What If Home Treatment Doesn’t Work
When in doubt, when concerned, or when the diarrhea extends beyond a day or two, despite your best at-home efforts, your best bet is to have your cat and their poo evaluated by your veterinarian.
No amount of internet searching and no number of trial and error home remedy attempts can compete with the comprehensive history taking, thorough physical examination, diagnostic testing, and the ability to prescribe safe and effective medications or supplements that only your veterinarian can offer.
Chronic Diarrhea In Cats
Causes of chronic diarrhea include:
Poorly managed metabolic or endocrine disease
Chronic diarrhea is of particular concern because it can cause life-threatening complications. Long-lasting diarrhea that is resistant to treatment can often be multifactorial, with multiple treatments needed for complete resolution.
If no improvement is seen in your cats diarrhea within two to three days of initiating therapy, you should contact your veterinarian to check for potential complicating factors.
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Things To Know About Kitten Diarrhea
When Does Cat Diarrhea Need Veterinary Attention
Assess the severity of your cats diarrhea and his overall condition when trying to decide if he should see a veterinarian. If your cat has relatively mild diarrhea, is not vomiting, is eating and drinking, and doesnt seem to feel too bad, its reasonable to try some home treatment. If, on the other hand, any of the following describes your cats condition, call your veterinarian immediately:
- Your cat is very young, very old, or has an underlying health problem that could make him vulnerable to the effects of dehydration.
- Your cat is vomiting, lethargic, depressed, in pain, or has any other worrisome symptoms.
- The diarrhea is profuse, watery, explosive, or very frequent.
- The diarrhea contains blood or is dark and tarry.
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Dealing With Kitten Diarrhea
Growing up, we never had fewer than eight cats, so I am very familiar with all their behaviors, as well as their physical ailments. One of those ailments is diarrhea. Ugh. Even kittens cant make diarrhea cute. Unfortunately, kittens can develop diarrhea for no apparent reason, and it may take detective work by both you and your veterinarian to determine the cause. As a veterinarian for more than 20 years, and chief of staff at Animal House of Chicago, I have treated many cases of diarrhea in kittens, cats in age from birth through 6 months. In my experience, the most common causes are dietary indiscretion , a sudden change in diet and parasites.
When Should I Bring My Kitten To The Veterinarian
Diarrhea in a kitten can be either a very minor over lapse or a significantly major issue. If your precious kitten still seems to be exhibiting the same and prior symptoms as before, you might need to consider professional advice.You will need to watch your kitten for twenty-four hours, to see if conditions are persisting, along with other symptoms like lethargy, loss of appetite, consumption of a toxin, or sign of blood in the stool. If you witness such a state in your precious little kitten, you should take urgent action.
Your fragile kitten can be at severe life-threatening risk through further symptoms of diarrhea, such as electrolyte depletion and dehydration. In such a case, you must seek out and visit a veterinarian for immediate attention. You can bring a poop sample as well, if possible for further tests.
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Treatments & How Nutrition Impacts Diarrhea
Treating diarrhea depends on its underlying cause. There are many available treatments for diarrhea that may be recommended by your vet depending on a variety of factors. However, nutrition plays a key role in managing this condition.
Nutrition plays a significant role in a healthy cat stool. Poor nutrition may lead to chronic diarrhea, so an assessment of your cat’s nutrition will be conducted by your vet. They may recommend switching cat foods as a course of treatment. A lower-fat food or food richer in complex carbohydrates and digestible complex carbohydrates with added fiber may be recommended.
Chronic cases of diarrhea are typically treated with special meal plans alongside medications. In many cases, your veterinarian will recommend nutritional therapy for the rest of the cat’s life to help maintain proper digestion for conditions that cannot be outright cured. Your vet may recommend a therapeutic cat food that is specially formulated to help with digestion and diarrhea. Many cases of chronic GI disease in cats respond well to a highly digestible food with added prebiotic fibers. This category of GI disease is called ‘food-responsive enteropathy.
In cases where food allergies are a concern, a series of nutritional trials may be necessary to determine the cat’s ideal meal plan. Hydrolyzed foods or novel protein foods are commonly recommended for these cats.
What Your Veterinarian Is Likely To Do
It is important to regularly monitor your cat’s bathroom habits. This is the advantage of litter boxes!
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How Can I Prevent Cat Diarrhea
There is no single way to prevent diarrhea in cats. However, there are certain things pet owners can do to keep their cats gut health at an optimal level, thus decreasing the risk of cat diarrhea.
- Making the Right Dietary Choices. By right choices, we mean feeding high-quality food made for cats, practicing gradual diet changes, and ensuring constant access to drinking water.
- Keeping a Close Eye on Cat Health. It is always a good idea to check your cats litter box for evidence of poop issues. Cats often mask signs of illness which is why it is important to be proactive.
- Regular Deworming and Vaccination. It is critical that you keep your cat up-to-date on its dewormers and vaccines. This can help prevent diarrhea as well as other more severe conditions.
Staying on top of your cats health and ensuring high-quality veterinary care can be costly. It would be helpful to have a good pet insurance plan. We recommend OneVet as it gives 24/7 access to online vets and $3.000 in emergency funds. Plus, the plan covers up to 6 pets and does not exclude pets with pre-existing conditions. All that is for $19.99 a month.
Can Kitten Diarrhea Go Away On Its Own
Depending on the cause, yes. If you change their diet to something that doesn’t upset their stomach or doesn’t aggravate an allergy, eventually food-caused diarrhea will stop. If the cause is a virus like rotavirus or feline enteric coronavirus, the diarrhea should stop when the virus runs its course.
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Dietary Causes Of Kitten Diarrhea
- Cows Milk
Cows milk is a prime cause of kitten diarrhea because kittens cant digest it. Milk is probably the most common thing that people give to kittens that causes diarrhea. Everyone thinks thats what they need, but its not. It will affect them very quickly, says Dr. Mears.
So nix the milk! Instead, after weaning , use a kitten milk replacer mixed with kitten food. By 6 weeks of age, kittens can be fed dry and canned kitten food.
- New Diet
When adopting a kitten, its a good idea to ask about their current eating habits. To avoid the potential for intestinal issues, you can either continue to feed your kitten the same diet or gradually introduce your preferred food over several days. Before switching cat food, consult your veterinarian and make the change gradually. Mix a little more of the new food in with the old food each time. This will allow your kittens sensitive stomach to slowly adapt to the new food.
Then, keep an eye on that litter box. If you cant learn what your kittens diet was before bringing her home, ask your veterinarian to suggest a diet to give your kitten a great start in its new home.
- Food Allergies
Food allergies, overfeeding, or eating inedible items can also cause diarrhea in kittens. Items like bones, fabrics, or kitty litter can create intestinal blockages if swallowed.
While a poor diet is one of the most common reasons kittens suffer from diarrhea, there are other possible causes as well.
What Can You Give A Cat For Diarrhea
Most cats with acute diarrhea usually only have one episode of diarrhea, are fine afterwards and require no treatment. Cats with mild diarrhea may be managed with only feeding a fat-restricted, easily digested food, either homecooked chicken and rice or a therapeutic diet until normal stools are seen.
If this doesn’t clear up the problem within a day, then your vet can prescribe probiotics that can be mixed into your cat’s food and antidiarrheal drugs.
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What Is Cat Diarrhea
Diarrhea is defined as stool that is softer, looser or more watery than it should be. Cats with diarrhea may defecate more frequently than usual, have accidents in the house, and may pass blood, mucus or even parasites in their feces.
Though most cases of cat diarrhea resolve in a matter of hours or days without intervention, cats who have it for more than a few days, or that show more severe signs , should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
It’s important to note that smaller cats and kittens with diarrhea are especially susceptible to dehydration, so they should always be evaluated by a vet.