Diarrhea in cats is very unpleasant stomach upset. Not only people suffer from this disease but also animals including cats. Symptoms of diarrhea in cats are frequent defecation, with liquid faeces which is less than usual. Color of the faeces during diarrhea in cats can have black or red shade in case of bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract. Besides this there are some other symptoms of diarrhea, such as nausea, lack of appetite, abdominal pain and dehydration. These factors will cause a cat’s stress and trouble for the owner. That is why starting the treatment of diarrhea in cats is necessary as soon as you notice the symptoms.
What causes diarrhea in cats
Under normal conditions the cat’s faeces is a little wet, a little soft and has “a shape.” The faeces color is dark brown. The frequency of defecation of healthy cat is 1-2 times per day. If the cat’s faeces softens, loose its shape and became watery, these are the signs of diarrhea. In most cases diarrhea in cats happens because of disorders in digestive system which are caused by the spoiled food eaten by cat. Food wastes are poorly digested by cat’s stomach. Also diarrhea can occur when you change food for your cat (in this case a cat will have to adapt to new food).
In some situations diarrhea begins due to travel sickness during a long-term trip, a wrong diet and stresses (like the appearance of new animals in the house or a visit to the vet). However all the above mentioned reasons of diarrhea are easy to remove; much worse when diarrhea is a symptom of diseases of your cat. So let’s learn some feline diseases which cause diarrhea:
- Worms (roundworms, giardia, trichomoniasis, coccidiosis);
- Viral infections (leukemia, panleukopenia, infectious peritonitis);
- Bacterial infections (Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridium);
- Fungi bacteria;
- Intestinal obstruction;
- Kidney and liver disorders;
Some of these diseases are extremely serious but there’s no reason to panic. As we have already mentioned in most cases diarrhea is caused by digestive disorders so it can be cured even at home. If our tips and instructions do not help you should contact your veterinarian. But before we consider how to treat diarrhea in cats let’s learn how to diagnose the type of diarrhea.
What are the symptoms of diarrhea in cats
Depending on the color the cat’s faeces, you can determine its possible reason. Let’s consider the stool kinds and reasons of them:
- Yellow stool indicates bad digestion of food. But if it is very saturated, almost orange, it indicates an excess of bilirubin and liver disorder;
- Green stool shows putrefaction in the intestines. The most likely reason is that the animal has eaten rotten food;
- White stool is an evident of obstruction of bile on its way to the bowels. This symptom is bad;
- Diarrhea from milk is not scary. The reason for this diarrhea in adult cats is a small number of specific ferments responsible for the digestion of milk (the number decreases with age);
- Frequent diarrhea in cats (more than five times a day) may indicate the intensity of a disease or rectum disorder;
- Cat has diarrhea and vomites – food poisoning is possible. If these symptoms last for quite a long time it is necessary to examine the animal by a veterinarian;
- Bloody stools in cats may indicate a serious illness. If possible it is better to consult a veterinarian;
Mucus stools in cats most likely indicate inflammation of the colon;
- Diarrhea after vaccination: probably a cat had some kind of hidden disease and its symptoms revealed now. The vaccination by itself does not cause diarrhea.
- Diarrhea in a cat can be caused by all of the above reasons so the treatment will be the same.
Well, we have reviewed the kinds of diarrhea in cats. Let’s get down to the specifics of the treatment of each of these types.
Cat diarrhea treatment
Before treating diarrhea in cats take a closer look and analyze how you recently fed your cat. If among food there was raw fish or liver, fat meat or sour milk it is likely that they caused indigestion and diarrhea. In this case simply eliminate this food from the cat’s diet and temporarily put the animal on a diet. If the stool is liquid this can also be the reason of overfeeding. It is necessary to reduce the portions and frequency of feeding.
If diarrhea occurs in a kitten while you have just started to change the food or the new-bought kitten feels all right then diarrhea will pass. The body of a small pet will get used to the new food. If the diarrhea continues even after you stopped giving the new food the disease is probably caused by parasites. In this case it is necessary to begin treatment from worms or to show it to the vet.
If our tips do not help but cat does not have any other symptoms besides diarrhea (fever, animal lethargy) you should start active treatment. It consists in putting a cat on cleansing for a period of one day (in case of a kitten – 12 hours). This cat should always have access to fresh and clean boiled water (not hot of course). In addition, you have to give the animal activated charcoal (twice a day, one tablet per 10 kg body weight). Note that many cat breeds (like Toyger, Himalayan cat, etc.) weigh only 4-5 kg, and therefore only a half tablet should be given at a time.
The procedure is the following: the tablet is dissolved in boiling water, the received solution is taken into a syringe (without a needle); then you need to lift the animal’s head and holding her chin insert the syringe between the teeth and pour medication into her mouth. Also you can give your cat a chamomile tea or St. John’s wort (the procedure is similar).
After cleansing fast you should feed a cat with only with easily digested food. The following products suit: boiled egg yolk, boiled chicken and boiled rice. Of course you can feed a cat with special therapeutic food for cats. Most manufacturers have such food in their assortments. Here you can read about how to choose the right food for cats. Note that a medical food must be designed specifically for the treatment of digestive disorders, so choose carefully. The site “Because cats” also recommends that the first day after fasting you give a cat only half of the usual portions and the full one only after a complete recovery of the animal.
When do you need to take your cat to the vet?
If a cat diarrhea lasts longer than a day or there is blood or mucus stool, you have to seek help from the vet. Also the signs to go to the vet are an evident weakness, cat plaintive meowing (indication of severe pain), vomiting, fever and cramps. After last symptoms occur together with stool, you need to show the animal to the vet as quickly as possible. The specialist will be able to do necessary tests to diagnose and prescribe treatment.
Kitten diarrhea treatment
Treatment of diarrhea in kittens is the same as in big cats and dogs. The only thing that we have noted, the period of fasting should not exceed 12 hours. And finally we offer a video about proper feeding of cats. Feed your cat properly and the risk of diarrhea will be minimal.