How sad and anxious we get if our kids are sick, and if it is our pets instead, the anxiety increases six-fold for these furry beings. They can’t voice their pain, and seeing them in this agony makes us feel sick. What could help us as pet parents? Having a better understanding of their habits and behavior. It is easy to treat an illness if we see visible signs of discomfort. One such prominent sign is diarrhea.
Why Does my Cat Have Diarrhea? (All About Cat Diarrhea)
Why do cats have diarrhea is the first question every cat parent gets when they see their furry friend suffering. So, before going to causes and treatment, let us see what diarrhea is, when it is normal, or when to consult a doctor.
What is Diarrhea?
The inability to absorb the nutrients in food results in frequent, uncontrollable loose stools. Diarrhea is quite common in cats. It can point out various illnesses and underlying conditions in them.
How Common is Cat Diarrhea?
Diarrhea in cats are normal, but some times it becomes worse. So, knowing your cat’s bowel routines and how many times a day it defecates helps in understanding why my cat has diarrhea. Usually, cat feces are described as neither too hard nor mushy, with a smell that doesn’t drive you out of the room.
Can Cats Cure Themselves From Diarrhea?
Not for indoor cats, in this case, wild cats treat themselves with some herbs. Cat diarrhea usually resides on its own for at most a day or two, if not, some home remedies might come in handy in case of mild diarrhea.
Diarrhea in Cats – How Serious Is It?
Consistency of stool is a determining factor in judging severity. Untreated diarrhea in old cats, pregnant cats, kittens, and cats who have undergone surgeries leads to similar death circumstances. Loose, liquid-like diarrhea is much more severe as it dehydrates the creature much more quickly, while loose stools could be classified into medium to mild, severe cases.
Symptoms or Signs of a Cat Having Diarrhea
Cats are well-equipped to use the litter box. Burying or masking their feces to protect themselves from predators comes naturally to them. Although diarrhea is a telltale of any issues, if your cat is still using the litter box or defecating outdoors, you might not notice cat having diarrhea at first. Some of the symptoms of your cat diarrhea and vomiting will be as follows:
- Soiling and staining of rear-end fur in long-tailed species.
- Loss of appetite
- Fluctuating weight leads to weight loss
- Vomiting and nausea
- Fatigue and weakness
- Pain in abdomen
- Strained defecation
- Meowing in pain
- Spotting mucus, worms, or blood in cat stool
- Frequent accidents
What Causes Diarrhea in Cats?
Diarrhea causes in cats are mainly associated with abrupt changes in their diet plan, new environment, or sudden introduction to new cat foods. Even sometimes, we have to wonder can cats get diarrhea from stress, because stress is also a factor to make your feline sick. Gradually introducing a new food while slowly decreasing the quantity of old food is a good method to eliminate chances of diarrhea. Other possible factors for what causes diarrhea in cats could be:
- Parasites-Nursed kittens are infectious to roundworms. Cats predating other wildlife are susceptible to hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms. Giving them cat dewormer medication from time to time is thus advised.
- Poisonous plants like tulips, lilies, aloe Vera, etc.
- The extreme growth of bacteria in the digestive tract
- Meticulous over-grooming leads to the formation of hairballs in the stomach.
- Food Allergies
- Consumption of rotten food
- Antibiotic Medication
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease(IBD)
- Liver disease
- Constipation in older cats
Types of Cat Diarrhea
Typically, diarrhea is either mild or severe. Mild diarrhea is resolved on its own within a day or two. If you notice any above-mentioned symptoms and diarrhea prevails for more than a few days, consulting a doctor becomes mandatory.
Bloody diarrhea in cats is dire and needs urgent attention and prompt action. Darker red or black feces indicate upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding(GI) and blood digestion, while bright red coloration feces indicate lower GI issues.
How to Stop Cat Diarrhea?
Cats that frequently defecate with signs of blood, mucus or worms will appear tired and show no interest to eat or drink. That’s when one can conclude that their kitty is suffering from diarrhea. Generally, cats overcome diarrhea on their own. If diarrhea is mild, then a few steps like changing cat food, increasing intake of fiber and electrolytes, probiotics, and offering bland cat food for diarrhea decrease should help. If the condition does not improve for more than a few days, consult a vet.
When to Consult a Vet?
If you notice these symptoms, your cat needs immediate medical attention.
- Any known health conditions or cat that is too young or old.
- No response to home remedies
- Skips meals or appetite loss for more than a day
- Bloody or darker stool
- Inflated abdomen
- Continuous vomiting
How to Identify the Cause of the Symptoms?
For easy first aid, knowing reasons for cat diarrhea helps provide quick healing and better care for your feline friends. Some of the common causes of their symptoms are listed below:
- Food intolerances, IBD: Wobbly smelly stool.
- Colitis, lack of fiber: Sticky stool with mucus.
- Parasites: Soft foamy greasy stool with blood or mucus.
- Gallbladder issues, indigestion of toxic grass: Green or discolored feces.
- Liver diseases, liver failure, zinc poisoning: Cat yellow poop.
- Overgrowth of bacteria: Yellow feces.
- Stomach-related or intestinal bleeding: Black, tarry, and runny stool.
The primary way is physical examination. A doctor would ask to get your cat’s stool tested and any other information like medical history and stool consistency, images, and texture you came across before the test. If the vet suspects an underlying illness or recent surgeries, a biopsy, ultrasound, endoscopy, or radiogram could be done to confirm.
Cat Diarrhea Treatment
Are you stressing about what can I give my cat for diarrhea? Here are some of the natural remedies for cat diarrhea you can follow. Please remember that you can give home treatment if and only if your cat has mild diarrhea. If you see no change or your cat gets worse, consult a doctor immediately for cat diarrhea treatment.
Treatment for Cat Diarrhea at Hospital
- Your cat may be hospitalized in case of dehydration. IV fluids and electrolytes could be given, and a check-up on blood platelet count could be done.
- Other methods like ultrasound and x-ray of the abdomen in case of abdominal pain to check for pancreatitis.
- A bland diet with probiotics, pain relief, anti-nausea medication, and antacids can be prescribed to retain good gut bacteria.
- Alteration in medication based upon reactions and aversions to any given medication.
- Should undergo hospitalization and immediate surgery in case of severe health conditions like cancer.
Home Remedies for Cat Diarrhea
- Offering bland food and changing any triggering diet- While withholding food for a day seems immediate action in most cases; however, it is not encouraged, as it may lead to more fatal issues by obstructing intestinal activities. Some severe issues include liver disease and hepatic lipidosis. Keep your cat away from scraps, potentially rotten or toxic food, and stick to the usual wholesome food for effective home remedies for cat diarrhea.
- Increase fiber intake in the diet- some cats’ low-fiber diets, like pumpkin, which are highly digestible, work well.
- Increase electrolyte and water intake- when reviving a dehydrated cat induce more fluids and electrolytes.
- Introducing probiotics – retaining good bacteria is necessary for maintaining a healthy intestine. Doctor-prescribed probiotics should only be used to treat your cat.
- Never give available over-the-counter cat diarrhea medicine. Always consult the vet for a speedy diagnosis and recovery.
- Changes in diet sound tempting, but always consult your cat’s doctor before making any changes. You might be delaying or undermining any grave health issues by doing so.
How to Clean Cat Diarrhea?
- Use a disinfectant and wear gloves to clean the litter box and soiled areas.
- Clean cats’ rears with antibacterial wipes if got soiled and dried up
- Take the stool sample, and there are high chances your cats’ vet might ask for a sample.
- Keep any pets and children away, and practice hygiene at all times.
How to Prevent Cat Diarrhea?
We cannot completely govern what our cats have outside our house, but we should look for cat-friendly measures that reduce the chances of developing diarrhea. Surely this symptom could point out many unidentified diseases in your cat, but we could avoid some agony for them with these steps.
- On-time vaccination and deworming
- Remove any known cat allergens like poisonous and toxic plants.
- Avoiding too many treats
- Moderate introduction to new food and environment
Just like human stool, your pet’s stool could determine its health condition to a large extent. Undetected and unnoticed underlying health conditions surfaced and could be treated because of diarrhea. Neglecting this condition could aggravate their health. Diarrhea is miserable for your pet and you as their pet parent, but knowing that it is treatable if intervened at the right time is comforting.