Are you worried about your cat’s or kitten’s diarrhea? You’re not alone!
Diarrhea is a common ailment in cats but can signify a more serious underlying condition. Whether your feline friend is dealing with an upset stomach or a chronic illness, taking the appropriate steps to help them feel better is essential.
This article shares tips about cat diarrhea: what to do and what NOT to do to help your furry friend feel their best. From consulting with your veterinarian to encouraging water intake, these tips will help you confidently navigate the world of cat diarrhea. So, let’s get started on understanding and tackling cat and kitten diarrhea together!
Here are ten tips about cat diarrhea: the do’s and don’ts:
#1: Don’t Attempt To Medicate Your Cat
Do not treat diarrhea at home. For proper cat care, consult your vet. Your cat may be poisoned by over-the-counter and “natural” diarrhea remedies. Avoid changing your cat’s food to treat diarrhea. Even if a meal adjustment fixes the condition, the underlying issue remains. Your cat may be delayed in diagnosis and treatment.
Human medications are not safe for cats. Cats are not mini-humans. Therefore solutions that work for us may not work for them. Before giving your cat any medication, talk to your vet because some human drugs are hazardous to cats.
When your pet has diarrhea, you want to help them. Before reaching for that bottle of human anti-diarrheal medication, remember that cats are not little humans, and what works for us may not work for them. Human anti-diarrheal medicine can kill cats. Before giving your cat any medication, even over-the-counter, consult your vet.
Your vet can advise you on safe and effective cat medications, including feline-specific ones. Diarrhea might be a sign of a more severe ailment. Therefore it’s crucial to treat the reason rather than the symptoms. Your vet can diagnose and treat your cat’s diarrhea. Preventing cat diarrhea is better than treating it. To give your cat the best care, talk to your vet.
#2: DO Consult with the Vet Immediately
If your cat is showing signs of diarrhea, it’s crucial to consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible. Your veterinarian can work through possible causes by examining your cat and pursuing various diagnostic tests.
The earlier this process is started, the better the outcome for your cat. Antibiotics are powerful tools in fighting off bacterial infections. Still, they can also have unwanted side effects, especially regarding your feline friend. Cats have a unique digestive system, so antibiotics may not be well-tolerated and can cause diarrhea.
It’s important to remember that antibiotics should only be used when they are no other options. Before giving your cat any medication, you must talk to your veterinarian. They will help you evaluate if antibiotics are necessary and what the best course of therapy is for your cat. But remember, antibiotics can also harm your cat’s gut health, disrupting the delicate balance of beneficial bacteria in their gut.
So, it’s always best to try other treatment methods before resorting to antibiotics. Your veterinarian may recommend dietary changes, probiotics, or other supplements to help soothe your cat’s diarrhea. So, next time your cat has diarrhea, don’t hesitate to consult your veterinarian for the best treatment for your feline friend.
#3: Don’t Make Sudden Changes in Diet
Cats are creatures of habit, and sudden changes in their diet can be a recipe for disaster, especially regarding their digestive system. If your cat is suffering from diarrhea, the last thing you want to do is make any sudden changes to its diet. Such changes can trigger an upset stomach and make their diarrhea worse. Instead, it’s best to gradually transition from the old food to the new one over 7-10 days. This will give your cat’s digestive system time to adjust and will minimize the chances of any digestive symptoms.
It’s also important to remember that not all foods are safe for cats. Some human foods, such as chocolate and grapes, can be toxic to cats and should be avoided at all costs. Some treats can also cause diarrhea, so it’s best to stick to your cat’s regular diet and avoid unnecessary risks.
You should consult your veterinarian before changing your cat’s diet. They will be able to help you determine the diet that is most suitable for your cat and ensure that your pet is receiving the appropriate nutrition.
They can also help you evaluate the cause of your cat’s diarrhea and provide the appropriate treatment options. So, when it comes to your cat’s diet, it’s always best to play it safe and stick to what works. Consult your veterinarian and follow their advice to ensure your cat gets the best possible care and treatment.
#4: DO Take Away Potentially Toxic Items
Further Reading: 21 Plants Toxic to Cats You Need To Know
Many cats love to chew on things that aren’t food, like cardboard or toys. Still, if these items are swallowed, they irritate the digestive tract or even become lodged in the intestine, creating a dangerous obstruction. This can cause diarrhea because liquid may seep around it while the block prevents solid feces from moving through the intestines.
String, yarn, ribbons, elastics, and similar items are particularly hazardous because of the tiny barbs on a cat’s tongue, which point towards the throat to pull food in. Once a piece of yarn or fabric gets caught on those barbs, it’s tough for your cat to avoid swallowing it. The length that extends into the digestive system can cause severe internal injuries if one end gets lodged and anchored in the mouth.
Playing with string is an excellent exercise for your cat. Still, it’s essential to supervise whenever anything string-like is around. Keep a close eye on your cat when playing with string-like toys, and take them away as soon as they’re done to prevent any potential hazards.
Remember, keeping your cat safe and healthy is the most important thing, including keeping potentially toxic items out of reach. So, next time you see your cat playing with something that could cause harm, don’t hesitate to take it away. Your cat will thank you for it!
#5: DO Keep an Eye Out for Additional Illnesses
In addition to diarrhea, it’s essential to keep an eye out for other symptoms of illness in your cat, such as vomiting, lethargy, and loss of appetite. Diarrhea can signify a more serious underlying condition, so it’s crucial to be aware of these signs. Make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible if you observe any other disease symptoms besides diarrhea.
Several illnesses and health conditions can cause chronic diarrhea in cats, including infections caused by certain bacteria such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Clostridium perfringens, as well as viral infections like feline panleukopenia, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), and Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV). Other conditions that commonly cause diarrhea include hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), pancreatitis, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, liver dysfunction, Vitamin B12 deficiency, and lymphoma.
It’s important to note that chronic diarrhea can signify a severe underlying condition and should not be ignored. If you see no improvement in your cat’s diarrhea within two to three days of initiating therapy, contact your veterinarian to check for potential complicating factors.
Keeping an eye out for additional symptoms and consulting with your veterinarian can help ensure that your cat receives the appropriate treatment and prevents any severe complications.
#6: DON’T Expose Your Cat to Parasites
Parasites are not just a nuisance. They can cause serious harm to your furry friend. Some common parasites that infect cats include flatworms, roundworms, and hookworms. These parasites can irritate the gastrointestinal tract and cause diarrhea, as well as other symptoms such as vomiting, a dull coat, and dehydration. Not only that, but these parasites can also cause long-term health issues if left untreated.
Parasites can be contracted through contaminated soil, water, and contact with other infected animals. It’s essential to keep your cat’s environment clean and free of contamination to protect your cat from parasites. You should regularly clean their litter box, provide fresh water, and keep their food bowls clean.
Another way to protect your cat from parasites is by regularly having them checked by a veterinarian. Your vet can perform stool tests to check for the presence of parasites. If any are found, they can recommend the appropriate treatment to eliminate them.
In addition to regular vet check-ups, it’s also essential to consider parasite prevention methods such as monthly flea, tick, and worming treatments. These preventative measures can help keep your cat safe from parasites and provide peace of mind for you as a pet owner.
#7: DON’T Withhold Food For Over 24 Hours
When treating your cat’s diarrhea, it’s important to remember that prevention is better than cure. One thing that you should avoid doing is withholding food from your cat. While fasting your cat for a few hours may be recommended for vomiting, it’s unlikely to help diarrhea. It can do more harm than good.
Never keep a cat from eating for more than 24 hours. It’s brutal, barbaric, and can cause cats’ deadly liver disease. Cats need food to recuperate, and deprivation can damage their liver and other organs, making them more susceptible to significant health conditions. Cats aren’t little humans, so what works for us may not work for them. To treat your cat’s diarrhea, consult your vet. Your vet may suggest dietary adjustments, probiotics, or other supplements to treat your cat’s diarrhea.
To help your cat recover quickly and securely, provide fresh water and a balanced diet. Diarrhea might signify a more severe illness, so check your cat’s health and behavior. Call your vet immediately if your cat’s diarrhea doesn’t improve within two to three days of treatment or if you notice any other symptoms.
Remember that cats are sensitive and need our attention. To ensure your cat receives the best care for diarrhea, speak with your veterinarian. Always be cautious with your cat’s health!
#8: DO Consider Fiber and Prebiotics
Adding particular sources of fiber to your cat’s diet can be a great way to improve diarrhea. One of the best fiber types for cats with diarrhea is prebiotic fiber, such as inulin and psyllium. These fibers work by absorbing excess water in the intestines and providing food for the beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract. This can help to soothe the digestive system and promote regular bowel movements.
A minimal amount of fiber in your cat’s diet is essential. Cats can be sensitive to changes in their diet, so introducing too much fiber too quickly can worsen diarrhea. Gradually increasing the amount of fiber over time can help your cat adjust and be more effective in the long run.
It’s always a good idea to consult your veterinarian before changing your cat’s diet. They can help you determine the best sources of fiber and can advise you on how much to give your cat.
They can also help you to rule out any underlying medical conditions that may be causing diarrhea and can provide appropriate treatment options.
#9: DO Test Your Cat’s Gut Health
Diarrhea can often signify that your cat’s gut health is out of balance. Identifying the cause of this imbalance is crucial in treating it. One way to do this is by conducting a gut health test, which involves microbiological testing to determine the state of your cat’s digestive tract. By identifying all the bacteria in your cat’s gut, a gut health test can determine whether those bacterial populations are balanced compared to healthy cats’ gut microbiomes.
There are many potential causes of gut microbiome imbalances. A diet that’s too high in carbohydrates can cause certain bacteria groups, like Firmicutes, to grow so numerous that they crowd out other vital groups.
A course of antibiotics can kill off many beneficial gut bacteria and the harmful bacteria it’s meant to treat. Certain chronic illnesses, including some cancers, continually disrupt the bacterial populations in the gut, leading to ongoing imbalances.
Conducting a microbiological exam can help you determine the state of your cat’s digestive tract and better understand what’s going on inside. It can also help you identify any imbalances that may be present. It will also give you a starting point for making necessary changes in your cat’s diet or treatment plan. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if a gut health test is needed for your cat and to determine the best course of treatment for its specific condition.
#10: Do Encourage Water Intake
It’s essential to keep your cat hydrated during diarrhea. Diarrhea can cause dehydration, which can lead to serious health problems. Keep your cat’s water bowls filled with fresh, clean water, and consider adding an extra bowl that contains diluted chicken or beef broth. This can help to entice your cat to drink more water and replenish the fluids they are losing.
Another easy way to increase your cat’s water intake is to switch them from kibble to a canned diet. Canned food contains more moisture than kibble, which can help to keep your cat hydrated. You can also mix an extra tablespoon or two of warm water into your cat’s canned food to encourage them to drink more.
It’s also important to keep an eye out for signs of dehydration, such as a dry mouth, sunken eyes, and a decrease in skin elasticity. If you notice these signs, take your cat to the vet immediately.
Encourage your cat to drink more water and electrolyte to prevent dehydration. Provide fresh water and broth, and consider switching to a canned diet. Be aware of signs of dehydration and consult your veterinarian if necessary.
In conclusion, cat diarrhea can be a frustrating and worrisome experience for you and your feline friend. However, the tips outlined in this article can help your cat feel better and prevent any severe complications. Remember, the most important thing is to consult your veterinarian and follow their advice.
Don’t try to medicate your cat at home, don’t make sudden changes in diet, and encourage water intake. With proper care and treatment, your cat can quickly recover from diarrhea and return to their happy, healthy self. And remember, when it comes to your cat’s health, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
So, don’t hesitate to contact your vet if you have concerns about your cat’s diarrhea or other health issues. Happy cat-parenting!