Cat Has Diarrhea But Seems Fine
Diarrhea in cats can be a frightening experience for you and your beloved kitty, and you may be able to see that he is distressed. This is typically a sign that something isn’t quite right, and you should seek medical help for him. However, if your cat has diarrhea but seems fine, it would still be wise to keep an eye on him and remain cautious.
- 1 What Causes Cat Diarrhea?
- 2 Countdown of the Food for Cats with Upset Tummys
What Causes Cat Diarrhea?
Although this isn’t the nicest of topics to be talking about, diarrhea in cats is a serious issue as it can be a sign of other underlying problems and cause dehydration.
Sudden acute diarrhea in cats has a number of causes, the most prominent being –
- Osmotic imbalances where there is too high a concentration of food in the cat’s intestine, which causes excess water to be drawn into the intestine.
- Over secretion where the intestine secretes excess fluid after being exposed to toxins and bacteria.
- Motility disorders where your cat’s intestine is contracting too quickly, and fluid which would normally be absorbed is absorbed into the faeces.
- Intestinal exudation where blood fluids ooze into the intestine’s tissue layers due to ulcers or other problems.
In addition to these internal issues, there are a number of external factors which can cause a sudden onset of feline diarrhea –
- Stress which, just like in us humans, can lead to a gastrointestinal problem. Anxiety and excitement can also be a cause of diarrhea.
- Parasites which irritate a cat’s gastrointestinal tract. This is more common in kittens who feed off of their mother’s milk, but, as already discussed, can be seen in adult cats who like to hunt vermin.
- Dietary factors such as a sudden change in food, eating inappropriate things such as grass or having a diet which is too high in dairy can all cause diarrhea in your feline friend!
When Should I be Concerned?
Healthy cats typically don’t have diarrhea, and when it shows up it is a sure-fire sign of an internal problem. However, if the diarrhea episode is short, it is not a problem and does not need any treatment, as it was likely caused by a problem in the food, water or some other transient external factor.
- Fact: Most domestic cats will get diarrhea because they are given human milk – human milk is not good for cats as their digestive systems can’t break it down. If you do give your cat human milk, stop now and invest in a kitty-friendly version!
If your cat has diarrhea but seems fine and is still playful, happy and eating as normal, you can probably safely wait to see what happens over time. Although diarrhea is not normal, it is common, and most cases are solved quickly, without intervention, when the cause has passed through your cat’s system.
When your cat has diarrhea for an extended period of time, it could be a sign of a more serious issue. Also, your cat will be losing lots of fluids which means lots of lost minerals which are vital for overall health.
If your cat has long-term diarrhea, it might be a sign of a serious issue which will need to be addressed by your veterinarian so that your kitty can be thoroughly checked.
It is especially important that you call your vet immediately if your cat has any of the following symptoms alongside his diarrhea.
- Appears to be in pain
- Bloody diarrhea or black, tarry faeces
- Yellow or pale gums
- A fever or dehydration
- Lethargy or depression
- Loss of appetite
You know your kitty best! If you are concerned, do not delay contacting your veterinarian. Even if the cause of diarrhea is not serious, it is still better to have had your kitty checked over rather than wait and let there have possibly been serious damage done.
How Can I Help Stop my Cat’s Diarrhea?
If your cat has diarrhea but seems fine, you may not need to intervene very much. With simple supportive care, you can help alleviate your cat’s diarrhea so the problem goes away quicker.
- Feeding – Although it is always good to ‘rest’ your cat’s digestive system after a period of vomiting, it is not the same story with diarrhea. Of course, you cannot starve your kitty when he’s got diarrhea; it’s important to replenish the lost moisture and minerals.
- What to feed – Opt for foods higher in fiber, and feed more regularly, but with smaller amounts, of easily digestible food. Foods low in fat and high in carbohydrates, such as potatoes, chicken, rice and turkey, are a great choice.
- Medication – Lots of people recommend giving your cat Immodium or Peptobismal – do not do this. Only give your cat medication recommended or prescribed by your veterinarian and do not assume that human medications are feline friendly!
Introducing more fiber and probiotics into your cat’s diet can help firm things up. There are great cat-friendly products which you can use, such as Metamucil and Fortiflora, and we will discuss this more later.
Make sure you keep your kitty well-watered, and keep his bowl full. Water loss is a significant concern when it come stop diarrhea, and dehydration is a very bad thing.
- A great trick to see if your cat is well hydrated is to pinch the loose skin at the back of the neck. When a cat is well-hydrated, the skin will drop right back down when you let go.
- If the skin moves back slowly or remains in position, it means your cat is dehydrated.
- Although you may think that the solution to a dehydrated cat is to give him more water, that is not wholly correct. Dehydration is a serious medical emergency which requires immediate treatment. As such, you should take your cat straight to the emergency veterinarian.
Countdown of the Food for Cats with Upset Tummys
There are plenty of products which you can buy to help alleviate your kitty’s diarrhea, and we have summarised our favourites below. These are 100% safe to give to your cat and are recommended by veterinarians all across the country.
Even if your kitty is not currently suffering from a bout of diarrhea, they are great products to have handy around the house, because your cat is bound to suffer from diarrhea at least once – they just love eating grass, after all!
Nutri-Vet Anti-Diarrhea Liquid for Cats is an easy to administer liquid which quickly helps soothe a kitty’s upset stomach.
- It serves as a detoxifying agent, which works against bacterial toxins.
- It provides immediate diarrhea relief for cats and its active ingredient, Kaolin, is 100% safe for use in felines and canines.
- Try mixing it into wet food, as the medicine is a white chalky substance which a cat is unlikely to consume on its own.
Metamucil Daily Fiber Powder Supplement is a 100% natural fiber powder.
- Metamucil’s primary ingredient, psyllium fiber, is a bulk-forming laxative which helps firm up faeces.
- It can easily be sprinkled into a cat’s wet food. It is a powder, so you cannot administer the powder alone to your cat.
- Metamucil is vet approved and is totally safe for consumption by your feline friend.
Pet Wellbeibg BM Tone-Up Gold for Cats provides natural support for a cat’s loose stools by solidifying them.
- It is certified organic and supports the immune system and gastrointestinal lining, so there is no risk of this product causing further gastrointestinal upset.
- It helps maintain more solid stools and looks after the feline intestinal tract, keeping your cat more comfortable and alleviating the symptoms of diarrhea.
Purina Fortiflora Nutritional Supplement is an easy-to-administer, probiotic supplement for cats. It tastes great, and can be easily sprinkled on your cat’s food for ease.
- It contains a source of live, naturally occurring microorganisms.
- Fortiflora is recommended as a regular nutritional supplement for cats.
How Can I Tell if my Cat has Worms?
At sometime during your cat’s life, he will almost certainly be affected by worms. It happens to pretty much every single cat. But, fear not, it is just a natural part of feline life.
It is vital that you introduce a regular worming routine into your cat’s regime, for both your cat’s health and your own.
There are lots of different intestinal worms which can infect your cat, and some of these worms can even be spread to humans! The two most common ones are known as ‘roundworms’ and ‘tapeworms’, spending their lives living in your cat’s intestines. In small numbers, they are harmless, but in larger numbers they can cause illness and death.
these are long, thin, circular worms. Kittens may get these from larvae in their mother’s milk. Mice, birds and shrews can all be infected with roundworm larvae and, when your cat catches an infected prey, the ingested eggs hatch in your kitty’s stomach.
These are much longer and develop long ribbon-like bodies, hooking into the lining of your cat’s intestines. These worms are more problematic in elder cats, and these tapeworms generally get into your cat’s body through fleas, or hunting, because a tapeworm’s secondary host can be fleas, which cats can swallow through grooming.
Symptoms of a worm infestation are not very visible in the early stages, or not visible at all, which is why it is absolutely essential that your cat’s regime has a regular worm control element to it. By the time symptoms of worms appear, your cat’s health ahs already been compromised.
- The symptoms of roundworms are typically diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss and a lack of energy. In severe cases, your cat may have a swollen tummy.
- Most cats do not show symptoms of tapeworms, but the most common are increased hunger, scooting (dragging of the bottom across the floor due to irritation) and the appearance of eggs around your cat’s bottom or in his faeces.
Some worms can spread between cats and people. For example, eggs from roundworms can be accidentally ingested and hatch in the bodies of humans, and the larvae can lodge into our bodily tissues.
Though this is rare, the results can be devastating – there have been cases where blindness has been caused because of roundworm infection.
You cannot prevent worms. It is that simple. They are so prevalent that most cats will be infected at least once during their lives. But, effective worm control is a great combatant and should be a part of your cat’s individual care routine, where you are able to get rid of the worms early on, before they cause issues.
There are many worming products available over the counter in supermarkets, pet shops and on the internet.
Although cats do not like being wormed – and they can be extremely difficult to treat – it is extremely important that you do this regularly. Some treatments work better than others, and are easier to administer.
In most cases, diarrhea in cats is caused by a one-off factor such as bad food, water or an external trigger. You can help relieve his symptoms, as we have discussed, and it should go away in a short amount of time.
However, if your kitty’s diarrhea is lasting a lot longer than anticipated, and your cat is lethargic and not as energetic, or does not look well, it could be a sign of a more sinister problem and you should consult with a veterinarian.