Diarrhea In Cats: Causes, Symptoms, And Therapy

Worried because your cat has diarrhea and you don’t know why? There can be various reasons for this. You don’t always have to go to the vet immediately. We explain to you which causes can be responsible for diarrhea and what you can do yourself to ensure that your velvet paw will get well again quickly.

It is not uncommon for cats to suffer from diarrhea. There are many reasons for that. In many cases they are harmless, but they can also be caused by a serious feline disease . Food intolerance or gastrointestinal infections are often the cause. Sometimes a visit to the vet is therefore essential. With us you will find out what causes your cat’s diarrhea are, what symptoms can occur and how you can treat your cat yourself.

Causes of Diarrhea in Cats

First of all, find out the reasons for your cat’s diarrhea. Diarrhea is not a disease, it is a symptom. The cat loses a lot of water and the electrolyte balance gets mixed up. Therefore, you should take it seriously if the bowel movements of your velvet paw change. The causes are extremely diverse. The following reasons can cause diarrhea in cats:

  • Intolerance : Your cat may have ingested something that its body needs to recover from. This can be spoiled food, plants that are poisonous for cats or food from the kitchen. Here you can find out which foods are not suitable as cat food. Abruptly changing your cat’s food can also cause diarrhea. Many cats are sensitive to new food.
  • Gastrointestinal infections : Infection carriers such as bacteria, viruses or parasites are often responsible for the development of diarrhea in your house tiger. The most common infectious causes include:
  • Viruses : Parvovirus (cat disease), coronavirus, feline leukemia virus (FeLV), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV
  • Bacteria : Salmonella, Campylobacte
  • Parasites : roundworms, protozoa (giardia, coccidia), tapeworms, Tritrichomonas fetus
  • Poisoning can also lead to diarrhea. Poisons and certain drugs can also cause diarrhea in cats. Therefore, the allocation of medication should always be discussed with the treating veterinarian.
  • Organ malfunction : an overactive thyroid or pancreatitis can cause diarrhea. If your cat is vomiting or losing weight, organ dysfunction can be the cause.
  • Stress : Last but not least, stress is a common cause of diarrhea in cats that should not be underestimated. Notice if your cat’s behavior has changed recently. Has she become more shy or calmer? Moving, a new person moving into the apartment, new furniture or moving the litter box are possible reasons for an increased stress level.
  • Tumors or structural changes in the bowel can also be a cause. In some cases, severe blockages in the intestine (constipation), for example, caused by foreign bodies or changes in position such as bowel kinks or intestinal invaginations (intussusception), lead to diarrhea in cats.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Diarrhea in cats can be acute
or prolonged. A mild feed intolerance can occur
without further symptoms. In the case of severe diarrhea, there are usually additional
signs of illness that indicate a cat’s disease. The following symptoms are particularly common
and should be examined by a veterinarian if necessary:

  • Changes in the quality of the faeces: In order
    to be able to assess the symptoms of your cat’s diarrhea, it is helpful to take a
    close look at the cat’s faeces. Is the droppings mushy or watery? Is it light
    brown , dark brown or black? Is the droppings slimy?
  • Defecation problems or pain
  • Weakness, fatigue, fever
  • Blood or mucus in the feces
  • Massive lust for water: weak pulse and
    fast heartbeat
  • Loss of appetite, emaciation
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Muscle weakness due to loss of electrolytes

If you have a thermometer at home, you can measure your cat’s fever. If the temperature is above 39.2 degrees, you should definitely see a veterinarian. A fecal examination can be carried out in a special laboratory.

Therapy for diarrhea in cats

There are several things you can do yourself to help
your cat recover. Only
feed small amounts of light food for the next few days . You can easily cook chicken or turkey for this
and cut it as small as possible or process it into a porridge for better digestion
. Mashed potatoes are also a great alternative. Make sure
that your velvet paw is drinking enough water.

If the diarrhea
does not go away after two days, despite the measures taken, or if it keeps
coming back, you should ask the vet to clarify the exact causes.

In therapy, a distinction is made between
symptomatic and special therapy.

Symptomatic therapy:

  • Fluid
    therapy (infusions) with added sugar and potassium
  • Pain medication
  • Anti-
    nausea medicines (anti-emetics)
  • artificial
    feeding through a tube or light food
  • Gastric protection drugs

Special therapy:

  • Feed-related:
    easily digestible feed
  • Infectious:
    antibiotics or worming tablets
  • Poisoning:
    drugs to make vomiting

The most common cause of diarrhea in cats is food intolerance. Therefore, make sure to supply your house tiger with high-quality wet food and avoid abrupt changes in food. To avoid gastrointestinal infections, dewormer your cat twice a year. With a regular check-up, other diseases can also be detected in good time. Not every cause of diarrhea can be prevented, but with these measures you can minimize the risk of your cat becoming ill. 

Divyesh Patel