Dealing With Cat Diarrhea: What to Know and How to Treat

Common Causes of Cat Diarrhea

Cat diarrhea is a common yet worrying issue that can affect cats of all ages. In some cases, the cause may be transient, while in others, it may last weeks or months. The most common causes of cat diarrhea include parasitic or bacterial infections, dietary intolerance, drug reactions, toxin ingestion or certain medical conditions.

A parasitic infection, such as roundworms, tapeworms or Giardia, can cause diarrhea in cats. Bacteria such as Salmonella, Campylobacter and Clostridium are a frequent cause of diarrheal illness in cats. Dietary intolerances to ingredients like grains, soy or dairy can also lead to cat diarrhea. Certain medications and drugs can have adverse effects on the GI tract, resulting in upset tummies and diarrhea. Poisoning from ingesting a toxic substance can cause severe gastrointestinal issues, including diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Finally, underlying medical problems such as pancreatic disease, colitis or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can also cause persistent diarrhea in cats.

When to Seek Veterinary Care for Cat Diarrhea

Cats can suffer from diarrhea from time to time – some more than others. While occasional bouts of diarrhea are normal and generally not a cause for concern, it is important for pet owners to know when to seek veterinary care for their cat’s diarrhea. In most cases, if the diarrhea persists for more than a couple days or is accompanied by other signs of illness such as vomiting, fever, lethargy, or loss of appetite, veterinary care should be sought right away. If you notice any blood or any color other than light yellow in your cat’s feces, contact your veterinarian immediately as this could be indicative of an underlying medical issue. Additionally, cats that are elderly, are very young, lost weight, are lethargic, eat less than usual, or have difficulty defecating should also receive prompt medical attention . It is essential to obtain a fecal analysis from your veterinarian as soon as possible, as parasites and bacteria can cause chronic diarrhea which can be dangerous and even deadly if left untreated. Keeping an eye out for changes in your pet’s health could save its life; the sooner you act, the better outcome for your cat.

Diet Management for Dealing with Cat Diarrhea

Cat diarrhea can be an uncomfortable or even dangerous condition. Effective diet management can be a crucial aspect of managing cat diarrhea.A balanced, species-appropriate diet is key to preventing and treating cat diarrhea, as some foods can worsen the condition. Cats should be fed high-quality canned food that contains healthy proteins, such as muscle meat, avoiding cheap fillers. It is also important to provide basic vitamins and minerals in their diet.

If your cat has been diagnosed with diarrhea, it is best to feed a simple digestion diet for a short period of time. These diets help reduce/eliminate potentially inflammatory ingredients, like beef, dairy, grains, eggs, soy and corn. Additionally, adding probiotics to their diet can promote better nutrient absorption and gut health.

If your cat has chronic diarrhea, it is recommended to have them tested for underlying health issues. If an underlying issue is found, the veterinarian may make dietary recommendations specific to the cat’s condition. Stress can also contribute to diarrhea, so reducing stress should be part of the overall treatment plan.

Following a holistic approach to cat diarrhea will help ensure both a rapid recovery and long-term health. It is important to consult your veterinarian to design a tailored diet and gain any other needed advice.


Dealing with cat diarrhea can be confusing, but it is important to identify the underlying cause of your cat’s digestive issues in order to provide the best possible treatment and care. Always speak to your veterinarian for specific advice for your pet and if your cat’s diarrhea does not improve within 24 hours, seek emergency medical help immediately. With proper treatment, you and your cat should be able to experience more comfortable days ahead!

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