Hubert the cat
Diarrhea is not a disease. It is a symptom of an underlying health issue. If your cat defecates frequently and her stools are watery, you should discuss her condition with a veterinarian. Diarrhea can rapidly lead to dehydration, coma and even death if not treated properly.
Your veterinarian may suggest treating your cat by fasting her for 24 hours. During the fast, provide fresh water to keep the cat hydrated. When the fast is over, reintroduce bland food in small quantities for a few days. Boiled chicken or beef mixed with rice is a good choice. Fussy cats may be tempted with a few spoonfuls of a bland, jarred baby food. The baby food should not include garlic or onions. If the introduction of the bland food does not restart the diarrhea, then slowly mix in the cat’s regular food.
Adding fiber to your cat’s water also can help stop diarrhea symptoms. Add 1 to 2 tsp. of psyllium to your cat’s daily drinking supply.
Pedialyte added to the drinking water will help prevent dehydration.
Dairy products can cause diarrhea in cats. If your cat has diarrhea, do not feed her any dairy products.
Cats are susceptible to stress-related diarrhea. Keep your cat’s environment as calm as possible and watch for any stressful situations that result in your cat having diarrhea.
The veterinarian will test your cat to determine the cause of the diarrhea. Expect questions regarding any recent changes in diet or environment. Tests may include a fecal exam, blood work, ultrasound, X-rays, chemical workup, urinalysis or biopsy.
Diarrhea may be caused by parasites or protozoa infections. In this case, your veterinarian will suggest a treatment to cure these infections and stop the diarrhea.
Bacteria also can cause diarrhea. Antibiotics will kill the bacteria.
Prescription cat food, which is low in fat and easily digestible, may be suggested.
In severe cases of diarrhea that result in dehydration, the cat may be given subcutaneous or intravenous fluids.
Diarrhea can be a symptom of an internal blockage, which could require surgery.
Underlying diseases such as cancer, hyperthyroidism or kidney disease may require disease-specific treatments.
Cats should not be given any products that contain bismuth subsalicylate, loperamide (Imodium) or acetaminophen.
Prior to attempting treatment for your cat, diarrhea symptoms should be discussed with a veterinarian. If the diarrhea continues for 24 hours or more, take the cat to the veterinarian as soon as possible. If the diarrhea shows signs of blood, or if the cat appears dehydrated, a veterinary visit is necessary. A stool sample will help the veterinarian determine the cause of the diarrhea.
Wash your hands thoroughly after handling a cat with diarrhea. Certain causes of diarrhea may be transmitted to humans.