How To Prevent Diarrhea In Cats
The best way to prevent diarrhea in cats is to prevent the things that cause diarrhea. Feed a complete and balanced cat food and avoid table waste. Keep potential toxins like houseplants and chemicals out of reach. Take your cat to the vet once or twice a year, based on the veterinarians recommendation. Routine stool analysis is important for cats outdoors, but indoor cat stools should also be regularly checked for parasites.
What Tests Will My Vet Do To Find The Cause Of My Cats Diarrhea
Your veterinarian may run fecal tests that include fecal flotation, antigen testing, cytology, and culturing to screen for infectious or inflammatory disease.
Bloodwork evaluates for metabolic or systemic causes of diarrhea and assesses the consequences of cat diarrhea, such as dehydration or anemia.
Abdominal ultrasound, radiology, and endoscopy can be used to check for foreign body ingestion or cancer as causes of cat diarrhea.
Cat Diarrhea When Is It A Concern
One of the Catster editors recently asked me a few questions about poop. She wondered whether she needed to be concerned if her cat had a single runny poop. She also wondered whether pooping outside of the litter box might be a sign of a veterinary problem. Poop doesnt exactly make the world go round, but it is something that, for better or for worse, is a major part of life. So, lets talk about cat poop and cat diarrhea!
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Veterinary Treatment Of Vomiting And Diarrhea
If your cat is very ill or dehydrated, he may need to be hospitalized.
- Your cat may be given intravenous fluids to correct dehydration and replace lost electrolytes .
- Blood tests may be performed to check red and white blood cell levels, as well as internal organ function.
- Other diagnostics may be performed to determine the cause of your cats vomiting or diarrhea. These include x-rays or ultrasound of the abdomen, stool analysis, and tests for diseases like pancreatitis.
- Symptomatic treatments will likely continue when your cat is ready to go home.
- A bland diet that requires minimal digestion will likely be prescribed.
- Your cat may go home with prescriptions for anti-nausea medication, antacids, pain relief, and probiotics to replace normal gut bacteria.
Cat Stress And Anxiety Remedies
So, with all this in mind, how can you help your cat? The solution to your problem will depend on the cause. Here are some helpful tips to help alleviate stress and anxiety in your cat.
If you find youve taken your cat to the vet and all is in order health wise, your cat just may have anxiety and stress because they dont spend enough quality time with you. So, cut out a few minutes each day to bond. Its not necessarily about quantity of time as much as quality.
Cats are cool characters however even they can become stressed and anxiety ridden. Whether the cause is behavioral, environmental or physical do your best to care for your cat and pay attention to the signs. Rule out any potential illness or conditions and visit your veterinarian. Once you find out the root cause of the stress, take steps to eliminate it. This may require patience and time on your part. However, when it all is said and done, youll have a happy healthy cat on your hands.
Did you like these tips to relieve stress in cats? Have you tried any of these solutions? Would you add anything else? Comment and share your experience below.
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Your Cat Has Diarrhea: What To Do And Not Do
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Just when you think nothing can be worse than waking up and the moment you get out of bed, you step on a cold, slimy hairball… oh wait… the smell hits you.
It’s not a hairball. Your poor kitty has diarrhea and didnt make it to the litter box, or if they did, they painted the box with it. Please tell me this wasnt just my cats!
If you have a cat, you will likely have to deal with diarrhea at one time or another. And in some unfortunate cases, it may be a regular situation. If left unaddressed, it could lead to dehydration and nutrient deficiency.
How Do You Treat A Kitten With Bloody Diarrhea
Since bloody diarrhea is only a sign your cat is not well, the treatment will depend largely on what is causing it. Some of the ways you can help your cat with bloody diarrhea include:
- Giving bland or prescription food like boiled chicken. This is especially useful if you or your vet suspects food to be the cause of the bloody diarrhea.
- Lowering your cats stress levels. You can do this by providing a calm environment for your cat and reducing the sources of stress at home.
- Proving fresh drinking water. This helps replace the water lost in the loose stools.
- Give fiber-rich foods. Foods rich in soluble fiber like fruits and vegetables add bulk to poo making it more firm.
- Antibiotics may be necessary to fight infections if they are the cause of the bleeding. Antibiotic therapy can also be started in advance to reduce the risk of infection.
- Deworming can also be done to reduce the number of worms living in your cats gut.
- Monitor your cat for other signs and symptoms like loss of appetite and weight loss.
- Monitor your cats progress. In particular, you should check if your cats poop is firming up or has blood in it. If you notice no change in your cats progress over a couple of days, see your vet again.
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Dealing With Chronic Diarrhea In Cats
Maybe youve been cleaning out your cats litter box lately and noticed its been having diarrhea. Perhaps youre concerned about it. In most cases, the condition resolves itself. But, sometimes chronic diarrhea in cats is a sign of underlying diseases. But dont worry, take a read below and learn when soft stool is harmless or when you need to call your veterinarian!
How Is Diarrhea Treated
Once youve identified that your cat has diarrhea, the appropriate treatment can help to stop both the diarrhea and its underlying cause.
Most cats with acute diarrhea usually only have one episode of diarrhea, are fine afterwards and require no treatment. If your cat does number 2 outside you may not even notice that your cat had diarrhea!
Otherwise, treatment of diarrhea depends on several factors, including the cause of diarrhea and how severe the diarrhea is. Cats with mild diarrhea may be managed with only feeding a fat-restricted, easily digested food, either homecooked chicken and rice or a therapeutic diet until normal stools are seen.
If this doesnt clear up the problem within a day, then your vet can prescribe probiotics that can be mixed into your cats food and antidiarrheal drugs.
Otherwise, diarrhea is managed by stopping the diarrhea and addressing the underlying cause. If your vet suspects that your cats diarrhea is due to intestinal parasites, then a dewormer will be prescribed. If your cat has diarrhea due to IBD, then your vet will talk to your about steroids and dietary management.
If your cat has a bacterial infection, then antibiotics will be prescribed. If your vet suspects that the diarrhea is due to an food intolerances or food allergy, then she will likely ask you to switch your cat to a hypoallergenic diet or a novel protein diet for a food trial, and so on and so forth.
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Is All Stress Bad
Several physiological systems within the cats body regulate stress, predominantly the HPA axis and the sympathetic nervous system, both of which have evolved to deal with the normal short-term stress associated with the natural lifestyle of the species. These systems control the release of hormones that prepare the individual to face a challenge, often referred to as the fight/flight response or acute stress response.
However, these systems are less well adapted to dealing with chronic or long-term stress and this is the type of stress that plays a significant role in the development of behavioural problems and stress-related disease in cats.
When Should I Be Concerned About My Cat’s Diarrhea
Most cats with acute diarrhea usually only have one episode of diarrhea, are fine afterwards and require no treatment. Causes for concern include chronic diarrhea that doesn’t resolve with treatment, bloody diarrhea, worms in stool, weight loss, loss of appetite for more than one day, or if your cat is lethargic or looks dehydrated .
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Your Cats Digestive System
As obligate carnivores, cats dont need the longer gastrointestinal tracts required by omnivores like dogs and humans, who eat a much broader diet, or herbivores like cows and rabbits, who eat plants. A cats digestive tract is relatively short, and a high-protein meal moves through quickly. It typically takes a cats food about 20 hours to pass through the whole GI tract, whereas in a human, digestion may take as long as 72 hours. The fast transit rate of food through the feline GI tract reflects its adaptation to a hunting lifestyle, making the cat ready to pounce on the next prey item.
Different illnesses arise in different parts of the intestinal tract, so in figuring out the cause of your cats problem, its helpful to determine whether the diarrhea originates in the small intestine or the large intestine .
For example, because the small intestine is where most nutrients get absorbed, problems here can mean the body is missing out on a lot of the nutrition in your cats food, which can create additional problems, like weight loss and nutrient deficiencies. Your cats poop can offer important clues:
The color of your cats poop may also help you figure out whats going on. This chart describes the most common poop colors and what causes them:
How To Describe Your Cats Diarrhea To A Vet
Vets will likely want to know the Purina Fecal Score for your cats diarrhea, as well as a few key other pieces of information.5 How often do they defecate in a day? Is the amount of feces generated each time significant or insignificant? Are they straining their bowels when they defecate? Is there a mucous coating on the diarrhea?
According to the Purina Fecal Scoring System, the following descriptors can be used to explain your cat’s diarrhea to your veterinarian:
- Score 1: Very hard and dry, usually individual pellets, cat is visibly struggling to expel, no residue left when picked up.
- Score 2 : Firm but not hard, segmented, pliable, little to no residue remaining when picked up.
- Score 3: Log-shaped, moist, minimal segmentation, leaves some residue on ground when picked up, but holds firm.
- Score 4: Soggy, very moist, log-shaped, loses form and leaves residue when picked up.
- Score 5: Very moist, distinct pile shape, leaves residue, and loses form when picked up.
- Score 6: Texture but no defined shape, looks like piles or spots, leaves residue when picked up.
- Score 7: Watery with no texture, presents as puddles.
If your cat’s diarrhea persists for more than a few days or is followed by other symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting, or strange behavior, it’s time to take him to the vet. A telemedicine consultation may assist in diagnosing the source of diarrhea and whether an in-person visit is necessary.
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How Is The Cause Of Diarrhea Diagnosed
Cats with unresolved or bloody diarrhea require a complete physical examination, an oral history from the owner, and laboratory testing of a fecal sample to determine the cause of diarrhea.
The type of tests ordered depend on what cause of diarrhea the vet suspects, and may include a fecal flotation, other fecal tests, and blood and urine analysis. Other tests may include x-rays, abdominal ultrasound, tests for pancreatitis, fecal cultures, and biopsy of the intestines if inflammatory bowel disease or cancer is suspected.
Are There Alternative Treatments For Diarrhea In Cats
You have probably heard of the many benefits of CBD oil for humans. Interestingly, the research says that it can have similar positive effects on our beloved pets. And many pet owners agree with that.
If your cats diarrhea is a symptom of inflammatory bowel disease, you may discuss the possibility of using CBD with your veterinarian. For example, its known to help dogs with diarrhea. Due to its anti-inflammatory profile, the cannabidiol may also be used to treat the following health conditions in cats:
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How To Relieve Diarrhea Symptoms In Cats
If a cats condition does not cause concern, it is important to understand what causes the digestive disorder. If the owner knows that the cause of diarrhea is nutrition-related, foods that have a detrimental effect on the pets gastrointestinal tract should be excluded from the cats diet.
If a sudden change to the diet has caused diarrhea, you should provide the cat with a brief fasting period for a day, leaving water available at all times. By unloading the digestive system, you may help your cat cope with vomiting but not diarrhea. After maintaining a starvation diet, special canned food for animals with gastrointestinal problems will be the best feeding option. But please note that fasting shouldnt exceed a few hours as your cat still needs nutrition for healing.
You can give your cat potatoes, rice, or pasta with chicken or turkey, low-fat cottage cheese, and even baby foods. Try to go with small but multiple meals.
If the cause of diarrhea has been stress, it is best to keep the animal calm and remove the cause of the anxiety whenever possible.
If the owner suspects that the cat has worms, talk to your vet about a fecal test and deworming plan.
How To Prevent Cat Diarrhea
It is possible to prevent some types of diarrhea in cats. Below are some things you can do to help.
Watch your cats diet. Dont make any sudden food changes or feed your cat table scraps. Stick to a complete and balanced cat food. If you suspect food allergies or your veterinarian recommended a food change, switch foods gradually to avoid gastrointestinal upset.
Use a monthly deworming product. Giving your cat a monthly dewormer will prevent intestinal parasites that cause diarrhea. Dewormer for cats is available as a chewable or topical treatment. This is especially important if your cat goes outdoors.
Reduce your cats stress. Since any kind of stress can also cause diarrhea in cats, make sure your cat always has a safe place when making changes such as new people in the house, new furniture, and even holiday decorations.
Keep toxins out of reach. Make sure to secure any household cleaners in locked cabinets and keep toxic plants out of reach of your feline friend.
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About Dr Sarah Wooten Dvm Cvj
A 2002 graduate of UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Sarah Wooten is a well known international speaker in the veterinary and animal health care spaces. She has 10 years experience in public speaking and media work, and writes for a large number of online and printanimal health publications. Dr. Wooten is also a certified veterinary journalist, a member of the AVMA, and has 16 years experience insmall animal veterinary practice. To learn more, visit drsarahwooten.com.
Causes Of Vomiting And Diarrhea In Cats
Vomiting and diarrhea occur when the stomach and/or intestines become irritated or inflamed.
There are many causes, including:
- Certain viruses, such as feline parvovirus
- Dietary indiscretion
- Swallowing an object that causes stomach or intestinal obstruction
- Sudden changes in diet
- Chronic disease, such as inflammatory bowel disease
- Stress due to boarding or other change in environment or routine
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Is There A Way To Prevent Newly Adopted Cats From Becoming Anxious
When adopting a cat, look for one that is friendly with people and confident. The socialization period for kittens ends at 7 weeks old, but research has shown that proper socialization can benefit a cat up to 14 weeks old.
Expose your cat to a variety of social situations and environments in an overwhelmingly positive way when they are still young to decrease the likelihood of fearful behavior. This doesnt mean forcing your cat to endure stressful situations. Remember that taking a cat into situations where it is clearly moderately or severely fearful for them will actually make things worse.
Should I Take My Cat To The Vet For Diarrhea
Cats are no strangers to upset stomachs and diarrhea. They love to eat things they shouldnt like plants and plastic, get hairballs, and overeat if given the opportunity.
Occasional cat diarrhea should not cause panic, but several circumstances warrant calling the vet and scheduling an appointment. Prolonged diarrhea in your cat lasting for more than 24 to 48 hours, regardless of age, can be dangerous to your cats health. Additionally, cat diarrhea that appears dark and bloody are signs of a more serious internal problem such as bleeding or parasites.
If youre unsure that you should make an appointment, call the vet anyway. Its always better to be on the safe side. The veterinarian or their assistant will listen to your cats symptoms and tell you whether or not you should make an appointment or visit an emergency vet.
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