Approximately 25 percent of households in the U.S. own at least one cat. Is yours one of them?
As a cat owner, at some point, you're going to run into situations in which your cat is experiencing certain symptoms, such as diarrhea. Sometimes, in these situations, you need to get your cat to vet right away. There's a lot you can do on your own at home to help them as well, though.
Read on to learn more about how you can handle diarrhea in cats. You'll also learn when you should seek out a vet's help.
What Causes Diarrhea in Cats?
There are quite a few health problems that can cause diarrhea in cats. The following are some of the most likely culprits:
- Intestinal parasites (roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, etc.)
- Bacterial infections
- Viral infections
- Protozoal infection (such as Giardia)
- Dietary sensitivities
- Dietary imbalances
- Sudden dietary changes
Digestive conditions (inflammatory bowel disease, lack of digestive enzymes, etc.) can also cause diarrhea.
How to Treat Diarrhea in Cats
If your cat is dealing with diarrhea, you can take the following steps at home. Often, these steps can help to combat the issue and help them feel healthy again:
Simplify Their Diet
Have you recently changed your cat’s diet? If so, that could be causing their diarrhea. Consider switching them back to their old foot to see if their symptoms subside. Or, do some research into different cat foods and nutrition information. For example, Nutra Thrive for Cats contains vitamins and nutrients that your cat could be missing from other foods, so make sure to look into the food options available.
If they’ve been eating lots of table food, stop feeding it to them. It may contain ingredients that upset their stomach.
Temporarily Limit Food
Sometimes, a short-term fast can help cats to overcome diarrhea. Limiting their food for 12-24 hours may be beneficial.
Keep Them Hydrated
You can limit food, but make sure your cat still has access to plenty of water. Diarrhea can cause dehydration, so you need to be extra vigilant about giving them water on a regular basis.
Use Anti-Diarrheal Medication
Some anti-diarrheal medications can help your cat, too. Kaolin-pectin medications are generally considered to be safe for cats.
Call your vet and see what they recommend before administering any drugs, though. They should be able to tell you over the phone what's a good option.
When to Call the Vet
Occasional diarrhea in cats often is not a cause for concern. In many cases, you can follow the steps outlined above and get your cat feeling back to normal in no time. Sometimes, though, you need to get the vet involved.
If your cat's diarrhea lasts longer than a day, for example, it's a good idea to get them checked out by the vet. The same is true if you notice that their stool is bloody or contains mucus.
Get Rid of Diarrhea Today
Diarrhea in cats can definitely be nerve-wracking, especially if you've never dealt with this issue before. If you follow these guidelines, though, it'll be easier for you to handle the situation and get your cat the care they need (either at home or at the vet's office).
Do you want to learn more about caring for your cat and handling other feline health problems? If so, visit the Cats section of our site today.