Diarrhea in cats is a common digestive disorder. However, you should not underestimate the importance of detecting it in time to prevent worsening of the clinical picture.
Its possible causes cover an extensive list, sometimes involving vital organs, which can endanger the survival of the kitten if it does not receive adequate and timely treatment. Depending on the region of the intestine that is affected, the symptoms will also vary. We will talk about all this in the following lines. We started!
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Diarrhea in cat puppies
Cat puppies up to 5-6 weeks of age, at which time weaning begins to consolidate, are especially vulnerable to diarrhea as a consequence of the transition from a milk-based diet to the introduction of the new semi-solid food. Your stomach is not ripe and it may take time to get used to it.
However, in this vital stage, diarrhea alerts us to possible dehydration that can be fatal for the puppy. Therefore, if you have young cats with diarrhea, do not delay visiting the vet.
Diarrhea in domestic cats
We understand by diarrhea the presence of soft, watery or even liquid stools that, in turn, will show a lighter or darker color than usual in your pet. Stool may be accompanied by blood, mucus, or vomiting.
If the colon is damaged, diarrhea will manifest itself with a greater volume of stool and it will be difficult for the cat to expel them. If the affectation is due to intestinal parasites, the stool frequency will be significantly increased.
Sometimes the diarrhea resolves after 3 days without having to resort to medication. However, if your best friend is losing weight, is listless and the diarrhea persists beyond those 72 hours, you should consult your vet, since it could be due to an underlying disease, poisoning or intolerance that is not being treated.
Causes of diarrhea in cats
The range of possible triggers for feline diarrhea is truly vast. The possibilities go through the consumption of food in poor condition from the garbage, toxic food for cats (onion, chocolate or sausage), as well as the ingestion of toxic plants for cats (grass, eucalyptus, poinsettia, apple tree or tulip, among others).
The most common cause is usually the introduction of a new food in your diet , overeating, hypersensitivity to some component of your usual diet (generally low protein) or stress caused by a drastic or sudden change in your daily life.
Other possible causes
As we anticipated at the beginning of the post, there are many other possible causes that we develop in detail below.
Infectious Agents and Parasites
They can cause mild and transient diarrhea, but also more severe clinical pictures such as the parvovirus virus or feline leukemia . Bacteria such as salmonella or campylobacter and parasites such as giardia or tritrichomonas can also lead to diarrhea. They are common in domestic cats, especially among the youngest.
Inflammatory bowel disease
They are characterized by recurrent and intermittent episodes of diarrhea, sometimes with vomiting as a result of inflammation in one of the walls of the intestine.
Intestinal tumors and polyps
Lymphomas and adenocarcinomas are the most common malignant tumors in older cats. Given their impact on the proper assimilation of nutrients, they can cause diseases.
Polyps, despite being rare in cats, are benign growths that obstruct part of the intestine and, therefore, cause diarrhea in the animal.
Although diarrhea in cats is more prevalent due to primary intestinal disease, it can be evidenced by the involvement of an organ other than the intestine. This is the case of hyperthyroidism , kidney or liver failure.
More common in dogs, it also affects cats. The pancreas is in charge of producing certain digestive enzymes. If its performance is not adequate, the food cannot be metabolized correctly and the cat will suffer from diarrhea.
Vitamin B12 deficiency
Many times, chronic diarrhea in kittens is related to a deficiency of cobalamin. The replacement therapy of this vitamin through injections will manage to tackle the problem.
How do I know that my cat has diarrhea?
Apart from the presence of watery stools and of a different color than usual, there are other symptoms associated with this condition that can be summarized as:
- Lack of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Elusive attitude.
- He will hide from you and will not answer your calls.
- Aggression or irritability.
How to act if my cat has diarrhea?
If your best friend is going through an episode of this type, you should interrupt his diet with a 12-hour fast . In this way, you will promote the regeneration of intestinal cells, as well as the restoration of its intestinal flora. During this time, you should only offer water to alleviate possible dehydration.
After these 12 hours it will be time to start a soft diet for 2 or 3 days. If after this time the diarrhea still persists you should go to the vet. The soft diet should be made up of boiled white fish or chicken , white rice or boiled potatoes, always without salt. Remember to give him small and spaced portions to facilitate digestion.
Oats and bran are equally beneficial for helping to solidify stool. For your cat to tolerate them, you will have to boil them, crush them and give them together with chicken or fish. The ginger, boiled and crushed, will stop your vomiting.
Foods rich in probiotics, such as plain unsweetened yogurt or kefir, will help you regulate your intestinal flora.
Is diarrhea in cats treated?
After the pertinent tests (urine and blood analysis, examination of fecal samples, X-ray or endoscopy, among others), the veterinarian will have the necessary information to prescribe an appropriate treatment for your cat.
Faced with primary intestinal inflammation, he will prescribe anti-inflammatories and immunosuppressants. If, on the other hand, the origin lies in the presence of infectious agents, you must administer the antibiotics that are prescribed and with the frequencies indicated.
If the diarrhea is severe, he can recommend that you provide him with electrolyte solutions to control dehydration. As you can see, despite being a fairly common disorder, following these guidelines and visiting the vet will ensure that you reverse the diarrhea, preventing greater ills.