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Diarrhea in Cats: Common Causes, Treatment & When It's Serious

Diarrhea in Cats: Common Causes, Treatment & When It's Serious

Diarrhea in cats is an unpleasant experience for both pet and owner. Today, our Everett vets discuss some common causes of cat diarrhea as well as treatment options and when to see the vet.

Diarrhea in Cats

If your cat has diarrhea, chances are that you want to figure out why a help them recover from this distressing symptom as quickly as possible. Below are some of the most common reasons why your cat may have diarrhea and when it's time to bring them to see your vet.

Mild bouts of diarrhea can be quite common in our feline friends and may be caused by mild intestinal distress caused by our kitty either eating something that doesn't agree with them such as table scraps, or just from the act of switching to a new brand or flavor of food.

With that being said, several more serious health conditions may be contributing to your cat suffering from diarrhea. 

Causes of Cat Diarrhea

Below are some of the most common causes of cat diarrhea:

  • Colitis
  • Parasites
  • Viral infection
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Intestinal cancer
  • Change in diet or treats
  • Eating garbage or spoiled food
  • Pancreatitis
  • Bacterial infections
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Ingesting toxins or poisons
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Medications such as antibiotics
  • Ingestion of a foreign object

However, how do you know whether or not your cat's diarrhea will require a visit to your veterinarian? When is it serious enough to warrant medical attention?

When to Seek Veterinary Help

If your pet has a single episode of diarrhea but is otherwise acting normally, it's likely not a cause for concern. Monitor your pet's bowel movements to see if things clear up. If your cat experiences more than 2 episodes in short succession, this may indicate an issue, so it's generally a good idea to contact your veterinarian if your cat has two or more bouts of diarrhea.

If your pet appears to be straining to pass a stool but only passing small amounts of watery diarrhea, they could be experiencing a painful blockage due to the ingestion of a foreign object such as a toy. This is a very serious concern and needs urgent veterinary attention, contact your vet right away or head to the nearest emergency animal hospital for care.

Recurring diarrhea over a short period of time is likely a cause for concern, and may even be a sign of a much more serious underlying health issue. This is particularly true if your pet is very old, very young, or has a compromised immune system. A number of these infections can be quite serious, contagious, or even life-threatening. Contact your vet right away if your pet is experiencing repeated bouts of diarrhea. 

Cats that are showing other symptoms, as well as diarrhea, should also be seen by a vet as soon as possible. If your pet has any of the following symptoms contact your vet right away to make an appointment:

  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Blood in stool
  • Unusual drooling
  • Lack of Appetite
  • Signs of dehydration (Sunken dry-looking eyes, dry nose, or dry, sticky gums)

If your cat is showing symptoms that are causing you concern, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. Your vet will let you know whether or not your cat's symptoms indicate that examination and treatment are necessary.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Please make an appointment with your vet for an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition.

Has your cat been experiencing diarrhea? Contact our Everett veterinarians today to have your feline friend examined and treated.

New Patients Always Welcome!

Looking for a vet in Everett? Whether your pet needs routine wellness exams, surgery, geriatric care or emergency care, we look forward to welcoming you to our family at Broadway Animal Hospital located in Everett. 

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