Acute Diarrhea in Cats

Diarrhea in cats can be chronic or acute. Typically, acute diarrhea in felines is caused by something the cat has consumed. However, if the acute diarrhea is severe, the cat should be taken to the vet and get suitable treatment.

Causes of Acute Diarrhea in Cats

Most commonly, acute diarrhea in cats is caused by food intolerance, especially if the cat has consumed a new ingredient or food that has gone bad. However, there are also other possible causes leading to acute diarrhea such as:

  • A sudden change in diet
  • The presence of parasites in the intestinal tract
  • Stomach infections, which can be due to something the cat has eaten from the trash or outside
  • Poisoning (i.e., the cat has eaten a poisonous plant), however, the diarrhea occurs only after other symptoms appear (such as vomiting and drooling)

These conditions will cause acute diarrhea. If the diarrhea persists for more than 48 hours or is recurrent, this is considered being chronic diarrhea, and may be caused by a more severe underlying condition.

Symptoms of Feline Acute Diarrhea

If the consistency of the cat's feces is changed and is more liquid than usual, this is considered diarrhea. The feces may vary in consistency, according to the severity of the underlying condition. The color of the feces may be indicative of the food that is causing the diarrhea. The feces may have a different odor than usual. It is important to know what your cat's normal feces are like, to be able to detect any possible problems. Blood may be present in the feces. Parasites may also accompany feline diarrhea. The cat may have fever and abdominal pain.

Diagnosing Acute Diarrhea

The diagnosis of acute diarrhea will be done judging by the cat's history and the symptoms. If your cat has no additional symptoms and he only has acute diarrhea, this may not need any veterinary diagnosis, because it is most probably caused by food. However, if the feces are very liquid and the cat has additional symptoms, a vet may be consulted and the feces can be examined to detect the problem.

Treatment Options for Feline Acute Diarrhea

Most of the time, acute diarrhea in cats will require no treatment. The cat may fast for 1 or 2 days, which will allow the system to eliminate the ingredient that has caused the diarrhea. The vet may recommend a low calorie diet or reducing the cat's food intake during the first days while the cat is recovering, so as not add stress on the digestive system. The cat should be kept indoors, because you will be able to prevent him from ingesting any foreign foods that could upset his stomach.

A diet rich in fibers can be prescribed by the vet, especially if the feces are very liquid. You may give your pet pumpkin, which contains a lot of fibers, which can reduce the diarrhea. Fresh water is also important, because the diarrhea can cause dehydration.