Treating Parasite-Induced Feline Colitis

Pet owners should learn the best methods for treating feline colitis. The disease can be caused by stress or poor diet, but it's also caused by parasites. Cats that eat from trash cans, eat spoiled meats, drink from puddles outside or catch their own prey are at higher risk for intestinal parasites that lead to the inflammation of the colon.

Feline Colitis

Feline colitis is caused by an irritation of the lining of the intestines. If parasites are involved, they must be treated before the diarrhea will cease.

Colitis in cats can be acute or chronic. Acute colitis is usually the result of stress or lack of a proper diet. Chronic colitis is commonly caused by parasites. The typical symptom is painful diarrhea. Often a cat will make frequent trips to the litter box and may even find a spot on the floor where he relieves his bowels.

Diarrhea dehydrates a cat rather quickly, so it's important to provide your cat with plenty of fresh, filtered water while seeking veterinary care.

Deworming Your Cat

If intestinal parasites are a possibility, bring a stool sample to your veterinarian. He will view the sample under a high powered microscope and look for the egg casings or the actual worms. If worms are discovered, deworming medications are necessary.

Ask your veterinarian about monthly worming medications like Interceptor or Heartgard. Both are given in monthly chewables that prevent your cat from getting many parasitic worms.

The Use of Metronidazole

For parasites like giardia, prescription metronidazole will help kill them and offer antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties to soothe the colon as it heals. The medication requires a prescription from your veterinarian.

Side effects of metronidazole include nausea, appetite changes, vomiting and diarrhea. It's important that you provide your cat with lots of water while he heals. Giving him the food with a meal will help ease the nausea and vomiting.

Dietary Changes for Feline Colitis

Cats with diarrhea benefit from having psyllium fiber added to their diet. Adding ground psyllium husk to the cat's food or choosing a high-fiber food is important.

Avoid feeding your cat undercooked meats. Many parasites and bacteria thrive on meats and vegetables that are not cooked to the correct temperature. If you do give your cat human food for treats, make sure they're cooked properly.

Consider Keeping Your Cat Indoors

If your cat goes outdoors, one of the best things you can do is keep him inside. Cats commonly scrounge in garbage cans where the foods they eat are contaminated with germs, parasites and fungus. By preventing him from going outside where he comes into contact with foods and water sources that might have parasites, you eliminate the risk.

If your cat has a strong urge for being outside, consider taking him out on leash and cat harness a few times a day. Many cats balk at first, but once they're outside, they're quiet happy to wander around with their owner. There are also covered cat runs available that allow a cat to spend time outside without him being able to roam too far.