What to Do If Your Cat Has Diarrhea

Diarrhea may occur due to food intolerance or is a symptom that may signal different problems. If your cat has diarrhea you should monitor your cat and try to identify the problem so that you can establish if you need veterinary help or you can solve the problem at home.

Identify the Problem

The diarrhea is easy to identify, as you will notice that the feces will be liquid. The feces may have a normal brown color or may be tarry black or yellowish. The stool may also contain mucous discharge, blood or parasites or parasite segments.

Monitor your pet and see if you can detect any other symptoms such as vomiting, pale gums, pot bellied appearance, breathing problems, lack of appetite, yellow eye whites or skin problems.

If the diarrhea is a one time occurrence and the cat will have a normal stool afterwards, you should not worry. However, if the diarrhea persists and the cat shows signs of weakness, you should visit the vet to diagnose the problem.

Diagnosing Cause of Diarrhea

Based on the symptoms that you see in your cat, you may guess what might be the problem. However, a clear diagnosis can only be established by the vet.

Chronic diarrhea may be caused by gastroenteritis, colitis, intestinal parasites such as tapeworms, hookworms, roundworms, Coccidia and Giardia, infections, poisoning, a heat stroke, diabetes, stomach ulcers, liver dysfunction or tumors in the intestinal tract.

The vet will perform several tests to get a diagnosis.

Treatment Options for Cat Diarrhea

The treatment options will depend on the diagnosis. Medications or a change in diet may be required.

An isolated episode of diarrhea should go away without treatment; however, you may watch the cat’s diet and introduce a few dry foods and possibly some fiber supplements to speed up the recovery.

Fiber supplements are also recommended if the cat has chronic diarrhea, but may also work as a treatment for constipation.

Tylosin or Tylan is a medication that can be used if the cat has diarrhea due to bacterial infections or enterocolitis. The antibiotic effects of Tylosin will be able to cure the infection and stop the diarrhea.

Parasites can be eliminated through dewormers and the cat should also get preventive medication. In addition, the cat’s diet may be accompanied by a few supplements that should strengthen the cat’s organism, as the parasites may weaken the pet.

If your cat has diabetes, this can be managed through the administration of insulin and a change in the diet.

If the vet finds a tumor that causes the diarrhea, this has to be removed, if it's operable; if the tumor is malignant, chemotherapy must be applied.

In the case of a poisoning or heat stroke, you should get immediate help. If the cat has an elevated temperature due to excessive sun exposure, you should get some cold compresses. In the case of poisoning, you need to get to the vet as soon as possible to get the poison out of the cat’s system.