If your cat isn't feeling well and begins to exhibit symptoms such as diarrhea it can be very concerning for both the cat and the pet parent. In today's post, our Seattle vets share some of the causes of cat diarrhea and when you should consider contacting your vet.
If your cat begins to exhibit the symptoms of diarrhea then you will want to sort out the cause and treat it quickly for the sake of both you and your feline friend.
Mild bouts of diarrhea are very common in our feline companions and may be caused by mild intestinal distress due to your pet eating a small amount of something that doesn't agree with them, such as table scraps, or just from the simple act of switching to a new brand or flavor of food.
That said, there are also a number of more serious health issues that could lead to cat diarrhea.
What are the causes of cat diarrhea?
Below are some of the most common reasons for cat diarrhea:
- Stress or anxiety
- Change in diet or treats
- Eating garbage or spoiled food
- Ingestion of foreign objects such as toys, bones and fabric
- Ingesting toxins or poisons
- Viral infection
- Bacterial infections
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Liver or kidney disease
- Intestinal cancer
- Medications such as antibiotics
But how do you know whether your cat's diarrhea requires a visit to the vet?
When is diarrhea in cats a concern?
If your pet has a single episode of diarrhea and is otherwise acting normal, it is likely not a cause for concern. Monitor your cat's bowel movements to see if things clear up. More than 2 episodes could indicate a problem, so it's a good idea to contact your vet if your animal companion has two or more bouts of diarrhea.
If your cat 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 bouts of diarrhea over a short period of time could be a sign of a very serious health issue, particularly if your cat is very old, very young, or has a compromised immune system. A number of infections can be very serious, contagious, or even life-threatening. Contact your vet right away if your cat is experiencing repeated episodes 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 cat has any of the following symptoms contact your vet right away to make an appointment:
- 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 displaying any symptoms that cause you concern, contact your veterinarian. Your vet will let you know whether your cat's symptoms indicate that an examination is necessary.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.