Cat has diarrhea: what to do to stop it?
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You can often alleviate acute diarrhea in cats with water, rest and light food - Image: Shutterstock / Vinogradov Illya Diarrhea in cats can have various causes. The veterinarian knows the final answer - Shutterstock / Shvaygert Ekaterina Beware of natural remedies for treating cats with diarrhea - Shutterstock / wvita
In this way, when cats have diarrhea, their body usually tries to get rid of a substance that the animal cannot tolerate.
This can be caused by food intolerance, an infection, poisoning or a parasite attack. Persistent diarrhea in cats is usually a symptom of chronic organ diseases.
With mild diarrhea, it is often enough to treat the symptom and ensure that your cat can recover and regain its strength. In some cases, however, it is also necessary to see a veterinarian immediately and treat the cause.
Why do cats have diarrhea? Possible causes
Cat diarrhea can vary in severity and can have a wide range of causes, from stress to mild food intolerance to serious illnesses.
For example, as in humans, diarrhea in cats can be caused by gastroenteritis, which is the classic gastrointestinal flu in which inflammation in the intestinal area leads to pain, vomiting and diarrhea.
Parasites and infections trigger diarrhea
Inflammation in the digestive tract can be caused by infections with various bacteria and parasites. These include Campylobacter bacteria and Giardia. Salmonella infections are possible in cats, but rare.
The dangerous cat disease that is triggered by the parvovirus can also manifest itself as diarrhea. Diarrhea may also be symptoms of worms in your cat.
Either way, you should go to the vet again if you are unsure.
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When the food causes diarrhea in cats
Wrong or spoiled food can cause your cat to get diarrhea. There is a risk, especially with free-movers, that they eat something from the neighbor, for example, that they don't get. For example, the animals usually don't tolerate milk.
If your cat has diarrhea after changing food, the change may have been too quick. For example, if you are planning to switch your cat from ready-made food to barf or from dry food to wet food, proceed gently and step by step. This way your cat's digestion can slowly get used to the new food and is not immediately overwhelmed.
Tip: In the guide "Feed change: How to get your cat used to" you can read how to do it correctly.
However, if your cat seems to get diarrhea from its usual food, there may be an undetected food intolerance or food allergy behind it.
Tip: You can find out how to best deal with this in our guide "Food allergy in cats: what to do?"
Chronic diarrhea in cats and its causes
Does your cat have diarrhea all the time without food allergy? Then have them examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible. The cause of persistent cat diarrhea may be a chronic digestive tract or organ disorder.
Chronic problems with the pancreas, the liver or the thyroid gland as well as chronic intestinal inflammation (IBD) may make a lifelong change of feed with additional medication necessary.
When to stop diarrhea in cats with home remedies
It is not easy for laypeople to identify serious causes of diarrhea in cats, such as diseases or parasites - that is the task of the veterinarian. However, based on the circumstances and general condition of your pet, you can determine whether it could be serious, or whether it is relatively harmless and home remedies are sufficient at first.
If the diarrhea is not as severe and your cat looks normal, you can try home remedies first to relieve digestive problems.
The following symptoms suggest that diarrhea in cats is temporary and likely harmless:
● Your cat has diarrhea, but is otherwise fit and works as usual.
● The diarrhea is not too severe.
● After 24 hours, the digestion calms down again.
● It is a healthy, fully grown cat.
The main home remedies for acute, non-worrying diarrhea are increased fluid intake, rest and light food.
Balance the fluid balance
Due to the diarrhea, the cat's body loses a lot of fluid and vital salts and minerals, the so-called electrolytes, are withdrawn. A constant, sufficient water supply is therefore of the utmost importance. You can also offer your cat unsalted meat or poultry broth.
Sick cat needs a lot of rest
Give your cat a lot of rest if you have diarrhea. Your body is weakened by the disease and you should avoid any exertion in the next few days. Ensure a stress-free, cozy environment and keep other pets away from the animal patient as a precaution.
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Pep up cats after eating diarrhea with light food
On the first day of diarrhea, it's best not to give your cat solid food yet. If the symptoms have improved after 24 hours, you can start feeding your pet with light food. It is important that the light food is spice-free, contains no milk and is served at room temperature.
Chicken boiled in water in small pieces or - even better - pureed has proven itself among other things. You can also mix a little boiled carrot porridge into the poultry meat.
Feed several, five to six, small servings throughout the day and watch your pet to see if his condition improves. If so, you can start to gradually add your usual food to your cat's diet.
If the cat has diarrhea: when to the vet?
If your cat's diarrhea has not improved after 24 hours, go to the vet with her. If the following signs appear, a visit to the veterinarian is recommended:
● Changes in behavior: such as listlessness, aggressiveness, increased withdrawal or unusual attachment
● Noticeable behavior when dropping the droppings, such as loud meowing, hectic jumping out or uncleanliness outside the litter box
● severe and frequent diarrhea
● slimy feces or blood in the stool
● Additional symptoms for diarrhea, such as vomiting
Caution! Diarrhea in old cats, kittens or chronically ill cats is always an emergency. Do not hesitate to go to the vet immediately. The same applies if you fear poisoning in your cat.
Tip: Severe diarrhea in cats draws so much fluid from the animal body that it is necessary to supply electrolytes. In this case, the veterinarian can give you electrolyte powder that you can stir into the drinking water or eat the cat.
If your cat is at risk of drying out, the veterinarian can administer infusions to quickly compensate for the loss of fluid.
What about natural remedies for cat diarrhea?
Cats are very sensitive and cannot tolerate many natural remedies that may have proven useful for humans or dogs. For example, essential oils can even be life-threatening for cats.
You should therefore refrain from experiments and self-medication with natural remedies and homeopathy in cats. Talk to your veterinarian and a competent veterinary practitioner you trust.
Veterinarians can tell you what helps and whether natural remedies such as American elm bark, coal tablets or healing clay are suitable for your cat.
If so, the veterinarian will adjust the dosage of the product exactly to your cat. Follow the instructions exactly when using it - then the natural remedies can possibly provide relief.
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