How can you stop diarrhea in cats? Can you cure it? Here we take a look at the causes, signs and symptoms, as well as possible treatments and what you can do to help if your cat has diarrhea.
A cat with diarrhea is absolutely no fun, as any owner who's experienced it will tell you – it's messy, unpleasant and worrying, both for you and your cats. It needs special, and sometimes urgent, attention, as it can cause severe dehydration if left untreated.
Diarrhea in kittens and other vulnerable cats (older ones, for example) can be life-threatening. Chronic diarrhea in cats can also indicate a serious underlying health problem.
Always seek veterinary advice if your cat has diarrhea for more than 24 hours – sooner if they show other signs of illness as well.
These vary from mildly soft all the way through to explosive and extremely watery stools, which can be foul and strong-smelling and may also contain blood or mucus.
There may also be vomiting (particularly if the problem has been caused by something the cat has eaten) and your pet may refuse to drink and look generally unwell.
Bloody, watery diarrhea and cats who aren't drinking should always be treated by a vet.
It may also indicate a more serious underlying condition, such as panleucopenia (cat distemper), inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, or cancer.
Are there any home remedies or household cures for cat diarrhea? Here's what you can do yourself.
If your cat seems generally well apart from the diarrhea, try withholding food for 24 hours, then give them a light meal (fish or chicken with plain boiled rice are more easily digested than red meat).
If their appetite's good and the next stools are normal, there's probably no need to worry. In addition, the following tips may help.
Avoid the temptation to give 'over-the-counter' diarrhea remedies. If your cat is sick enough to need these, you're better off calling the vet for advice.
Contrary to popular opinion, cows' milk isn't particularly good for cats. A lot of cats (and especially Orientals, including Siamese) lose the ability to digest lactose.
Milk and other dairy products will go straight through most Siamese and the resulting diarrhea is extremely nasty! This also applies to other cats, so if you suspect milk may be the cause of your cat's problem, stop giving it.
Veterinary treatment of persistent, serious diarrhea in cats will probably include an intravenous drip to restore water balance after dehydration.
It'll also aim to discover the cause of the problem, probably through blood, urine and feces samples so that any infections or other more serious underlying illnesses can be tackled.
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