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What Causes Diarrhea In Kittens

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Lactose Intolerance From Cows Milk

Diarrhea in Cats: Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment

Many new kitten owners think that kittens should drink milk. This is a common cause of diarrhea in kittens as they are unable to digest the lactose in the milk. If you want to give your kitten milk, purchase the cat milk available from most supermarkets.


This should resolve once the kitten is no longer allowed cows milk. If you do want to give your kitten milk, stick lactose-free milk for cats available in supermarkets and pet stores.

Other Reasons Your Kitten Has Diarrhea

There are more potential causes behind your felines diarrhea. These include inflammatory bowel disease, feline leukemia, food allergy, antibiotics, hyperthyroidism, cancer and diabetes.

It is also possible your kitten has a viral or bacterial infection due to your kittens young immune system. The two worst are feline infectious peritonitis and feline distemper.

Potential viral disease are:

  • Neoplasia

Seeking Advice From Your Vet

You must contact your vet for advice if your cat vomits more than once, appears unwell, or has any other symptoms like diarrhea. You also seek help if your cat is unable to keep any food or water down, is either very young or old or in these instances:

  • Your cat appears to be very low in energy and lethargic
  • You know your cats eaten something they shouldnt have
  • The gums of your cat are very pale
  • Your cats abdomen is painful to touch
  • There is blood or black dots in your cats vomit
  • There is mucus and/or blood in their diarrhea or excrement

Your vet may want to carry out further investigations to establish what lies behind their digestive problems.

It would be unusual for a cat with diarrhea to need antibiotics. In fact, sometimes they can make diarrhea worse by destroying the friendly bacteria found in the gut. Your vet might instead recommend other treatments like probiotics or a product that soothes the bowel such as kaolin.

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Turkey And Pumpkin Diet

You can use also the second diet because it is equally effective as the first. Cooked, ground turkey and pumpkin are considered the most digestible products for cats with diarrhea. Pumpkin is rich in soluble fiber that helps cover and soothe the gastrointestinal tract. Besides, pumpkin creates the effect of increased peristalsis instead of gastric emptying and this great food contains potassium. Potassium is known as a common electrolyte and its level usually reduces during diarrhea.

You can also give your cat yogurt if he has diarrhea. As has been said, dairy products are not recommended for cats, but the case with diarrhea is the exception. A small portion of yogurt will be really beneficial for your feline because it contains a special type of bacteria . These bacteria usually live in the intestines and improve and maintain the cats digestive health. If your favorite has diarrhea, the natural flora of the gut is often violated and yogurt with its probiotics can help balance the intestinal bacteria.

Besides, slippery elm can be used as the herbal remedy to treat diarrhea at home. Slippery elm provides mucilage. This gelatinous substance improves mucus secretion which helps protect the GI tract and covers and soothes the intestines and stomach.

Get to know aboutgood chicken free cat food brands

How Can I Prevent My Cat Getting Diarrhoea And Vomiting

Cat Diarrhea

Avoid giving your cat very salty, spicy or fatty foods, as this may increase the risk of an upset stomach. In order to reduce the risk of problems associated with dietary changes, we recommend introducing new food gradually you can try introducing new food over at least seven days and monitor for any intestinal disturbances. If your cat is sensitive to stress, or a course of antibiotics has been prescribed, then you can feed a probiotic supplement to help reduce the risk of intestinal disturbances. During periods of stress, it may also be helpful to use a soothing pheromone spray or plug-in adapter .

It may be useful to keep probiotics and electrolyte supplements at home, together with some chicken or white fish in the freezer, in case of an emergency. If you know that your cat catches mice or birds then you can send in a stool sample for analysis periodically to see if they need worming. If possible, try to stop them having access to the bird table and the surrounding area to reduce the risk of salmonella. Your cat should be vaccinated against feline parvovirus annually. Parvovirus can, among other things, cause life-threatening stomach and intestinal problems in cats.

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Diet: What Food Can I Give My Cat For Diarrhea

What to feed cats with diarrhea is one of the core issues while your felines suffering from diarrhea. First of all, you should opt for foods with higher fiber and feed your favorite more often than usual with smaller amounts of easily digestible food.

If your cat or kitten has diarrhea but acts normal, you need to choose the right diet as a part of the home remedy plan in order to stop and prevent diarrhea. The best way is to put your feline on a bland diet.

The bland diet for cats with diarrhea may consist of chicken and rice or turkey and pumpkin. Lets look at both dietary plans.

Managing Cat Diarrhea: Causes Symptoms & Treatment


You’ve noticed while cleaning out your cat’s litter box that they’ve been having diarrhea lately, and you’re a little concerned. Millions of cat parents witness this same issue with their cats every year. Whether your cat’s version is the soft and gooey variety, the streaky bloody style or the unfortunately watery kind, you can be sure you’re not alone in your litter box observations.

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What To Do If Your Cat Has Diarrhea

Assess your cat’s behavior. Do they appear to be feeling well or acting more tired than normal? Do they have a poor appetite or any other symptoms that stray from their norm? Are they also vomiting? If a case of cat diarrhea is an isolated incident that resolves spontaneously in less than a few hours and doesn’t involve other symptoms, it’s generally not treated as an emergency.

However, diarrhea over a prolonged period , as well as diarrhea accompanied by a significant change in demeanor or other signs, should be treated as an emergency and taken to their vet or vet hospital right away. Bright red blood or darker tarry stools are also considered an emergency.

Finally, note the diarrhea’s frequency and appearance so that you can mention it to a vet at the next regular visit.

Know What Is Normal For Your Cat

What causes vomiting and diarrhea for cats?

Know or learn your cats regular routines and understand what is normal in her day-to-day activities. This is a critical part of making sure your cat stays healthy. It allows you to identify problems before they become advanced. When you scoop your cats litter box one or two times each day, you are helping your cat have a clean place to relieve itself, and you will be aware of your cats normal elimination behaviors. This will allow you to be able to recognize abnormalities early.

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Diarrhea Lethargic Appetite Loss And Dehydrated Kittens

If the kitten is suffering from diarrhea, acting lethargic and is dehydrated, the veterinarian will test for parasites . If a diagnosis is confirmed, that the diarrhea will be treated as described below for parasites.

If the tests come back negative, the veterinarian will consider diet, viruses , vitamin B12 levels, TLI levels and will conduct an ultrasound to detect an foreign objects or mechanical problems.

Worried About Your Pet

Ask a vet about it 24/7 â for free.

âA cat with diarrhea should be taken to a veterinarian for treatment immediately, if the cat is depressed or otherwise seems disoriented or not acting normally ,â says Dr. Bragdon.

If the cat is vomiting, not eating and not drinking in addition to having loose stool, warned Dr. Bragdon, the cat needs to see a veterinarian. âA cat experiencing vomiting and diarrhea loses water that much more quickly,â notes Dr. Bragdon.

Even if eating and drinking normally, the cat will not be able to drink enough to replace water lost. âThe combination of diarrhea, vomiting and lack of appetite should cause immediate concern and the cat should be taken to a veterinarian,â cautions Dr. Bragdon.

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Miscellaneous Bacterial Causes Of Diarrhea

Anaerobiospirillum Species

Anaerobiospirillum spp. are motile, spiral-shaped, anaerobic gram-negative rods that were first identified by Malnick and coworkers in two human patients with diarrhea. Since then, Anaerobiospirillum succiniciproducens and Anaerobiospirillum thomasii have been recognized as causes of septicemia, particularly in immunocompromised human beings, and have been isolated from the throat and feces of healthy cats and dogs., We have identified three cats with clinical signs of acute onset of vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain that progressed rapidly to systemic disease characterized by lethargy and collapse. On necropsy, an acute to subacute ileocolitis was found in association with abundant spiral-shaped organisms confirmed as Anaerobiospirillum spp. .

Light photomicrograph of colon obtained from a cat, showing spiral-shaped Anaerobiospirillum bacteria inside the lumen of a dilated crypt .

Helicobacter Species

A Suggested Feeding Schedule:

Causes of diarrhea in kittens
  • Day 1: give 50% of the recommended daily amount divided into 6-8 portions
  • Day 2 and 3: give 75% divided into 4-6 portions
  • Day 4 and 5: give 100% divided into 3-4 portions
  • Once your cat has been normal for a couple of days you can gradually re-introduce the usual food

Typically, cats need 50ml of liquid per kg of body weight per day. This means about 200ml for a cat weighing 4kg.

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How Do You Treat A Cat With Diarrhea

Unlike vomiting, diarrhea doesnt require the cat owner to withhold food for an extended period of time. In fact, withholding food during this time can actually do more harm than good and can put your cat at risk of developing a fatal type of liver disease known as hepatic lipidosis. Additionally, keep your cat hydrated with water.

Be Prepared To Answer Your Veterinarian’s Questions

Being able to answer your vet’s questions about your cats diet, environment, habits, behavior and knowing the details about your cats diarrhea will aid in narrowing the list of possible causes.

There are different characteristics for when diseases cause small intestinal diarrhea versus large intestinal diarrheas, and the diagnosis and treatment for both are generally different. Here are some details to pay attention to when you suspect your cat has diarrhea.

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Vomiting And Diarrhoea In Cats

Cats often vomit or develop diarrhoea, when should we treat? The reason for the vomiting or diarrhoea may be simple, such as a hairball, however the cause could be more serious. Whether the symptoms stop on their own, or whether your cat needs to see a vet, will depend on how he or she is in themselves and what the vomit or diarrhoea looks like.

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Signs Of Vomiting And Diarrhoea

Kitten & Cat Care : How to Treat Diarrhea in Cats
  • Nausea before the event: drooling, lip licking, excessive swallowing
  • Vomit: strong abdominal contractions and head nodding. Note the colour, volume, frequency, and when the last meal was
  • Diarrhoea: note the frequency, colour, consistency and look for signs of blood
  • Fever
  • Pale or cold gums, occasionally their gums or the whites of their eyes might look yellow
  • Quiet or lethargic
  • Poor appetite or refusing to eat

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Which Factors Contribute To Diarrhea

Diarrhea occurs when fecal matter moves through the intestinal tract too fast. In combination with that, theres also decreased reabsorption of electrolytes, water, and chemicals. Leaving the water inside the intestines, causing diarrhea. Factors that arent infectious/viral that can contribute to diarrhea include:

  • New diet
  • Stress
  • Other medicinal treatment and supplements

In most cases, diarrhea will likely be associated with the gastrointestinal tract. Often it is attributable to inflammatory or infectious diseases, including:

  • Food allergy
  • Toxins

In the end, if your cats diarrhea has lasted for more than three weeks and have become chronic, it is advisable to seek veterinary care. This to help your cat get better no one likes having diarrhea and to try to determine the underlying cause.

Treat Diarrhea: How To Stop Diarrhea In Cats

When your cat has diarrhea but seems fine, you may not need to worry too much, but you need to intervene immediately. Providing proper and simple cat diarrhea treatment, you can ease your feline`s diarrhea so this delicate issue goes away faster.

The first and main recommendation is to figure out why your furry friend has this sensitive problem and try to alleviate it. And for that, you need to withhold food for 12 hours but provide your cat a sufficient quantity of water. After 12 hours, you should start the described above bland fat-free diet. Its important to begin with very small portions. Gradually resume food intake. And, of course, keep your eye on your favorite all the time!

However, if the problem still persists for more than 24 hours, you have to consult or visit the vet. Perhaps diarrhea in your cat is just a symptom of a more serious disease that needs to be treated with medical supplies. Sometimes its difficult to identify the real cause of cat diarrhea without additional tests, such as the analysis of fecal samples or blood count.

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Buying Guide: How To Choose The Best Kitten Food For Diarrhea

Not sure what the best kitten food for diarrhea is?

In this buying guide, Ill share some tips about what to look for including what ingredients to look for, whether you should feed your kitten dry or wet food, and what to avoid.

Keep in mind that diarrhea may be caused by a parasitic infection or other problem unrelated to diet.

If the diet does not resolve the problem then your vet will need to perform a workup that may involve a fecal sample.

This information will help you make an informed choice on what to get for your kitten.

Things To Know About Kitten Diarrhea

Kitten Diarrhea Treatment
  • Although it happens, kittens are not prone to diarrhea.
  • Kittens who have frequent hairballs may also experience periodic bouts of diarrhea, but this may indicate another problem, like inflammatory bowel disease, that needs to be investigated.
  • Kittens who spend a lot of time outdoors may be at an increased risk for internal parasites or ingestion of inappropriate food, which could lead to diarrhea. If your kitten goes outside, check that your neighbors are not feeding him. Eating too much or eating food he is not used to can give a kitten diarrhea. Check your yard and your neighbors yards for poisonous plants that your kitten may have nibbled. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center has a list of toxic and non-toxic plants on its website.
  • If you decide to switch your kittens food, introduce it gradually, mixing it with the old brand in increasing amounts over a period of days to ensure an easier transition for your pets GI tract.
  • Over-the-counter remedies like Pepto Bismol and Kaopectate can be dangerous to cats due to salicylate toxicity. These should not be used! Always check with your veterinarian on the correct medication and dosage for the weight and age of your cat.
  • Remember that your cat cannot control the diarrhea. So please do not scold your cat for the accidents. He cannot help it, and adding stress may only make his diarrhea worse.
  • Know the signs of an emergency. Call you veterinarian immediately if your kitten has diarrhea and:
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    Veterinary Diagnosis And Treatment

    Bring your kitten to the vet if his diarrhea continues for more than a day, or if you observe lethargy, vomiting, fever, dark-colored or bloody stools, straining to defecate, decreased appetite or unexplained weight loss.

    Your veterinarian will examine your kitten for underlying illnesses and most likely take a stool sample to check for the presence of internal parasites, overgrowth of bacteria or other fecal abnormalities. Your veterinarian may also conduct blood work to identify other possible causes of the diarrhea.

    Other diagnostic tests that might be recommended include X-rays, ultrasound, cultures, endoscopy and biopsy. The diagnostic tests performed and treatment recommended will depend on how the long the diarrhea has been present and the severity of your kittens condition.

    If your kitten is dehydrated, supplemental fluids may be given either via intravenous or subcutaneous route. Giving fluids orally may not be sufficient to make up for the dehydration because the liquids pass through the kitten too rapidly to be properly absorbed. To detect dehydration, gently pinch the normally loose skin at the back of the neck. When a kitten is normally hydrated, the skin snaps right back down. If the pinched skin flattens slowly or remains tented, the kitten is dehydrated. If the kitten appears to be dehydrated, take him to your veterinarian right away.

    Food Intolerances & Food Allergies

    Food intolerances and food allergies can also cause diarrhea in cats. Pet parents may not realize that, like people, their feline can develop allergies.

    In many cases, food intolerances and food allergies is at the root of chronic diarrhea, which occurs intermittently over long periods of time.

    Interestingly, allergies in cats can develop when the cat is fed the same food for too long.

    Feeding your feline the same protein every day may, over time, cause gut inflammation and lead to food allergies. Finding new ways to switch up your cats food is a wonderful way to prevent GI inflammation, thus preventing allergies and cat diarrhea.

    A telltale sign that your cat may have allergies is overall good health, except for the allergy.

    Are your cats energy levels normal? Is your cat at a healthy weight? Does diarrhea occur intermittently without a major life change?

    You may want to consider the possibility of food allergies and switch their food. Again, make this change gradually!

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