Diarrhoea in cats
Diarrhoea is quite common in cats. Mild cases of diarrhoea often go away on their own. If, however, the diarrhoea lasts longer than a day, the cat must be examined by a vet.
Causes for diarrhoea in cats
Diarrhoea is not an illness; it is a symptom that appears due to a wide variety of causes. Diarrhoea in cats is usually not caused by something the cat has eaten, as is often suspected, but is frequently triggered by bacteria, viruses and parasites such as worms, giardia or coccidia.
It can also not be ruled out that the cat's diarrhoea is a side-effect of infections, inflammations, hormonal disorders or chronic kidney failure. Alongside the causes of diarrhoea mentioned above, it can sometimes be brought on by something the cat has eaten.
Causes of diarrhoea in cats
- Food is too cold
- Portions are too big
- Food has been switched too quickly
- Food intolerance
- Swallowed foreign object
- Side effect of medication
- Stale food
- Food that is not suitable for cats
Finally, there is also the possibility that the cat's diarrhoea has been brought on by stress. Stress factors for the cat can be household changes, for example moving home, the arrival of a new person, new furniture or the litter tray having been moved. Or maybe your pet is being constantly tormented by another cat.
How does diarrhoea manifest itself in cats?
Normally the faeces of a cat are well formed. Should they ever be a little softer, this is no cause for alarm. However, if they are paste-like or even fluid, this is referred to as diarrhoea. Your cat will use its litter tray more often than usual and there may be a larger amount of faeces than you are used to.
It is possible that your pet is no longer able to control its bowel movements properly, hurries to the litter tray, or is eager to be let outside straight away. It is, however, also possible that your cat is in pain. It may then meow loudly. Depending on the cause of the diarrhoea, your pet may also be tired. The problem: If your cat continues to suffer from diarrhoea for more than a few days, you must take it to the vet without delay.
The reason for the diarrhoea should always be ascertained in order to avoid it in the future. First of all it is important to keep an eye on the general condition of the cat. It may also be a symptom of a serious illness. Evidence of this can include vomiting, abdominal pain, apathy or total fatigue.
When does a cat with diarrhoea have to go to the vet?
If a kitten or young cat has diarrhoea, you should decide within a day whether to go to the vet. Only if its condition improves within 24 hours is a visit unnecessary; otherwise you should not wait any longer because young animals can dehydrate very quickly. This also applies to weak, old or sick cats, because their organisms are more vulnerable.
Basically, the rule is that the more fluid the diarrhoea, the higher the risk of dehydration. If the cat is then unwilling to drink enough fluids, you should take it to the vet immediately. Other reasons for consulting the vet include blood in the faeces, a temperature, weight loss or very abnormal behaviour.
Bringing the vet a sample of your cat’s faeces can help them to determine the cause of the diarrhoea. An analysis of the stools can reveal, among other things, whether parasites are responsible. A blood test can also help to find out the reason for the diarrhoea. You can also provide helpful hints by giving the vet as much information as possible about the course of the illness: When and how often does diarrhoea occur? Has the consistency changed? Have there been similar cases in the past?
Which food can help with diarrhoea?
The cat's digestive system will recover best if it is subject to as little stress as possible. This is why cats with diarrhoea should not be given any food for the first 24 hours. It is, however, important that the cat drinks small amounts of fluids. Cats that are allowed outdoors should – wherever possible – remain indoors during this period. If the diarrhoea has disappeared within 24 hours, the cat can once again be given food – in small portions. It is advisable to spread out the rations over at least five small meals.
It is recommended to give your pet a special food that is tailored to the needs of cats with diarrhoea. animonda INTEGRA PROTECT Intestinal is suitable for feeding after acute diarrhoea. The food provides both easily digestible animal proteins and well-tolerated carbohydrates. The moderate fat content facilitates rapid gastric emptying. To ensure that the dietary food is easy to digest, the dietary fibre content (crude fibre) has been reduced as much as possible. Conversely, the electrolyte (sodium and potassium) content has been increased to compensate for the loss caused by diarrhoea.
Stomach problems in cats
An upset stomach is common in cats. The symptoms include vomiting and diarrhoea. The problems usually go away on their own. If this is not the case, the underlying cause should be established with the help of a vet.
Feeding cats with health conditions
They say that the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. If your cat is ill, what it eats will also be of great importance, and in many cases cats with medical conditions can be helped with a suitable dietary food.
Blood pressure in cats
Measuring a cat’s blood pressure from time to time provides information on how efficient the heart is and how elastic the vessel walls are.