Diarrhea in Cats: causes, symptoms and treatment

Diarrhea in Cats: causes, symptoms and treatment

Diarrhea in Cats

Diarrhea in cats is a common condition and is characterized by an unusual discharge of liquids and a rapid dehydration. It can be caused by a change in diet or it can be the consequence of something more serious.

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Causes of Diarrhea in cats

As state before, there are many causes of diarrhea in cats:

  • Change in diet
  • Ingestion of spoiled food
  • Viral or bacterial infection
  • Food intolerance (dairy, for instance)
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Parasites such as coccidia or roundworms
  • Medications
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Colitis


The most common symptom of diarrhea in cats is the frequent and loose stool. So, it is important that you check your cat’s stool for consistency, even if you do not suspect he might be suffering from diarrhea.

Other symptoms that might indicate diarrhea are flatulence and straining to defecate.  Other signs might be:

  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Less appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Increased urgency to defecate

Sometimes, blood might accompany your cat’s feces or mucus.  If that is the case, feces will look bloody or dark.  This means that he is probably bleeding from his stomach or intestines.  Take him to the veterinarian immediately.


If you suspect that your cat is suffering from diarrhea, the very first measure is to try to avoid feeding your cat any food for 12-24 hours while he is going through it. It is important that you provide water to control dehydration, though.

The veterinarian will take a stool sample to check for any parasites and will also conduct blood tests to check for a possible cause of diarrhea.

If the cause is underlying, then other tests might be necessary. These include ultrasound, cultures, radiographs, endoscopy, and biopsy. They type fo test that your pet undergoes will depend on the severity and how long your cat has had the condition.

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