Does Your Cat Have Diarrhea

Warning: I am not a veterinarian. All advice I give should taken with a grain of salt, as with a lot of advice you may read online. I just like to help animals, through helping their pet parents, with the 19 years of experience I have gained by working in veterinary medicine.

Ultimately, you should consult your veterinarian before trying anything yourself at home.

There could be many reasons why your cat is having diarrhea.

Sometimes is can be due to benign changes like

-changing their food

-adding a new treat or snack

-feeding them table scraps

-getting into the garbage/eating something in the yard they shouldn’t have

There could also be intestinal parasites.

If your cat has intestinal parasites, then the vet needs to test a stool sample to figure out which one, so they can prescribe the correct medication.

If these are the reasons for your cat’s diarrhea, and they don’t have any other symptoms (vomiting, lethargy, mucous and/or blood in the stools, or not eating/decreased appetite) then feeding them a bland diet and/or adding a probiotic to their food can help.

I like FortiFlora for cats, https://www.amazon.com/Fortiflora-Purina-Veterinary-Diets-Nutritional

If your cat is having any of the above named symptoms I mentioned, in addition to diarrhea, then stop reading now and call a veterinary clinic asap.

From my experience, cats do not get diarrhea very often. When they do, it is typically due to a food intolerance (even If they’ve been on the same diet for a while), or some other problem that requires a veterinarian’s help.

If your cat is an outdoor cat, a regular flea and tick prevention is helpful to keep them from getting fleas that cause tapeworms.

Most heartworm prevention medications also have dewormers in them, and can help them from contracting other intestinal parasites caused by eating wild animals (birds, mice, etc.)

Indoor cats can also get intestinal parasites from things like potting soil (wear gloves when you are gardening, there can be parasites in the potting mix soil!), so always have a stool sample checked if using a probiotic doesn’t help.

You can try making a bland diet, but cats are usually very picky eaters, so using the probiotic is usually the best option. If the diarrhea returns, or doesn’t improve, on the probiotic, then a trip to the veterinarian is usually the best option.

*** IMPORTANT***

Cats must eat cat food in order to get the proper nutrition and keep them from creating more issues. If your cat continues to have diarrhea after 3 days, take them to a veterinarian. The bland diet is NOT a nutritionally sound replacement for a cat diet over a long period of time.

Bland diet:

NOTE: They should be on a bland diet until they are having solid stools for a solid (no pun intended) 3 days before you start slowly mixing their normal food back into the bland diet.

*You can also purchase a bland diet from your veterinarian. I DO NOT recommend buying a ‘bland diet’ from a pet store.

Ingredients:

Cooked white or brown rice (not Minute or instant rice)

BOILED boneless/skinless chicken breast.

OR

BOILED lean hamburger.

**You MUST boil the meat to get as much fat off of it as possible, otherwise it will just make the diarrhea worse and make them even more sick.

Cook the rice as per the instructions on the bag.

Cut the chicken up or break up the hamburger in small pieces and boil in water until it’s cooked through.

Drain meat. Discard water- DO NOT USE the water for anything, it has the fat in it!

Allow both rice and meat choice to cool.

Mix 4 parts rice to one part meat.

For cats, you may want to blend the food so they will eat it. I don’t know many cats that will eat rice as it is.

Refrigerate any left overs, after it has cooled to use for later.

If you’re able to feed multiple small meals throughout the day, do that.

Otherwise feed at your normal times.

Typically, you can use the same portion sizes as you would their normal diet.

Add water or canned low sodium chicken broth to increase their water intake, since they can get dehydrated, or to entice them to eat it.

-You do not have to add the chicken broth if you don’t want to.

Once their stools are formed for at least 3 days, you can start to add in their normal food.

*** IMPORTANT***

Cats must eat cat food in order to get the proper nutrition and keep them from creating more issues. If your cat continues to have diarrhea after 3 days, take them to a veterinarian. The bland diet is NOT a nutritionally sound replacement for a cat diet over a long period of time.

Always keep an eye on your pet’s urine and bowel movements so that you can spot issues early and intervene before they get really sick and require a costly hospital stay. Your vet will also ask you what the stools look like, how long they’ve been having diarrhea, if they got into/or have eaten anything they shouldn’t have, and will also ask you to bring in a fresh stool sample.

It may also help you to start a probiotic/bland diet early enough, and start improving on the diarrhea, before they start to have accidents around the house, which no one likes to clean up.