Cat Diarrhea

Treatment Options for Cats Diarrhea

Instead of winding our way around the subject let’s get right to it and avoid the whole mess – pun intended.

When your cat is experiencing diarrhea, they lose a lot of water from their body – just like humans do.

The main aim of treating diarrhea is to rehydrate your cat, prevent further loss of body fluid and eliminate the underlying problem that caused the diarrhea in the first place.

Cat diarrhea can last anywhere from less than 24 hours to a much longer period of time.

If it lasts a long time, this can be life-threatening for your cat.

Fortunately, cat diarrhea can be treated at home by making a few small adjustments.

However, if the diarrhea persists, then visit your vet as soon as possible.

Before treating any diarrhea, you should establish the underlying causes to be able to administer the correct medications.

Home Remedies for Cat Diarrhea

When you notice your cat is having diarrhea, there are a few things you can do at home with the advice from your vet.

If one of the main reasons behind the problem is the car’s diet, then some of the things you can do include:

Change your cat’s food and opt for a more natural type.

Do this gradually to give the cat’s stomach time to get used to the new food.

The cat’s original diet could have artificial ingredients that cause stomach upset leading to diarrhea.

A cat loses a lot of water when it has diarrhea.

In that water, there are special water nutrients called electrolytes which are needed by the nerves to function.

It is then important to have plenty of fresh, clean water accessible to your cat.

At times, you can let your cat fast for 12 to 24 hours to give the stomach a break.

As there will be nothing to digest, the diarrhea will eventually stop.

When you go back to feeding your cat, first start with a rice mix, then add in smaller amounts of the regular food and reduce the rice mix gradually until the cat is back on a regular diet.

You can give your cat home-cooked food until the diarrhea reduces or even stops.

A simple meal you can make is rice or mashed potatoes with boiled chicken or fish.

If your vet has told you that the cause of the diarrhea is as a result of intestinal yeast infection, then what you can do at home is add small amounts of yoghurt to your cat’s food for a few days, and the diarrhea will most likely clear up.

Finally, one of the last home remedies you can try is to ensure that your cat has minimal exposure to causes of stress.

Take her for a walk so that she can get exercising and fresh air.

This could be what the cat needs for the diarrhea to stop.

Let’s hope that one of the remedies above will help restore your cat’s bowel movements to normal.

Cat Diarrhea

Veterinary Treatment Options

If you have tried all the home remedies but the diarrhea is not going away, one of your only options left, in this case, would be to visit your vet to diagnose the underlying cause of the diarrhea.

The vet will carry out blood sample tests, urine tests or even faecal tests.

If you can, take some of the cat’s faeces to the vet with you so you can go ahead and provide the sample for the required test.

Once the doctor has ruled an underlying cause, they can then offer a treatment plan that will most like look like one of these:

Bacterial infection: The two main types of bacteria that cause diarrhea in a cat are the salmonella and campylobacter.

They attack cats with low immunity and can be transferred to human beings.

It is important to treat this type of infection as soon as possible – especially since you can get it!

At your visit, the vet will carry out a health check to review the medical history of the cat, first checking if the cat has had a bacterial infection before.

The vet will also do blood tests to diagnose the cause.

If a bacterial infection is discovered, the vet will then administer antibiotic treatments.

The medication should be given to the cat following the vet’s instructions.

The dosage will depend on the cat’s health and the level of infection.

The vet should prescribe a long-term treatment of antibiotics until the diarrhea stops.

Viral infection: Feline parvovirus and feline leukaemia are two viruses responsible for cat diarrhea – both of which can last for up to six weeks.

No one wants to see their cat suffer that long.

The vet will run several lab tests to rule out bacterial and parasitic infections.

These tests include blood profile, faecal examination, tissue biopsy and electrolyte panel.

The vet will do a physical examination focusing on the mouth and stomach area.

A visual diagnosis can also be done using x-rays and ultrasound.

This way the vet can be sure that the cause of the diarrhea is a viral infection.

As there is no veterinary treatment for a viral infection, controlling the symptoms is important.

When it is known that the cause of the diarrhea is a viral infection, the vet will administer intravenous fluids to stabilise the cat and also prescribe anti-viral medications to relieve stomach upset and the diarrhea.

The vet may also recommend a high protein diet for the cat which is easily digested to calm the stomach down.

Parasitic infection: Cats living as a family and those under 12 months old are likely to get parasitic infection causing diarrhea.

If not treated early, the diarrhea can last up to two years.

Blood, faeces and urine examinations can be done to diagnose parasitic infection.

The diagnosis will depend on the type of parasite infecting the cat.

For a heartworm test, the vet will do blood sample tests which only takes minutes.

Most medication to treat parasitic infection is available over the counter at a vet’s shop.

Be sure that the cause of the diarrhea is parasitic infection before you buy the drugs.

However, there are dangerous heartworms that cannot be treated by over-the-counter medications.

This may require your cat to be hospitalised for a while to be treated properly.

Kidney disease: The kidneys are responsible for maintaining fluid balance in the body.

If the kidneys are not able to control the fluids, then the cat can experience diarrhea.

Your vet will do urine tests, blood tests, x-rays and even ultrasound to find the cause of the diarrhea.

If found that it is kidney disease, then your vet may recommend treatments which could be IV fluids, surgery to remove any blockages, medications or special diet.

The vet may advise you to gradually introduce a low protein, low phosphorous, high vitamin, high omega-3 fatty acids diet to your cat to support the rehabilitation of their kidneys.

Liver disease: The liver plays a very important role in the digestion of food.

When the cat feeds on any toxins, the liver is affected and is not able to perform its intended function causing diarrhea in the cat.

The vet will review the cat’s medical history and discuss with you the symptoms that your cat has.

The vet will then perform a standard lab test including liver biopsy, x-rays, ultrasound and blood count.

In this case, the treatment will be administered according to the underlying cause of liver disease as explained below.

Stabilisation: Stabilising the cat’s body is necessary before administering any treatments.

This may involve in-patient care and a balance of electrolytes through fluid therapy and supplements of vitamin B-complex.

Swelling of the stomach can be treated by prescribing diuretics.

Nutritional support: If the cat appears to have lost a lot of nutrients, the vet can then suggest the use of an appetite stimulant or feeding the cat using a syringe or a feeding tube.

This will help the cat take in the required food until she is able to feed on her own.

Prescribing drugs: The vet may prescribe antibiotics or corticosteroid to reduce inflammation of the liver.

In cases of lymphocytic portal hepatitis, the vet may recommend immunosuppressant drugs.

Dietary changes: Once the vet has released your cat, the main focus for you will be not overworking the cat’s liver.

This can be achieved by reducing the amounts of carbohydrates, proteins and fats in their diet.

Feeding the cat small amounts of easily digestible food will reduce the stress of the liver.

You can go back to giving your cat the original diet once the diarrhea has stopped.

Paying attention to your cat will enable you to notice any changes in the faecal matter.

When it is watery, you should visit your vet for advice.

Severe diarrhea is life-threatening if it is not treated in time.

Knowing the main cause of your cat’s diarrhea is important to be able to administer the right medications.

The cause could be something simple that can be adjusted at home.

If the diarrhea continues for more than 24 hours, visit your vet so that they can run some tests to find the underlying medical problem.

Giving your cat the prescribed dosage of the medications is important for quick recovery.

Be sure to introduce any new diets recommended by the vet gradually to give your cat the best chance of recovery.

Either way, we wish your cat a speedy recovery!

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