Let’s face it: dealing with your cat’s gastrointestinal issues is no fun for anyone, especially regarding diarrhea in cats. As a cat owner, you want your furry friend to feel better quickly. You can do a few things at home to help support your cat through this uncomfortable time. Your role is critical in keeping them hydrated, monitoring them closely, and allowing them to rest as much as possible. The key is staying calm and patient, even if things get messy. This, too, shall pass, but your cat needs you. With some tender loving care, essential home treatments, and possibly a vet visit, you’ll get through this together and have your happy, healthy cat back to their usual self in no time.
Understanding Feline Diarrhea: Causes and Symptoms
Cat diarrhea can be caused by several issues, from eating something that doesn’t agree with them to an underlying health condition that requires treatment. Look for the following symptoms:
- Loose, watery stools: The apparent sign. More than 2-3 loose stools a day are cause for concern.
- Increased frequency: If your cat goes to the litter box more often and produces loose stools each time, it could indicate diarrhea.
- Straining: Your cat may strain or cry while trying to defecate due to discomfort.
- Blood or mucus in the stool can indicate an infection or other issue and requires vet care.
Some potential causes of feline diarrhea include:
- Dietary indiscretion: Eating spoiled food, garbage, or a new treat their tummy didn’t like. Withhold food for 12 hours, then slowly reintroduce bland foods like rice and boiled chicken.
- Parasites: Worms or protozoa can irritate the GI tract. A vet can diagnose and deworm your cat.
- Bacterial infection: Salmonella, E. coli, or other bugs may require antibiotics. See your vet.
- Other issues: Kidney disease, thyroid disease, or IBD may also contribute to diarrhea. If symptoms persist for more than a few days, consult your vet.
To support your cat, ensure they stay hydrated, limit activity, and consider probiotics or pumpkin puree to help firm up stools. With vet care and the proper treatment, diarrhea is often resolved quickly, getting your fur baby back to solid poop and playful spirits in no time.
Caring for Your Cat During a Bout of Diarrhea
When your cat has diarrhea, keeping them hydrated and nourished is essential. Offer small amounts of water or an oral rehydration solution frequently using a syringe or spoon to prevent dehydration. You should also give them bland, easy-to-digest foods like:
- Boiled chicken
- Pumpkin puree
These soothing foods can help bulk up the stool. Avoid dairy, fatty, or highly seasoned foods, which irritate the stomach further.
You’ll want to confine your cat to one room so you can monitor their stool and accidents. Gently clean up any mess right away and thoroughly disinfect the area. Call your vet if diarrhea persists for more than a day or if your cat shows other symptoms like:
- Lethargy or weakness
- Loss of appetite
- Blood or mucus in the stool
- Straining or crying when trying to defecate
To help relieve discomfort, you can give an over-the-counter probiotic or antidiarrheal medication as directed by your vet. Always follow the dosage for your cat’s weight.
Caring for a cat with diarrhea requires patience and vigilance. You can help get your furry friend back to good health by keeping them nourished, hydrated, and comfortable. If diarrhea continues for over a few days, it’s best to have your vet examine your cat to determine the underlying cause.
Preventing and Managing Feline Diarrhea Long-Term
To prevent and manage feline diarrhea in the long run, there are a few things you can do:
- Feed a high-quality, sensitive stomach cat food. Look for a formula with highly digestible ingredients, limited additives, and byproducts. A diet tailored for gastrointestinal health can help reduce inflammation and stomach upset.
- Maintain a regular feeding schedule. Free feeding can lead to overeating, which puts extra stress on the digestive system. Instead, stick to the same amount of food at the exact times every day. It will keep your cat’s stool consistent and less likely to cause diarrhea.
- Ensure access to fresh, clean water every day. Hydration is vital to managing diarrhea and replenishing fluids lost. Place multiple water bowls around the house so your cat always has water nearby. You can also give unflavored Pedialyte to help with electrolyte balance.
- Limit treats and table scraps. While occasional treats in moderation are fine, too many extras can upset the stomach. Stick to a maximum of 1-2 small treats daily and avoid fatty, sugary people’s food altogether.
- Have your vet check for underlying issues. If diarrhea persists for more than a couple of days or your cat seems sluggish, it’s best to have them examined by the vet. Things like parasites, infections, inflammatory bowel disease, or other GI problems could be the cause and may require diagnosis and treatment. Getting to the root of the problem will help get your cat’s stool back to normal in the long run.
By feeding a gentle, high-quality diet, sticking to a regular feeding schedule, ensuring your cat stays hydrated, limiting treats, and having regular vet checkups, you can prevent and manage feline diarrhea for your cat’s long-term health and happiness. Be attentive to your cat’s needs and adjust to keep their stool consistently firm.
After doing everything you can to care for your cat during this difficult time, also care for yourself. Dealing with messy accidents and constant laundry can take an emotional toll, even for the most devoted pet owner. Take some time each day to unwind and de-stress. Cuddle with your furry friend when they’re up to it, and give them some extra love and belly rubs. Before you know it, your cat will return to their usual playful self. Stay patient and remember that this, too, shall pass. Your cat is lucky to have an owner like you to nurse them back to health. Keep up the excellent work!