Feline diarrhea is a common symptom of many illnesses and conditions.
If your cat is suffering from loose or watery stools, there are a few things you should know.
Causes can range from something your cat swallowed to bad cat food to a serious medical condition.
Since diarrhea has many possible causes, and may be a sign of a serious medical condition, treatment should definitely be sought.
Diarrhea may also lead to dehydration, which can be dangerous, even life threatening. Not to mention, of course, diarrhea is very uncomfortable for your cat, and a mess for you to clean up.
If your cat is experiencing a prolonged bout of diarrhea, it's time to make a trip to the veterinarian to rule out the causes below.
As in humans, diarrhea in cats occurs when too much water is expelled from the colon.
Normally, water is reabsorbed in your cat's colon and the feces become the right consistency before being expelled from the body.
If enough water isn't reabsorbed (say because the intestines send the material through too quickly), however, the stool won't be the right consistency. The result is watery stool.
This can happen for a number of reasons, including a change in diet, toxins or foreign objects ingested. In some cases, this is a result of a serious medical condition.
As well as loose or watery stools, diarrhea may also be characterized by an increase in frequency and urgency of bowel movements.
Diarrhea is a common problem in house cats, probably in part because it has many causes:
Some cats may have what we might term a sensitive stomach, or possibly suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, and have diarrhea.
Some cats are "nervous cats" and react poorly to change or stress. If your cat is one of these, she may have diarrhea because she is reacting to stressful events such as a change in her environment.
If any of these describe your cat, then reduction of stress and reducing your cat's anxiety are recommended, and a special diet may help. Some cat owners have switched their kitties to home prepared meals, raw meat diets, or organic cat food.
This may be specifically to reduce the frequency of bowel problems, or it may be for broader health concerns. More options for the treatment of diarrhea in cats are discussed here.