Should You Be Worried If Your Cat Has Diarrhea?


Everyone has likely experienced having an off day with their stomach from time to time for no particular reason. As a result, it's fairly common for pet parents to shrug it off if their cat has a bad tummy day and has diarrhea. However, it's not a good idea to ignore this problem. If you're not sure if your cat has been having this problem or know that they are and don't know whether or not to act on it, here's what you should know about cats having diarrhea.

How to Tell

Most of the time, cats produce their waste and leave it in a litter box, or outside, depending on your living situation. Dirt and litter boxes desiccate what's left behind in them, meaning that pet parents may have difficulty telling if a cat has diarrhea unless they poop somewhere inappropriate.

If you're not sure, it largely depends upon the type of kitty litter that you're using. Standard non-clumping clay litter and wooden pellets usually make it obvious if a cat has had diarrhea, as it will sit on top of the litter. However, whether using clumping litter or not, you can usually tell based upon the size and shape of what you're scooping out of the box. Normal cat feces usually sticks together in a single lump, but diarrhea has a lot of water in it. As a result, even if it's desiccated, it may appear wider and thinner than a standard pile of cat feces.

What May Be Behind It

Unfortunately, there are many potential causes behind a cat having diarrhea, so it's impossible to offer a single one-size-fits-all diagnosis. However, there are a few common potential causes.

For example, changing your cat's food too suddenly can cause this result. Cats' stomachs are sensitive to dietary changes, so slowly transitioning into a new variety of food is best.

Alternatively, your cat may have a stomach illness, similar to the stomach flu in humans. Or they may have eaten something that's dangerous to them, in which case the body will try to reject it in any way it can, sometimes resulting in diarrhea.

The Risks

Whether or not your cat has come across something potentially toxic leading to this problem, it's important to have a vet check them out as soon as possible. Prolonged diarrhea can lead to dehydration in cats, which can make your cat feel ill and even increase the risk of secondary problems, like kidney damage. While drinking water can help restore hydration, it may not be enough on its own. Your veterinarian can determine if your cat needs IV fluids or any other assistance to help them to recover from this problem and to put a stop to their diarrhea.


18 November 2021

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