Why cats get diarrhea

By on May 25, 2017

Diana Hutchinson is a pet lover- especially dogs and cats- and believes a home without a pet is just a house. For these reasons and others, she founded, a wonderful resource for keepers of companion animals everywhere.  Pets in Omaha is glad to present this helpful information below thanks to Diana and her site. For more on feline health and many more topics relevant to pet ownership, click to above link!


Just like people, cats can get sick and have diarrhea too. Cat owners, like you, could also be wondering why.

If your cat is currently having diarrhea, you need to pay more attention to its litter box. While diarrhea is normal, there are emergency cases where you need to call the vet right away!

Alarming symptoms include:

  • Blood in kitty’s poop
  • Tarry or black stool
  • Diarrhea is accompanied by vomiting
  • Your kitty has fever, is dehydrated, lethargic or is suffering from pain
  • Feline’s gums are yellow or pale
  • You suspect your kitty ate something poisonous or toxic

In cases like this, do not give your cat any type of medicine unless directed by the vet. Now, let’s go into the causes of your cat’s diarrhea.

There are many reasons why your cat is pooping more than usual. We will cover the most common reasons in this post.


1. You changed your cat’s usual cat food.

When you change your cat’s food, diarrhea is normal. Transitioning to a new brand or flavor should always be done gradually so your cat won’t get sick. If you recently changed your cat’s food and there are no other symptoms present –the cat food might be to blame.

2. Your cat has a food allergy or sensitivity.

Cats are picky eaters and it’s not unusual to come across one which cannot tolerate certain ingredients. In fact, some brands have cat food for diarrhea  which is designed for felines who are allergic to grains and similar ingredients.

Cats are allergic to different ingredients; some cannot tolerate grains while others suffer from diarrhea when they eat anything with milk.

3.       Your feline has worms

When cats have intestinal parasites, diarrhea often happens. Kittens are particularly prone to roundworms and hookworms. In this case, diarrhea is often accompanied by weight loss and stunted growth.

The best person to consult when you suspect your cat has worms is your veterinarian. Treatment is usually administered right away to avoid complications. Usually, cats with worms also have fleas.

It would be ideal to combine treatment for parasites with flea treatments to avoid recurrence. Keep in mind that young cats are more likely to have worms compared to adult cats. However, all cats from kittens to old cats can have worms.

4.       Your cat ingested toxic materials.

Cats are curious creatures and when there’s something new to their sight, they will be attracted to it right away. That could prove to be harmful for them especially when they eat something.

Diarrhea can also be caused by poisonous plants and heavy metals. If your cat ingested either of the two, your cat might have abdominal pain. Your vet should provide the right treatment depending on what toxin your cat had contact with.

If you noticed your cat scavenging or eating garbage, it’s also likely that your unsupervised cat ate something that didn’t sit well with its stomach. In this case, withholding food and keeping kitty on a bland diet helps.

5.       Your cat is stressed or anxious

When people have stage fright or they are scared of something, there are some who suffer from diarrhea. Cats can also react this way when they face a stressful situation. Vomiting might also be observed when this happens.

In this case, you need to increase the soluble fiber in your cat’s diet. You also need to provide a stress-free environment for your feline.

6.       Diarrhea be caused by bacteria, viral or fungal infection

Diarrhea is also a symptom of an infection. This is often observed in felines that have not received their vaccinations yet. Young cats face the greatest danger in these circumstances.

The best person to prescribe the medication in the event of an infection is your vet.


What to Do When Kitty Has a Diarrhea

As a cat owner, you need to pay attention to your cat. If your cat is suffering from diarrhea pay attention to the color, appearance, odor, frequency, and the amount of kitty’s poop. This might sound gross but it could help your vet know what your cat is suffering from.

Keep in mind that this list is not all inclusive. Your cat’s condition may be caused by something else. Always call your vet when you are worried and in doubt with your cat’s health.
Thanks again to Diana of Be sure to check out her site!

About Eric Forrest

Eric is a pet lover, bookworm and dad. He's had 5 family dogs, 4 cats, a cottontail rabbit he nursed back to health, and two ducks. Cats are his preference, but Eric loves all little critters.

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