There’s no doubt that diarrhoea in pets is an unpleasant affair. Apart from the uncomfortable churning of your pet’s insides, there’s also a lot of mess and stink for you, the pet owner, to deal with.
Telltale symptoms of feline diarrhoea are commonly known, and these include the softening of your cat’s stools and an increased frequency in litter box usage and water intake. But what causes diarrhoea in cats, and what can cat owners do to manage it?
Causes of cat diarrhoea
There are many causes of diarrhoea in your feline, and preventing diarrhoea from ever happening might be impossible. However, early detection of underlying causes of diarrhoea can save your kitty from much discomfort and pain.
Cats are known to be picky eaters and many cat owners know that they tend to stick to food they like and are familiar with. However, that doesn’t mean that incidents of felines consuming inedible materials such as wool or feathers are uncommon.
Consuming such substances could be the cause of your cat developing diarrhoea, which is why cat owners should ensure that their cat’s environment is free from loose items and substances which may upset its stomach!
Another cause of diarrhoea in cats is a change in diet. Did you recently change the brand of cat food that you feed your cat with? The sudden change may irritate your cat’s tummy, and this may be easily rectified by gradually introducing any changes in your cat’s diet instead of doing an abrupt switch.
Scabies, giardiasis, filariasis, and babesiosis are just some of the many parasites that could be irritating your cat’s digestive system and causing them to experience diarrhoea. As younger cats are more susceptible to parasites, cat owners with juvenile kitties will have to be more vigilant in maintaining their cat’s living environment.
For example, giardiasis parasites thrive in moist and cool environments. This means that cat owners will need to make sure that their living areas are temperature-regulated and stays dry. If you suspect that your cat is infected with parasites, you should immediately take it to the vet to receive the proper care and treatment!
Anxiety and stress
Cats who suffer from anxiety might experience lower bowel irritation, and being overly stimulated, irritated or stressed-out can be causes of diarrhoea as well. Coupled with these physical changes are also behavioural changes — your cat might be exhibiting behaviour not consistent with its usual personality, such as an affectionate cat acting fearful and timid.
Thankfully, anxiety and stress in cats can be managed if done properly. Spend some time to observe and identify potential sources of your cat’s anxiety and stress and work towards creating a safer space for your cat.
Ironic as it sounds, certain antibiotic medications that cats take can cause persistent diarrhoea. Though it may be inconvenient, if your cat’s diarrhoea presents itself mid-course, the best course of action is to let your cat finish the antibiotic cycle before re-evaluating their bathroom habits.
However, if diarrhoea presents itself at the start of the antibiotic cycle, instead of continuing the course, you should bring your cat to the vet to get it checked out.
A visit to the vet is the best course of action if your cat falls ill, but there are ways to manage their conditions until then:
Keep them hydrated
Felines are not fond of water and may not drink much on the daily, so in order for you to prevent your cat from becoming dehydrated, you will have to intervene. Refilling their bowls constantly with fresh, clean water or installing a drinking fountain will encourage your cats to drink up. If that’s not enough, cat owners can also consider gradually switching them from a dry food diet to a wet diet, which contains more moisture.
Just like medication for humans with diarrhoea, you can obtain over-the-counter medicine at your pet shop which can stop your cat’s diarrhoea. If your cat’s condition isn’t too serious, it should clear up within 2-3 days. Otherwise, you will need to take your cat to the vet to get the situation properly managed.
Increase their fibre intake
If your cat’s bowels are easily irritated, its diet may be the cause of its softer stools. Cats who have digestive issues may benefit from an increase in their fibre intake. By feeding your cat with fibre supplements or switching your cat to foods which are specially crafted to be highly digestible, you may be able to firm up your cat’s stools.
Cat diarrhoea can be messy, and your kitty may take a while to recover. However, by identifying the symptoms and causes and dealing with them in a timely manner, your feline will certainly bounce back in no time!