Diarrhea in Cats: Causes, Treatment, and When to See a Vet

Diarrhea in Cats

Diarrhea in cats is a common ailment that every cat owner will likely encounter at some point. It can be concerning, messy, and somewhat stressful to deal with. This blog aims to provide insights into the possible causes of diarrhea in cats, how to treat it, and when it's time to consult with a veterinarian.

Possible Causes of Diarrhea in Cats:

  1. Dietary Changes or Indiscretions: Just like humans, cats can experience an upset stomach when their diet is suddenly changed or if they consume something they shouldn't.
  2. Parasites: Internal parasites such as roundworms, tapeworms, and giardia can cause diarrhea.
  3. Infections: Bacterial, viral, or fungal infections can affect the gastrointestinal (GI) tract leading to diarrhea.
  4. Chronic Conditions: Conditions like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), hyperthyroidism, or even certain cancers can lead to chronic diarrhea.
  5. Medications: Some medications might have side effects that affect the GI tract.
  6. Other Causes: Allergies, toxins, or even stress can lead to a cat developing diarrhea.

Home Care for Mild Diarrhea:

  • Diet: Offer a bland diet. Boiled chicken or white fish, with no added seasonings, can help. Alternatively, ask your vet about prescription diets formulated for gastrointestinal issues.
  • Hydration: Ensure your cat has access to fresh water at all times. Dehydration can be a concern with diarrhea.
  • Probiotics: Ask your vet about suitable probiotics to help restore the balance of good bacteria in your cat's intestines.
  • Monitor: Keep an eye on your cat's litter box habits, behavior, and appetite. Any sudden or drastic changes warrant concern.

When to See a Veterinarian:

Severity and Duration:

If the diarrhea is severe, bloody, or lasts more than 24-48 hours, it's essential to consult a vet.

1. Accompanied Symptoms:

Vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite, or any signs of pain alongside diarrhea are concerning.

2. Kittens:

Kittens are especially vulnerable. If a kitten has diarrhea, it's best to seek veterinary advice promptly.

3. Dehydration:

If your cat shows signs of dehydration such as dry gums, sunken eyes, or decreased skin elasticity, seek veterinary care.


  • Diet:

Maintain a consistent diet and introduce any changes gradually over several days.

  • Regular Vet Check-ups:

Routine check-ups can help in early detection of parasites or other issues.

  • Hygiene:

Keep your cat's litter box clean, and prevent them from accessing garbage or spoiled foods.

  • Safe Environment:

Prevent access to toxins, plants, or other substances that could be harmful.

That’s a wrap!

While occasional, mild diarrhea might not be a significant cause for concern, it's essential to monitor your cat and be aware of accompanying symptoms or prolonged issues. When in doubt, always err on the side of caution and consult with a veterinarian. Your furry friend's health and comfort should always be a priority!