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Diarrhea in Kittens & Cats

One of the worst ailments that can happen to your kitten or cat is a bad case of diarrhea.  Cats that have this condition can experience a multitude of symptoms. Cats and kittens can be feverish, they may show signs of straining when going to the bathroom, or they may throw-up repeatedly.  The causes of diarrhea are varied and treatments are wide ranging for this reason.

I think I’m getting a little better. How about you?

What Causes Diarrhea in Cats and Kittens?

  • Bad Food.  Sometimes cats have an episode of diarrhea because there is something amiss with their food.  It is surprising how many cases of cat and dog food are recalled every year.  If you look at the Department of Consumer Affairs website, you can find out which cat and kitten foods are under recall.
  • Allergic to certain food.   Some cats and kittens simply have allergies to certain foods.  If you have an older cat and have been feeding her the same food for years, it is unlikely she would experience a new allergy.  But, you may not be familiar with a kitten’s unfavorable reaction to certain foods, and kitten diarrhea may be caused by one or more particular ingredients.  Soy, wheat gluten, and dairy products are a few of the known culprits.
  • Poison!  Our cats and kittens are nosy little animals, and sometimes this can get them into trouble.  Cats and kittens have been known to eat poisonous plants, and even household substances that can wreak havoc on kitty’s system.  Cat diarrhea could be a symptom of poison.
  • Disease.   Kitten diarrhea can be caused by a variety of diseases.  Unfortunately, when a new kitten is brought into our households, we can’t know for sure whether the little kitty has a health issue.   Our older cats are also susceptible to these disorders.  Most commonly, these ailments are; kidney, liver, or bowel issues.
  • Parasites.   Roundworms infection can be fatal for young kittens.  A symptom of this parasite is diarrhea.  Older cats with weaker immune systems are also susceptible to the more dangerous results of roundworm.  Ticks are another parasite, and when left untreated can result in kidney disease.  A sign of kidney disease is cat or kitten diarrhea.
  • Sick.  Your cat or kitten may simply be ill with either a bacterial or viral infection.   Cats may come down with a common cold, just like people, and diarrhea can be an indicator of a short term illness.

What to do if your kitten or cat has diarrhea?

  • Vet.  If you are uncertain what has caused the kitten or cat diarrhea, you’re probably best off taking the cat your veterinarian.  Since there are multiple reasons your kitty may be ill, your vet can help eliminate some of the scarier and dangerous causes.
  • Wait.  On the other hand, maybe you know your cat licked up all them whipped cream out of your coffee cup, and you know your cat always has a diarrhea attack after over indulging.  One episode of diarrhea won’t kill the cat, and you can wait and see if kitty feels better before rushing out the door.
  • I need to feel good so I can get busy tearing up the house!

With all the possible causes of kitten and cat diarrhea, there are some things you can try when your vet seems at a loss.

Try changing cat food brands.  You can cut out a portion of their diets by eliminating wheat gluten, or pork.  This may help you determine the culpable food.  In the end, you want to make sure that your cats and kittens remain healthy and experience diarrhea as little as possible.



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