What Should I Do if My Cat Has Diarrhea?
As a cat parent, you’re always paying attention to your pet’s health and wellness. And because of this, you’re sure to notice if anything goes wrong. So, when your cat has diarrhea, it’s completely normal to be concerned and to wonder if there’s anything you need to be doing to help.
In the article below, we’ll walk you through the basics when it comes to responding to feline diarrhea. With the help of this guide, you can determine when your cat may need some extra medical attention and when they may be able to recover just fine on their own. Read on to find out more.
When to Wait and See:
If any of these match your cat’s symptoms it is ok to wait and see how your cat is doing before contacting your Boston Veterinary Clinic team.
If Your Cat Has Diarrhea Once or Twice, or for Less Than One Day
Any diarrhea that lasts for less than a day is nothing to worry about, particularly if your cat returns to their normal bathroom habits the following day. Just like humans, cats can sometimes simply have an upset stomach for no discernible reason, and it can clear up in a relatively short amount of time.
If Your Cat Has Recently Started a New Food or Medication
Sudden changes in food flavors, ingredients, or brands can contribute to diarrhea in cats. Additionally, changes to medication or new medications may cause diarrhea in some instances, too. If you know your cat has had some recent changes like this in their life, you may be able to wait and see if the diarrhea clears up when their body gets used to the new food or medicine.
If Your Cat Has Recently Been Through Stress or Changes in Their Lifestyle
Stress can cause an upset stomach in cats. If you’ve recently traveled, moved to a new home, brought home a new baby, or added a new pet to the family, for example, your cat may have diarrhea because of their heightened anxiety levels.
When to Go to the Veterinarian
It is important to call your veterinarian if your cat is showing any of these symptoms with their diarrhea.
If Your Cat is Constipated Between Bouts of Diarrhea
Constipation with diarrhea may indicate a more serious problem that needs to be examined by the vet. These symptoms together may mean that your cat is dealing with something as serious as a bowel obstruction or something as simple as irritable bowel syndrome. Your vet will need to examine your cat to tell you for sure.
If Your Cat’s Diarrhea Lasts Longer Than Two Days
Diarrhea that lasts longer than two days can be seen and treated by a regular vet. If your cat is not showing signs of dehydration, a regular vet is ideal for this type of situation. In the case of three days or longer, it is urgent you visit the emergency vet.
If Your Cat is Vomiting Along with Diarrhea
Vomiting with diarrhea can mean your cat has eaten something toxic. These symptoms together may also mean your cat has an underlying health problem that needs to be treated by a medical professional. Either way, a trip to the regular vet is in order, unless your cat’s symptoms are severe enough to constitute an emergency.
If Your Cat Seems to Have a Fever
If you know or suspect your cat may have a fever in addition to their diarrhea, go to the regular vet as soon as you can. A fever with diarrhea can quickly lead to dehydration, which may become fatal if left untreated for too long.
When to Go to the Emergency Vet
A trip to the emergency vet might be best if your regular vet only offers emergency care during business hours.
If Your Cat Has Been Constipated for More Than Three Days
Constipation with diarrhea that lasts longer than three days indicates a serious problem and should be treated by an emergency vet as soon as possible.
If Your Cat is Vomiting Stool
Vomiting stool is a telltale sign that your cat has an intestinal blockage. This is a serious emergency that requires immediate vet care, as it can quickly become fatal if left untreated.
If Your Cat Has Any of the Symptoms, but Your Vet is Unavailable
It may be impossible to get your cat into the regular vet’s office in a timely fashion, even if they are dealing with the symptoms on the previous list. Therefore, you should always plan to go to the emergency vet as a backup for times when your regular vet is unavailable, but prompt care is necessary.
Based on this information, you can see how many different potential situations there are involving feline diarrhea. You can refer to this guide the next time your cat has diarrhea to determine when, if ever, they need to see a vet for the problem.
As always, if you have any concerns about your pet’s health or wellness, don’t hesitate to reach out to your vet. Your vet can give you more specific information and guidance about your individual cat’s needs and can help you treat the underlying problem causing their diarrhea, too.