Stop Cat Diarrhea
"Stop cat diarrhea in most cases can be done by settling down your cat's stomach. It starts by withholding food for a 24 hour period and then reintroducing a bland food eventually working back to the regular diet. If you notice any symptoms such as behavioral change, vomiting or blood then you should seek the care of a veterinarian immediately."
Cat diarrhea is caused by either a problem in the small intestine or large intestine. To stop the diarrhea the first step is to understand the cause.
Stop Cat Diarrhea from Common Causes
If you believe that your cat has diarrhea due to something ordinary such as a food that your cat's system didn't' like, nerves, or a hairball, then you can try withholding food and water for 24 hours. This will calm your cats system. Dehydration should not be a concern in healthy cats during this period of time.
After this period slowly feed your cat something bland. You can provide home cooked food such as a hamburger that you cooked and drained the fat or some cooked chicken and rice. If your cat responds then she probably had small intestine diarrhea.
Small Intestine Diarrhea in Cats
If the diarrhea is not severe, then it can be managed by stopping the intake of food for a period of 24 to 48 hours. Once the diarrhea comes under control then you can feed your cat a low fat diet 3 to 6 times daily. After a few days you can increase the amount of food served until you get back to normal levels.
Rice based foods help since this is easily digested by cats. If the diarrhea goes on for several days and if you notice other changes in your cat such as behavior, then you should visit a veterinarian.
Large Intestine Diarrhea in Cats
This type of diarrhea is usually caused by parasites (whipworms), a polyp, inflammatory bowel disease (IDB), ulcer, cancer of the colon or bacteria (salmonella) or giardiam coccidia and trichomonosis (protozoa). Treatment of this type of diarrhea involves understanding the underlying cause and then treating the condition.
An examination by a veterinarian can help to determine the exact cause. If it cannot be determined your veterinarian may recommend a diet that is high in fiber. Also if inflammation is suspected the the medication sulfasalazine will be prescribed.
For salmonella your veterinarian will prescribe an antibiotic.
For giardia your veterinarian will prescribe either Metronidazole benzoate or Drontal Plus which has seen good results in a clinical study. For coccidiosis the medications Sulfadimethoxime (e.g. Albon®), trimethoprim, toltrazunil and ponazuril (Marquis Paste, Bayer) are used.
Cat Diarrhea Requiring Immediate Veterinary Care
If your cat's behavior is normal then some diarrhea may not be cause for concern and you can try the methods described above for limiting food.
However if you see behavioral change or any of these symptoms then call your veterinarian immediately.
- blood in diarrhea
- vomiting and diarrhea
- bad smell
- forceful vomiting
- cat was near a poison such as antifreeze
- stomach bloating
- weight change
Natural Remedies to Stop Cat Diarrhea
There are several natural herbs that support digestive balance and that can help your cat have firmer stools. Ingredients such as Plantain, Lady's Mantle (clinical support: Jonadet M, Meunier MT, Villie F, Bastide JP, Lamaison JL. “Flavonoids extracted Alchemilla vulgaris”. J Pharmacol. 1986;17:21–7) and podophyllum are all associated with helping the digestive system.
One product worth researching that is made specifically for this purpose is RunnyPoo Relief. It is an all natural remedy containing the ingredients mentioned above. If more traditional approaches are not helping and you believe the cause of the problem is digestion related, you might want to experiment with a natural remedy. Discuss with your veterinarian so that he or she can track your cat's progress.
Washington State University
College of Veterinary Medicine
Feline Infectious Diarrhea Update
Kate F. Hurley, DVM, MPVM
School of Veterinary Medicine
University of California, Davis, CA