Cat Diarrhea Treatment

"Cat diarrhea treatment is based on the signs and symptoms of the cat and the identification of the underlying cause. Feline diarrhea treatment initially requires therapy that addresses symptoms such as dehydration and supportive therapy designed to restore the physical condition of the cat. Diarrhea is managed by adjusting the food and water intake, followed by fluid therapy, supplementation and eventually by a systemic approach, i.e. use of drugs for specific causes. Mild cases of cat diarrhea can be treated with home and natural remedies, but only if symptoms are not severe. Specific treatment plans, require a confirmed diagnosis about the cause and mechanism of the diarrhea."

Symptomatic & Supportive Cat Diarrhea Treatment:

Cats with acute diarrhea (appears strongly and suddenly), and some with cases of chronic diarrhea (severe) should go on a fast immediately/.  Only water should be allowed and provided frequently, but in small amounts.

Symptoms of lethargy and weakness can be overcome with fluid therapies and the use of multi vitamins which are injected into the fluid, all designed to improve the  physiology of the body.

Similarly, cats infested with worms, can show signs of anemia (low red blood cell count) along with diarrhea; therefore, in severe cases, symptoms of anemia are initially treated with mineral therapies, iron and phosphorus; while in more severe and emergency cases, blood transfusions are required.

Dehydration is one of most common symptoms revealed by affected cats. Cats are required to be rehydrated before any therapeutic approach begins such as when using antibiotics or antihelminitics (dewormer). Also, if the dehydration is severe and progressive, there is a greater chance that the affected cats can experience shock and even death.

Fluid therapy should be the only priority in acute cases. Normal Saline solution if combined with 5% glucose or Ringer’s Lactate solution 2.5–5% is most effective if administered intravenous (IV) or sub–cutaneous (SC). In cats an intravenous route is preferred. Fluid therapy can be continued until the level of water is considered satisfactory.  Fluids may also contain the medication  metronidazole; which helps combat diarrhea.

Systemic & Specific Cat Diarrhea Treatment:

After initial support with fluid therapy and recovery, cat diarrhea treatment should be carried out based on a confirmatory diagnosis that indicates the underlying cause of the problem. Different causes, such as parasites, virus, bacteria, fungus, and poisons can cause diarrhea in cats and should be treated under the direction of a veterinarian.

Parasites like protozoa, helminthes etc., can cause diarrhea in cats; which can be treated by use of anti–protozoal drugs, metronedazole 50–75 mg. for 4–5 days. This approach will  eliminates common protozoa such as feline giardia and amoeba.

Similarly, broad-spectrum antihelmintics; which  treat round worms, hookworms etc. wormers are usually treated with the administration of the cat diarrhea medications febendazole, albendazole and febantal.  A repeated dose of antihelmintics is usually preferred to eliminate eggs as well as the worms.

Antibiotics are used in the case of bacterial and viral causes. Gentamicin, sulfa drugs and low doses of tetracyclines are effective in cats for common diarrhea causing bacterial agents. Viral infections have no known treatment, but antibiotics are used to prevent secondary bacterial infections.

Specific antidotes should be used in the case of poison or toxin intake, but initially for support and to prevent severity, a universal antidote should be administered immediately. In cases of poisoning, a rapid and earlier clearance of both the gastrointestinal tract and circulatory system is necessary in order to prevent possible renal, circulatory and nervous system breakdown.

Diet and Cat Diarrhea Treatment

Diarrhea can be a reaction to certain foods such as food allergy (immune response) or food intolerance (difficulty digesting a food). Food reactions can also be accompanied by vomiting.

To treat food allergy, the offending food needs to be identified as part of the cat diarrhea treatment plan.  This is done by either switching the cat to a hypoallergenic diet and then observing if symptoms such as diarrhea subside.  Food intolerance is treated in a similar way.  If a cat is given milk, try cutting that first since the problem could be trouble digesting dairy products (called lactose intolerance).

There are several Prescription Diets that may be recommended by a veterinarian including Hill's Prescription Diet d/d or z/d.

Home Cat Diarrhea Treatment

Only mild forms of feline diarrhea should receive cat diarrhea treatment at home.  This means that a cat does not appear lethargic from dehydration and the absence of anything unusual in the feces such as excess water, blood.  A cat should also not have a fever or be vomiting.

Home treatment starts with fasting, as mentioned above, for a period of no more than 24 hours.  Small amounts of water should be provided in frequent intervals during the fasting period.  To keep electrolytes high, consider filling a bowl with fruit flavored (or other) Gatorade.

After fasting a simple diet of boiled skinless chicken and rice (2 parts rice to 1 part chicken) should be easily digestible. Feed this "bland" diet to your cat  in small portions, for a period of 4 days in 4 hour intervals.   As an option, a small amount of Metimucil fiber could help absorb excess liquid - 1 teaspoon for a short period of time.  Ask your veterinarian for the correct dose for your cat.

Other home treatment tips include providing some honey on the cats gums or allow the cat to lick it off a spoon or finger.  Honey has many properties which can help the gastrointestinal system.

Immodium (loperamide) could be used under the advice of a veterinarian in the dose 1 to 2 teaspoons per every 10 pounds the cat weighs.  Many veterinarians will recommend avoiding this type of treatment, letting the diarrhea naturally works its way out of the cat's system.

A homeopathic remedy may also by of help for cats that frequently suffer from diarrhea, particularly if the cause if digestive or from stress.  One product worth researching and trying is RunnyPoo Relief, which is specifically made to help cats naturally form firmer stools.  It contains natural ingredients such as Plantain (digestive support), Lady's Mantle (for firmer stools) and Podophyllum (abdominal issues).


The Merck/Merial Manual for Pet Health

The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats


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