Chronic Diarrhea in Cats: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment How to Treat and Prevent Chronic Diarrhea in Cats

Chronic Diarrhea in Cats: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Cats can suffer from chronic diarrhea frequently. In this article, we look at ways to treat and avoid this occurrence.

Cats are known for their meticulous grooming habits and immaculate hygiene. However, even the most well-cared-for feline companions can suffer from chronic diarrhea. This widespread ailment may be a symptom of several underlying medical conditions, ranging from food intolerances to life-threatening infections or illnesses. Hence, it's crucial to comprehend the probable causes, signs, and symptoms of chronic diarrhea in cats, as well as the accessible treatments, if you're a responsible pet owner. 

This article will examine the numerous causes of chronic diarrhea in cats and offer practical advice for treating this unsettling and sometimes harmful illness.

Causes of Diarrhea in Cats

Chronic diarrhea in cats can have a variety of causes, and finding the root of the problem is essential for effective therapy. The following are a few of the most typical causes of persistent diarrhea in cats:

  • Diet: Prolonged diarrhea may be brought on by an abrupt diet change, food allergies, or an intolerance to certain substances.

  • Parasites: Intestinal parasites like worms or protozoa can cause persistent diarrhea.

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): A chronic inflammatory disorder that affects the digestive system, IBD is a prevalent cause of persistent diarrhea in cats.

  • Pancreatitis: Pancreatic inflammation can result in prolonged diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, and decreased appetite.

  • Cancer: Certain cancers, such as lymphoma, can make cats experience persistent diarrhea.

  • Infections caused by viruses or bacteria: Chronic diarrhea can be brought on by feline distemper, feline leukemia, and other viruses or bacteria.

  • Medications: Certain medications, including antibiotics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can cause chronic diarrhea in cats.

  • Stress: Chronic diarrhea in cats can be brought on by environmental stress, such as a change in routine or the addition of a new pet to the home.

  • Hyperthyroidism: Overactive thyroid glands can cause chronic diarrhea, as well as weight loss and increased appetite.


Cats with chronic diarrhea typically have loose, watery feces that last longer than a few days. Cats may also display additional symptoms that help determine the condition's underlying cause, in addition to diarrhea. The following are some common signs in cats with chronic diarrhea:

  • Increased frequency of bowel movements

  • Straining to defecate

  • Abdominal pain or discomfort

  • Flatulence (excessive gas)

  • Vomiting

  • Dehydration

  • Weight loss

  • Lethargy

  • Loss of appetite

How To Stop Chronic Diarrhea in Cats

The treatment and management of chronic diarrhea in cats will be based on the main reason for the condition. Here are some common approaches to treating chronic diarrhea in cats:

  • Diet: If dietary issues are the cause of diarrhea, switching to a specialized diet or eliminating certain ingredients from your cat's diet may be recommended.

  • Cat diarrhea medications: Depending on the underlying cause of diarrhea, medications such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, or anti-parasitic drugs may be prescribed by your veterinarian.

  • Probiotics supplements: Probiotics are good bacteria that can help your cat's digestive tract regain its normal balance of gut flora and can be effective in treating chronic diarrhea.

  • Fluid treatment: Your veterinarian may advise fluid therapy to assist in replenishing lost fluids and electrolytes if your cat is dehydrated as a result of persistent diarrhea.

  • Surgery: To address underlying diseases like cancer or intestinal blockage, surgery may occasionally be required.

Prevention Tips

There are several ways to stop cats from having chronic diarrhea. Here are some recommendations for avoiding persistent diarrhea in cats:

  • Provide a healthy diet: A well-balanced diet that meets your cat's nutritional needs can aid in preventing dietary-related diarrhea.

  • Avoid making abrupt dietary changes: abrupt dietary changes can upset your cat's digestive tract and cause diarrhea. Adjustments should be done gradually over a few days.

  • Prevent your cat from having access to human foods by not giving it table scraps or other human items that could upset its stomach.

  • Recurring veterinary examinations: Regular visits to your veterinarian can aid in identifying and treating underlying health problems before they develop into chronic ones.

  • Preventing parasite infestations: Maintain a clean environment for your cat and keep it free of fleas and ticks to avoid parasitic diseases that can lead to diarrhea.

  • Vaccinate your cat: Vaccinations can help prevent viral infections that can cause diarrhea, such as feline distemper and feline leukemia.

  • Stress management: Reduce stress in your cat's environment by providing a quiet, comfortable space for your cat to rest and avoiding sudden changes in routine.

  • Hygiene: Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling your cat's food or cleaning their litter box to prevent the spread of bacteria.

You can ensure your cat has a happy and healthy life by using these strategies to help avoid chronic diarrhea in cats. To prevent the disease from getting worse, get veterinary attention right away if your cat exhibits any symptoms of diarrhea or other digestive problems.

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