Cats often suffer from diarrhea, but in some cases, it is more than an upset stomach. At times, it can indicate a serious underlying health issue that requires immediate medical attention. Here are a few signs to watch out for.
Diarrhea is a common health issue in cats, often affecting them when there are changes in diet and environment. Research shows that gut microbial structure and function may also cause such events in feline pets. For a pet owner, diarrhea may be a usual occurrence, but you cannot get complacent about an upset stomach.
In some cases, a cat’s diarrhea may be harmful or deadly, and not seeking help can lead to serious trouble for your canine companion. Timely medical assistance can be life-saving, from detecting the underlying health problem to providing prompt treatment. As a cat parent, you should know when diarrhea is more than temporary gastrointestinal upset.
Here are a few signs you should watch out for and see a vet sooner rather than later.
Persistent diarrhea lasting for more than two days is a red flag cat owners should worry about. PetMD notes that kittens, older cats, pregnant cats, and cats with chronic diseases have a high risk of death-related complications from untreated diarrhea. Even healthy adults may experience malnutrition, dehydration, and other complications due to the condition.
Starting treatment with cat diarrhea medicine early can save your pet from these complications. Visiting a vet on the first day is the best way to deal with a minor upset stomach as timely treatment can prevent the problem from aggravating.
Blood in Stool
Another sign indicating that your cat’s diarrhea is serious is the appearance of blood in its stool. Whether the blood is fresh (hematochezia) or the stool is dark and tarry (melena), you have valid reasons to see a vet immediately. Both symptoms indicate potential infections, gastrointestinal bleeding, or ingestion of a toxin.
Your vet may recommend products like dexamethasone to address intestinal inflammation that often causes bleeding. Follow their recommendations regarding dosage and administration of the medication for safe and effective use.
Frequent vomiting in cats is a warning sign, and it is even more serious if accompanied by diarrhea. Causes may vary from gastrointestinal issues to ingestion of harmful substances and organ dysfunction. According to veterinary technician Greffe Nossu, changing a cat’s diet rapidly can also lead to diarrhea. When your pet doesn’t like the new food, it may vomit as well.
Repeated vomiting and loose stool can cause dehydration in cats, which can be fatal if not treated on time. Look for anti-diarrheal medication like digestive drops to alleviate vomiting before it leads to dehydration. Seeking prompt veterinary care is essential when diarrhea and vomiting happen together.
Cats are notorious for concealing signs of illness, and you may not know when it poops outdoors. Watch out for behavioral cues such as lethargy, avoiding food, or showing a lack of interest in usual activities. Diarrhea accompanied by behavioral changes is a surefire sign of an underlying illness that requires professional evaluation.
Consider seeking medical opinion even if your pet’s diarrhea does not seem to be severe. Overlooking these cues is a blunder pet owners should avoid.
Beyond symptoms like watery stool, diarrhea accompanied by unexplained weight loss should raise concerns. It may lead to nutrient malabsorption, resulting in weight loss over time. When diarrhea is persistent, your cat may lose weight rapidly. You cannot rule out underlying issues such as parasites, metabolic disorders, and inflammatory bowel disease in such cases.
Regular monitoring of your cat's weight is essential when it suffers from diarrhea. Report it to your vet, who will run some tests to get an accurate diagnosis and start relevant treatment. In case of dietary deficiencies, they will recommend digestive care food for your pet.
Cat diarrhea may not always be a simple, self-resolving issue. You must watch out for these subtle signs as they indicate a serious issue that requires a prompt visit to the veterinarian. Timely intervention can lead to a quick diagnosis, timely treatment, and better outcomes for your feline friend.