How to Treat Diarrhea in Cats

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Diarrhea is an uncommon problem for cats, but treating a cat for diarrhea usually means identifying the cause of the problem. Discover how infections or parasites can cause a cat to have diarrhea with help from a veterinarian in this free video on treating diarrhea in cats.

Part of the Video Series: Cat Health
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Doctor Carrie Burhenn and I'm a veterinarian here at the Feline Medical Clinic in Vancouver, Washington. I'm here today to give you a little bit of information about diarrhea in cats. Diarrhea is actually not that uncommon a problem in cats, especially young cats and kittens that have just gone to new homes or cats that have recently had a diet change. There's a variety of reasons that cats can actually have diarrhea, the most common of which are actually parasites. Kittens acquire worms from their mother when they're nursing. And so all kittens need to be wormed initially when they're actually obtained in the new household. Kittens that have access to the outdoors should also be regularly wormed and your veterinarian can acquaint you with several wormers that are actually safe and effective for use in your cat or kitten. A stool sample should be checked regularly on a cat and this is usually done in the annual exam. Because as it turns out with cats they can have parasites that actually migrate later on in life even though the cat was affected when wormed as a kitten. This can also cause diarrhea. So even though the stool appears normal, a sample should be checked regularly so that the cat can be treated and prevent diarrhea from happening in the first place. Diarrhea again an happen when a cat has a diet change or it gets an intestinal virus that causes a bowel upset. There actually several very good medications to treat diarrhea in cats, and some of which are actually now newer probiotics that can actually help establish the normal bacteria that live in a cat's intestine and help them heal faster. So again, a stool sample should be analyzed by a veterinarian's office to make sure there are no parasites and if they are present to eliminate them and then a more specific cause can be treated, especially if the cat needs antibiotics because it has an intestinal infection or if it actually needs a probiotic because it has overgrowth of the wrong kind of bacteria. So again, determining the cause is helpful for treatment and there are really no over the counter treatments that should be used in cats for diarrhea. Many compounds for humans actually contain aspirin like compounds that can be toxic to cats. So ask your veterinarian's advice about what is appropriate as far as wormers and treatment for diarrhea.


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