Diarrhea, the passage of loose, unformed stools, is a symptom, not a disease. Acute diarrhea in a cat often resolves itself within several days, but chronic diarrhea lasting more than two weeks may be the result of an underlying food allergy. Identify and remove the source of the irritation and the condition should improve.
Begin with a 24-hour fast in which you offer only fresh, preferably filtered, water. Withholding food allows the gastrointestinal system to rest and toxins to pass from the body.
After the fast, begin feeding a bland, hypoallergenic diet. Feed equal amounts of cooked white rice or boiled potato mixed with boiled, ground chicken. Other bland, hypoallergenic options include cottage cheese (squeezed dry to remove excess fluid), yogurt and strained-meat baby foods.
Slowly reintroduce regular food. If symptoms recur, it could be the result of a food sensitivity. Speak to your veterinarian about a prescription diet or consider a commercial formula designed for gastrointestinal safety.
For relief of symptoms, consider slippery elm. Available in powder or tincture, slippery elm contains mucilage which, when mixed with water, thickens and coats the throat, stomach and intestines. Pour 8 to 12 ounces of boiling water over one heaping teaspoon of dried herb. Allow the brew to cool. Give one to two tablespoons of the liquid per day.
Glutamine is an amino acid that plays a role in intestinal health and can be depleted by stress. Supplemental glutamine is useful for treating diarrhea. The recommended dose for cats is 250 milligrams daily.
Add a probiotic supplement to your cat's daily rations. These supplements provide the "friendly bacteria" necessary for good digestion and gastrointestinal health. Look for supplements containing live, active cultures with as many different bacterial strains as possible.
Other Gastrointestinal Health Tips
Keep your cat's litter box clean and private. In multi-cat households, provide a separate box for each cat and use the same brand of litter consistently.
Do not overfeed your cat: read and follow feeding recommendations on bags and cans of cat food. A healthy diet combined with regular exercise reduces gastrointestinal irregularities.
Groom your pet regularly to remove loose hair and reduce hairballs.