Diarrhoea is a condition characterised by frequent and loose or liquid bowel movements, often causing discomfort and irritation. It’s a common issue that can affect cats of all ages and breeds. While it’s often a sign of a minor digestive upset, it can sometimes indicate a more serious health problem.

What does diarrhoea look like in cats?

In cats, diarrhoea can range from slightly loose stools to completely liquid. It may also be accompanied by an increased frequency of defecation straining to defecate.

You might notice a change in the colour and smell of your cat’s stool, which can become more pungent.

What causes diarrhoea in cats?

Cats can develop diarrhoea for various reasons. Some common causes include:

  • Dietary indiscretion: eating spoiled or raw food, non-food items, or abrupt changes in diet can result in diarrhoea.
  • Infections: bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections can disrupt the digestive system.
  • Chronic diseases: conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, hyperthyroidism, and diabetes can cause diarrhoea.
  • Medications: Certain drugs can cause gastrointestinal upset as a side effect.

When to seek veterinary care for your cat’s diarrhoea

Consult a vet about your cat’s diarrhoea if you notice any of the following:

  • Their diarrhoea persists for more than a day or two.
  • They’re also vomiting or lethargic
  • They’re eating less than usual
  • Changes in their urination volume and frequency
  • Blood in their stool.
  • They show signs of dehydration, such as sunken eyes or pale and/or tacky gums.

If you’re concerned about your cat’s diarrhoea, book an appointment at your local Greencross Vets, speak to a WebVet, or visit your nearest emergency veterinary hospital. 


What to do if your cat has diarrhoea

If your cat has diarrhoea:

  • Ensure they have access to clean water to prevent dehydration.
  • Do not give any over-the-counter medications without consulting your vet, as this potentially can worsen the diarrhoea or cause other health issues.
  • Consider feeding a bland diet, like boiled chicken or a gastrointestinal diet recommended by your vet, until 3-5 days after their stool returns to normal.

How to help your cat recover from an episode of diarrhoea

To help your cat recover from diarrhoea:

  • Gradually reintroduce their regular diet. Slowly increase the portion of their old diet they’re fed over a week or two once their stool firms up.
  • Give them probiotics to help restore healthy gut bacteria.
  • Monitor their progress and keep a close eye on their hydration levels.

How to prevent diarrhoea in cats

Preventing diarrhoea in cats involves maintaining their overall health and well-being.

While these steps can help prevent many cases of diarrhoea, some causes may be beyond your control, such as underlying health issues.

If you notice any signs of diarrhoea, it’s always best to consult with your vet for advice tailored to your cat’s specific needs.