Route Isabelle
Route Isabelle
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01481 723863
Route Isabelle
Route Isabelle
01481 723863 Mon - Fri 08:00 - 18:30 | Sat 08:00 - 17:30 | Sunday by appointment
01481 241056 Mon - Fri 08:30 - 18:00 | Sat 08:30 - 12:30 | Sunday by appointment
01481 723863

Diarrhoea in my cat

Diarrhoea is defined as an abnormal increase in the frequency, fluidity and volume of faeces due to an excessive faecal water content.

Diarrhoea occurs due to changes in the cycle of fluid absorption and secretion across the intestinal wall between the bowel lining and the systemic system. Movement of fluid, nutrients and chemicals across the intestinal wall can be by osmosis (passive) and active with chemical pathways, vitamins, bacteria and energy all being involved. The system is complex, and the break down of any one component may lead to diarrhoea.



Observe the symptoms and whether it warrants professional help by visiting the vet or whether home care and nursing will suffice. The following symptoms should be noted.

  • The frequency of their diarrhoea? How many times per day?
  • How long has your cat had diarrhoea?
  • Are there secondary symptoms such as vomiting, temperature rise or straining?
  • Does your cat appear bright, collapsed?
  • Is there blood or mucus in their diarrhoea?
  • What colour is the diarrhoea; brown, yellow, green?

Unfortunately, only experience, common sense and professional knowledge can give you all the answers, but the general rule is that if the diarrhoea is only occasional, of recent duration and if your cat is reasonably bright, then probably there is not too much to worry about and, vice versa.



There are too many causes of diarrhoea to list here. However, the article will look at a few of the more common causes and solutions.


This is divided into Roundworm and Tapeworm categories. Both parasite types are likely to cause diarrhoea and other gastrointestinal upsets. If you have not wormed your cat in the past three months, it may be worth doing so.


Infections of the upper intestines can be caused by a wide range of pathogens (disease causing micro-organisms. Use gloved hands and antiseptic solutions when handling and cleaning vomit and diarrhoea.


Dietary problems are a common cause of diarrhoea whether they are primary (over eating, gorging, too rich, too fatty food) or secondary to some other cause of diarrhoea (such as an infection). If your cat has a delicate stomach, we would suggest a low fat, easily digested, medium protein diet fed in several small portions over the day. For upper intestinal disease causing a brown fluid diarrhoea, a special prescription diet is very effective. However other intestinal conditions may warrant different dietary approaches. If a dietary allergy is suspected then you will require a unique protein, gluten free, hypoallergenic diet. Your vet will advise you.

Metabolic diseases

Kidney disease, liver disease, sepsis, changes in mineral balance can all lead to vomiting. They usually present with other symptoms as well and will need veterinary attention.


This is relatively rare in the cat, and it depends on the type of poison. If you believe your cat has been poisoned, contact your vet immediately.


Treatment for diarrhoea

Treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms. If your cat is reasonably bright, not passing large amounts of blood and not exhibiting any other major symptoms, then home nursing may be all that is required.

  • Starve for 24 hours
  • Keep in the house for three days with a litter tray to evaluate faeces and to prevent feeding elsewhere.
  • Remove water and offer a proprietary electrolyte solution to prevent dehydration. In the first 24 hours, such a product should be given at the rate of 5ml to 10ml every half hour by mouth. This can be continued as per the directions for a further three days as required. However, if dehydration is severe, especially if there is concurrent vomiting or the cat is collapsed, you should consult your vet at once.
  • A bowel regulator may help ease motility, absorb fluid and produce formed motion. This should be started at the beginning of treatment. At the same time, we would try and re-establish normal bowel bacterial flora using a probiotic.
  • Change to a low fat, low fibre, medium protein diet for a minimum of three days (feed four small feeds daily).
  • Worm your cat regularly for roundworms and tapeworms.