According to definitions, diarrhea is a gastrointestinal disorder characterized by frequent and very fluid or watery bowel movements. Chiefly, this is the watery or very soft excrement that comes from such bowel movements. Diarrhea may not be a disease but the fact remains that it is a sign of many diseases and health problems especially to cats and other pets.
Diarrhea can be classified as either small bowel or large bowel diarrhea. On the one hand, with little bowel diarrhea, you are more likely to see large volumes or watery diarrhea, which can quickly lead to significant dehydration. On the other hand, the large bowel diarrhea causes more issues. You may be able to notice your cat straining to poop or getting uncomfortable with it.
You can tell your cat has diarrhea by seeing the stools of the cat as being unformed to a fluid, which is a visible indication of diarrhea. This is very noticeable. The other one is staining and soiling of the fur around the back end of the cat, especially the long-haired breeds. It is imperative to note that in some breeds this occurs to be very normal. Changes in diet may also lead to temporary changes in the stool. By this, cats may have mild diarrhea cases which don’t last for a long time. But if the diarrhea is persistent, you should ask a vet.
Some of the signs that should make you be very concerned when your cat has diarrhea are;
- loss of appetite,
- depression, which can be termed as lethargy in other terms,
- pain or discomfort,
- blood in the stool(can either be a dark, blackish stool or red blood),
- Associated vomiting or if your cat is battling other medical problems. In these cases, you should get in touch with your veterinarian.
The following are causes of cat diarrhea; parasites, infections, diet change, stress, primary inflammatory disorders, metabolic diseases, toxins, and constipation. To start of, parasites can irritate your cat`s gut causing all kinds of diarrhea. Significant numbers of parasites that cause diarrhea are more common in kittens. Bacterial or viral infections can also cause diarrhea and also more common in younger cats. Dietary indiscretion, also known as diet change in common terms, can cause diarrhea in cats. This is because cats tend to be more cautious in what they eat more than dogs. But sometimes, they may eat inappropriate things such as grass, strings etc. It is important to note that even a purposeful change in diet from one food to another can cause diarrhea in cats. People have stress, so do cats have them. This may result in gastrointestinal upset. Others include metabolic diseases such as thyroid imbalances, certain toxins that upset their gut, and constipation, which is counterintuitive.
In a nutshell, cats are more careful about what they eat and what they do than dogs. So, you should keep an eye on them so that you will notice if they have diarrhea or not. In some cases, diarrhea requires immediate attention whilst in others, it`s just a normal sign such as a change in diet.