Pixie-Bob News Room

Cat Crazy Newsletter

This may not be a pleasant topic but it is real and it has happened to many (if not all) of us.

You get home from work, you open the front door and it hits you!  A bad smell, where is it coming from? Aha, there it is… coming from the litter box, your cat had diarrhea today…

Diarrhea is a relatively common symptom in cats.  So a very common question we get is “what do you do if your cat has diarrhea?”

Diarrhea is defined as frequent loose or runny bowel movements (stools). The stools can vary from watery to pudding like in consistency. The color can fluctuate from light brown, yellow, dark brown, black or bloody tinged. The frequency can range from just a little more than normal to constant straining.  Some indoor cats may have such urgency, they can’t make it to the litterbox in time and have an “accident” outside of the box.  

Some cats may have one or two loose stools and it may not be a problem. If a cat has one or two loose stools but is still eating, drinking and seems playful – then I am not very worried.  But it is important to watch for any additional signs.

These are the situations in a cat with diarrhea that may indicate that it may be a sign of something more serious.

We worry about a cat that has any of the following signs in addition to the diarrhea:

  • Won’t eat
  • Vomits
  • Acts weak
  • Has any difficulty breathing
  • Diarrhea continues for more than 12 hours
  • Blood in the bowel movement or the bowel movement looks very black (tarry)
  • Acts lethargic
  • Looks pale (when you look at his gum color)

If you see any of these signs, I would worry that there is an underlying condition that may be significant and need to be evaluated by your veterinarian.

What else can you do?

Keep your cat inside (if he goes out) so that you can observe for any abnormalities. If your cat is not feeling well, he may not be able to defend himself if a problem arises while out.

Think about what he has eaten recently and determine if there has been a diet change. Sudden diet changes can cause diarrhea in some cats. If you are not sure if your cat is eating, offer some fresh food. Make sure he eats. Pay careful attention to his litter box habits. Make sure he is urinating and defecating normally. If you notice abnormalities, then call your veterinarian.

Until next time,

Dr. Jon

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March 14, 2008 - Posted by | Feline Health

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