Can my cat eat just a little chocolate? The answer is no. Cocoa and milk variety contain theobromine, an alkaloid that is toxic to cats. Moreover, cats cannot digest dairy well. That being said, ingesting chocolate or dairy products can result in cat diarrhoea. Apart from lactose intolerance, there are other causes of bowel issues in cats.
What is diarrhoea?
Diarrhoea is a medical condition that refers to the frequent bowel movement of unformed or loose stools. The sad thing is that when a cat defaecates, she normally covers traces of her waste, making it hard to notice the signs. Lucky for longhaired breeds, they leave stains in their fur that can be associated with diarrhoea. Further signs signifying feline diarrhoea include:
- Licking of the bottom more often
- Loss of appetite
- More frequent bowel discharge
- Visible blood or mucus in the cat’s stool
Diarrhoea affects the small intestine, the large intestine, or in some cases, both. It is classified into the following categories:
- Intermittent – usually non-threatening as it comes and goes
- Acute – the rapid onset of diarrhoea that can last for less than 2–3 weeks
- Chronic – lasts longer than the acute for more than 2–3 weeks and may show fresh blood or mucus on its faeces
The variation in the consistency of stools is common amongst cats. However, if the frequent soft and liquid stools persist for more than two days, you should set a schedule with the veterinarian.
What causes acute diarrhoea?
Rather than a disease, diarrhoea serves as a symptom of various diseases. Can hairballs give cats diarrhoea? The list enumerates the possible causes of acute diarrhoea in felines.
- Bacterial infections Bacterial toxins cause acute diarrhoea. This is usually acquired from contaminated food and water or exposure to other infected animals. Bacteria come in different types, such as salmonella, Escherichia coli, clostridium, campylobacter, tularaemia, and the like.
- Virus infections Both bacterial and viral infections often occur in younger felines. The most common viral infections in cats are coronavirus, panleukopenia, pseudorabies, and rotavirus. If this is the case with your furball, the signs may include vomiting, decrease in appetite, dehydration, fever, and irritated mood.
- Parasitic infections Without a doubt, parasites disrupt your cat’s gastrointestinal tract which causes diarrhoea. The most common parasitic worms in cats are roundworms and hookworms. This is alarming because cat worms can be passed on to humans. Aside from diarrhoea, the signs include pale gums, skin irritation, and the presence of worms in the faeces. However, worms are not always visible to the naked eye. The egg worms can be detected through faecal floatation test.
- Introducing new food A sudden change of food can upset your feline’s stomach and can lead to diarrhoea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. It is best to switch back to her original diet and introduce the new cat food gradually.
- Overeating Similar to humans, overeating can cause diarrhoea. Also, there are cats that eat inappropriate things such as strings, garbage, and others.
- Spoiled food Acute diarrhoea includes ingestion of food with foreign substances, which results in poor tolerance by the gastrointestinal tract. Such reaction manifests when the cat ingests spoiled food, unusual food, or any foreign substance that the cat’s digestive system does not recognise.
- Drugs and toxins The intake of drugs and toxins may lead to acute diarrhoea due to irritation in the lining of the intestinal tract. This also refers to the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin, corticosteroids, antibiotics, and anti-cancer drugs. When the reaction occurs, inform the vet promptly. At times, your curious cat may have ingested toxins such as insecticides, cleaning products, and metals.
What causes chronic diarrhoea?
When symptoms of acute diarrhoea manifest, bring your cat to the vet to get the appropriate medical treatment.
The most common causes of chronic diarrhoea include:
- Viral and bacterial infection
- Intestinal parasites
- Protozoa infection
- Food intolerance/Allergies
- Medications or toxins reaction
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Overactive thyroid
- Pancreatic disease
Cat diarrhoea home remedy
If your cat looks well whilst having a frequent discharge of wastes, you may try treating her at home.
- Diet Choose the food that can be easily digested to calm her digestive system. Provide your feline a bland diet such as white rice and pair it with boiled chicken or boiled hamburger meat. They should be cooked plain without salt or pepper.You may add fibre granules like Metamucil to the meal. This will add bulk to the stool.Is canned pumpkin good for cats with diarrhoea? Yes! Provide her with either cooked or canned pumpkin. You may steam or boil the pumpkin. Feed her with plain pumpkin if she is being cooperative. However, if your feline is being picky, just add one tablespoon to her normal cat food.
- Keep her comfortable. Provide her with a clean litter tray, and fresh water should be available at all times. Monitor her every activity and her frequent visit to the litter tray.