It’s common for cats to experience digestive problems every once in a while. Most of the time when the problem is diarrhea, it lasts for only a day and clears up. However, there are times when the problem persists and the cat’s health deteriorates. Chronic diarrhea in cats causes weight loss, dehydration and lethargy among other things.
The condition may be caused by subtle changes or a life threatening sickness, therefore, it is important that the pet owner know how to stop diarrhea in cats before it gets out of hands. Here are ten ways which effectively work to rid your cat of this irritating condition;
1. Check The Cat’s Food
Rice, wheat gluten, corn and other grain fillers are the thing you ought to be looking out for. If the cat is eating food with grain fillers, switch to other foods. This switch should be done slowly so that the animal’s digestive system has time to become accustomed to the new food. A good way to do it is change the ratios of old food to new food systematically over a week.
Cat’s are carnivores, for that reason, their digestive systems can only digest meat. However, some cat food brands have grain fillers which do not seat well with the cat’s digestive system. While you’re at it, switch the cat to food that is easy to breakdown and digest.
2. Add Some Pumpkin To The Diet
Apart from the fact that cats enjoy the taste, pumpkin is a rich fiber source. Pumpkin alleviates the symptoms of diarrhea in cats and can also be used to deal with constipation. The recommendation here is to make sure that it is 100% pure pumpkin. Fillings and processed food do little or nothing and in some cases may make things worse.
3. Provide A Lot Of Water
If the diarrhea has persisted for so long that you have had to do something about it then the poor animal is obviously dehydrated. Make sure your cat keeps drinking water. We recommend investing in a cat water fountain, they are perfect for cats to access easily to get a drink whenever they need it. We found an example here to show you: www.tuxedo-cat.co.uk/cat-water-fountains/. One way to check for dehydration is pinching the skin behind the neck. Usually when you do this the skin quickly snaps back to normal. In the case of dehydration it remains tented and straightens out slowly. When the cat’s loss of fluids in the body can be noticed so easily, it’s time to take a trip to the vet.
4. Give Probiotics
Probiotics introduce helpful intestinal micro-organisms to the cat’s stomach. This balance may have been altered with the diarrhea. Proboitics made for human beings are quite effective since they have varied strains of gut flora. Buying the cat some Fortiflora is also another option you can explore.
5. Use Slippery Elm Bark
It is perfectly natural and has been used to ease the symptoms of diarrhea and other complications of the digestive tract for ages. It can be found in any shop that sells healthy foods in form of capsules or a powder. A tea spoon of the powder or a capsule mixed with water is then mixed with the food. This should get the cat on its way to recovery. You can also mix the powder with wet foods which will probably take a shorter process. The treatment is quite effective and shows result in a day, however, it is advisable to keep giving the dose daily.
6. Give The Gut A Rest
Sometimes this alone takes care of the problem, especially in acute diarrhea. Giving the gut a rest for about 24 hours helps calm things down. In this period it is important to make sure that the cat has a good supply of fresh water. The period which you deny the cat any food should not go past 24 hours unless there is a legitimate reason to.
7. Consider Your Cat’s Allergies
Sometimes such reactions are due to a certain food that the cat is allergic to. Cats also have food sensitivity and it may be the sole reason behind the loose stool. While changing your cat’s food make sure the old and new food do not have any ingredient in common. Consulting with your vet is important in deciding what kind of food you shift to. Your cat may even suffer from a dairy intolerance. Cats tend to become lactose intolerant when they grow up as they are unable to digest dairy products because of sugar found in cow’s milk. For this reason if you discover your cat eating yoghurt, this could be the cause of their upset stomach.
8. Buy Your Cat Some Metamucil
This is another way to firm things up if the diarrhea seems to persist. A spoon or two of unflavored Metamucil added to your cat’s food will do. Do this for about a week and it should make things better. Metamucil works like pumpkin and is filled with fiber which will help with the watery stool.
9. Go Back To The Old Diet
If the bout of diarrhea hits the cat right after you have changed the type of food you give it then the problem lies with the new food type. Reverting to the previous type of food will help deal with the diarrhea. It is not always that the cat’s system cannot take the new food sometimes it happens simply because the switch was too quick.
10. Pay The Vet A Visit
This is not just a last ditch option, the cat should be checked even after another remedy works just to be sure everything is okay. However, if your cat has diarrhea that is persistent even after you have tried everything you know, it’s time to go to the vet. You should not wait for too long to see if what you have done has worked. If in the first week and a half the diarrhea does not subside it is only safe that you take the animal to the vet. Aside from finding out what the problem is you will also be advised on other steps to take incase the same problem arises in the future.
Chronic diarrhea in cats is something that rarely occurs but there are cases when the problem is not as simple as a dietary change. There are diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease which may take months of medication to cure. Bloody diarrhea in cats or black stools could mean that there is internal bleeding too. If your cat has diarrhea it could be a prelude to something more serious.Always seek to handle the problem as soon as the very first signs manifest themselves.