Diarrhoea is not uncommon for cats and can occur at any age for a variety of reasons. The majority of cases are due to primary intestinal disease. Diarrhoea can be caused by a disease of the intestinal tract and could also be symptomatic of other conditions like liver or kidney diseases or diabetes. Whether the diarrhoea is prolonged or your cats are showing signs, such as poor appetite, lethargy, or vomiting, it is important to visit your vet as soon as possible to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment.
Some of the common causes of diarrhoea include:
An abrupt change in diet or the introduction of a new food is a common cause of diarrhoea. This often settles down as their digestive systems adjust to the new diet, but some cats may not be able to tolerate certain food, and the diarrhoea will not resolve until the diet has been changed.
Although not particularly common, some cats may have allergies to something present in the diet or food intolerances that develop over time from giving them the same foods and ingredients.
Including viruses, bacteria and parasites, a variety of different infections can cause diarrhoea in cats. Infections are more common in younger cats, and will frequently affect more than one cat in a household.
Inflammatory bowel disease
Inflammatory bowel disease can involve any part of the gastrointestinal tract, but most commonly affects the stomach and/or the intestines. If the intestines are involved, chronic diarrhoea will occur.
Systemic diseases that can affect the intestine and cause diarrhoea include hyperthyroidism, liver disease and kidney disease.
If an infection is the culprit behind diarrhoea, whilst your cats' litter box and bedding are thoroughly cleaned, you should wear gloves whenever handling your cats' stool. Your cats should be kept inside the house for some time, so they don't give the infection to others.
Featured image by Alexander Nadrilyanski