Should I Take My Cat to the Vet for Diarrhea in Canton, GA?
Cats are notoriously stoical. It can be hard to know if your cat is just not feeling their best or if there is something very serious going on. Cats tend to act like everything is fine until they are quite sick, which can be very stressful for cat owners.
When you own a cat that has diarrhea, you might not be sure when you need to be concerned. There are various reasons that your cat might have this condition, and some are more serious than others. Thankfully, there are some keyways to make sure that you are not accidentally ignoring a serious health condition related to your cat’s diarrhea.
When Should I be Concerned About Cat Diarrhea?
Cats can get upset stomachs just like other animals. This might be related to eating something that they should not have, a small virus they could have picked up, or even just an off day. When your cat only has occasional diarrhea, there is probably no need to take your cat to the veterinarian. If your cat is drinking and eating and acting normal otherwise, you can just wait to see if the diarrhea goes away on its own.
A Change in Your Cat’s Behavior
If your cat has been experiencing diarrhea for a few days or appears to be feeling unwell, you should start to monitor your cat closely. Pay attention to missed meals and signs that your cat is not drinking enough. You can test your cat’s feet and nose to see if they feel hot to check for a fever, and you can do the skin tent test to see if your cat is dehydrated.
The skin tent test requires that you pinch the skin gently on the nape of the neck and then see if it springs back to shape. If it does not spring back readily, your cat is dehydrated. Cats that are not getting enough water can suffer kidney or liver failure, which makes this symptom very serious.
Bloody or Dark Diarrhea
Also, be on the lookout for bloody or very dark diarrhea as this can be a sign of parasites or internal bleeding. You will want to take your cat to the vet right away if you see signs of blood in their stool. Messes that are being made around the house rather than in the litter box can also be a sign of serious illness that requires a trip to the vet. Cats will seek to avoid making messes in their house, so any messes made outside the box can be a sign that your cat is feeling very poorly.
Causes of Diarrhea for Cats
Your cat might get diarrhea if you change food brands or food delivery styles, such as switching from dry food to wet food. You will also see diarrhea in some cats when they are upset by having a new pet in the home or a change of location related to a move.
Some other reasons that your cat might have diarrhea are:
- Viral or bacterial infection
- Worms or parasites
- Medications and antibiotics
- Thyroid problems
- Kidney or liver failure
- Inflammatory bowel disease
Many of the items on this list will require treatment and management provided by a vet. In the case of cancer, there is not a whole lot that can be done for your cat other than keeping them comfortable. Most of the other conditions on this list can be easily managed by medications and diet changes. Your cat will feel much better when they are given the right medications for these health concerns. You might also need to adjust their feeding plan to help alleviate inflammation and diarrhea related to food that is not working out for your cat.
In the case of diarrhea caused by antibiotics or other medications that your cat is taking for a short time, you might just have to deal with diarrhea for a few days. If your cat has to take a medication for a long time that is causing this issue, your vet might choose to adjust the dosage or change to a different brand of medication. There are many ways to deal with diarrhea safely, but your vet will likely need to be involved to make sure that your cat is staying hydrated and that there are no other health issues causing diarrhea.
Are Kittens at Higher Risk?
Kittens are much more fragile than older cats when it comes to diarrhea. You will want to take a kitten with diarrhea to the vet right away to make sure that they do not need to be hydrated and treated for a serious ailment. Even parasites in a small kitten can kill them in a matter of days. You should never ignore diarrhea in very young cats because of the high risk to their overall well-being that can be caused by this issue.
Caring for Cats with Diarrhea Usually Involves a Trip to the Vet
Unless your cat has diarrhea for a day or so and seems to be eating and drinking, you will want to take your cat with diarrhea to the vet. There are many risks to cats who have become dehydrated such as kidney failure and liver failure. You will want to be certain that your cat is not seriously ill when it is showing signs of diarrhea and discomfort.
Since cats are not good at telling their owners when they are very sick, it is almost always worth taking a cat with diarrhea to the vet to be sure that there is nothing serious going on. It can be hard to tell if your cat is drinking enough and even harder to tell if your cat has a fever. Your veterinarian can perform an endoscopy to see what is going on. You will feel much better knowing that your cat is healthy, and your cat will thank you for making sure they feel their best.