Why Is My Kittens Poop so Runny?
Are you wondering why is your kittens poop so runny? Diarrhea is the most possible cause. Is it a simple gastrointestinal disorder or an alarming symptom for more serious problems? If you want to know what to do if your cat has diarrhea, these tips will come in handy.
What is Diarrhea in Cats?
In veterinary medicine, it is said that a cat has diarrhea when its feces are soft or even watery and the cat defecates more frequently than usual. A healthy cat’s stools are brown and of a consistent texture.
When the cat has diarrhea, the color may change to lighter or darker shades than normal. You can also find traces of blood in the stool or slimy mucus. All these signs will help the vet determine the cause of diarrhea.
Read also: The A-Z of How and When to Wean Kittens
Diarrhea Risks in Cats
When the digestive process of the food is affected by some internal or external factors, the kitten can suffer diarrhea. Therefore, be alert because diarrhea in cats can be a warning sign of a more serious health problem.
The biggest danger if your cat has diarrhea is dehydration: the feline’s organism does not absorb the water contained in the food but loses it when defecating. In addition, it also does not absorb the nutrients from those foods to the extent it should, so that if diarrhea continues, the cat can become dehydrated and also suffer from nutritional deficiency.
Sometimes diarrhea can alert you to a serious health problem. For this reason, consulting a vet is always the most appropriate option if you detect that your cat is decomposing and it is not something specific but prolonged or recurring over time.
Causes of Diarrhea in Cats
There is no single reason why a cat may experience diarrhea, but it is possible to list the most frequent ones. We will see them below.
- A sudden change of diet: The bacterial flora of the intestine of any mammal is adapted to its usual diet. If that diet is abruptly changed, without allowing the cat a transition period, gastrointestinal disturbances may result from intestinal inflammation. Diarrhea is one of the most frequent.
- Lactose intolerance in kittens: Some kittens develop lactose intolerance, which is a component of milk, and suffer diarrhea if they are given milk to drink.
- Other food allergies or intolerances in adult cats: Vomiting or diarrhea in cats is also justified by food intolerances, which manifest with problems of the gastrointestinal system. Therefore, a food intolerant cat tends to have diarrhea every time it is ingested. To prevent the symptoms of food allergies or intolerances, it is best to choose a low-risk diet. A feed with a limited list of ingredients and a single source of animal protein can be a very good option.
- Intoxication or inadequate food intake: Cats are very curious animals. Sometimes, as a way to explore the environment, they can eat something they shouldn’t have. Household plant poisonings are relatively frequent. So one of the first things to do about diarrhea in cats is to rule out that the feline has been poisoned or poisoned with something. This is usually more complicated in cats that live in semi-freedom, with access to the street or the garden.
- Stress: As occurs in people, stress can have a direct impact on the functioning of the kitten’s digestive system. Stress causes changes in the digestive processes, in addition to an increase in blood cortisol levels and a weakening of the immune functions of the cat’s body. For this reason, a cat living under stress, or suffering from some type of anxiety-related behavior disorder, may have diarrhea as a symptom.
- Viruses, bacteria or parasites: As explained by the Group of Experts in Feline Medicine, viruses, bacteria or parasites (for example, worms) can be causes of diarrhea. When this is the case, more than one affected kitten is often observed in a litter, or other cats living in the same household may be affected. Parvovirus (or panleukopenia), coronavirus, and rotavirus infections are frequent viral causes of diarrhea. Salmonella and Campylobacter are two bacteria that can carry diarrhea. Of the intestinal parasites, both worms and protozoa can cause diarrhea.
- Other causes: As we have seen, diarrhea can be a symptom of certain pathologies. Infectious diseases like giardiasis or systemic diseases like hyperthyroidism present with diarrhea. Also some tumors. Furthermore, diarrhea can be associated with diseases such as feline leukemia or feline immunodeficiency virus.
What to Do If Your Kitten Has Diarrhea?
The first thing to be clear is that, if your cat’s diarrhea is not something specific, you should go to the vet as soon as possible so that he can properly diagnose the problem. However, while you go to the consultation, some practical remedies can be applied as an emergency solution:
24 Hour Fast
If your cat has diarrhea but is still active, a 24-hour fast may suffice. During this time the cat may be prescribed a solution to rehydrate him (as long as he is not vomiting). After the fast, a soft, highly digestible, low-fat diet based on chicken or turkey and rice is recommended.
Several Feedings at Mealtime
After 24 hours of fasting, the cat should be fed three or four meals a day so as not to overload his intestine. Over the next two to three days, the diet should gradually be changed to your normal diet. If the cat is very lethargic or dehydrated, it will require intravenous fluids.
A good idea is to always keep fresh water within reach of the cat and, failing that, rice broth: this is to avoid dehydration.