Cat Diarrhea: Possible Causes and How To Help Your Pet

We know that cat diarrhea can be a stressful and worrying experience for pet owners, especially if it becomes persistent. What causes diarrhea in cats, and how serious of a problem is it? In this blog, we’ll explore why your cat might have diarrhea and what steps you can take to help them feel better again. If you’re concerned about your cat’s health, contact Kryder + Harr Veterinary Clinic in Granger, IN, at (574) 277-6533.

cat with diarrhea

Common Causes of Cat Diarrhea

Cat diarrhea can be caused by a variety of factors, such as changes in diet, food intolerances, parasites, infections, and more. Discovering the cause of your cat’s condition can lead to timely and successful treatment.

Dietary Changes

Cats are sensitive to changes in their diet. If you recently switched your cat’s food, introduced new treats, or they ate something unusual, this might be the cause of their diarrhea. Cats’ digestive systems can react poorly to sudden dietary changes, leading to stomach upset and diarrhea. To prevent this, gradually introduce any new food to your pet over a week or more. This helps their stomach adjust to the new diet without causing digestive problems.

Food Allergies and Intolerances

Just like people, cats can have food allergies or intolerances. Common allergens include dairy, beef, chicken, and grains. If your cat has an allergy, their immune system reacts to the food, causing symptoms like diarrhea. If you suspect a food allergy, consult your veterinarian for advice. They might suggest an elimination diet to identify the allergen. It’s important to get professional help to see that your cat gets the right nutrition during this process.


Intestinal parasites are another common cause of diarrhea in cats. Worms like roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms can infect your cat’s digestive system. Parasites can cause a variety of symptoms, including diarrhea, weight loss, and a dull coat. Keeping up with your pet’s routine wellness appointments and monthly parasite preventatives should be sufficient to prevent parasites. Still, if you think your cat has parasites, we can test their stool and recommend appropriate treatment.

Viral Infections

Cats can catch viruses that cause diarrhea. Two common viruses are feline panleukopenia and feline coronavirus. These viruses affect the gastrointestinal tract and can lead to severe diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration. If your cat shows symptoms like persistent diarrhea, lethargy, or a loss of appetite, contact us right away. Vaccinations can help prevent some of these viral infections.

Bacterial Infections

Bacterial infections, such as Salmonella and E. coli, can also lead to diarrhea. Cats can pick up these infections from contaminated food, water, or contact with other infected animals. Symptoms often include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain. Proper hygiene and safe food handling can reduce the risk of bacterial infections. If your cat is showing signs of a bacterial infection, your vet can prescribe antibiotics to help them recover.

Stress and Anxiety

Changes in your cat’s environment or routine can cause stress and anxiety, leading to diarrhea. Events like moving to a new home, introducing a new pet, or loud noises can upset your cat. To help your cat feel more comfortable, maintain a consistent routine, provide a safe space, and spend quality time with them. If your cat’s diarrhea persists, talk to your vet about possible treatments for anxiety.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a chronic condition that causes inflammation in your cat’s digestive tract. This inflammation disrupts the normal digestion process, leading to symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss. IBD can be challenging to diagnose because its symptoms are similar to other digestive disorders.

If your cat is diagnosed with IBD, your vet may suggest dietary changes, medication, or both. A special diet designed for cats with IBD can help reduce inflammation and improve digestion. Medications like corticosteroids can also reduce inflammation and control symptoms. We’ll also recommend follow-up visits to monitor your pet’s condition and adjust their treatment as needed.

Toxic Substances

Cats are curious creatures, and sometimes they ingest things they shouldn’t. Common household items like cleaning products, certain plants, and human medications can be toxic to cats and cause diarrhea. If you suspect your cat has ingested a toxic substance, contact us immediately. Keeping harmful items out of reach and using pet-safe products can help prevent accidental poisoning.

Signs of poisoning can vary but often include diarrhea, vomiting, drooling, and difficulty breathing. Seek veterinary care right away if you notice any of these symptoms. Quick action can be critical in preventing severe health problems.


Hyperthyroidism is a common condition in older cats where the thyroid gland produces too much hormone. This condition speeds up your cat’s metabolism, leading to symptoms like diarrhea, weight loss, and increased appetite. If your vet diagnoses your cat with hyperthyroidism, treatments such as medication, dietary changes, or surgery can help manage the condition.


Diabetes affects a cat’s ability to regulate its blood sugar levels, leading to various health problems, including diarrhea. Symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst, frequent urination, and weight loss. Managing diabetes typically involves insulin injections, a special diet, and regular vet visits to monitor your cat’s blood sugar levels.

When to See Your Vet

If your cat’s diarrhea lasts more than a day or two, it’s time to consult your vet. Persistent diarrhea can lead to dehydration and other serious problems. Other warning signs include blood in the stool, vomiting, lethargy, and a loss of appetite. Your vet can determine the underlying cause of diarrhea and recommend the best course of action.

To diagnose the cause of your cat’s diarrhea, your vet may perform several tests. These can include stool samples, blood tests, and imaging studies like X-rays or ultrasounds. These tests help identify infections, parasites, and other health conditions that might be causing diarrhea.

For any concerns about your cat’s health, call Kryder + Harr Veterinary Clinic in Granger, IN, at (574) 277-6533. Your vet can provide the care and guidance needed to help your cat feel better.



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Welcome to Kryder & Harr Veterinary Clinic! Our animal hospital has been a fixture in the Granger community since 1981, practicing full-service veterinary medicine for all our pet parents and their furry family members. At KHVC, we pride ourselves on our history, of providing excellent customer service for our clients, along with dedicated, compassionate, and exceptional medical care for all of our patients.