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My cat has diarrhoea, what should I do?

Diarrhoea is a common problem with a wide variety of causes. Cats are less likely to get diarrhoea than dogs since they tend to be a bit more careful about what they eat.  The seriousness of the diarrhoea is determined by the characteristics of the diarrhoea itself and any associated signs, as well as your cat’s general health.

What is diarrhoea?

Diarrhoea is faeces that are soft to liquid in consistency. Your cat may strain to pass faeces and you may see blood, mucous, parasites, or foreign objects in the faeces.

Why does my cat have diarrhoea?

Some of the most common causes are parasites, infection, and eating inappropriate things (e.g. non-food items) or dietary intolerance (e.g lactose).


What should I do if my cat has diarrhoea?

Many times diarrhoea will resolve without veterinary treatment. Be sure your cat has plenty of fresh water available. Sometimes feeding plain chicken or plain white fish will help. If the signs do not resolve within 24 hours, or are accompanied by other signs such as vomiting or lethargy, or your cat suffers recurrent episodes of diarrhoea, you should make an appointment to see your vet.

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What to expect from veterinary care

Initial treatment is focused on controlling the signs. Your cat may be given medication for parasites, antidiarrhoeal medication, and in some cases antibiotics.  In severe cases your cat may need fluids for dehydration (under the skin or a drip are most commonly used).

How can I prevent my cat from getting diarrhoea?

Keeping your cat on a consistent diet and minimizing his or her exposure to things likely to cause diarrhoea can decrease the risk of diarrhoea.