Kitten Diarrhea

Treating a kitten with diarrhea and loose stools
Diarrhea in kittens is very common and treatable. Learn how to feed a kitten with diarrhea and how worms & parasites cause loose stools.

Help a Kitten With Diarrhea

Dear Simba,
2 weeks ago I brought home a 12-week-old Persian kitten named Rusty. He has diarrhea. He has been de-wormed. We took him to the vet who said the loose stools could be due to the change in his diet. I was told to give Rusty his medication (some type of syrup for Diarrhea, Prednisolone / Anti-Inflammatory and Antibiotics) twice a day, 1cc each time, for 10 days in addition to 1cc Pyrantel Pamoate syrup (Dewormer) to be given in a week's time.

When me and my hubby gave Rusty his medication, one of us had to hold him while the other put the medicine in his mouth after which, Rusty was foaming at the mouth. He then seemed dazed and weak.

It has been 2 days and he is not as playful as he used to be. He tires easily and sleeps more. His stomach looks rounded and feels firm. He has his appetite and eats 4x a day. His stool has turned to the normal brown color, formed but a tad soft/moist. He goes potty ~5x a day, usually after being fed.

I have grown so attached to him that it is difficult to leave him for work every morning! Please tell me what to do! I am thinking about getting 2nd opinion from another vet! Rusty's Mom

Dear Rusty's Mom,
It is natural to become attached to a loving wonderful creature like your Rusty!

Soft yellow poo many times means that there is a bacterial imbalance in the intestines. That coupled with diarrhea often signals kitty has coccidia. The foaming is normal after medication (click here for more on foaming).
As for his lethargy, it is good his appetite is healthy, however, prolonged lethargy is a bad thing. Consider taking Rusty to the vet or seek a second opinion if it continues. Most cats will poo 1 to 2 times per day, usually 30 minutes after eating. They will urinate 2 to 3 times per day. Because of that, the schedule you have described appears OK.

As for his not vomiting, that is a good thing. Remember that Rusty may or may not have had worms and if he did, they are often difficult to see in the stool. Also, vomiting can be, but is not always related to a cat having worms. When it is, it is indicative of infection, not a result of treatment.

I hope all this helps. You are asking all the right questions and Rusty seems to be in good shape with such caring parents. Keep me posted. Simba

Follow-up I cannot thank you enough for your help...Rusty is getting back to his usual self...another trip to the vet is inevitable, as he still has to get his vaccinations. I will be taking Rusty to another vet with the journal (history of eating and potting habits, reactions to situations, etc) I have been keeping since he came into the family!

Feed a Kitten with Diarrhea

Dear Simba,
We just got a new kitten 4 days ago. The poor thing has had diarrhea since he arrived...he is been sick all over the floor. What could be wrong? - Pepto Kitty

Dear Pepto Kitty,
Your kitten is a new environment, he is both nervous and scared. He may have also eaten something that he should not have or that he is not used to and he may have worms or other intestinal problems. Quick Cure:

  • Feed him a few finely cut pieces of oven-baked, plain, dry & skinless chicken.
  • Place the kitten in his own room, pen, or training cage with food, water and small litter pan.
  • Check up on him periodically and drop in some toys for him to play with.
  • Do not let him have the run of the house until he improves.
  • If you notice any symptoms that are of concern, visit your vet.
Assuming no bacterial and/or viral ailments your kitten should be better within a day or two. Have him de-wormed if he is >6 weeks of age and once he is better, be sure to feed him the food he ate prior to his coming home...and do not allow him to eat anything else. What you teach him now, he will grow up with. - Your Pal, Simba

Dear Simba,
I have a 14-week-old kitten with diarrhea. I had her checked for worms and infections. The vet said she had a bowel infection and gave an antibiotic. It turns out that the preservatives in commercial cat food are causing her loose stool. My vet told me to boil some ground beef and feed her that or a few days to see if the diarrhea clears up. I did and the diarrhea went away. He said I should try different foods until I find one she can eat. I have tried several other foods and nothing has worked. I worry that the ground beef does not provide the essential nutrients she needs. Do you have any suggestions? Laura

Dear Laura,
I agree with you. Ground beef alone will not meet all of kitty’s nutritional needs. There are a couple of things you could try. One is mixing small amounts of cat food with the ground beef so as to build up resistance to whatever is causing her loose stools. You can also try PROBIOTIC for Cats - Premo Pet which assists cats’ digestive systems when on commercial diets. The Missing Link Feline Formula provides good nutrients. Lastly, do not give up on cat food. Petcurean makes a good grain-free, low-sugar cat food that may work for your little gal. Let me know how things go. Simba

Dear Simba,
My 11-week-old kitten has bad diarrhea and a sore looking bottom. She was taken to the vet 5 days ago and given antibiotics. I was told to feed her on scrambled egg and white fish. The treatment finished and there is no change. Can you help? Friend

Dear Friend,
I will try. Sorry to hear about your little gal and her tummy troubles. Just remember that kittens get diarrhea rather frequently (they have very sensitive tummies) and any change in their diet/environment and/or infections may trigger an episode. While I have never heard of scrambled eggs and white fish as a treatment, I do not know what your vet knows. Be patient, check out the letters below for poop colors and loose stools, monitor and document her progress and talk to your vet. Let me know how you do. Your Pal, Simba

Dear Simba,
We have a new kitten that is 5-weeks-old and has constant diarrhea - she eats only dry (softened) kitten chow and drinks water only - we took her to the vet who found only worms in the stool. He wormed her, but she still has the problem. Any ideas?? - Runny

Dear Runny,
Hopefully your kitten is undergoing continuing treatment for the roundworm. Be sure that you follow your vet's directions. As for her continuing loose stool, check out the tips in my letter to Pepto Kitty to help the little gal's tummy out. ─ Your Pal, Simba

Cat Parasites, Diarrhea

Dear Simba,
We have a cat, Charlotte, that recently gave birth to four kittens. Since then, she has had constant there a reason for this??

Diarrhea is usually caused by bacterial infections, intestinal parasites, food intolerance to obstructions and a lot of things. Worms and loose stools usually go hand in hand with pregnancy. Either have your cat wormed ASAP and stop her nursing the kittens or wait until the kittens are weaned to have her wormed. Follow the steps I gave Pepto Kitty to stop the loose stool. Take her to a vet if the problem persists or if the stool takes on a bad consistency (see the stool color guide). All the best, Simba

Cat Sneezing, Diarrhea

Dear Simba,
My 12-week-old cat is sneezing a lot. She also had a really bad case of diarrhea. She has been like this for a day. I do not want to take her to the vet if it is nothing serious. I would appreciate it if you could give me some advice!─ Thanks, Tammy

Dear Tammy,
Because your kitten is experiencing both sneezing a diarrhea. Things to make a note of:

  • what color is her stool?
  • has she been wormed?
  • has there been any food changes?
  • has the kitten been anywhere new?
  • has kitten gotten into any cabinets?
More than likely your kitten is suffering from a combination of upset stomach and a case of the Cat Flu. The cat flu is caused by a viral or bacterial infections. Click for more information on causes, signs and treatment for the cat flu. - Simba

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