When you have a pet cat, then you have a companion to play with, cuddle and stroke – but there’s a flipside. You also have to know how to care for the small, adorable predator you’ve opened your home to. It relies on you for its food, comfort and wellbeing and the least you can do is be ready to provide!
Unfortunately, diarrhea is one of the most common health problems a cat can experience, and for all sorts of reasons – it can be caused by scavenging and eating spoiled food, by parasites, by hairballs, and by diseases and infections. In some cases, it’s simply how the cat’s body cleans itself out, but in others it can be the precursor to much more serious conditions. You need to be able to identify which is which, and how to care for your cat until it recovers or you can get it to a vet.
Dealing With Diarrhea
One of the most common questions anxious owners ask when they have a sick pet is “should I starve a cat with diarrhea?”. Whilst historically sick dogs have been fasted, it is a good idea, you should never fast a sick cat! Cats can develop liver damage if they’re not fed for an extended period of time.
Instead, put your cat on a reduced and limited diet. Boiled rice and chicken is both bland nutritional, so it’s an easily digestible food for your cat while it’s sick. Feeding a small amount but often is the best way to avoid vomiting. Start by giving a total of 50% of their usual rations split into 6-8 portions throughout the day, and build up the amount you feed them while reducing the number of portions in subsequent days. As long as they’re able to hold the food down, this should help them to recover.
When to Worry
There are a few warning signs that should prompt a visit to the vet. The first is blood in the faeces – this could be a sign of some serious health problems. Uncharacteristic drowsiness or aggression could also be causes for concern – so keep an eye on your cat’s behaviour. It’s the only tool they have to communicate how they’re feeling to you!
The other thing you need to be aware of is time – most cases of feline diarrhea clear up in a matter of hours or days. If your cat is still experiencing problems after 48 hours then it’s time to make an emergency appointment at the vet.