Cat Diarrhea: Everything You Need to Know

In diarrhea, the cat has loose or watery stools and may also have stools more often than normal. Diarrhea is not an individual disease but a disease symptom with several possible causes.

Causes of cat diarrhea

Many cats sooner or later experience a temporary intestinal disorder in the form of diarrhea. In especially younger individuals, it may be an intestinal infection that is behind, ie infection with parasites, viruses or bacteria.

As long as the cat’s general condition is good and it eats as usual, the prognosis in these cases is usually good, but the cat may need to be examined by a veterinarian to determine the cause.

Other causes of diarrhea in cats are:

  • Feeding-related – the cat has eaten something it can not tolerate, such as poisonous plants, spoiled food or a food it is hypersensitive to.
  • Drug-related – some drugs can be irritating to the stomach and intestines, such as painkillers and certain types of antibiotics.
  • Intestinal disease – chronic changes in the intestine that disrupt the function of the intestine and can cause the cat to have diarrhea. These include inflammatory bowel disease and bowel cancer.
  • Disease in another part of the body – diarrhea can be a symptom of disease in, for example, the liver, bile ducts or pancreas.


Depending on the underlying cause, the symptoms may vary. In addition to diarrhea, the cat may also have vomiting, reduced appetite, weight loss, reduced general condition and in some cases poor fur quality.

When should a veterinarian be consulted

Seek emergency care if:

  • The cat does not eat. Cats are sensitive to fasting conditions and internal organs can be damaged even after a short period of fasting
  • The cat loses a lot of fluid or does not drink / can not keep water
  • The cat has affected the general condition
  • There is a suspicion that the cat has ingested something toxic
  • There is a suspicion that the cat has ingested an object that may have got stuck in the intestine
  • Diarrhea and / or vomiting contain blood

Seek care if:

  • Diarrhea does not stop despite dietary advice
  • The cat has recurring problems with diarrhea


At the vet visit, the vet asks questions about the cat’s age, how long the diarrhea has lasted, the appearance of the stool and how often the cat poops, if the cat has a normal appetite, if it vomits, if it is an outdoor or indoor cat, if it has been dewormed, if it has passed weight loss, what it eats for feed, what it has had for body temperature, if it is on any medication etc. A clinical examination of the cat is then performed.

The clinical examination is often supplemented with blood samples and sometimes X-ray or ultrasound examination is performed. Sometimes it is also relevant with stool samples. Feel free to ask your veterinarian before the visit if you should bring a stool sample.


Some cats need to be registered for care in the form of drip, feeding etc. In other cases, the cat can be cared for at home with shoe food and intestinal normalizing preparations. Depending on the underlying cause, additional treatments may be needed.

Leave a Comment