Having a kitten is a great experience, but it can be very distressing when they become sick. One of the most common kitten ailments is diarrhoea, and it can take many different forms depending on the underlying cause. This can be a complicated and disgusting situation for both the sick kitty and its owner. In this article, we will look at kitten diarrhoea, its causes, treatments, and everything you need to know about the condition.
What Does Normal Kitten Poop Look Like?
Kitten’s poops are not as dry and firm as those of an adult cat. But if your kitten’s poop is constantly liquid, shapeless, or soft, then it is diarrhoea. Kitten diarrhoea is a common disorder that requires immediate medical attention. The state of your cat’s poop might reveal a lot about their health. Cat poop in good health is usually malleable and shaped like a long log. A healthy stool is dark brown in colour but not too dark, as blackish stool can mean blood in the stool.
Clinical Signs of Kitten Diarrhoea
Kitten diarrhoea can be dangerous, and it can indicate underlying problems. In addition to having unhealthy-looking poops, kitten diarrhoea may come with the following symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea or vomiting
- Tiredness or weakness
- Mucus or blood in the poop
- Worms in the poop
- Stomach ache
- Weight loss
- Defecating with increased frequency
Causes of Kittens Diarrhoea
Diarrhoea is one of the most frustrating kitten illnesses for cat owners because it can indicate anything from dangerous parasites to simple indigestion in kittens. Many factors can bring it on. Some are pretty harmless and easily treatable, while others indicate a severe ailment. For this reason, it is important to understand the causes of kitten diarrhoea. The following are the most common causes of kitten diarrhoea that you should be aware of:
Salmonella and Campylobacter are the two common bacteria causing infections. The typical way a cat encounters these bacteria is from fecally contaminated environments such as kennels, allowing them to contact contaminated faeces directly. Eating contaminated food or water is another mode of transmission.
Worms such as tapeworms and roundworms can upset your kitten’s stomach. The intestinal parasites irritate and disrupt the intestinal lining, resulting in kitten’s diarrhoea. Every cat owner shall prevent worms by deworming your kitten, which can begin as early as two weeks of age and continue every two to four weeks until your kitten reaches the age of twelve weeks. Then, once every three months.
A simple change in diet can affect your kitten and lead to diarrhoea. Kittens are delicate creatures that require a great deal of care and attention. Feeding your kitten fatty foods or changing the type of food you feed your kitten can sometimes lead to diarrhoea, especially if the kitten has a sensitive gastrointestinal tract. Any change in food can cause kitten diarrhoea, be it treats, regular diet, medicine or nutritional supplement. Nevertheless, it is usually very temporary and stops after a few days of consuming the new food once the body has adjusted to it.
Kittens can experience stress just like humans. When a kitten is introduced to a new home or is terrified by something in its environment, such as a dog or a child, it may experience diarrhoea as part of its body flight response.
Home Remedies for Kitten Diarrhoea
When it comes to treating your kitten diarrhoea at home, there are a few things you can try. Nevertheless, you should immediately bring the kitten to the vet if the condition does not improve after 24 hours or if your kitten refuses to eat and drink.
The home remedies that you can try include:
Give Your Kitten a Bland Diet
The best bland diet for your kitten is boiled plain chicken or turkey. The meat should be unseasoned and steamed or boiled without adding oil. You can also try to make chicken broth in the same way. Serve each meal in small portions, every three to four hours.
Put the cat on this diet for a few days until their poops return to normal. This diet is intended to relax the gastrointestinal tract; however, it is not fully balanced and should not be given for long. If diarrhoea persists after feeding a bland diet for more than 48 hours, you should consult your vet.
Probiotics have been shown to hasten the healing of diarrhoea in cats. These supplements can aid in the normalisation of your kitten’s intestinal bacterial population. Choose the one made by a reliable firm and specified for cat use. But, if you cannot get it right away, you can try natural yoghurt rich in probiotics that effectively treat minor kitten diarrhoea. The yoghurt should be free from lactose; one teaspoon is enough for kittens.
Dehydration can happen quickly in a kitten with diarrhoea. You should encourage the kitten to continue drinking and get plenty of fresh water. In addition to losing fluids, a kitten with diarrhoea loses essential nutrients known as electrolytes, necessary for nerve function. To replace it, you can give your cat unflavored Pedialyte, an electrolyte drink designed for babies and children. Mix it with its water.
Stress Reduction and Relaxation
Sometimes the cause of kitten diarrhoea is stress. Kittens experience many changes in a short time, so it is not a surprise that they can suffer from stress-induced diarrhoea. In this case, relaxation and stress reduction may be exactly what your kitten needs to stop the loose poop. Using pheromones such as Feliway in the house can help relax your kitten and reduce the chances of developing diarrhoea because of stress.
Diagnosis of Kitten Diarrhoea
Your vet can run a series of tests to find out why your kitten has diarrhoea. The common thing is to take a sample of your cat’s poop. The poop is then sent to a lab to be checked for diseases, parasites and other common causes of kitten diarrhoea. Your vet can perform any of these tests, radiographs, cultures, endoscopy, biopsy and ultrasound if they believe that your kitty has an underlying condition. The outcomes of these tests will help your veterinarian determine the cause of your kitten’s diarrhoea and the best treatment options.
Treatments of Kitten Diarrhoea
Kitten diarrhoea can be treated in several different ways, including medications to kill the parasites or fight bacterial infections. Your veterinarian may prescribe antiparasitic or antifungal drugs to kill parasites like roundworms. Some veterinarians may recommend trying a cat’s probiotics for a day or two to see if it solves the problem. Those caused by less severe factors such as allergic reactions can be treated by changing your kitten’s food or prescription medicine.
Those caused by more serious factors may involve more thorough treatment before your cat can fully recover. Diarrhoea caused by tumours, cancer, liver or kidney disease may require surgery and hospitalisation until your kitten recover.
Recovery from Kitten Diarrhoea
As a cat owner, it is your responsibility to ensure your cat recovers from diarrhoea. To prevent your kitten from being ill with diarrhoea in the future, you should follow your veterinarian’s recommendations and stay in contact with them. For example, if your vet recommends changing your kitten’s diet, make sure you eliminate the food that caused the sickness.
In addition to that, keep your cat’s litter box clean, provide food and fresh water. Regularly sweep and mop your cat’s feeding area. With these simple precautions, you can keep away viruses, bacteria and parasites that cause kitten diarrhoea. Suppose your feline pal has had surgery or has a serious underlying condition like cancer or liver disease. In that case, it is important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions and give your feline pal the medications. Follow up with veterinary care needed and keep your kitten comfortable and hydrated.
How to Prevent Kitten Diarrhoea
The best way to prevent kitten diarrhoea is to feed your kitten with clean and nutritious food consistently. Cat food usually contains dyes and other artificial ingredients, which can upset your kitten’s tummy. It may have to work harder to metabolise. Switching to a more natural brand such as Grace Cat can help you get rid of the problem. Avoid feeding your kitten human food or making sudden changes in your cat diet to prevent cases of an upset stomach.
Keep the kittens in a clean environment to reduce the chances of bacteria or virus infection. Another excellent step is to take your new kitten to your family veterinarian within two to three days of bringing it home. Some of the most common non-dietary disorders can be avoided with a thorough examination, including a stool test and deworming.
Lastly, ensure that underlying conditions, such as hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis and food allergies, are under control with medication and proper diet, as directed by your veterinarian.