Chronic diarrhea is probably one of the most frustrating conditions, both for the affected cat, and for her guardian. Diarrhea is considered chronic if symptoms persist for longer than three weeks, but any time your cat has diarrhea for more than a day or two, a visit to your veterinarian is indicated, especially if your cat is not eating or drinking water and/or is vomiting as well. Chronic vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration, and, if left untreated, can become life threatening.

Common causes of chronic gastrointestinal disease

Causes for chronic intestinal disease can vary, and include

  • Parasites
  • Bacterial infection
  • Viral infection
  • Food allergies or food intolerance
  • Dietary indiscretion
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Cancer


Your veterinarian will run a number of tests to identify the cause of the diarrhea. Test may include:

  • Fecal test to check for parasites and bacteria
  • Complete blood count
  • Blood chemistry profile
  • Thyroid profile
  • Urinalysis
  • A bloodtest known as a GI Panel
  • Radiographs, possibly done with a contrast medium such as Barium to identify blockages
  • Ultrasound


Depending on test results, treatment may include:

  • Probiotics to restore healthy gut flora
  • Dewormers
  • Antibiotics
  • Adding fiber such as canned pumpkin to the diet
  • B vitamins
  • Food elimination diet
  • Steroids

Severe cases may require referral to a veterinary internist. Internists can perform endoscopy, and take biopsies of the intestinal tract to further refine a diagnosis.

The Role of Diet in Gastrointestinal Disease

There are commercially manufactured diets available for the treatment of IBD, most of them containing so-called “novel proteins,” ie., proteins that the cat may not have been exposed to before such as rabbit, venison, and duck.  Some manufacturer also offer diets that contain hydrolized proteins, in which the protein is broken down to minimize an allergic reaction.

However, increasingly, holistically oriented veterinarians are seeing a connection between diet and IBD.  These vets believe that commercial pet foods, especially dry foods, are a contributing factor to the large numbers of cats with chronic IBD. They also discovered that many cats improve by simply changing their diets to a balanced grain-free raw meat diet.  Similar results may be achieved with a grain-free canned diet, but a raw diet seems to lead to quicker and better results.

Chronic diarrhea is not something you, and your cat, should learn to live with.  Take your cat to a veterinarian for a thorough physical exam.  After ruling out other conditions or diseases as causes, the solution might just be something as simple as changing your cat’s diet.

135 Comments on Chronic Diarrhea in Cats

  1. After my cat had a round of antibiotics after a dental, she developed diarrhea that nothing and no one could cure, not even the local internal medicine specialist. FMT (fecal microbiota transplant) capsules from AnimalBiome were an absolute godsend and fixed her gut. I’m telling everyone I can to help others. You can read my Google review that I posted for AnimalBiome if you want more details.

    • This! I may have to give it a try.

      My cat 15, had a dental and 2 extractions, was prescribed a 10 day course of amoxicillin, doing very well then on day 7 she went from fine to vomiting non-stop couldn’t keep anything down more than an hour. After the morning like this I went to see my regular vet who suspected GI irritation or an inflammatory response to the antibiotics (which I’ve come to hear is common) he gave her a Cerenia (anti-vomiting) injection and subq fluids in case of dehydration. Once we got home within an hour it was awful; no vomiting but zero interest in food, visible discomfort and hyper-salivation, I mean mini puddles wherever she went. Went back to the vet next day, as she had not eaten and seemed like the nausea, drooling and discomfort got worse (my research showed these were possible Cerenia side effects but could not know for sure) she was given famotidine, subq fluids and appetite stimulant to ease the potential gastric irritation and hopefully get her to eat. Back at home, no improvements, no appetite and she got progressively more lethargic, irritable and weak as the night went on, then boom at 9PM, explosive runny bloody diarrhea.

      We rushed her to the emergency vet where she admitted and put on intravenous fluids, given electrolytes, vitamin B12 injection, Cerenia and Metronidazole to address any potential GI infection and inflammation, cause unknown. That night at the vet she had one more explosive bloody diarrhea event then began to improve overnight and into the morning. She ate the food they gave her and feistily defended herself against the invasions on her cathood by the vets and technicians. No further vomiting or diarrhea, blood work was pristine, urine properly concentrated, x-rays showed no blockages, vet sent her home that night with 10 day course of Metronidazole, FortiFlora and 4 days of Cerenia tablets to manage any residual nausea.

      First day home was rough, she was without a doubt exhausted and stressed from the ordeal, hid in corners, exhibited discomfort, squinting, mild drooling, no interest in food; I eventually syringed some puréed food and water slowly and carefully into her mouth, 20ml, not much, just to get some calories and fluids in her. I was worried, was she reacting to the Cerenia again? Late that night she finally ate a little on her own.

      The next day she refused breakfast, but had started to drink water, ate a little for lunch, and a little more for dinner. By day 3 she had a healthy appetite, drank water repeatedly and began grooming again. On day 4, big appetite, drinking lots, bright eyed, walking around, using scratchpost and playing a bit (though not back at 100%). It’s now Day 5, she is doing well, energy improving, eating normally if not more, has been peeing 4-5 times a day… so what’s the problem? No poop in sight since she came home!

      I could see it taking 2, maybe three days, since she didn’t eat for over 48 hours then emptied herself out, her digestion is likely a bit slower and she only eats 1-1.5TBSP at a time, but 4-5 days is a little concerning. Vomiting has stopped since she came home but she did cough up a hairball the last two mornings since completing the Cerenia, I was concerned until I saw it both times, it was 6-8 hours after eating (5AM in the morning) and there is no food present, pure hairball. That makes me think the food must be making its way out of the stomach and into her intestines but where it is now is anyone’s guess… She is taking the probiotics and eating only wet foods and with some pumpkin and psyllium in it too. Could it be her digestion is just taking its sweet time? Could the Metronidazole cause constipation? Or maybe she is backed up behind the hairballs she couldn’t vomit up while on Cerenia? At this point we can’t say for sure it isn’t IBS, pancreatitis or cancer, but given her A+ lab results, improvement everywhere else, happy demeanor and lack of discomfort this is the mystery that keeps on giving.

      Will be taking her to the vet this evening for a follow up x-ray and possibly ultrasound to rule out a new blockage or impacted stool. The worst part is I hate to stress her out again and take her to a vet, this being the 4th time in a week! Will follow up and reply to my original post once we know more. Sharing in case another kitty has a similar situation and and needs some guidance.

  2. Our 15 year old cat developed diarrhea and our Vet did blood work, gave us probiotics, recommended only wet food etc. We stopped feeding the Fromm Dry Food and continued with more of the Wellness canned pate food. Everytime he used the litter box, it was still diarrhea and our cat dropped 8 lbs over the last 8 months. I hit your web site after reading so much information, trying to find something to try. As per your reader’s comment, we decided to try another brand. The Whiskas canned pate stopped his diarrhea within 36 hours. We are relieved and surprised as we believed the non-grain/all meat Wellness to be the better of the two. But one of your commenters said the Wellness caused diarrhea and affected the blood results for kidney. We’ll wait till his next check up to see if the different food changes the results for the better. So far, he seems happier, more energetic and definitely having normal poops. So we thought we would share this.

  3. My cat Mango has had chronic diarrhea, ever since December! it is runny, mucoid and has small bits of bright red blood in it. Other that that though, he is totally normal!! Like hes eating well, playing and being a normal cat. I took him to the vet and they tried some probiotics and Metamucil–nothing worked. He was on Metronidazole for 5 days and things got better for a couple months, now all of the sudden its back and I’m so worried :(. He’s 2 and I just really hope its not cancer or anything bad. He had abdominal surgery a few months ago (it turned out to be nothing, the radiographs were misinterpreted), so I feel like if there was something obvious they would have seen it–but i just don’t know. In the surgery they were mostly focused on the stomach but they said they looked at other organs as well in the area. I didn’t ask if they specifically looked at the large intestine or the colon. I feel like maybe its a food intolerance or allergy (since i switched his food recently and quickly–same brand different food), or maybe he has developed some IBD. I’m just so worried about cancer. Has anyone else experienced anything like this?

    • Just a thought since I had issues with my cat and diarrhea. Cat 13 years old, main coon mix of some sort. He’s had diarrhea for 1 yr. I tried everything. Different probiotics, Changed food to grain free. Natural remedies a million *pumpkin, changing the protein, herbal supps*. Nothing worked. Vet checked stool and all came back negative. The vet thought he had IBD but didn’t want to do a biopsy on him since it was intrusive and felt that if she prescribed him Tylosin powder once a day *forever* which is fine since it’s non-toxic this would help him. Presto… It’s put him back to how he was!!!! I give it to him once a day mixed in water and squirt in his mouth. He hates it, however, this is the only thing that helped him. Ask your vet… this seems to be the only solution for some. I just didn’t want people or their pets to suffer if this was the solution. My cat would visit the box 5 times a day and sometimes wouldn’t make it. None of those issues anymore. If I miss a dose I notice his poop reverting back to how it was. You can try and hide this medicine in your cat’s food but it’s impossible lol. THEY KNOW!!!!!! I hope this helps if you tried everything… and maybe your vet doesn’t know about this solution so ask!!!

      • My cat also came down with chronic watery diarrhea. Nothing found on tests, nothing stopped it until the vet prescribed a combo of Tylosin powder and Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Response food. I make capsules out of the powder and pop one down his throat twice a day.

        Tylosin powder is very very bitter. The capsules were the easiest way, and he comes happily up to get dosed.

        He’s pretty much back to normal, and doing very well for a nearly 18 year old cat.

        • Yeah, I switched to putting the Tylosin or Tylan in a capsule and shooting it into his mouth with a pill shooter w/water since it was so bitter. He’s been on it for 2 years now and he’s perfect! Glad we both found the solution, it was a nightmare to be sure!

    • Hi I’m Ajay and I’m 16, so I have had this kitten for about two months
      ( he’s 5 months now)
      I rescued him from the pound and for these two months I have had him it’s been constant diarrhoea and I’m soo confused I have tried everything and he acts so normal he eats a lot he drinks a lot of water and he also plays all the time. Three of his litter mates passed from sickness and he wasn’t even effected but he just has constant diarrhoea sometimes he even throws up all his food and he sometimes has seizures and I don’t know what to do he’s only 5 months old and I don’t want anything to happen to him since his father passed a couple of months ago I just don’t want to lose him either

    • Karen! Ty so much for your information! Im going to try and get a vet appt for my 11 yr old cat today and ask for that! Your story really sounds exactly like mine! My vet told me this week that there was really nothing else he could do, so since reading the helpful information you provided Im going to a different vet and am going to ask that they give her a shot of this! It is my last resort before probably having to weigh a big decision. My poor baby has always had problems but diagel used to work to try and get her back to some normalcy, but this time its veen exactly what youve talked about and I am at my last straw. I love my baby, but this has really brought her down and shes not eating very much because she has diarrhea right afterwards! All the meds are not working! Even some of the meds have side effects that say mY cause diarrhea!!!

      • See if you can get a prescription of tylosin or tylan powder, they are the same just different names. Doesn’t come in a shot form sadly. I hope this helps your pet, I know how frustrating it is! My vet gives me a small bottle that lasts a month for 20 bucks, but you can find a larger, cheaper quantity online with a prescription. Let me know if this works! Heres to hoping!

        • Thanks a ton! I have suffered for years with her, but this time it absolutely wasnt clearing up after 13 days! Her poor recrum is so raw and red! I feel so bad for her! The new vet said today he would like to give her a depo shot and a b12 to treat as IBD. I mentioned the tylosin, and he said it would prob work the same as the metrozidadole. So I didnt want to be too pushy this first visit. He does want the b 12 shots to be given once a week though and gave me an estimate for slicing her open and running specific tests that will tell us what specifically it could be. He wasnt pushing it, but at 11 yrs old, i just think thats too much for her. She not a spring chicken. I will DEFINITELY PUSH the tylan if this doesnt help. It’s so hard because all I do is pick up after her around the house. I had had enough and nothing was working for either of us! Trying to pill her was beyond stressful and almost impossible to get 3 different pills down her plus a diagel!! I will keep you posted. Your story gives me hope! I can’t thank you enough for sharing it!!

          • Has your cat been given metrozidadole before? Did it clear up the diarrhea, but then it came back? Tylosine does work very similiar as metro but can be used daily forever and has really no side effects, metro can’t be used long term since it causes neurological issues. My vet told me some older cats *like mine* start to over produce bacteria and the tylosine will kill it down. At least I think that’s what I remember her telling me lol

        • How do you get your cat to take the tylosin powder? Mixing it with doesn’t seem to work for my kitten.

          • Currently, right now I take some of the Tylosin powder and put it into a size 4 capsule that I ordered online at amazon. I then put it into a pet pill shooter, fill it a little with water and shoot it down my cat’s throat. This seems to work the best for him since the Tylosine is sooo bitter you can’t hide it in anything. He takes it like a champ and I’m done in like 5 seconds. He’s been on this for over a year and it’s still working perfectly for him.

  4. My cat, Lincoln, has had chronic diarrhea ever since I’ve had him. His blood work and fecal tests showed all clear. I switched him to Crave canned food and his stools hardened for about 2 weeks. Then it was back to very soft. I switched him to Koha turkey stew about 2 months ago and now his stools are completely liquid (between pudding and liquid, really). It is frustrating for me to be cleaning up constantly and having poop smears over everything. He is going for a follow-up a week from today. Any suggestions?

      • Just read some of the stories on here, it seems we share the same problems and love for our cats.
        My 6 year old Meggie is exactly the same, she’s a house cat (was feral), it can be very frustrating. She’s had diarrhoea since we rescued her as a feral 1 year old.
        The vet tested her bloods and stool and nothing showed up so they said it was probably IBS and suggested bland hypoallergenic biscuits. Nothing changed, and I felt I couldn’t just feed her those.
        2 weeks ago I just started Meg on some herbal drops, Pet Wellbeing BM Toneup Gold, as the reviews online were so good.
        There seems to be some improvement so far, her stools are more solid, and she isn’t leaving drops around the house so much. I’ve given her a few more than the 5 drops recommended twice a day.
        I was getting desperate – it is so hard and stressful trying to catch a timid anxious cat to wipe her, as well as frustrating cleaning up after her.
        She’s lovely, has no other symptoms, just the constant diarrhoea. The vet didn’t want to put her through more invasive testing as she seemed OK
        In herself. I’d be happy to try anything else you could recommend though…
        Can you tell me if you know anything about these herbal drops? Is this a product you have tested too?

        • I posted this response on some other comments. So here it is again!
          Just a thought since I had issues with my cat and diarrhea. Cat 13 years old, main coon mix of some sort. He’s had diarrhea for 1 yr. I tried everything. Different probiotics, Changed food to grain free. Natural remedies a million *pumpkin, changing the protein, herbal supps*. Nothing worked. Vet checked stool and all came back negative. The vet thought he had IBD but didn’t want to do a biopsy on him since it was intrusive and felt that if she prescribed him Tylosin powder once a day *forever* which is fine since it’s non-toxic this would help him. Presto… It’s put him back to how he was!!!! I give it to him once a day mixed in water and squirt in his mouth. He hates it, however, this is the only thing that helped him. Ask your vet… this seems to be the only solution for some. I just didn’t want people or their pets to suffer if this was the solution. My cat would visit the box 5 times a day and sometimes wouldn’t make it. None of those issues anymore. If I miss a dose I notice his poop reverting back to how it was. You can try and hide this medicine in your cat’s food but it’s impossible lol. THEY KNOW!!!!!! I hope this helps if you tried everything… and maybe your vet doesn’t know about this solution so ask!!!

  5. I have a 14-year-old Tabby, Simba, who seemed to be in perfect health. All of a sudden, he started having diarrhea. I tried some natural remedies, but it didn’t work. Took him to our Vet who ran all the blood work, stool sample,etc. He was anemic, which is now cleared up, but they diarrhea wouldn’t go away with the Vet’s meds, and he continued to lose weight. The Vet finally took an ultrasound. She said that he was so full of gas that she had a hard time reading the ultrasound. But, she is convinced that he has cancer of the lower intestines.

    She put him on Metronidozole, which sometimes works, other times not. I have the same problem as so many other people, where he will poop just about anywhere. Sometimes in the middle of the night that the smell wakes me up. All the clean-up is so hard to deal with, and the smell doesn’t help either. It’s extra hard on me since I live with my daughter who is disabled and needs all of my help too. Simba happens to be her cat, and putting him down is out of the questions. She really loves him a lot.

    I am so shocked that this even happened, because Simba was on raw food with a little bit of canned food, no dry food all of his life. He also always had different supplements, like enzymes, probiotics and some Flower Essences. We have been treating him with several products, and he has been gaining weight, but the diarrhea just won’t stop.

    Any kind of advise or suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.

    • It’s impossible to get a definitive cancer diagnosis based on ultrasound findings. The only way to know for sure is with a biopsy. I would pursue further diagnostics and/or get a second opinion. Given that you’re already doing everything right with diet and supplements, I suspect that there is something else going on. If it truly is intestinal cancer, depending on what kind, it’s one of the more treatable cancers in cats. All my best to you and your kitty!

      • Thanks for your quick response.

        My vet said that Simba is way too weak and fragile to do a biopsy. He only ways 5 1/2 pounds now, doesn’t groom himself, lays around most of the day. The only time he gets active is if someone is eating. He wants everything there is to eat. He eats his own food about every 2-3 hours.

        • my own cat passed away from ibd. i had tried pretty much everything. i work with a dog rescue and we recently had a dog with ibd. she was emaciated and was on the fast track to death. i asked the vet about fecal transplant and we were in the process of finding a healthy donor when i stumbled across a company which manufactures a ready made fecal transplant kit; essentially dehydrated poop pills. we gave them daily for a month and her stool became solid. they cost $300, but worth a shot if you’re desperate. company is animal biome.

          • Hi Catherine,

            I have heard about this procedure before, but I’m not sure if it would work for cancer. I know it has been very successful with IBD. But I’m so desperate, I will check into it. It’s expensive, but right now I don’t care.

            Thanks again.

            Sorry about your cat passing. I know we’re on a countdown now too. It is so hard.

        • My cat has had uncontrollable diarrhea for 3 years!! Just like your cat, she is too fragile to get a biopsy. I have to give her a bath every week and put vasaline on her behind to give her some relief. Everything I have been reading says she should not be alive, but I have been dealing with this for 3 years! She jumps, plays, eats…she has lost weight but has energy and is bright eyed! Wish there was some sort of answer to this condition. 🙁

          • I’m reposting a comment I made. So here it is! Just a thought since I had issues with my cat and diarrhea. Cat 13 years old, main coon mix of some sort. He’s had diarrhea for 1 yr. I tried everything. Different probiotics, Changed food to grain free. Natural remedies a million *pumpkin, changing the protein, herbal supps*. Nothing worked. Vet checked stool and all came back negative. The vet thought he had IBD but didn’t want to do a biopsy on him since it was intrusive and felt that if she prescribed him Tylosin powder once a day *forever* which is fine since it’s non-toxic this would help him. Presto… It’s put him back to how he was!!!! I give it to him once a day mixed in water and squirt in his mouth. He hates it, however, this is the only thing that helped him. Ask your vet… this seems to be the only solution for some. I just didn’t want people or their pets to suffer if this was the solution. My cat would visit the box 5 times a day and sometimes wouldn’t make it. None of those issues anymore. If I miss a dose I notice his poop reverting back to how it was. You can try and hide this medicine in your cat’s food but it’s impossible lol. THEY KNOW!!!!!! I hope this helps if you tried everything… and maybe your vet doesn’t know about this solution so ask!!!

          • Michelle, they seem to have not printed the website name so I’m trying it a different way. Hopefully this will get through. The name of it is petbucket and always comes with a dot and a com after the site’s name. Again, good luck!

    • Oftentimes, foul-smelling diarrhea is caused by intestinal parasites. This is especially true for giardia. Giardia is a very ancient organism and, until the last few years, was practically impossible to kill or treat (other than the symptoms).
      Also, many people don’t realize that guiardia, like practically ALL intestinal parasites, do not always show up in stool tests. That’s because they (the parasites) are not always shedding their eggs. If you happen to get a stool sample between egg shedding, it will show up as negative. But having no eggs present in the sample doesn’t mean your baby is parasite free. It’s almost always a good idea to do a second test a week or so after the first one. Or bring in two samples, one fresh and one from the day before. The only problem with this is that samples that aren’t fresh don’t always reveal their secrets.
      The vet generally does what’s called a “float test” where a small amount of stool is swirled around in a small sterile cup of water. The parasites’ eggs will float to the surface. Not visible to the naked eye, a sample of surface water is then placed on a slide where the vet tech can then examine it looking for eggs of known types (roundworms, hook worms, tapeworms, etc.).
      If you or someone you know has a decent compound microscope, this is something that can easily be done with a small amount of research. (You have to know what you’re looking for, what the eggs look like from different organisms.) But the tests aren’t expensive even if done at the vet’s office.
      As far as giardia goes, the treatment option of choice today seems to be fenbendazole, which just happens to treat and kill a number of other common intestinal parasites that infect cats. Just be sure to weigh your kitty so s/he can be given the correct dosage.
      Please NOTE, I am NOT a veterinarian and I’m offering this as advice only. If you do decide to treat your cat on your own, please do the research. Don’t guess at anything. If there’s even one small thing you’re unsure of or don’t understand, get your vet’s advice. He or she is certainly more qualified than either you or I.
      A great website for many of the most common medications for cats and dogs is

      Their prices can’t be beat either. Plus, most times you don’t need a prescription because they’re located in the U.K. where many of the meds don’t require an RX.
      Good luck. I hope you find out what’s ailing your kitty. And hope your sweetheart feels better soon. Have a great day!

      PS I am not affiliated in any way with Petbucket. I’ve just been using them for the cats I rescue and my own (7) cats for the past eight-plus years and never once had a problem. They also will answer any questions that fall within the scope of their knowledge.

  6. Hi all, I would really love to receive some advice on how to collect stool samples from my cat. I will need to collect samples from 3 consecutive days.

    I’m very worried about my orange tabby cat, he’s been having loose stool for a while now. While a faecal examination could provide more insights into reasons for the loose stool, the loose stool makes it difficult to collect a good sample: his stool has no defined shape and is almost watery which causes it to `flow’ between the cat sand and the cat sand that my cat uses to cover the stool will also ‘sink’ into the stool. I think cat owners that have experienced something similar would understand: there is very little area left in the clump of poo and litter that is not filled with litter. This is quite problematic as the sample needs to be sufficient… The vet assistant said I should collect a sample with the size of a big toe nail.

    I thought of one way to do it, which is to chase my cat out of his litterbox when I hear that he has done a poo (the sound of him pooping loose stool is very distinct nowadays…) before he manages to cover it with cat sand. Obviously, I would prefer a way that is less mean.

    Advice would be greatly appreciated!

    • Your vet should be able to run fecal tests even if there is litter mixed in with the sample. If there’s so little stool with each defecation that it’s more litter than stool, you can try reducing the amount of litter in the box to a bare minimum, or ask your vet for a special litter that is used to collect urine samples that won’t absorb the liquid. Whatever you do, don’t chase your cat out of the box after he has defecated – you’re going to create a litter box aversion and you’ll end up with a cat who will defecate anywhere but inside the box!

      • Hi Ingrid, thank you for your reply, this is helpful. There is some variability in the size of his defecations, but I guess I could give the fecal test a try with the bigger ones despite them being covered in litter. Will see that goes and leave an update here.

  7. Hi, I have a 16 year old female tabby cat. She got very sick about 4 months ago after we temporarily changed her environment. She was vomitting, lethargic and not eating. She was diagnosed with some jaundice and with further testing discovered that her levels indicated liver disease, possibly liver cancer but she was certainly fighting something serious. She lost ALOT of weight. She was in hospital for a week getting fluids and meds etc and being monitered. She didn’t seem to improve until we brought her home. After a day or two she bounced back. Started eating again, acting normal etc. We have not taken her away from home since, in fear of any travel and stress triggering a set back. She cannot maintain weight at all yet eats ALL day long and has a veracious appetite. She has had chronic diarreah for several weeks now and more recently does not quite make it to the litter box, (I think through choice so she stays cleaner and litter free) and clean up is extensive every day. She howls a lot and sometimes seems disorientated. Otherwise she is fine.
    We are now concerned how long we should continue like this. We have a second cat that is obviously affected and we are worried about everyone elses health now due to so much mess around the house. Should we say goodbye or is there something more we should do or try? I am so torn about it all since it’s really just the diarreah and weight loss. Is she in distress because of this? I just can’t tell anymore. Please help. 🙁

    • You need to take your cat to a vet as soon as possible, Rachel. There’s no such thing as “just diarrhea and weight loss.” Chronic diarrhea for weeks can be life-threatening.

    • Hi Rachel, I felt compelled to reply to you after going through a similar experience last October. In my case, I ended up putting my Zoe to rest but afterwards faced some pretty big regrets. If I could do it over again and what my advice would be to you…. I would get a referral asap to an internal medicine specialist. but you should act quickly. Your cat having diarrhea is not a good quality of life. There’s something very wrong. Go see a specialist immediately. My thoughts are with you!! Shannon

    • if money is an issue, at least ask your vet if you can bring in a stool sample. my vet will run a fecal test without an office visit for about $40. it will give you peace of mind to know that it’s not simply a parasite.

      • We know there is something wrong. She 16 and continuing any kind of invasive treatments seems cruel. Other than her diarreah her quality of life is good. At this point I’d just like her to be comfortable. So if you have any suggestions as to how to harden her stool and get it close to normal I’d really appreciate it. Thank you all.

        • I understand that you’re worried about the stress of taking her to a vet. Have you considered a housecall vet? I know it’s difficult to weigh treatment against the stress of the treatment, but based on what you’re describing, your cat is not currently comfortable, and needs help. My heart goes out to you – I sense that you want to do what’s best for your kitty, but sometimes, it’s hard for us to see what’s going on when we’re too close to a situation, because we love them so much.

          • Thanks Ingrid. You’re right. That’s why I reached out to the forum. To get some perspective.
            We tried a housecall but the mobile vets aren’t equipped for what she needs. We have a great vet here who’s helping me alleve the the issues as they appear until there is nothing else we can do.

          • I’m glad you have a vet you’re working with to address issues. I was concerned, based on your description, that you didn’t have any veterinary support.

        • I was never able to get Zoe’s stool harden. Zoe was a very timid and skiddish cat, and I too didn’t want to put her through the stress of testing but an u/s can be conducted which isn’t invasive and I really wish I had done that with her. Zoe’s bloodwork all looked perfect. She was rapidly losing weight and ravenously hungry. She was also in pretty good spirits up until the end. I would suggest an u/s if I could go back and redo it all, that’s what I would have done. I am so sorry you are going through this. I completely understand. I had taken her to another vet for a 2nd opinion and she candidly told me that she suspected Zoe had GI Lymphoma. I feel pretty confident that she was correct, but I never got an actual diagnosis. I would call your regular vet and ask if they could refer you to an IM specialist for an u/s.

  8. My two years old persian is having digestive problems too and vet doesn’t know what it could be. It starts with mushy stool, she goes to litter box like 4 times in the day. But only the first day, next day her stool is soft she goes to litter box 1-2 a day. It can last 1-2 weeks. Then her stool go back to normal, for like 1-2 weeks. It’s always like this. Fecal analyses showed no parasite. Unless it failed? Vet is out of idea. He said maybe she is lacking of enzymes….She eats and drinks normally, and plays like crazy

        • The symptoms you’re describing could be indicators of inflammatory bowel disease or intestinal lymphoma, and both are treatable conditions. It’s impossible to tell without further diagnostics. I’m surprised your vet hasn’t offered anything other than being out of ideas.

          • Well he said this is not really diarrhea because it is soft stool and not watery. He thinks it’s due to her food. I saw 3 different vets. They all say the same.
            This problem started in July. When i gave her grain free food…But switching back to her old food didnt help. That’s why he told me to give her Hill’s digestive care. Indeed her stool is better with that food. But still soft some weeks and correct some other weeks

          • Sorry english isnt my language so I lack vocabulary.
            Basicaly all the vets ive seen think she is having food intolerences.
            Which is why one of them told me to give her Hill’s digestive care. So indeed there is progress…but still…

          • Alright i will read that and try to find a solution. Thanks a lot. I have stress issues so I guess this isnt helping her..Cats can feel their owner’s stress…
            Anyway if I find a solution and if there is any progress i will write it here.

    • My cat had IBD and was on meds too and even with all that he still had bouts of pudding stools with blood
      y vert recommended a hypoallergenic diet which woked for awhile
      Out of frustration I switched to a raw diet,,,I switched to raw rabbit…
      I was scared of switching to raw ,but his stools became normal…

  9. I guess you missed the part that I am a vet tech and that my doctor TOLD me to do it at home. But since he is inexperienced with the procedure, neither one of us knows how much to give.

    • Jackie: My vet did the procedure but I brought it to her after I researched it on-line. I think the details I got came from Baylor University. The main thing is freshness and you have that nailed. Take what comes out of the healthy cat and turn it into an emulsion using just enough of you IV saline to make it the consistency of tomato juice. Get rid of the syringe and go buy a 2 pack of fleet enemas for a couple bucks but I stress this heavily: THROW OUT THE SOLUTION IN THE READY TO USE ENEMA. Rinse it out and just use the bottle as applicator. You should load the bottle with twice as much as you are going to put in the cat because it it is collapse-able soft plastic. Take care not to put any air in the cat, either insert at a downward angle or clear most of it by collapsing the bottle. A third a cup or less in the cat will suffice. You only do this ONE TIME. As long as it stays in the cat and doesn’t produce diarrhea (which it shouldn’t if you keep the IV saline to a min in the emulsion), you will just wait. The first time we did Tupper was unsuccessful. Our second try came two weeks later and was effective in 3 days. There are many reasons for this malady and I did it only after checking all of them. Good luck with your kitty,

      • Thank you John! I am with you on the procedure. They actually sell enemas over the counter for cats (and dogs) and I thought about using the tools from that kit (of course after getting rid of the contents inside). My cat is near the end if this doesn’t work. My other last idea is acupuncture. Trust me when I say I’ve tried EVERYTHING else. If my vet is comfortable with me doing it at home, so am I, but I’m just not sure how much to get in her. I currently have her on Metronidazole too so based on your previous experience I’m hoping this adds to the potential success. The review from pet owners and from people who’ve had the procedure are overwhelmingly positive! I’ve thought that if I can get this problem corrected I may start a blog too about my experiences. It’s obvious there are other people out there watching their pets waste away and not sure what to do. THANK YOU for sharing and for responding. Fingers crossed.

        • Yes he did. I forgot you need to stop metronidazole for 5 days before you do the transplant. It can kill bacteria you want in the sample.

  10. I’ve had my cat for a little over 4 years and he has had diarrhea for almost the entire time I’ve had him. It has definitely become worse as of the past year. I have taken him to a few different vets and they can’t find anything. I give him Blue Buffalo (changed foods a few times but he devours this kind and I’ve been sticking with it for a while now). I also give him canned pumpkin with a probiotic (vet said that was good). All his levels and counts and blood work are normal. His weight is normal too – fluctuates at times though. BUT the kicker is – I was moving and he spent almost 3 weeks at my parents in a man cave and was FINE – no diarrhea at all!! Same food, same litter, same pumpkin and probiotic (he was getting on a paper plate scooped out with plastic spoon, no I use the same bowl and spoon but I wash and dry after each use). The only difference was – bottled water. Once I moved I gave him the same bottled water … after a few days of being with me back to diarrhea – I’m losing my mind. Am I crazy for thinking this but could it be behavioral ?? I’m reaching for suggestions. I don’t have a lot of money for tests and such PLUS HE WAS FINE FOR 3 WEEKS. 🙁

    • That is puzzzling that he was fine while he was at your parents’, Elizabeth. It almost makes me wonder whether there’s something environmental that’s triggering his diarrhea, but I can’t imagine what that might be. Short of additional diagnostics, the only other thing I can think of is to try him on a raw diet.

    • We’re you giving your cat bottled water or were your parents? What water was he getting that was not bottled?

      • Cynthia, I am curious of your question. I just put my cat Zoe to sleep. Vet thinks she had a GI Lymphoma. We tried everything. She wasn’t getting better. Prednisone did nothing. Metronidazole nothing. Im so troubled by her illness and so devastated. About a year ago, I removed our water softener system, and reverse osmosis. We were renting monthly and I had it removed. We have extremely hard water. Her symptoms started about a year ago. Could this be the reason?! Are there cases of this? Please let me know when you can. Thank you

      • I lost my beloved torti Zoe a week ago, 10/27, we put her to sleep. My heart is completely broken. I am haunted by the fact that we weren’t able to get her well, or figure out the exact problem. I tried so many things. The science diet hypoallergenic, the raw food, the Royal canin prescription food, the powder stuff, metronidazole, Prednisone, fecal testing, 2 senior batteries. Blood work came back great. She was only 13. Reading this just now, I’m feeling sick to my stomach. I feel like I should have done more. Tried more. She was ravenously hungry, scavenging for food constantly. She was having diarrhea 6/7 times a day, never a solid stool. I too felt like I was getting the run around with my vet, and also having spent a great deal of money, went and got a second opinion. This vet felt certain that Zoe had a GI Lymphoma. She said if we did the biopsy, there was a good chance that it would not show up. I decided against the biopsy for that reason, as well as the fact that she was a very scared cat, always on edge. I didn’t want to put her through that stress. The vet said if it did show that she indeed had it, I would be taking her to get chemo out of town weekly which I can’t do BC of my job. I am feeling disgusted with myself for not trying harder.

        • I’m so sorry, Shannon. Please don’t beat yourself up over not doing more, or knowing more. From the way you’re describing Zoe, it sounds to me like you did the right thing. Just because a treatment may be available, and MAY prolong life, it doesn’t mean it’s always the right choice for every cat. When making treatment decisions, you have to weigh all factors, including your cat’s personality, which is exactly what you did.

          • Hi Ingrid,
            Thanks so much for saying that…it really helps me to feel a little better about making that choice. She was a scaredy cat, from the moment I met her. She never changed, she was always very scared, and always seemed anxious, except when it was just the two of us. Even then, she would bat at me occasionally if she didn’t like a fast movement, or a loud stomp. That was just her. She hated the vets, and hated the carrier. I didn’t want to cause an already very anxious cat even more anxiety by doing the biopsy, but I am definitely second guessing myself now, after the fact. But, I do greatly appreciate your words. It means a lot..thank you so very much.

        • My cat is also a Torti and her name is Zoey with the same symptoms and endless run around that you have described with trying different things and tests that cost a fortune…only to have her become skinny and meow for attention endlessly with horrible diarrhea. I adopted her from a shelter when she was guessed to be 7 months old and I’ve had her 8 years. This problem seemed to occur after I moved 3 YEARS ago and has gone on since. I cant take the daily clean up outside the litter box and am seeking help as well. Any suggestions are appreciated … even as to what didn’t work. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m preying to not have to chose the same path but I don’t know what else to do

          • Have you talked to your vet about Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine)? This medicine is the only thing that worked for two of my cats.

        • Please do not be hard on yourself, Agree with Ingrid..Putting a cat through Chemo is so stressful for the cat and you did the Best you could..I haven’t been able to do exactly what my vet suggested because my cat is feral, very neurotic(scared & nervous) based on his personality I have been left doing what I feel is right for him….more stress will only contribute to his misery..We need to make decisions based on the cats personality and what we feel they can handle…I am sure you were considering this always…You did what you felt was right for your cat , and I am sure it was.

        • Hi Shannon,

          Sorry to hear about your cat! It sounds like you are completely describing my cat Flan who I adopted 5 months ago and has always had GI problems and has been really skittish. It sounds like you did everything you could for your cat, I know the vet bills can pile up and they do not even give definitive answers since the problem could be one of very many things. Everyone has been telling me to put the cat back up for adoption since hes so problematic 🙁

    • I have experienced chronic diarrhea with two of my cats. After blood panels, radiographs, dewormers, metronidazole, antibiotic injection, and diet change, nothing stopped the diarrhea. I finally tried Azulfidine aka sulfasalazine. This is the only medicine that stopped chronic diarrhea in two of my cats, 8 years apart. It’s a miraculous medicine. I highly recommend it. Good luck

    • omg I deal with the same thing with my cat. Every time I leave him in the care of others he’s fine. He stays in his own environment though they come to him to care for him. The minute I walk into the house the diarrhea begins. I’m so tired of cleaning up cat poop, this has been going on for almost 6 years! I have just recently switched him to a holistic diet made by Halo, and so far so good, he’s actually making it to the litter box!

  11. My cat PeeWee is 8 years old. I found him and his 3 siblings in a trashcan at a carwash when they were newborns. He has always been the runt but otherwise healthy. In the last 2 mos, he has had diarrhea, no blood, but runny. He also will throw up a hairball once in a while or when he gets ahold of dry food. I took him to the vet and they did blood work. His White blood count was very high which the vet said indicated infection, but the pathologist wrote a note that said “cannot rule out early signs of leukemia but cannot confirm it”. What the heck? The vet said that there could be 100’s of things going on so she put him on antibiotic for 14 days. We are going back in sat for a check on the WBC again. His weight has remained constant, 11 lbs. This cat has NEVER been outside and if they really thought it might be leukemia, why let him be around the other cat he lives with? Any thoughts?

    • It’s unlikely but not impossible that it’s leukemia. You may want to consult with an internal medicine specialist to get a second opinion.

      • I guess for me, the truth is in the bloodwork. I’ve been told by a friend that is a vet, that the test for leukemia can be done in house. And my first thought was if you think it could be leukemia, why not tell me to isolate him from the other cat, no same litter box, etc. But they did not. My vet has always been so thorough and efficient. From what I’ve read, PeeWee has all of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism. I guess we’ll see more when they do the 2nd blood work series.

  12. well, not sure which direction to go in…
    i have 3 cats. 1 rescued mama cat, and 2 of her kittens.
    mama is about 1.5 years, and the kittens are 8 months, males – jude and inman.
    jude started with a round of diarrhea and vomiting. i waited for a day, and no more vomiting, but diarrhea continued.
    after 2 days, there are no longer any solid stools in the litter box – so all three of them have diarrhea!
    they are active, and drinking water, and have no other signs of illness other than the diarrhea.
    the only thing I have changed is their litter – went from Precious Cat to Touch of Outdoors – both by Dr. Elsey… could this be the cause? I can’t think of anything else that would have caused this in all three cats!
    They have been on a rotating diet of Natural Balance, Fancy Feast Classic, and AvoDerm canned – along with Merrick Dry Kitten food. They do not go outdoors.
    I am beginning to transition to raw food, and am giving them probiotic powder as of yesterday, and hoping for the best.
    Anyone have any ideas as to what may have caused this in all three of them?

    • I would recommend taking them to your vet, Heidi. After three days of diarrhea, I’d start to worry about dehydration. Hard to tell what caused it, could be a virus.

    • i know the high cost of a vet office visit keeps alot of people from seeking help. check around because my vet now offers fecal exams at a discount on shot clinic days. $38 to bring in just a stool sample and have it analyzed. you could just give them a kitten-safe wormer and see if it helps. i do have a cat that gets diarrhea when he eats too many treats- so dietary changes can cause problems. i doubt the litter has anything to do with it. ingrid is right about dehydration becoming a health concern very soon if not already. if they will accept it- you can add some pedialyte to their drinking water or even better- mix a little with some tuna juice and give it directly from an eye dropper.

  13. My 15 year old Maine Coon, Tupper, had been plagued with chronic diarrhea for at least two years. When control also became an issue I looked into the problem further because I wanted another five years with him and he was otherwise healthy. We have restored his solid constitution via the use of a fecal (microbiota) transplant.

    The procedure involved an enema using stool from a healthy animal. We started Tupper with an injection of Cefovecin (a 2 week-long-acting anti-biotic) and a two week series of Metronidazole given concurrently. 48 hours after the last Metronidazole dose I took both cats to the vet and we waited for the healthy animal to provide a good sample. He did so into torn paper and the sample was mixed with saline and provided in an enema to the older cat. Tupper was also given another injection of the Cefovecin at the time of the enema. My vet said this was ok as this drug would not kill the good microbiota. It worked.

    This was a new procedure for my vet when I came to her with it. Our first attempt was done with out the anti-biotics and was unsuccessful. It has been only a week now but we have had no loose stools in the boxes at my home and no accidents or loss of control. I paid about $210 dollars for the procedure and had of course done everything else first including a full blood work up to eliminate other possible causes.

    • Thank you for sharing your experience with this procedure, John. I’ve heard of this for humans with Crohn’s disease and diverticulitis, but had not heard of it being done with cats. Please keep us posted how Tupper is doing.

      • Well we are 2 months down the road now and Tupper is solid as a rock, constitution fully restored. If you have done everything else and are not ready to give up, find a vet that will do a fecal transplant. We had to do it twice so I recommend following the regimen of long acting injectable and metronidozole anti-biotics I describe above.

    • I am so interested in hearing more about Tupper’s procedure. I have a cat that has had managed IBD her entire life. Now at 13, we are struggling to manage it. She has horrible bouts of diarrhea, drops weight, and I worry she won’t make it. She always eats and drinks and has a healthy spirit so I support her. As long as he she is fighting, so will I. My vet trusts me explicitly as I use to be his vet tech years ago, so he let’s me have an active role in my cat’s care (home sub q fluids, etc). He hasn’t done any FMT’s and after some research, essentially told me to try it at home. I JUST did today. I waited for my healthy cat to go in an empty litter box, watered it down with normal saline, and “injected” it similar to an enema (think milkshake thickness). My main questions are: did I get enough in? I got 3-4 cc’s in. How far in there does it need to get? I only had a syringe that went in an inch. Is there a danger of rupturing the colon? I went slow but I was very concerned. Do you have ANY more details on the procedure? My cat is too frail for anesthesia so I will need to continue with home supportive therapy so any help is appreciated! This is my last ditch effort to save her life.

      • Thank you for sharing your experience, Jackie, but I want to be very clear for anyone who reads this thread: unless you’re trained to do this (and it sounds like you were as a former vet tech,) do not give your cat an enema at home! This should only be performed by a veterinarian or a trained veterinary technician.

  14. My kitty has had chronic diarrhea for over 2 years now. I have tried budesonide, prednisone, tylan powder, probiotics, science diet, royal cannin diet, blue buffalo, you name it I have bough it and fed it to her raw meat diet, every vet under the sun and no one can tell me what is wrong with her. I feel terrible as it cannot be comfortable and she has lost a lot of weight. She still eats and drinks and begs for food and is happy and plays but I know this is not normal. She has no parasites, she is an indoor only kitty. We have done extensive blood work, vet visits 3 and 4 times a week. The only other suggestion I have gotten is to do an expletory surgery which I am not comfortable with. Any suggestions??

      • No it has never been discussed. I’m so fed up with the vets in my area. I’ve been to 4 all with no results and spending over 5 grand. I unfortunately just ran out of funds. I would do anything for my baby but it just really started to seem like I was throwing money away and getting absolutely no where. She is still her loving cuddly self. She runs n greats me at the door every day after work. Loves treats and attention. Eats and drinks normally. It is so stressful for her going to the vet anyway. She hates the carrier and the car she will cry n pant n molt n throw up or poop in her crate after 4 months of vet visits almost every other day with no results I had to call it quits. Thank you for the information. Is there any natural or homeopathic ways to try and treat this??

  15. I had 2 very healthy Spynx cats and bought a new spynx kitten from a reputable breeder about 15 months ago. Soon after I brought him home, he and the other 2 got sick with pick eye and upper respritory illnesses. They were all treated and got better except all three STILL have abnormal stools. I have them all on Royal Canin Gastro Intestinal Fiber Response Food which is costing me a fortune for the 3 cats. My very competant vet of many years has done every test known to man and tried every medication possible. Has contact other vets he knows and also internests and followed all there recommendations. If it were not for this food, their stools would be water instead of the mushy puddles and ropes of stool that they all produce. Any ideas, anyone???

    • when I last posted here, my cat with severe diarrhea was on budesonide and the results were amazing. then one day, it stopped working like a switch had been flipped. my vet had me go to a diet without poultry (not easy to find since most beef, fish, and others still contain chicken fat). I haven’t seen good results yet, but it also hasn’t been very long. since your 2 cats were healthy before the addition of the 3rd, I can’t imagine it’s a food allergy. maybe something like the herpes virus can lead to ibd. my cats have all been exposed to herpes; some with occasional respiratory symptoms. 2 have ibd. maybe it’s not a coincidence. if you’re desperate, you might just try to get rid of poultry. mine are on natural balance green pea and duck dry food and evo canned beef.

        • Azulfidine (sulfasalazine) is a prescription medication. A vet can prescribe it with the proper dosage (1 mL, 2 times a day for a week at a time). I had to use the medication for 2 weeks. It costs $40 for a weeks worth of medicine. You can get the prescription filled at any local pharmacy as it is a human medication. I also used Fortiflora, which is a probiotic, in conjunction with the medicine. My vet just gave me a few samples of this and then I purchased a prebiotic from the pet store. Although the probiotic or prebiotic may not be necessary, it does help with the “good bacteria” in the intestinal system. The Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine) is the only thing that stopped horrible diarrhea which lasted for months in two of my cats with. I used it on one in 2006 and on another cat this year. I believe it to be a miracle cure. Good luck to you!!

  16. After trying everything I could think of, I tried Stella and Chewy’s, just a bit along side the wet food for my cat, and he has never been better. I hope this helps other cat owners that are struggling with chronic loose stools with their cats, its no fun for them or us.

  17. Well I’m going back to basics…

    Today I’m feeding ground chicken thigh with bone…he ate it, we will see how it goes

  18. Well I went golfing this afternoon and just a little poop in the litter…phew…ate half portion for supper…we will see how it goes…

  19. Oh my poop city this morning…so the pumpkin is a no go…yikes….crampin’ and a poopin’ all over the place…

    Back to the drawing board….

  20. I am all too familiar with chronic diarrhea in cats! We agreed to foster our Bengal Lennon 2 years ago. He was abandoned at the shelter with 6 other Bengals–all sick & very surly. Lennon was happy and social, just had chronic diarrhea for 2 months. None of the meds or prescription food the shelter tried worked. We agreed to take him as a foster & try various holistic foods we were feeding our own cats. Within a few weeks his coat was shiny, he had gained weight and most of his medical issues had cleared up except the diarrhea. I did all sorts of research & learned that bengals have stomach issues. We happened to go to a cat show so we could talk to Bengal breeders to ask what they feed & if they had cats with diarrhea. Lucky for us Felines Pride, a raw company was there & talked extensively to us. We went home with a sample of raw rabbit–and he devoured it!! Within 10 days he had his first normal stool in 6 months. Now our shelter calls us when there are cats with GI issues since we seem to work miracles…no, we just feed a species appropriate diet!!

    Thanks for the great article! Not many people want to talk about diarrhea. 😉

    • A raw diet seems to work in a lot of cases, and I always love hearing testimonials to that effect. Thanks for sharing your story, Laura.

      Yeah, not exactly a favorite conversational topic, is it…lol…!

  21. For those who are struggling with chronic digestive problems in their cats, whether constipation, diarrhea or intermittently of both, if you have a trusted, very experienced veterinarian as I have, you might want to ask them about a condition called Megacolon.

    One of my kitties in the past, Teddy, had this and he suffered from both constipation and diarrhea. The constipation was so severe he’d have to be taken in to the vet clinic for enemas which were very traumatic for him [he was a special needs kitty in many other ways].

    Eventually the megacolon dx was reached and there were no viable alternatives for him other than surgery. After much consideration, I agreed to the bowel resection. It was a tough surgery with a strange complication that had everyone puzzled, but after a couple of blood transfusions, he was doing great.

    He not only survived but after a few months of post-op adjustment within his body, he was thriving & feeling so much better. He lived to be a couple of months shy of his 18th birthday which was because of numerous miracles all along the way. He’d been the recipient of many miracles even in the 1-1/2 years before he came to live with me & my other special-needs kitties.

    But the most comfortable, stress-free years he had were the ones he had post-surgery from the age of about 6 to 17! Teddy was a very special & unique little guy for many reasons & conditions, but he taught me so much about many things, & I’ll be thankful for every day with him and all he left with me.

  22. Thanks Tom, it helps to talk about it and swap stories…something might work from discussion of this topic….

    So far so good with the pumpkin…I am feeding as follows 1/4 cup of raw + 2 tsp of pumpkin puree + 1/8 tsp of Dr Goodpet Enzymes. I feed half of the above at a time…morning, noon, supper and late evening….seems to do better with smaller portions more often….

    To entice Scampie to eat I sprinkle a bit of Tuna on top (1/8 tsp no more)….

    No BM’s overnight, but a vomit (clear liquid) at six a.m. plenty of pee which is good…thank goodness Sophie pees on the side of the litter box so I know whose is whom’s LOL…

    Thanks for listening

  23. That is interesting. Everything sounds a lot like the problems Milou had, except he didn’t had diarrhea but was constipated.
    The vet said it could be IBD but we’d need a biopsy to be sure it isn’t something else (namely a lymphoma). Blood looked good otherwise. The humans are a little bothered to put Milou through the process of the biopsy at his age (14). But the vet said a lymphoma can be treated. Otherwise, they’ll just treat him for IBD (even if they’re not sure that’s what he has – seems strange to me but I am not a vet).
    Hopefully he will feel better.
    Thanks for all the information. This is very precious!
    (Texas’ human)

    • Treatment for lymphoma and IBD can be very similar, Carine, and some vets treat just on the presumption of a diagnosis. I’d probably hesitate, too, to put a 14-year-old cat through a biopsy. All my best to Milou!

  24. Another very good and informative article Ingrid. As you know we unfortunately have first hand knowledge of this because of little Saul kitty. Nancy I totally understand your frustration, we had the same blasted thing happen, all tests normal, everything seemed fine but nothing helped, probiotic, expensive prescription food, you name it we tried it. I seriously don’t know what we would have done if we had not found this site and been encouraged to get him off of dry food. We initially tried him on the nature’s variety instinct canned and then their raw diet, in his case the diarrhea was gone within about 24 hours.

    Obviously this does not work in every case and we’re definitely sympathetic to others who are struggling with this, it really does make you and your kitty miserable.

    Best regards,

    Tom Mary Beth and the furries.

  25. I think what I find the most frustrating is that the blood work was perfect, stool sample with no parasites, ultrasound with no blockages….renal function excellent for a going on 16 year old cat….

    Oh well I’ve got the female cat on grain free kibble…I can’t transition her yet…I have to get Scampie well first and foremost…

    • Nancy – I was reading up on yoru cat. My 10 year old, Rocco, started having diarrhea back in June after we switched him to wet food once a week to 3-4 times a week per vets orders to get him to lose weight. He weights 19 lbs. In July the diarrhea got to be more frequent – like a few times a week, most normally near his litter box. Teh Vet ruled out cancer, and did blood work — all NORMAL!! She also gave him parasite meds. Its now September -October. It seemed to have helped, but then this past weekend – 3 times we found diarrhea in the house and then a few more times in the litter box. I am hesitant to spend any more money and put him thru tests. Did changing your cats food help? and what did you switch to?

  26. I just had dealt with this from my female fuzzy child, Princess. More the vomiting then the diarrhea in her case. I took her in for complete blood work. She was also very thin. Everything checked out ok except for her thyroid. She ended up having hyperthyroid. She is on medication but it hasn’t helped yet.

  27. Turned up his nose at the pumpkin, but I sprinkled some tuna juice on it…ate a bit…it’s a start…and yes it is super frustrating…

    I too am a chemist (Master’s degree)…this will not get the best of me! I am determined!

  28. Ingrid,

    Thank you so much for this informative article! I just want to share the story of my four-year-old kitty, Teddy, and his diarrhea saga, in case it might be useful to someone else. I adopted him from a county shelter when he was six months old. The shelter, unfortunately, did not treat its cats for much of anything. I sponsored all the black cats in the adoption room before I took Teddy home, because I knew they were less likely to be adopted. Still breaks my heart. Anyway, the shelter vet neutered Teddy, gave him his vaccinations, and treated him with Revolution for parasites. But when I brought Teddy home, he had chronic diarrhea. My mobile vet did two or three fecal tests for any remaining parasites, but nothing showed up. *Nothing.* We tried changing his food, feeding him home-made low-fat, hypo-allergenic food, but still… We had to put him in a room covered in plastic, because he would even poop while walking. When I picked him, he pooped all over me. This went on for days. It was a nightmare. Honestly, I can’t remember all the things we tried.

    Then, one day, I saw the worms. It took a couple of weeks. But there they were, tapeworms squirming around on the plastic. They were unmistakable. They look like tiny white grains of rice. They are actually segments of the larger worm. One Drontal pill cleared up his diarrhea within 12 hours. (The treatment requires a second pill 10 days later, I believe.) My vet was stumped, because quite often, tapeworms do not cause diarrhea. But in this case, they did. Three years later, Teddy is doing well, but he never got very big, probably because tapeworms were eating his food for the first six months of his life.

    The lesson is, if you get a shelter cat, treat him or her for parasites. Period. Drontal is a safe pill and extremely effective. I called the shelter foundation to ask if I could donate Drontal pills for all the shelter cats, and they said they “don’t normally treat the cats with Drontal.” This broke my heart, because I could see other cats with diarrhea in the cages. In fact, I will e-mail them again today and see if that policy has changed. Maybe I will just send the pills. But who knows if the shelter will use them?

    • Teddy is a prime example of why chronic diarrhea requires a veterinary diagnosis, Anjali. I’m glad it was such a simple solution for him, and how nice of you to offer to donate dewormer to the shelter.

      • Thank you, Ingrid. I think also I’m trying to say that quite often, fecal tests don’t show existing parasites. Teddy had three fecal tests, and none of them showed the tapeworms. Also I believe giardia often does not show in fecal tests. So, it probably would have saved us days of diarrhea if we had treated Teddy with Drontal from the beginning.

  29. Well Ingrid, I’m still struggling with Scampie, he’s had blood tests, normal. He’s had an ultrasound, normal.

    He is now being fed a raw diet, with Dr Goodpet enzymes added. (The raw food is made with chicken thighs, livers and TCFeline).

    I will try the pumpkin today…hope it works….


  30. One of my cats arrived on my front porch so emaciated I wasn’t sure he’d survive. Once brought back from death & tested from A to Z, the only thing that was puzzling was his daily diarrhea. We tried various meds, probiotics, and if memory is correct, several different bland food formulas but the daily stools issue persisted. After six months of this, a vet tech asked if I’d tried him on Science Diet I/D. I thought we had, but agreed to try it. Within 24 hrs his stools were normal. Who knew?

    • I’m glad your cat is doing better, but I’d encourage you to look for a better quality diet. With the first four ingredients being Chicken By-Product Meal, Brewers Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, and Whole Grain Corn, this is not a diet I recommend for an obligate carnivore.

      • He’s doing very well actually; several have suggested other diets for my cats they’ve never met or know anything about. My vet of over 30 yrs has successfully pulled many of my cats & dozens of fosters from the brink of death when they’re presented to me, whether through circumstance or rescue/foster volunteer. We’ve tried Stella & Chewy’s, among other high protein formulas, and not one of the 11 could tolerate it for whatever reason. At $36/lb it would have been prohibitive on a fixed income anyway. Several of the X/D formulations have saved my cats’ lives and they all have special needs, which these formulas are filling. If an otherwise healthy, uninjured, genetically perfect cat were given their choice perhaps they’d pick a different diet. Until then, if they’re healthy and happy & functioning well (average life here for over 35 yrs has been 18+) we’ll probably stick with the adage, if it ain’t broke don’t try to fix it. I agree that best possible nutrition in this chemically-laden world is very important but every individual is unique and their tolerance is, too. What works for some certainly doesn’t work for all and what works in theory/on paper doesn’t always translate in the real world. As a chemist I know this to be true for industry and my own life as well. All we can do is our best with what we have at our access. But thank you for your obvious concern.

        • I agree. I have my cats on grain free, but I have two with ibd. the mild case was completely resolved with I/d. the more severe case has been on budesonide for two years with fantastic results.

          • My cat is two and a half and has pretty much had runny poo since he was really little. He is skinny but otherwise fine. He’s been dewormer, given antibiotics, tried pumpkin and tried probiotics. He’s been on various novel protein, limited ingredient diets. He’s back on royal cabin gastro response now and nada. It makes my others cats poo look ribbon like and does nothing for the poor fur baby. He’s had fecal samples snd blood tests done. White count is fine. Vet felt no intestinal thickening. It’s been a very expensive, frustrating road. Not quite sure what to even do next honestly.

          • Thanks for the reply. I have been considering it but wasn’t really sure where to begin. I also have three cats and I’m worried that switching to raw food would be prohibitively expensive. But I mean.. if it works.

            I just ordered some Nature’s Variety canned (I saw it recommended here) and I’m going to give that to Brody and see how it goes. I keep trying new foods but I wonder also if I’m not allowing enough time between changes. It’s been usually 2-4 weeks.

            I guess next step is to try raw foods. Do people make their own? It seems like it’d be so much cheaper and easier.

          • if you haven”t tried budesonide, i’d give it a shot. it only worked for a couple of yeas, but it worked instantly like magic. i was blown away. i’m considering trying it again.

        • My cat had his first normal stool today after two months of soft and formed stools, cow pies and liquid diarrhea. I gave him two doses of Thorne Research Bio-B12 yesterday. Each dose was only 1/8 of a capsule. This was my resource:
          His blood work was perfect. So far, his stool culture is negative for anything bad. I hope it’s the B12, because this has been so frustrating to figure out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *