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From Diarrhoea to Constipation: get the Facts about Common Cat Digestive Problems

Hello everyone, my name is Dianne I am a hobby breeder of the lovely Persian and Chinchilla cats, based in West Yorkshire the white rose county. Here at Kittylicious the welfare of all our babies is paramount and that care doesn’t stop when one of our kittens leaves for a new home. Our webpage has some useful tips on how to keep your furry family member in good health. Where research has been done by someone else we acknowledge them in the article by name or link.

Digestion is one of the common questions we receive, here is what we found.

Whether you've just adopted your first kitten or you've shared your home with for years, your cat's habits might be a mystery to you. But if you know what to look for, your cat's poop can contain lots of clues about her health.

Cat Poop: What's Normal?

Although cats’ bowel habits can and do vary, there are certain characteristics of “normal” that indicate digestive health. Most cats will have bowel movements at least once a day. These poops should be deep brown in colour and well formed not too hard, not too soft or mushy. Normal cat poop should not smell too foul (some odour is normal, of course).

Cat Poop Problem: Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea is not uncommon among cats, and there are many reasons why your cat might develop frequent loose, runny bowel movements. Sometimes, cat diarrhoea develops quickly and the condition resolves as quickly as it arose. Other times, it can last for days, weeks, or months, or recur on a regular basis. Although diarrhoea that lasts for 24 to 48 hours is not likely to cause a problem, episodes of watery stools that continue may cause dehydration Some common causes of cat diarrhoea include:

Dietary changes and/or food allergies or intolerances Inflammatory bowel disease Colitis Hyperthyroidism

Worms (intestinal parasites) Pancreatic disease Cancer If your cat has diarrhoea that lasts more than a day or two, be sure to see your veterinarian to determine the cause of the problem. You should also consult your vet immediately if the diarrhoea is black or bloody, or if it is accompanied by vomiting lethargy, or a loss of appetite.

Depending on the cause of your cat's diarrhoea, your veterinarian may suggest you try a variety of different remedies. Some cats will benefit from the use of prescription medications, such as metronidazole or prednisone, which are used to control the inflammation associated with inflammatory bowel disease. Your veterinarian may recommend a special diet or foods if IBD or colitis is suspected.

You can help prevent diarrhoea by refraining from giving your cat dairy products like milk or yogurt, because many cats are unable to digest these properly. Also, when switching the brand or type of food you feed your cat, be sure to introduce any new food over several days by mixing it with smaller and smaller amounts of the old food until your cat has transitioned to eating only the new food.

Cat Poop Problem: Constipation

As is the case with diarrhoea, you don’t need to worry if your cat has an occasional, brief bout of constipation. But if your cat frequently strains excessively to poop or is unproductive in her attempt to have a bowel movement, you should contact your veterinarian.

There are a number of things that can cause cats to become constipated, including:

Over - grooming, which leads to extra hair in the digestive tract Kidney problems Feline megacolon Some type of obstruction, including string or bones Diets that are low in fibre Colon abnormalities such as strictures or tumour’s Spinal problems or pain To help ease your cat’s constipation, your veterinarian may suggest increasing the fibre in the diet, such as by adding canned pumpkin to your cat's regular food. Or your veterinarian might recommend switching to a diet that is very easily digested, thereby lessening the amount of poop in your cat’s digestive tract.

Encouraging your cat to get more exercise and drink more water may also help poop move through her system more readily.