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Cat with diarrhea but eating.

Species: Cat
Breed: tabby
Age: 11-15 years
My 12 year old tabby had watery diarrhea and vomited 1 night ago. I took food away for 24 hours, and gave him fresh water with pedialyte. He continued to have diarrhea, vomiting had stopped. Today i have given him a small amount of wet food every 4 hours, and he has kept the food down. His stool is the consistency of pudding with some solid parts, but mostly pudding. He wants to eat, is drinking regularly, does not seem lethargic, grooming himself. He is extremely large, and it has not been possible to get him in a carrier even when I requested the vet to help me. I do not know what to do, what to look for. My fear is that the only way i can get him to the vet is to wait until he get weak, which is horrible. any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for your question about Spike. Sorry to hear that he has diarrhea.

There are a great number of things that can cause a cat to have diarrhea. The fact that he still wants to eat is great as this usually means that it is nothing too serious.

Sometimes cats can have diarrhea for a day or two as a result of eating something different or having a change in food. Or, it is possible to have diarrhea as a result of stress. (Has there been anything different in his life lately?)

If this is the case, then the treatment that you have done so far is good. I don't usually withhold food from cats though, but likely no harm is done.

As long as he is still bright and grooming himself and wanting to eat I think it's ok to wait for another day or two and see if he just gets better on his own.

It won't hurt to continue with the pedialyte if he still has diarrhea. However, if he is eating this is probably not necessary.

If the diarrhea is not going away, one thing you can do is take a stool sample to the vet's to have them do some tests to look for parasites.

If there are no parasites then somehow he does need to be seen. You may want to look into a different type of carrier. They make some great carriers these days that are like gym bags and it is usually not too hard to get a cat into one.

In some areas there are vets who do house calls for those cats who can't get in to the office, but of course this would be more expensive.

If the diarrhea doesn't clear up then a few things that could cause this in an older cat could be:
  • hyperthyroidism

  • Inflammatory bowel disease

  • Intestinal Lymphoma (not common)

  • A virus (not common in an older cat though)



There really isn't any medicine that I can recommend.

I hope he is improving soon!

I will be offline for the next 30-60 minutes but if you need to reply I will check as soon as I am back online.

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.