Help, My Kitten Has Diarrhea!

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Most mammals have loose stool from time to time, but it can be life threatening for a fragile kitten. Their tiny bodies depend on lots of calories and they don’t have the well-developed immune systems that adults have. Hillarie V. writes:

My 9 week old kitten, who is active and otherwise happy and normal, has started to leak mushy poop from her butt. I also have her litter mate, who has no issues.

Hillarie, there are several health issues that can result in diarrhea, but the most common among kittens are food changes and worms. If you've changed Patches’ food recently, switch back and make the change to the new food very gradually over 7-10 days. You may also need to put her on a different food altogether. Kittens do not need special kitten food but they do need to be provided with as much healthy wet food as they can eat, without restriction. You can find our food recommendations here: http://kittyhelpdesk.com/help-desk/best-cat-food-and-treats

It's important that plenty of fresh water be made available. A kitten with diarrhea is at risk of dehydration. While Patches may seem happy and energetic, she's not getting her nutritional needs met when she has this condition. It can actually be life threatening of not treated quickly. You can help by giving her unflavored Pedialyte in place of her water.

 
 

A good home remedy for ADULT cats with mild diarrhea or constipation is canned pumpkin. Just mix one teaspoon of canned pumpkin (make sure it’s 100% pumpkin with no added ingredients) to a three ounce can of wet food for each feeding. With kittens, the need for a solution is much more immediate.

If the diarrhea persists for more than 24 hours, you need to collect a sample of Patches’ poop and take both kittens to see a veterinarian ASAP. In cases like this, the problem is often caused by parasites and the only way to know for sure is to do a fecal test. The usual solution is a simple dewormer that's administered orally, but it may take several doses before the parasites are completely eradicated. Beware of over the counter dewormers and depend on your vet for this treatment.

Even if parasites aren’t to blame, your vet can help to determine the cause and prevent both kittens from suffering.from it. All manner of infectious agents are easily transferred from kitten to kitten, especially if they use the same litter box, so it’s best to treat both of them at once in order to avoid a cycle of re-infection.

Hopefully, with the help of your vet, you can get Patches back to normal in no time.