Diarrhea in cats can occur due to a number of different reasons. In most cases, cats experience diarrhea from exposure to an outside factor such as parasites, bacteria, or protozoa. Cats can also experience diarrhea as a symptom of a disease or infection.
Causes of Diarrhea in Cats
One of the most common causes of diarrhea in cats is parasites. Hookworms, tapeworms, roundworms, and whipworms can all cause cats to experience diarrhea. Cats can also have diarrhea if they become infected with certain types of protozoa, like Giardia, which thrive in contaminated drinking water. Parasites normally cause diarrhea to develop over a slow period of time, whereas protozoa can cause sudden and severe diarrhea.
Diarrhea in cats can also occur if the number of healthy intestinal bacteria vs. the number of bad intestinal bacteria becomes disrupted. This disruption can occur from a change in diet, eating foul meats, stress, or a condition, such as colitis, which can interrupt the normal healthy balance of bacteria in the intestines. Exposure to bad types of intestinal bacteria, such as bacteria from the Helicobacter genus, can also severely affect healthy bacteria in the digestive tract.
In some instances, cats can experience diarrhea due to an underlying disease or infection. Some diseases, such as FeLV or FIV, can cause cats to have diarrhea. An underlying infection, such as an abscessed tooth, can also cause diarrhea in cats. Diarrhea may also occur in cats with underlying medical conditions as a symptom of pain. Many cats do not show any outward symptoms of pain, but the pain can still cause them to develop stress-induced diarrhea.