- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Cats Chronic (at least 5 years?) Diarrhea, otherwise healthy?

July 27th, 2007, 10:12 PM
My boyfriend's cat has had Chronic Diarrhea for at least 5 years now, otherwise she's happy, loving, playful, fit, good appetite, well fed (you know, the good stuff). This past year we moved in together and I've made it my goal to remedy the problem. I've changed the food, upgraded the litter... the person who owned the cat before hand told us that she took her to the vet and she checked out fine, there was nothing wrong, and apparently has always had this bowel problem. The stool is loose and smells really bad, but there is no blood or anything unusual, like mucas or anything.

Our other cat (they've been together for a year) is perfectly fine.

I've noticed that maybe she isn't drinking enough water? But dehydrated for 5 years?

I don't want the cat to suffer, but I'm on a very tight budget and she seems otherwise okay.

Any help?

July 27th, 2007, 10:32 PM
When you say you're feeding her "the good stuff", what do you mean? Is it wet or dry food? The reason I ask is because, if it's dry food, any dry food, I strongly suggest a switch to a grain-free, vegetable-free canned food. In fact, a raw meat diet would be the ideal, if you're willing to go that route. The problem with dry is that, in order for it to come in those little kibble pieces, it has to go through a great deal of high-heat processing. It also needs starch (ie. carbohydrates) for it to hold together, which cats have no nutritional use for. The sensitive digestive systems of some cats eventually react to this unnatural food in the form of diarrhea or vomiting. As well, many cats end up with allergies to particular grains, corn especially, that can cause GI upset. Read some more about diet and the importance of wet food here:

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): IBD is thought to be a common cause of vomiting and diarrhea in the cat. There are many unanswered questions with respect to this disease process, but it seems logical to start to “treat” a gastrointestinal problem in the cat with a species-appropriate diet. Too often these cats are treated with a high level of steroids and a so-called “prescription” grain-laden, dry food diet. I feel very strongly that this common therapeutic regimen needs to be re-evaluated. There are an impressive number of anecdotal reports of cats that were terribly ill with IBD exhibiting dramatic improvement when ALL dry food was removed from their diet. Taking it even one step further, there are many reports of cats with IBD that improved tremendously on a balanced, grainless, raw-meat diet without any vegetables added. (See for more information on IBD and diet. Also, see Making Cat Food for a balanced recipe.)

July 27th, 2007, 10:37 PM
Has she been checked for parasites? If you bring a fecal sample to the vet, the test shouldn't cost more than 10-15$. If she goes outside, I would worm her anyway.
It could be an allergy to a common food ingredient. You could try one of the grainless foods, or an alternate protein source, such as duck.
If you're worried about her not getting enough to drink, try giving her some canned each day - it doesn't have to be an expensive brand - or add water to her kibble, just enough to make it soft.
Also look into slippery elm. If you google 'slippery elm cat', you'll find quite alot of useful information.
Probiotics might help. I'm not sure about the dosage.

July 28th, 2007, 02:24 PM
There is a shake that is used on the food to firm up the stool. But I would look into an allergy, even if you are using the good stuff, if it has grain or chicken or fish (those are the big food allergens for cats) the food itself could be causing the problem. I'd also take in a poo sample and visit another vet for another opinion. Having issues for that long is not good. Or comfortable for poor kitty. (They do have the innate ability to suffer and look happy while doing it.)

Best of luck to you and kitty.:goodvibes:

July 28th, 2007, 03:28 PM
I would take the cat to the vet for some tests. You never know the cat may be in pain? Did you get his file from the previous owner? I am a rescuer and you would not believe the stories people come up with to dump their sick cats on someone else. This may not be the case, but leaving your cat with a condition like this for 5 years I would never do. Sorry, you can always find the money. Some conditions, if not treated can get much worse with time. Maybe the cat has colitis or crohn's disease. Or has food allergies or worms? We are not vets. Good luck and let us know how he is doing.

Dr Lee
July 28th, 2007, 05:27 PM
Chronic diarrhea can have a lot of causes - some that were already mentioned: IBD, intestinal parasites (giardia, tritrichomonas are a couple that can cause chronic/recurrent diarrhea), food intolerances, food allergies... Some metabolic/endocrine disorders can also cause this: thyroid, liver, kidney disease, etc... Also bacterial overgrowth, malabsorptive or maldigestive disorders, immune mediated diseases, etc...

For a conservative approach, I agree with the already mentioned recommendations:
Fecal test
Deworm regardless of fecal results
Dietary change - consider novel protein source

Then I would return to your veterinarian again for:
Blood and urine testing
Biopsy, etc...

If some of these last tests are 'out of budget' then you might want to talk to your veterinarian about some therapeutic trials (at least get up to the blood and urine testing) such as metronidazole (flagyl) and/or prednisone... Obtaining a complete diagnosis is much preferable but if it cannot be done, many pets can benefit from therapeutic trials.

Good luck. :pawprint:

Wendy Love
July 28th, 2007, 05:39 PM
I had the same issue with my kitty. My vet told me to add a little oil to my kittys' diet. He said he may not be getting enough fat. My kitty is frisky and shows no signs of slowing down. I give him dry food only now and his stools became a little more solid:thumbs up . He had all the tests and did not have any parasites or diseases. They can perform a colonoscopy on your kitty but I am assuming it would cost some money. Good luck to you and kitty.