Does cat diarrhea resolve on its own?

As a cat parent, you know that your furry friend’s health is of the utmost importance. So when your feline companion experiences diarrhea, it’s natural to feel worried and wonder if it will resolve on its own or require veterinary attention. After all, diarrhea can lead to dehydration and other health complications.

But does cat diarrhea always resolve on its own? The answer isn’t straightforward as it depends on several factors such as the underlying cause and severity of the condition. While some cases may clear up without any intervention, others may require immediate medical attention for your cat to recover fully.

In this informative blog post, we’ll delve into why cats get diarrhea in the first place and whether it resolves naturally or not. We’ll also discuss the different types of diarrhea that cats can experience and highlight the symptoms to look out for. Additionally, we’ll explore various home remedies and treatments you can try to ease your cat’s discomfort and help them bounce back to their normal selves.

Whether you’re dealing with a current case of feline diarrhea or want to be prepared for future incidents, keep reading to gain valuable insights into everything you need to know about cat diarrhea and how best to manage it.

Causes of Cat Diarrhea

If your feline friend is experiencing diarrhea, there’s no need to panic. This common issue can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from minor to severe. In this article, we’ll explore the different causes of cat diarrhea and what you can do to help your cat feel better.

Changes in Diet

One of the most common causes of cat diarrhea is a sudden change in diet. Cats are known for being picky eaters, and any sudden alteration in their food can result in digestive upset. Additionally, feeding your cat table scraps or foods that are high in fat can also trigger diarrhea. It is crucial to introduce new foods gradually to prevent digestive upset.


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Cats are sensitive creatures that thrive on routine. Any significant changes in their routine, such as moving to a new home or the introduction of a new pet, can cause stress and lead to diarrhea. It is essential to provide a calm and stable environment for your cat to help prevent stress-related diarrhea.


Parasites such as roundworms and tapeworms can also cause diarrhea in cats. These parasites can infect your cat through contact with contaminated feces or by ingesting infected prey. Regular deworming and proper hygiene practices can help prevent parasite-related diarrhea.

Bacterial or Viral Infections

Common bacterial infections like Salmonella and E.coli, as well as viral infections like feline calicivirus and feline distemper, can cause diarrhea in cats. These infections can be contagious and may require prompt veterinary care to prevent dehydration and other complications.

Food Allergies

Another potential cause of cat diarrhea is food allergies. Cats may develop an allergy to certain ingredients in their food, such as chicken or grains. Switching to a hypoallergenic diet may be necessary to determine if food allergies are the cause of your cat’s diarrhea.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic condition that affects the digestive tract. It can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss in cats. While the exact cause of IBD is unknown, it is thought to be related to an abnormal immune response in the intestinal lining. Treatment for IBD may include dietary changes and medication.

Minor Causes of Cat Diarrhea

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One common issue that cats face is diarrhea. Luckily, there are a few minor causes that can be easily treated at home.

Firstly, dietary changes can cause a cat’s digestive system to react with diarrhea. To avoid this, introduce new foods gradually and keep track of your cat’s reactions. Also, stress can lead to gastrointestinal issues in cats. Try to maintain a stable and peaceful environment for your furry companion.

Internal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, and giardia can also cause diarrhea in cats. Regular deworming and preventative measures can help avoid these issues. Additionally, just like humans, cats can have allergies to certain foods or environmental factors, causing diarrhea. If you suspect an allergic reaction, consult with your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Lastly, some medications can cause gastrointestinal upset in cats, leading to diarrhea. Always check with your vet before giving your cat any medication.

Symptoms of Minor Causes of Cat Diarrhea

In fact, some cases of diarrhea may resolve on their own without any intervention. However, it’s important to understand the symptoms of minor causes of cat diarrhea to determine whether or not medical attention is necessary.

Minor causes of cat diarrhea can include dietary changes, stress, and parasites. If your cat is experiencing diarrhea due to a dietary change, such as a new brand of food or a treat they are not used to, you may notice loose or watery stools, decreased appetite, vomiting, and lethargy. But don’t worry. You can switch back to their previous diet and monitor their symptoms closely.

Stress-induced diarrhea is another minor cause that can affect cats. If your furry friend has been through a recent change in their environment or routine, they may experience loose stools and decreased appetite. In this case, providing a calm and comfortable environment for your cat can help alleviate their symptoms.

Parasites can also cause diarrhea in cats. Common parasites that affect cats include roundworms, hookworms, and giardia. If your cat is experiencing diarrhea due to parasites, you may notice loose stools, vomiting, and weight loss. But don’t panic. This type of diarrhea can often be treated with medication prescribed by a veterinarian.

It’s important to monitor your cat’s behavior and bowel movements closely to determine if their symptoms are improving or worsening. While these minor causes of cat diarrhea may resolve on their own, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and seek medical attention for your cat if you are unsure about their symptoms or if they are not improving with at-home remedies.

Serious Medical Conditions That Cause Cat Diarrhea

While some cases of diarrhea may resolve on their own, there are serious medical conditions that can cause prolonged or recurring diarrhea in cats. As such, it’s essential to be aware of these conditions and seek veterinary care if you suspect your cat is experiencing something more than just a minor bout of diarrhea.

One of the most common causes of chronic diarrhea in cats is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This condition arises when the immune system attacks the lining of the digestive tract, leading to inflammation and damage. Symptoms of IBD may include chronic diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, and poor appetite. To diagnose IBD, your veterinarian will perform a combination of blood tests, fecal exams, and imaging tests such as ultrasound or endoscopy.

In addition to IBD, intestinal lymphoma is another potential cause of chronic diarrhea in cats. This type of cancer affects the cells of the digestive tract and can lead to symptoms such as chronic diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, and lethargy. Diagnosis typically involves a biopsy of the affected tissue, often obtained through endoscopy or surgery.

Other medical conditions that can cause chronic diarrhea in cats include pancreatitis, liver disease, and hyperthyroidism. These conditions can have severe consequences if left untreated and require veterinary care to properly diagnose and manage.

Symptoms of Serious Medical Conditions That Cause Cat Diarrhea

While some cases of cat diarrhea may be mild and resolve on their own, it’s crucial to understand that this common symptom can also indicate serious medical conditions that require prompt veterinary attention to avoid further complications.

One of the most common serious medical conditions that cause cat diarrhea is FIP or Feline Infectious Peritonitis. This viral disease affects many organs in a cat’s body, including the gastrointestinal tract, and can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, weight loss, fever, and lethargy. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for FIP, making early detection and supportive care crucial for managing the disease.

Another serious medical condition that causes cat diarrhea is pancreatitis. This condition is caused by inflammation of the pancreas and can be triggered by several factors such as obesity, infection, or certain medications. Symptoms of pancreatitis in cats include vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Treatment for pancreatitis typically involves hospitalization and supportive care such as IV fluids and pain management.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD is another condition that can cause chronic diarrhea in cats. This immune-mediated disease causes inflammation in the lining of the digestive tract, leading to symptoms such as chronic diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, and poor appetite. Treatment for IBD usually involves a combination of dietary management, medication, and sometimes even surgery.

Other serious medical conditions that can cause cat diarrhea include intestinal parasites like Giardia or worms, bacterial infections such as Salmonella or Campylobacter, and even cancer like lymphoma. Hence it’s important to seek veterinary attention immediately if your cat experiences persistent diarrhea or any other concerning symptoms.

Treatments for Cat Diarrhea Depending on the Underlying Cause

Although mild diarrhea may resolve on its own, persistent diarrhea that lasts for more than 24-48 hours or is severe requires immediate veterinary care to avoid further complications and ensure your cat’s quick recovery.

Simple dietary indiscretion or a change in diet can cause cat diarrhea. In such cases, withholding food for up to 24 hours and providing fresh water can help the digestive system recover. Reintroducing a bland diet gradually post the vomiting and diarrhea phase can prevent a recurrence.

However, if your cat’s diarrhea is due to bacterial or parasitic infections, antibiotics or antiparasitic medication are necessary to clear up the underlying infection. Some infections can be contagious and spread to other cats in your household, making prompt treatment essential to prevent further spread of infection.

If your cat’s diarrhea is due to an underlying medical condition such as inflammatory bowel disease or pancreatitis, treatment may involve long-term management with medication and dietary changes. In severe cases of gastrointestinal disease, surgery may be necessary.


To sum it up, cat diarrhea can be a pesky problem caused by a variety of factors. While some cases may resolve on their own, others require urgent attention from your veterinarian to prevent further complications and ensure your cat’s speedy recovery. From dietary changes and stress to parasites, infections, allergies, IBD or cancer – there are many potential culprits behind this issue.

It is vital to keep an eye on your furry friend’s behavior and bowel movements to determine if their symptoms are improving or worsening. Mild cases may benefit from home remedies such as diet tweaks or creating a calm environment for your cat. However, severe or prolonged diarrhea calls for immediate veterinary care.

Depending on the root cause of your cat’s diarrhea, treatment options can range from medications and dietary adjustments to surgery or a combination thereof. Consulting with your vet will help you decide on the best course of action for your feline companion.