Multiple cats with diarrhea but the cause in unknown. Any ideas?
PLEASE READ BELOW BEFORE ANSWERING. Thank you.
My fiance and I bought and moved into our current home in January 2nd (2009).
Some time in late February my two cats started having diarrhea. I took them to the vet in March and fecal samples were tested and showed no parasites. The vet put them on a bland diet for two weeks, which worked temporarily.
In April, I began fostering a kitten for a local shelter and she too has developed diarrhea at the beginning of May. She was tested for feline leukemia and FHIV which came back negative.
I have given the kitten Imonidum AD as directed which has not stopped her diarrhea.
The house was tented and fumigated for dry wood termites (common in Florida) back in December, and regular pesticides were used on the porch screens. I was told the cats' diarrhea is not being caused by any type of pesticide because they are showing no signs of jaundice, vomiting, or ear flaking.
Today I was told that the plastic food bowls I use can harbor bacteria and are a possible cause. So I bought ceramic bowls today. My cat food storage container is also plastic so I plan to bleach it today.
My dog is completely healthy and has no diarrhea, so something is strictly affecting the cats.
The diarrhea is more like "soft-serve" but from time to time is more liquid-like.
I am feeding the adult cats Natural Balance cat food. The kitten also gets into their food and also eats her wet and dry food given to me by the shelter.
I can find no toxins in the house.
Is it really the plastic cat food bowls? Any other ideas?
Like I said, the kitten is eating wet and dry while the adult cats are on dry food. The kitten occasionally eats the adult cat food.
No plants in the house and the cats do not go outside.
The two adult cats have been on the same food for over a year. Diarrhea started in February. The new kitten was brought in the home in April and developed diarrhea too about 3-4 weeks later.
Try a different vet, try a different food.
Things that would I would check.. Any plants in the house they could be eating? Are you giving the wet food 25% to 75% dry? I never used plastic bowls for my cat. Has the cat had a change in food recently? It may sort itself out.. Try a different formula of food for the cat. They can have allergies.
you should ask other vets for help.
There's a LOT of causes for diarrhea in cats. And it, by itself, is usually no cause for alarm.
Your cats could be lacking in fiber. Try feeding the cats pumpkin (PLAIN, not pie filling) mixed half and half with their food (if you're feeding them dry food, you may need to mix it with tuna or chicken baby food, some cats refuse to eat it due to it's icky taste).
Also, to ease their tummies, give them each a teaspoon of plain yogurt. Most cats will eat this readily. The yogurt will aid your cat in the digestion of some bacteria, including coccidia. That being said, if you haven't done so already, you may want to test your cats for giardia, as this can easily spread between all cats in a household.
Also, it wouldn't be a bad idea to isolate the cats to a "safe room" to make sure they aren't getting into anything icky. And change their box as soon as they go, because if it is a bacterial problem, you don't want to harbor it in a dirty litter box.
Make sure they have a LOT of water around, as the diarrhea may dehydrate them, especially the kitten. And as for the kitten eating the different types of food, it may be better to start feeding the cats separately so he doesn't do this. Kitten's tummies are sensitive and diet changes can cause a lot of upset.
Like I said, there are a million different causes for diarrhea in cats, and the best you can do is just monitor it closely. Try the pumpkin and the yogurt and make sure to watch closely for any blood or possible worms. Because sometimes the vet doesn't catch parasites in just one stool sample. And as icky as it is, you'll find yourself checking out cat doo for a while until they get better. If you find any of the above, go directly to the vet. Blood in the stool is not something to mess with.
The pumpkin and yogurt remedy should start working in 2-4 days. If it doesn't, you may need to get all of your cats on a "dry diet" and go from there. This means buying chicken, turkey, or beef baby food and feeding them only that. This mild food may help clear up any intestinal upset they may have and you can start introducing their regular food slowly again.
ALSO! If you do try a different food, don't just suddenly change foods, this could upset their stomachs even more. You have to do it slowly in order to prevent further problems.
If you've ruled out parasites, but a different food helped for a period of time, I would be looking at a food allergy. We have had issues with diarrhea in our cats in the past, but the thing that they all had in common was that they were strays and had taken many antibiotics when they were younger. We went through the same thing, and if there are no issues other than just the diarrhea, perhaps you should see if your vet carries a product called Proviable. It's a capsule and paste that treats imbalances in their digestive tract. It was an absolute miracle for us, with no recurrence of diarrhea in any of the cats. Our cats all have plastic food bowls which we wash with soap and hot water twice a day, same thing with their water bowls. I've never heard of any problem with the plastic bowls. You can email me if you need more info on the Proviable. Our vet had never used it and actually found it for us after we had exhausted every other treatment for the problem. We were sort of a "test" case.
Found a link for it:
Leukemia — Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, causes, risk factors, treatment of this blood-related cancer.
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