Common Kitten Ailments
Other Kitten Ailments
Diarrhea is very common in kittens and can be caused by stress or a change in diet.
The most common cause of diarrhea is roundworms and tapeworms.
If your kitten is over 4 weeks old and has a little diarrhea that is dark brown in color and has been de-wormed, and been treated for coccidia you can add 1/8 teaspoon of Metamucil to the food to help get rid of the diarrhea.
If your kitten is still on the bottle a couple of drops of Karo syrup can be added to the formula.
Kittens can become dehydrated very quickly, when a kitten has diarrhea it is a good idea to give the kitten a few drops of water or pedialyte to prevent dehydration.
When the diarrhea is light colored and has a lot of mucous, with or without blood in it, this is a sign of viruses, bacteria, or intestinal parasites that need to be treated by a veterinarian.
A small kitten that is still on the bottle can have diarrhea from eating too much or too often. The diarrhea will look like cottage cheese. Increase the time between feedings.
The following are things you can feed your kitten to reduce diarrhea:
Pumpkin or squash baby food
Add Gerbers Rice for Baby’s to the bottle (if bottle feeding)
Dry food only, no canned food for older kittens
Some brands of canned kitten food can cause diarrhea.
COCCIDIA AND GIARDIA
A common cause of diarrhea in young cats is coccidia or Giardia organisms, and most are self-limiting and asymptomatic. A kitten in a dirty environment highly contaminated by parasites can become infected, or a pregnant mother can pass it to her unborn kittens.
Diarrhea caused by either one of these parasites is contagious and so all your kittens will have diarrhea if one does.
To detect coccidia a direct smear, or a fecal float should be taken by a veterinary to determine if the parasite is present. Coccidia does not always show up on these tests, consequently your veterinarian may treat for it anyway since it is a very common disease in young kittens. Coccidia can show up in normal stools and some veterinarians treat for it. Other veterinarians do not treat unless a problem like diarrhea exists since coccidia is self-limiting and is not as likely to reinfect the kitten if the stool is normal.
To detect Giardia a stool sample will usually be sent to a lab for evaluation.
Coccidia is more common then Giardia so should always be checked for first and treated before testing for Giardia.