Withholding solid food for 12 to 24 hours is usually a safe treatment for a kitten with diarrhea as long as it is drinking water and not vomiting. If the kitten hasn't had all of its vaccinations or its stools are black or bloody, call a veterinarian immediately, says PetEducation.com.
If the diarrhea resolves and the cat is willing to eat, slowly introduce a bland diet of boiled chicken or hamburger mixed with equal amounts of rice, recommends PetEducation.com. Feed the kitten only small amounts at a time, then gradually introduce a diet of high-quality kitten food. Avoid milk and other dairy products, since the lactose in cow's milk can cause diarrhea if the kitten is lactose-intolerant, explains WebMD. If the diarrhea comes back or persists for more than 24 hours, call a veterinarian for suggestions about how to proceed.
Diarrhea in an unvaccinated kitten is sometimes a sign of feline panleukopenia virus or FPV. Also called feline distemper, FPV is often fatal in kittens 2 to 6 months of age, explains PetMD. Emergency medical treatment is essential to save the cat's life, so take any kitten with diarrhea that is vomiting, has a fever, is lethargic, or refuses to eat or drink to a veterinarian immediately.