Withholding food for 12 to 24 hours is often the first step in treating diarrhea in cats, states PetEducation.com. After the stomach has time to settle, the cat may eat small amounts of bland food, such as rice and chicken, and then slowly resumes a normal diet.
This short fast, accompanied by frequent opportunities to drink water, often resolves the problem if something the cat ingested caused the diarrhea, but veterinary attention is necessary if the diarrhea persists for several days, according to WebMD. If a parasitic infestation caused the diarrhea, a veterinarian can provide worming medication, states PetEducation.com. If a bacterial or fungal infection is present, the veterinarian can administer antibiotic or antifungal medication.
Diarrhea occurs when ingested materials pass too quickly through the digestive tract, explains PedEducation.com. Change in diet, food intolerance, allergic reactions, and ingestion of medications or tainted foods are common causes of diarrhea in cats, according to WebMD. Parasites and viral or bacterial infections also cause diarrhea. A host of medical conditions can also cause diarrhea in cats, including liver or kidney disease, tumors in the digestive tract, hyperthyroidism and colitis. If the diarrhea is accompanied by blood or the stool appears black, this may indicate bleeding in the digestive tract that requires immediate veterinary attention.