Causes of diarrhea in an indoor cat

Written by jamie conrad
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Causes of diarrhea in an indoor cat
Indoor cats experience diarrhoea for a number of reasons. (cat image by JASON WINTER from

Diarrhoea occurs in all cats at some time or another. If your cat is an indoor cat, diarrhoea can be even more troublesome, as the mess (not to mention the smell) can wreak havoc on your home. Treatments for feline diarrhoea vary and include change of diet or even antibiotics in some cases. Veterinary treatment is recommended for cats who experience diarrhoea, as your veterinarian can best explain how to treat the problem. A number of factors contribute to your indoor cat suffering from diarrhoea.

Dietary Changes

Sudden changes in your cat's diet may result in digestive upset and diarrhoea. Indoor cats grow accustomed to structure and routine, so changing the food may be a trigger. Keeping your cat on a routine feeding schedule and feeding the same type of food (or introducing new food very gradually) can prevent this problem.

Change in Water

If you travel with your cat or if you move, your cat may gain access to unfamiliar water. Just like a rapid change in diet, a rapid change in water may produce diarrhoea in your cat. Give your cat filtered water only or bring water from home when travelling to prevent this from occurring.

Dairy Products

If your cat consumes dairy products of any kind, diarrhoea may follow. Cats are lactose intolerant, so they cannot digest dairy products. This includes milk, cheese, sour cream, ice cream and yoghurt.

Inappropriate Food

Indoor cats occasionally get into the garbage as a way to entertain themselves. Unfortunately, consuming the spoiled or otherwise inappropriate food in the dustbin give your cat diarrhoea. Keep the trash locked in a cupboard or out of your kitty's reach to prevent this.

Intestinal Viruses or Parasites

Even if your cat lives indoors, it may still be exposed to other cats at the kennel, veterinarian or even when you bring a new cat into the home. Thus, your indoor cat is susceptible to intestinal viruses and parasites that may cause diarrhoea.


Moving, a stay at the kennel, a trip to the vet, introduction of a new family member (human or animal) and even thunderstorms may produce stress for your cat. Stress takes it toll on cats in many ways, one of which is diarrhoea.

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