Diarrhoea in kittens may be caused by anything from an intestinal parasite to the stress of a recent move. Acute, or short-term, diarrhoea can often be treated at home, at least until it's possible to get to the vet. If diarrhoea persists, however, owners should contact a vet immediately. Kittens are at higher risk for dehydration and other serious complications due to their small body size. Short-term home diarrhoea treatment is inexpensive, relatively simple and can make life easier for both owners and kittens.
One possible cause of kitten diarrhoea is an overgrowth of intestinal yeast, commonly called a yeast infection. Active-culture yoghurt helps the kitten's body defend itself against the yeast by increasing the population of beneficial bacteria in the intestines. Owners should use only plain, unsweetened yoghurt, however, since cats' bodies aren't designed to handle excessive sugar.
Additional fibre, such as puréed pumpkin or sweet potatoes, or wheat germ, can help kittens form solid stools and may stop an episode of diarrhoea. This type of remedy is particularly helpful when the diarrhoea is caused by a single unhealthy meal, such as too much dairy. Avoid using fibre products meant for humans, which may be too strong for a small kitten. It's also important to monitor the kitten, even after the diarrhoea has stopped. Intestinal upset can indicate a more serious problem.
Kittens suffering from a food intolerance or allergy may develop digestive problems, including diarrhoea. A bland diet, composed of a novel starch like potatoes or cooked rice, and a novel protein like lamb or well-cooked hamburger, can help isolate the problem and stop the diarrhoea. Owners who suspect a food intolerance should never attempt to treat it entirely at home. An experienced vet can provide advice on nutritionally appropriate food that won't irritate the kitten's digestive system.
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