Theories for Chronic Diarrhea

A kitten's painful loose stools may be the result of an early parasitic infection. More tests may provide a diagnosis.

By J. Veronika Kiklevich, DVM

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Q. I will begin by saying that I have never been a cat lover. However, two months ago a kitten came into my life and I haven't been the same. I found this little darling in a park near my home when he was approximately 8 weeks old.

Romeo is the sweetest, most lovable little cat I have ever encountered and I would do anything for him. Here's where you (hopefully) come in.

Ever since I found him, he has been sick with chronic diarrhea. I have taken him to three veterinary clinics: a general neighborhood vet, a cat-specific clinic and the veterinary hospital at the University of Pennsylvania. Not one vet at any of these clinics can determine why my kitten has this problem. He seems to be a medical mystery.

He has been on several medications (Panacur, metronidazole, Drontal, Strongid, erythromycin and even Imodium), but none have helped. Every test he has taken comes back negative. Additionally, his food has been changed quite a few times to rule out food allergies.

His stools have gone from completely watery to simply loose, and have changed in color from light brown to almost black. He has gone from going to the bathroom with no control whatsoever to giving out a small scream right before he goes to lay on his side and spinning himself around while writhing in pain. It is incredibly heartbreaking to witness this.

Once he's done doing his business, which takes about a half hour to complete, he gets up and runs around like nothing happened.

The only positive outcome is that he does not go as frequently any more. He was going all the time at first. Now he goes about four times a day.

One other thing to note is that he will go "number one" in the litterbox. However, he has yet to use the box for "number two." He eats, drinks, and is growing. He's extremely playful and frisky and otherwise upbeat.

Please, doctor, is there anything you can recommend for Romeo?

A. It is highly unlikely that I can do a great deal better than the veterinarians at the University of Pennsylvania. Still, I would like to offer some suggestions and possibly some insights.

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Reader Comments

Janet    Bethlehem, PA

12/6/2010 11:20:15 AM

important information, thanks

Janet    Bethlehem, PA

9/12/2010 4:13:31 PM

good article thanks

Ed    Palatine Bridge, NY

9/29/2009 5:48:58 AM

The cat is an obligate carnivore, I seriously recommend switching to a raw diet. It might sound scary at first but cats were never meant to eat hard dry kibble full of carbs and plant proteins not to mention all the fillers added to it. Remember that old saying "you are what you eat"? I don't think this could be more true especially in the case of cats. I strongly believe that diet will also dictate the overall health of any creature. The following web sites are full of great info to help your cat or kitten get straightened out and back to eating the way nature intended. There is a lot of information and instructions provided for raw food diets or premixed packages you can purchase.



Ernie    Gurley, AL

6/18/2009 9:24:47 PM

My 14 year old cat has had chronic diarrhea on & off for several years. I finally found a food that worked like "magic"--Eukanuba, now Iams Response LB. Unfortunately they recently changed the formula somehow & it no longer works. I am desperate to find another food to help him.
Any suggestions?

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