Cats suffer problems like kidney or liver disease along with more adverse problems such as chronic diarrhea. It is very difficult to see your cat in pain hence not being able to do anything about it. Many cat lovers start panicking when they see their cats suffering from severe diarrhea. They usually do not know what needs to be done. Some try to withhold food to give their digestive system a rest.
However, if your cat is suffering from profuse or bloody diarrhea you mustn’t take it lightly. There are ways you can treat your cat. You can either go to the vet immediately or try administering Imodium in your cat’s diet. You might be wondering what is Imodium and how will it work in your favor. We will come to that later but let’s first try to understand what are the causes of diarrhea in cats.
Reasons why your Cat has Diarrhea
There are several reasons that can give your cat severe to mild diarrhea, let’s discuss a few.
There is a large variety of cat food available in the stores and you never know what exactly the cat food is made of. Most commercial canned food items include processed ingredients such as body parts of other animals.
You might find bird feathers in one while the other may have eyes and heads. The ingredients are great sources of protein for your cat but since they have processed food items, they might not be as healthy for your cat and can cause loose stool.
If your cat is going through an acute episode of diarrhea, it may be because of intestinal parasites. This happens when parasites enter the digestive tract of your cat and the symptoms can include anemia, vomiting, and can even give leeway to other infections.
Cats can contract these parasites from multiple sources such as unclean water, cat food, and even infected feces in their litter box. It is observed that young kittens are very prone to contracting these parasites. These parasites often jump from cat to cat which is why it is important for you to keep your cats separately especially kittens.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammation is probably the biggest factor in most diseases, and inflammatory bowel disease is one of them. There are several diseases that are associated with inflammatory bowel disease, for example, your cat might be suffering from gastritis and colitis when they have inflammatory bowel disease.
If your cat is down with chronic diarrhea, it is vital that you get a proper diagnosis as it can develop into something much more severe.
Less invasive and common reasons for cat diarrhea are dietary changes. It is also common for humans to get diarrhea because of dietary changes.
As a cat owner, you must be familiar with the nature of cats as being picky about their food. This is why it is very important for you to gradually introduce them to new food so that their stomach is able to withstand the changes and you don’t end up with a sick cat.
If your cat is not enjoying its current food, it’s better you change it so that the gi tract is not inflamed. The lack of inflammation might help prevent diarrhea
If your cat is already suffering from infectious diseases, chronic diarrhea is an obvious symptom. These infections are most commonly located in the GI tract. For these infections, it is essential that you bring your cat to the vet as it can lead to severe dehydration and weakness.
Your cat may have either a viral or a bacterial infection which must not be left untreated.
Kidney Or Liver Disease
The kidney and liver are two of the most important organs in a cat’s body. If any of these organs stop working properly, your cat will not be able to detoxify and it can lead to diarrhea.
To get a proper diagnosis, you must reach out to a veterinarian and get your cat tested for other kidney and liver complications.
Addison’s disease takes place when your cat’s adrenal glands are not functioning properly, hence cats may experience diarrhea. To address the problem properly you need the help of an expert.
Your cat’s diarrhea is something that you need to take as seriously as possible. Most doctors suggest Imodium by Johnson and Johnson as it is the most effective treatment to stop diarrhea. Obviously being the anxious pet owner that you are, you would want to know all about Imodium. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
What is Imodium?
Imodium is an antidiarrheal drug that is used to relieve humans and cats from diarrhea. The chemical formulation of Imodium is Loperamide Hydrochloride. The name Imodium is actually a brand name for this chemical formula.
Imodium works by slowing down the process of your bowel movements. It also works hard to strengthen muscles so that the diarrhea is in control. You can find Imodium in different forms. You can either get it in a capsule, a tablet, or even in liquid. Choose the best form as per the preference of you are your feline friends.
Just like self-medication is dangerous for humans, it is risky to medicate your cat on your own. Listen closely to your doctor and follow their instructions to the t. This way you will be ensured that you are not making any mistakes when giving your cat the medicine it needs.
Is Imodium Safe for Cats?
Imodium is a great choice for cats as prescribed by doctors. It is a commonly used drug and has a great degree of effectiveness. However, with every medicine, there are some concerns that should be acknowledged and addressed. Here is a list of all the risks and concerns you need to be aware of.
Risks and Concerns
Your cat might be sensitive to the drugs that you’re giving. This is why you need to make sure that you do not start your cat on drugs that you’re not sure of. It is best to start with very small dosages to see if your cat is allergic.
You must know whether the diarrhea is caused by toxins or something else. The treatment needs to be different if that is the case. If it is because of toxins, you need to ensure that the toxins are first cleared out from the gi tract.
If your cat suffers from kidney disease you need to ensure that this medicine is either avoided completely or given with great precaution.
Certain drugs when given together may cause more problems instead of solving them. This is why you should consult with your veterinarian before giving it to your cat.
Since this is a medicine for diarrhea, the side effects might include your getting constipation.
There have been reports of cats facing excitatory behavior when given Imodium.
Central Nervous System
Imodium might affect the central nervous system of your cat and cause complications such as depression.
How Does Imodium Treat Diarrhea in Cats?
Imodium when given to cats is absorbed in the gi tract and then metabolized by the liver. Once it is metabolized, it starts showing effects. That includes slowing down the movement of food in the intestines and that helps slow down the digestion process.
In addition to this, it also helps increase the absorption of nutrients and water in the food so that the stool produced is not liquidy. This helps prevent watery diarrhea. There is not a lot of strong evidence against it but Imodium can also help strengthen muscles that weaken because of soft stools.
Imodium Dosing for Cats
You are not qualified enough to decide the dosage of Imodium your cat should take. For that, you must always reach out to your consultant and get the dosage calculated by considering the weight of the cat. There are also other factors that contribute to the selection of the dosage for your cat. For instance, the doctor might ask for the age of your cat along with monitoring the severity of diarrhea itself.
How to Give Imodium to Cats With Chronic Diarrhea
It is best to give your cat liquid Imodium. It will be a lot easier for you to mix it in with the cat food. You can find liquid Imodium for doses with the concentration of 1 milligram per 5 milliliters or in other cases 0.2 mg/ml.
It is vital that you give your cat accurate dosing so that there are no adverse effects. To make that possible, buy yourself a syringe and that will help you deliver the most accurate dosage possible.
It is advised that you should stop giving Imodium if your cat starts exhibiting any side effects. Moreover, be very attentive when administering dosage so that you don’t end up giving two doses.
Missed dose? If you forget a dose, the best way forward is to give it as soon as possible. Avoid giving two doses at the same time.
It is best if you first book a physical exam for your cat and then get a prescription.
Alternatives to Imodium for Cat Diarrhea
Putting your cat on a low-fiber diet can help manage diarrhea. You may find cat food that is labeled as digestible. This might be the best choice for your cat.
If the bouts are very frequent, you can even try increasing the fiber in their diet as it helps with minimizing diarrhea. You can look for canned pumpkin and include that in your cat’s diet.
It is a common misconception that you need to withhold food for a few days if your cats are suffering from diarrhea. If you end up doing this you need to know that it will positively do more harm than good.
What you can do is ensure your cats are not getting any people food. Cats can be sneaky and munch on scraps leading them to worsen their diarrhea.
If your cat is having chronic diarrhea because of the change in food, it is best you revert back to the food that you were giving them earlier.
If you have been giving the same food to your cat for quite some time, switch up things and give them something different to see if the diarrhea is influenced by it.
Bland Diet Foods
To aid digestion, you can give your cat a bland diet for as long as their stomach is upset. This diet can include food items like boiled chicken breast, chicken broth, and white rice.
Your cats need healthy bacteria in their stomach to fight diarrhea. This good bacteria can help your cat normalize digestion.
You can find good-quality probiotics in the store. Incorporate into your cat’s diet and it might help deal with diarrhea.
Keep track of all the urine excretions your cat is making. If there are any clinical changes, report to your doctor as soon as possible.
You must work with extreme caution as it is very easy for your cats to be dehydrated because of diarrhea.
Check for Bacterial Overgrowth
Once your cat is cured of diarrhea, check for bacterial overgrowth and address it as soon as possible.
Look for Clinical Signs
Monitor your cat as closely as you possibly can and report any changes possible.
Test for Intestinal Lymphoma
Get your cat tested for intestinal lymphoma if you have any doubts whatsoever.
If your cat is pregnant, avoid giving Imodium as it will interfere with the pregnancy.
Clean Litter Box
Keep the litter box clean so that your cat is comfortable and does not have to worry about going in a filthy litter box.
Our Final Thoughts on giving Imodium to Cats for Chronic Diarrhea
Diarrhea can be quite taxing for you and your cat. Considering this, it is best to take the situation as seriously as you possibly can.
However, do not worry. Diarrhea is fixable, a few days of care is all that is needed, don’t stress yourself out too much.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much Imodium can I give my cat?
The ideal dose is 0.5ml for cats under 7lbs. If your cat is over 7lbs you can give 1ml once daily.
What can I give my cat to stop diarrhea?
Imodium is the best bet you have as it has proven to be quite beneficial.
What over-the-counter medicine can I give my cat for diarrhea?
You can give Kaopectate and Pepto Bismol.
How can I firm up my cat’s stool?
Yes, if you add fiber to your cat’s diet you might be able to firm up its stool.