Soft Stools, Diarrhea: Solutions & Experiences

This forum is for cat lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your cat.

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Lola--Cuddly- Diva!
Purred: Sun Dec 2, '12 12:07pm PST 
Hi Guys...I have a two year old kitty, neutered, DSH, 15 lbs, ( big but not fat ) who has had diarrhea and soft stools for months( very smelly too ).

After my vet ruled out other problems with blood, urine and fecal tests, we started food trials...the best thing for my kitty ended up being Hill's Prescription WD dry (mixed with a little water and sometimes, if he is being picky, a TINY bit ( like half-a-pinky-nail amount ) of the canned version mixed in, just for taste ( I am lucky b/c most of the time, he will eat the dry with water--too much wet and we get the bad poop again )

In addition, and most importantly, my vet prescribed VETASYL, which is a psyllium capsule. I mix Vetasyl cap in a few drops of water, mix well, then gradually add the dry kibble with more water, let it sit a few minutes and then give him small meals thru the day of this, keeping the rest refrigerated.

We don't have 'tootsie roll solids" yet, but his stool is the most formed ( looks normal in the box, but is still a little soft when you put it in the poop bag ) and it has no smell.

We had, prior to this, done Hills prescription ID, Purina EN and nothing worked. I of course, on my own, did Wellness Healthy Weight, because I prefer the holistic foods, which didn't work either.

I found that the configuration we needed was high protein, high fiber and low fat--the fat being kept at 7% or below. The dry seems to be working more than the wet, by the way. The higher the fat, the more diarrhea he had. And it seems that he doesn't do well on the wet foods at all. Re: the Wellness Healthy Weight, it had the right configuration of fat, fiber etc. but for some reason didn't work like the Hill's Prescripton WD did.

I hope that all this might help someone.

Just so you know, as of now, I have NOT tried pumpkin or any holistic medications/supplements but am not ruling them out in the future.

Oh and initially, we did the Metronidazole and it didn't make any difference.

The dr. initially put us on pro-biotics, a few months ago, I sprinkled it on his food and he promptly ate and threw it up. Perhaps the pro-biotics might make a difference if pre-mixed in water prior to feeding it, but I have yet to try that again.

I got my cat as a four week old kitten and bottle fed him...he got a respiratory and gastrointestinal infection as a kitten and my original vet said he may have had presumptive herpes, because he had a few initial problems with holding his eye at half mast sometimes, but this is something he has outgrown and he is fine now. However, I am not sure how much this 'presumtive herpes" has to do with his current gastric issues and I have to ask the vet about that.

Needless to say, I have a drinkwell cat fountain and plenty of water available, which is important if the cat is using any kind of Vetasyl/psyllium products.


Georgian Blue
Purred: Sun Dec 2, '12 6:28pm PST 
Ahhh...the dreaded diarrhea! That's always a nice present to find in the litterbox. Diarrhea is the body's way of getting rid of something quickly. It's like a defense mechanism. The diarrhea should clear up once the cat's body removes whatever is bothering it. You kitty must be eating something that isn't agreeing with him. But, there are also several viruses that can cause diarrhea. If it's a virus, the diarrhea should clear up in a couple of days. The only problem is that diarrhea removes a lot of fluid from the body. When you cat gets diarrhea, what has he done in the last 24 hours? Did he get into the garbage? Drink milk? Eat human food? Eat new food? Have any stress in his life? What about a week before the diarrhea? Stress? Eating non-food items? Symptoms of illness?


Guinea Pigs are- Food - Not Pets
Purred: Sun Dec 2, '12 6:33pm PST 
Sounds messy! I know from experience that it isn't too much fun taking frequent trips to the toilet, especially for that reason! Amber is right, diarrhea is how a cat's body removes foreign materials. But, most diarrhea is short-term. I know when my cats get diarrhea, it's very messy. But, it is a symptom of a larger issue. I would be worried about an internal blockage. Does your cat ever drink milk? There are a lot of viruses that can cause diarrhea. Bacterial infections can do the same. The cat's body knows that the bacteria or virus is foreign and tries to rid itself. Diarrhea can easily cause a cat to become dehydrated. You said it was smelly. Is he straining? Is he licking his bottom more often? How is his appetite? How often does he use the litterbox? I'm sure he is in pain. Diarrhea can be very stressful to cats.


Lola--Cuddly- Diva!
Purred: Wed Dec 5, '12 3:43pm PST 
Thanks for your responses....my kitty has had this soft stool issue for about six months or actually could have been longer.

He has had all sorts of tests, his blood work is perfect, fecals are clear, no blockages, etc... but the vet feels that it is a type Iritiable Bowel Syndrome ( IBS) which apparently a lot of cats have.

Its not a quick, situational type of thing but rather he has a delicate digestive tract that gets irritated with certain types of foods....

After much experimentation, we have found that the Vetasyl caps mixed with water, mixed in with dry ( chicken flavor ) Hill's Prescription Diet WD, gets us to solids that are acceptable, not hard solid, but formed, no odor and so far so good.

With the wrong food and no Vetasyl, depending on what I fed him, his poop ranged from soft to soupy ( I know, yuck, right? ) and smelled REALLY BAD.

Canned food seemed to be the worst culprit. And the higher the fat, the worse it got, even with the dry foods. ( and mind you these were quality foods or prescription diets, including the holistics like Wellness )

He never has vomited at all, is very active, a beautiful buff colored big boy with clear eyes and loves to eat, so no other health problems. He is indoors and however, he was a feral kitten, a family I adopted at 3.5 weeks old and bottle fed. But this is not necessarily a 'feral' thing because my friend had a himilayan pure breed from a reputable breeder and she had this all her life.

My question is that I feel we have found a combination of food and psyllium caps that work and do the job, but I feel we are just putting a band-aid on the problem...although I admit, I don't know much about colitis or IBS so perhaps he was just born with this....that is for another discussion with my cat doctor, soon.

And my next visit after that may be a consult with a holistic vet, although I will definitely stay with my cat doctor because he is amazing, adores cats and is both very educated and patient, he has been a godsend. He says this is trial and error and indeed it is.


Purred: Wed Dec 12, '12 1:00am PST 

Did you test on Giardia?

One of my cats had it too, it's really terrible, and hard to get rid off.
Besides, all your cats can have it. Some get diarrhea, others not, but can be carriers of the bacteria too.

I got rid of it, but it's nearly a daytime job.

Everyday: the litterboxes need to be cleaned and desinfected.
the floor needs to be cleaned and desinfected.
I also cleaned their paws when needed.
Places where the cats sleep, towels, bed, chairs needed a treatment with steam,
to kill the eggs.

All my cats got Panacur for 5 days. The 2nd and the 5th day I had to wash them all,(10 in my case) when they wash eachother they can get infected that way also, cause the eggs kling in the furr.
everytime one of the cats was going to the toilet, I scooped it out.
Then you take a break of 10 days with the medication. (not the cleaning)
then 5 days again with Panacur and it should be gone.

Taking the poop from the litterbox is very important, because they get infected
by eachothers poop.

Besides this cleaningceremony, I gave my cats nothing else to eat but Orijen.
The bacteria that causes Giardia grows best on carbohydrates, so Orijen was
(besides fresh meat) the best option.

I hope this may help you.



Lola--Cuddly- Diva!
Purred: Wed Jan 2, '13 10:42am PST 
Thanks Monique....we are going back to vets soon and I will ask him about the Giardia...I think he tested for it, but not sure.


Purred: Sat Feb 2, '13 12:08am PST 
When I first got my kitty he had diarrhea for two months straight.. until I went back to Royal Canine dry food. He can only eat the dry Royal Canine food and has been fine for 4 months now. I know RC may not be the best food out there.. but it sure worked for stopping the poops.


Mr. Laid-Back
Purred: Sun Feb 17, '13 11:01am PST 
I have yet to meet many owners of stray cats that haven't had some sort of issues with diarrhea. We really should form a support group. I have one with IBS, one that had Giardia that Would. Not. Die. Seriously, it took 3 courses of metrinidozole to make it go away. And my two babies have an inflamed intestinal tract of unknown origin. I make no guarantees that all of the following treatments work for every cat, but here are some of the things I've tried:
Blue Sensitive Stomach dry food (all Blue foods have good bacteria in them, but this one is specially formulated for IBS cats)
Canned pumpkin--1 tsp. a day, mixed with some canned food (you could also try baby food...chicken, ham, beef, turkey--Gerber's is only meat and water, so no worry about onions or other veggies harmful to cats)
Yogurt--You can have your Forti-Flora; my Greek yogurt works just as well and is WAY less expensive (Activia also works well)
Pro-Pectalin--Messy as all get out, but a very good option for stopping acute diarrhea
Metrinidozole--Kills Giardia, cuts down in inflammation. Keep in mind that the tropozoites for Giardia are incredibly tiny and difficult to see on a fecal. Just because you CAN'T see it, doesn't mean it isn't there. It took 6 fecals to find one trop to diagnose Fiyero.
Hill's Z/D--Only for a short period of time, probably a minimum of 6 weeks. The allergy diet, gives the intestines a chance to calm down, then the cat can be slowly weaned off of Z/D and back onto their regularly scheduled food. Good thing too. Z/D is outrageously expensive, especially if you're feeding it to 4 cats.


Lola--Cuddly- Diva!
Purred: Mon Feb 18, '13 12:08am PST 
Thank you, both....Elliott and Fiyero, for your recent responses....Royal Canin is indeed, a good food....in fact, my other cat is on Royal Canin Urinary SO for her cystitis.

I will keep your e-mails and will continue the journey. I am going to the cat specialist in a few weeks for a check up, and will discuss the Giardia with him, as well.

Right now, we have managed to keep his stool formed, ( although not tootsie roll hard, though ) and no smell, with the WD dry and a Vetasyl Cap, mixed with a little water.

I may continue to try some other food combos in the near future, as well, but at least we are no longer in the diarrhea category, so we are doing better.

I LIKE the idea of a support group! My gosh, this really IS a full time job, isn't it !

Edited by author Mon Feb 18, '13 12:10am PST



Purred: Mon Feb 18, '13 8:14pm PST 
Mochi has been having some semi soft to diarrhea several times. I'm a little worried but she's eating and drinking okay... I haven't really switched foods or anything so hopefully it'll pass?

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