Ask the Vet Archive

Your chance to ask Dr. Mindy Cohan, VMD, our resident pet health expert, what's on your mind!

Topic: Kitten's Soft Stool

Question from Karen in Coatesville:
My cat (9 months old) has soft stools. I took him to the vet and lab tests revealed no parasites. My vet put him on a prescription food and metronidazole for 5 days. This helped a little, but he still has mushy/soft/stinky stools.

He seems active and healthy. Will this be the "norm" for his stools? When he was younger, the droppings were more formed.

Answer from Dr. Mindy Cohan:
Soft stool in cats and dogs can be a frustrating puzzle to solve. It often is a matter of "trial and error" in finding the solution. Since your cat is young, cancer is fortunately much less likely than other problems. Although the fecal test did not show parasites, a broad spectrum dewormer should be administered.

If you had changed food or treats before the stools became soft, a food intolerance is a possible underlying cause. Even if you had been feeding the same food all along, cats can develop a food intolerance to a diet with which they have been accustomed.

There are many different "prescription foods" available. Some of the varieties that you can try include hypoallergenic, easily digestible, or high fiber food. While you are trying to get your cat's stools back on track, stop all treats in case they are a culprit. If the metronidazole helped, you might need to give it again for a longer course. Probiotics can be used to help with soft stools. Your veterinarian should be consulted before giving either of these medications.

Some cats can develop inflammatory bowel disease and other medications or tests might be needed. If your cat is vomiting, has a poor appetite, or is losing weight, be sure to tell your veterinarian.

Posted December 14, 2010

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