by Joan French
(Nashville, Tennessee)

Reader Question on Kitten Diarrhea Followed by Suggestion From Our Vet

One of my two kitten brothers has had diarrhea since I got him three months ago. He is now five months and has no parasites and has had two rounds of heavy duty antibiotics. He still has runny diarrhea that he can't help but step in, in his box. He seems fine usually and eats and drinks well. Three vets, no answers, still the same. Will this last forever or is my baby just hanging on?

Suggestion From Our Veterinarian on Kitten Diarrhea


Kittens can get chronic diarrhea for any of a number of reasons. Some are relatively easy to diagnose and treat, but others are not. One condition that causes diarrhea in cats that falls in the second category is a type of parasite called tritrichomonas foetus. Special tests are often required to reach a diagnosis so it may have been missed on a routine fecal examination. Ask your veterinarian if he or she has looked specifically for this parasite in your kitten. You should also make sure that both of your kittens have recently tested negative for feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus.

Parasitism and infections are the most common causes of diarrhea in kittens, but other conditions like food intolerance, anatomic abnormalities, or inflammatory bowel disease can also be to blame. If your current veterinarian cannot get to the bottom of this situation, consider getting a second opinion, ideally from a veterinary internal medicine specialist.

Best of luck,
Jennifer Coates, DVM

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