Over the many months, in fact years, since I received and answered that question, there have been many additional posts from readers stating that their cat had the same condition. In fact, to my amazement, that question has received more comments than any other question posted on this site. You may want to read the original question and the additional ones that followed before you read this page.
The page you're reading now was written because so many readers were writing in, believing that their cats had the identical same condition and that it was something new and rare. The comment section wasn't long enough for this, my most recent reply, so this page was created.
The title "Cats Diarrhea" may or may not be appropriate for describing the condition many have written about because I believe you are not all witnessing the same condition at all. In some cases, it may indeed be diarrhea, but in others, it may be a very different disorder.
Although many of the cases sound similar, most have slightly different symptoms or different degrees of severity, different aged cats, etc. While we may think that every post is about the same condition, I don't think it is. If you go back and read my initial page to which these comments are attached, you will see what I wrote initially. There are many different causes of cats diarrhea or colitis or whatever term we apply to these seemingly identical conditions.
Causes include parasites, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, constipation, intestinal cancer, anal sac conditions, cats who are incontinent, and others. In all these cases you may or may not see discharge from the anus.
Most of you describe a colorless, odorless liquid. Generally, the only thing colorless and odorless that comes from a cat's anus is mucous. There are exceptions - sometimes anal sac secretions are surprisingly odorless. Sometimes, there can be confusion as to whether it is actually coming from the anus or could be urine. Urine in certan conditions can be quite odorless and colorless.
I also have many times seen a patient whose owner insisted had diarrhea, only to find out the cat was constipated and was straining and passing mucous around the impacted feces, making the owner think it was diarrhea instead of constipation.
I have also seen cats who were thought to have an intestinal problem that turned out to be urinary and vice versa.
I think the bottom line everyone should keep in mind is that if your cat is leaking any fluid from any place on his body, it is not normal and if it is accompanied by lethary, loss of appetite, fever, vomiting, or most anything out of the ordinary, then a vet should see your cat immediately.
If it happens for a day and the cat otherwise seems perfectly fine, you may be able to wait and it may have been a one-time insignificant incident. I can't make that judgment call without actually examining your cat, but those are the general guidelines.
As I have written in the original page and also the original answer to the first question here, just as conditions can range from nothing or something mild to something life-threatening, so can the required diagnostics and/or treatments. It may be a quick trip to the vet with only an exam, maybe some cat medicine such as feline antibiotics or tests may also be required, ranging from a simple fecal exam to blood work to x-rays to ultrasound to endoscopy. Remember that having your cat examined and getting an opinion is a fairly inexpensive option. Tests start to get expensive but maybe they won't be required and you can certainly always decline them.
There are many diagnostics involved in getting to the bottom of the causes of diarrhea or fluid secreted from the anus, urethra, or vagina. Certainly, a good history and physical exam is the first order of business. A rectal exam will probably be necessary. In addition, blood work, urinalysis, fecal exams, xrays, etc. MAY be indicated before you have an answer.
On the other hand, it may be much more simple than that and may be apparent upon physical examination of your cat. But without an examination by your veterinarian, there is no way we can group all of the various complaints everyone has been writing in about into the same category. We just can't know.
One thing is for certain: if your cat is not eating or not drinking or is straining in the litter box or is bleeding or is lethargic, it could very well be urgent that you get your kitty to the vet right away. In some of these cases, time means the difference between life and death.
I hope this has been of some help. Again, I don't think all of your cats have the same thing, and that is why I want you to be careful about doing what your fellow reader has done to her cat without a vet's recommendation because the two cats could have two very different conditions with very different reactions to the treatment.
Best to all,Dr. Neely
Further comments can continue to be posted to the comment section of the original question on CATS DIARRHEA entitled Water Bubbling Out My Cats Butt For 3 Days.