Loose Stool in a Cat

by Kelly
(Arden Hills, mn, Ramsey)


My cat has had loose stool for almost 3 years. I have been to the vet numerous times. They can't find anything, but keep telling me that he has IBS. I have tried a lot of different foods thinking it is allergies. When he has a bowel movement, sometimes it looks like his anus pops out. Any suggestions? In desperate need.


There are many causes of loose stool in cats. If your vet has indeed eliminated all possible causes by running blood work, performing a fecal analysis, looking at radiographs, etc., and found nothing, then Inflammatory Bowel Disease is indeed often the cause.

The only way, however, to be certain is to biopsy the intestines. Has your vet offered you the option of doing so? If not, you should discuss it with them. The proper diagnosis helps us prescribe the best treatment.

It is true, however, that some pet parents elect to not have the intestines biopsied. The thinking in these cases is usually that the point of a biopsy is usually to tell the difference between cancer and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. If the owner is certain that if cancer is found, they will not want to do chemo or radiation or any specific cancer therapy, then they question the validity of even doing the biopsy.

In such cases, it is reasonable to direct treatment at Inflammatory Bowel Disease in case it isn't cancer and the therapy will help.

There are medications that are very successful in treating IBD in cats. Combined with the right diet, a cat can live a normal life indefinitely.

You mention diet, and it is wise to try and find a diet that is agreeable with your cat, but did any of the vets put your kitty on medication? If not, you should talk to them about medical treatment of IBD. Prednisolone and Metronidazole are generally the main components of such treatment and can be very helpful.

Thank you for writing and best wishes,

Dr. Neely

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