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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15636
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My 10 year old Ragdoll cat has been refusing food. He just

Customer Question

My 10 year old Ragdoll cat has been refusing food. He just had an attack of diarrhea.. Is there something I can give him to help him feel better?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long has he had these signs?

Any gagging, retching, lip licking, drooling or vomiting?

Can he keep water down?

Are his gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?

If you press on his belly, does he have any discomfort, tenderness, or tensing?

Could he have eaten something he should not have (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, etc)?

What did the diarrhea look like?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Coco has been eating very little for 2 days Today was the first attack of diarrhea.
It was very loose dark brown runny..
He has been drinking water.. Sleeping a lot, but does not show any physical pain.
He is quite picky about his food. So I am not sure if he ate something that would upset his stomach.. However, It could happen.. Maybe hmmm?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 months ago.

Thank you,

First, I do have to note that if Coco hasn't been eating properly for 2 days, we need to tread with care. Cats are not well made for being off food and we can see secondary liver issues (hepatic lipidosis) develop if they are anorexic for too long. As well, we don't want to run the risk of dehydration (especially since cats don't drink enough on the best of days) from him having diarrhea at the same time he is off food.

Now based on the signs we are seeing, we do have a few concerns. Common causes we need to consider include bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, parasites/protozoa infections, general dietary indiscretions, and ingestion of harmful items (ie toxins, plants, non-edible items). We can also see this with oral pain but the diarrhea makes gut based issues our top suspects here.

With this all in mind, our first step would be to address any nausea inducing this appetite loss. To do so, you can consider treating with an OTC pet safe antacid like Pepcid (More Info/Dose @, or Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @ Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do double check with your vet if he has a known health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned. Also if you give this and he cannot keep it down due to nausea that is usually a red flag that we need to bypass his mouth with injectable anti-vomiting medication from his vet.

Once he is more settled, you can plan to try small meals of a light/easily digestible diet. Examples you can use are boiled chicken, boiled white fish, or scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (garlic/onion free only) There are also OTC vet diets (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity) that can be used too. The aim of these diets is that they will be better tolerated/absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset and less diarrhea. You can even add canned pumpkin to this to bulk up his stools quicker. Or if we try these and he cannot be tempted, we can offer or syringe feed watered down Hill's A/D, Royal Canin Recovery, or Clinicare Canine/Feline Liquid Diet. All of these are critical care diets that are calorically dense, so a little goes a long way nutrition-wise. And that way we can get nutrition into him and stave off those liver concerns.

Since dehydration is a risk here, we need to keep an eye on his hydration. To check this and make sure dehydration isn’t an issue, there are a few parameters you can test. Further to checking for gum moisture, you will want to make sure his eyes are not looking sunken and that he doesn’t have a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these, you can find a good video HERE ( If you do see any of these signs already, then that would be our cue to have him seen before this becomes an additional issue (especially since its often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).

Finally, as long as there is no blood in those stools, you can consider trying a pet safe anti-diarrheal. As I am sure you appreciate, these would not be a cure for infectious issues; but it can still be of benefit. It will reduce diarrhea load, allow the body to absorb more water/nutrients, and soothe the upset gut. In regards ***** ***** options, the one we most commonly use is OTC Kaolin/Kaopectate (More Info/Dose @ Otherwise, Propectalin, Canikur, Fast Balance, and Protexin Pro-Fiber (which is available OTC at vets, pet stores, and even Amazon) would be another option. All will slow diarrhea and those last ones have the added bonus of providing support to the delicate good GI bacteria. So, these can be used as a short-term means of soothing his upset GI.

Overall, a wide range of agents could trigger the signs we are seeing but I do suspect that we have upper and lower gut upset causing this for Coco. Therefore, we’d want to start supportive care to try to settle his stomach. Though if he cannot keep that or water down, appears dehydrated already, or doesn’t respond to the above within 12-24 hours; then we'd want to get his vet involved. They can assess his hydration, rule out fever, ensure nothing in his stomach that shouldn't be, or any sinister viruses present. Depending on their findings, his vet can treat with injectable anti-nausea medication, appetite stimulants, +/- antibiotics to settle his stomach and get him back feeling like himself.

Please take care,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about Coco Channel. How is everything going?

Dr. B.