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petdrz, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7356
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.
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My cat has a soft tan colored stool. What could it be?

Customer Question

My cat has a soft tan colored stool. I took her to the vet when she had diarrhea and she tested negative for parasites. Blood work was normal as well. I did ask that she be treated for parasites however she continues to have a soft stook. At times her stool has more form but most of the time it's very soft, light tan in color and smells bad. What could it be?

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  petdrz replied 5 years ago.

Hello and welcome to Just Answer. I am a licensed veterinarian and would be happy to answer your questions.

What it sounds like you are describing is colitis or inflammation of the large bowel. The signs can be very intermittent and can vary in severity, from normal stools to mushy to very soft, all even within one day at times. Seeing mucus or blood is not unusual as well. There is a sense of urgency to move their bowels and many of the pets will strain when having a BM, which to the owner can almost look like they are constipated. Many pets with colitis have GI discomfort and some will even vomit. It is also common for the abnormal stool to be very odorous.

Colitis can have many causes including intestinal parasites, dietary indiscretion, food allergies or intolerances, metabolic disturbances from internal organ malfunctions, viruses, toxins, cancer or even stress. Since it sounds like parasites have been ruled out it may be good to pursue a different cause. Although, some parasites are harder to identify and special tests are needed. It is also easier to miss some of the parasites if the stool was very liquidy when it was checked. Bloodwork is often normal in these cases and sometimes response to medications are used to confirm the possible cause.

I would talk to your veterinarian about ruling out a food allergy with a limited ingredient dietary trial. She may also benefit from treatment with the medication called metronidazole and some probiotics added to her food. Some cases that are more chronic or severe may end up needing treatment with steroids, but there are other things that can be tried first.

I would definitely work with your vet to see if you can get this resolved. When they have been going on chronically, these GI disturbances can be frustrating to diagnose and treat and sometimes we don't even find the cause, but concentrate on controlling the symptoms so our pets are comfortable. Make sure to get in touch with your vet if she is not improving so they can get her treated appropriately and verify that there is nothing else going on to be causing these signs. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I do have probiotics that I have been mixing in with her dry food that has not changed. The wet food I was giving her did change which I thought was the issue so I switched her to proplan wet food. Same issue but not as severe. Anything I should be doing in the interim to help her out?

Expert:  petdrz replied 5 years ago.

You could try adding a little extra fiber to her diet as well as the probiotics. Metamucil powder, 1/2 tsp per meal or mix in a little canned pumpkin to her food.

Most of the limited ingredient diets are prescription diets that you will need to have prescribed by your vet. Hills d/d is one example link here

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