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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30350
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My cat has always had soft stools and defecates several times

Customer Question

My cat has always had soft stools and defecates several times a day. He is a large healthy black siamese type cat. He is also 9 months old and neutered.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I understand your concerns. In young cats intestinal parasitism and food intolerance are the most common cause of abnormal bowel movements and frequency. I would presumptively treat with three days of over the counter fenbendazole (Panacur) which is a safe and effective dewormer when addressing both roundworms and hookworms as well as the protozoan Giardia. You can also elect to have a fecal ova and parasite exam performed by Mister's vet with the understanding that this test is too often falsely negative. It does have the advantage, however, of dectecting coccidia which isn't addressed by fenbendazole; rather, prescription ponazuril is the drug of choice. A food intolerance/allergy is addressed with prescription hypoallergenic diets. These special foods contain just one novel (rabbit, duck, e.g.) animal protein or proteins that have been chemically altered (hydrolyzed) to the point that Mister's immune system doesn't "see" anything to be allergic to. The over the counter hypoallergenic foods too often contain proteins not listed on the label - soy is a common one - and these proteins would confound our evaluation of the efficacy of the hypoallergenic diet. The prescription foods are available from his vet. There are many novel protein foods and a prototypical hydrolyzed protein food is Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d ultra (a hydrolyzed protein diet is my preference because it avoids the possibility of my patient being intolerant to even a novel protein). A positive response is usually seen within a few weeks if we’ve eliminated the offending food allergen. Food intolerance can arise at any age and even after our patient has been eating the same food for quite some time.Finally, if the above isn't helpful special testing can be done on feces for the more unusual parasites Tritrichomonas foetus and Cryptosporidium. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.