Possible causes for kitten diarrhea – what to look for

Diarrhea can have serious repercussions on your kitten’s health. Young kittens are especially susceptible to various life threatening conditions that Diarrhea may be a symptom of. It is therefor important to have a handle on things in case your kitten’s business doesn’t look right. But in order to decide on a course of treatment, one must figure out the underlying problem. So what are the possible causes for kitten diarrhea?

causes for kitten diarrhea

Causes for kitten diarrhea


  1. A sudden switch in your kittens food – Kittens are sensitive to dietary changes so drastically changing your kitten’s food is never a good idea. If you must change your kittens food we suggest you do it gradually.
  2. overfeeding – Kittens can develop an upset stomach if they’re given too much food. Make sure to give your kitten the exact right amount.
  3. Food intolerance – Contrary to popular belief kittens are intolerant to dairy products, especially cow’s milk. They are unable to digest the lactose in cow’s milk. If a kitten requires bottle feeding they should be fed special ‘Cat milk’ – available in stores.
  4. Dietary indiscretion – Just like us humans, anything a kitten eats that he shouldn’t have can cause diarrhea. So keep an eye on possible dietary indiscretions in your kitten’s surroundings.


  1. Bacterial infections – Diarrhea can be caused by a few types of bacterial infections such as Salmonela, Campylobacter and Ecoli that may be caused by contact with an infected animal.
  2. Viral infections – Viral infections such as Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), FIP, Feline leukemia virus (FLV) and Feline panleukopenia can cause Diarrhea and are possibly life threatening conditions.
  3. Protozoal infections – a group of single celled organisms that often cause intestinal disorders in the hosts they infect. Possible Protozoal infections are Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Coccidiosis and Tritrichomonas fetus. These infections may pass to other pets and people in your home.


  1. Hookworms – These parasites attached themselves to a kitten’s intestinal wall and consume blood and tissue. They may in turn cause bleeding in the intestines, black and bloody diarrhea and Anemia.
  2. Roundworms – This spaghetti like work comes in two species who both reside in the small intestines. Infected kittens may also suffer from vomiting and stunted growth in addition to diarrhea.


  1. Heatstroke – Kittens aren’t great at maintaining their body temperature like adult cats do.
  2. Intestinal blockage – Will usually be accompanied by vomiting.
  3. Stress – Kittens get stressed easily by events like moving to a new home or dealing with an adult cat.

diarrhea in kittens is always a symptom of an underlying condition. So if your young kitten is suffering from diarrhea we suggest you waste no time and rush them to the vet.

Related article: 4 signs your cat is sick