Diarrhea in Maine Coons: Causes and Treatment

Diarrhea in Maine CoonsAs messy and gross as it is, diarrhea in your Maine Coon can be a major health concern. Perhaps you just brought home a new Maine Coon kitten or your current Maine Coon just started having diarrhea; not only is this troublesome for you but it’s unpleasant for your Maine Coon and can be a sign of larger issues. Diarrhea itself can cause major health issues if it continues for long enough.

What’s a Normal Poop For Maine Coons?

Most Maine Coons will poop at least once per day, and their poop should have a deep, brown color. It should’t be super hard or super mushy, and have the consistency of hard play-dough. Most cat’s poop will stink a bit, but a particularly foul odor isn’t usually normal.

Causes of Diarrhea in Maine Coons

The tricky part about diagnosing the cause of your Maine Coon’s diarrhea is that is can be difficult to pinpoint the source. Diarrhea in cats can be caused by a lot of different things, so it’s a good idea to start by considering anything new that has happened or been introduced to your Maine Coon around the time that the diarrhea started happening.

Some common causes of diarrhea are:

  • Food allergies or food intolerances
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Colitis
  • Intestinal Parasites
  • Pancreatic disease
  • Cancer
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Poisons (plant, chemical, etc)
  • Bacterial or Viral Infections
  • Stress
  • Medications

When to Be Concerned About the Diarrhea

Diarrhea in Maine Coons

Almost every cat will get diarrhea at some point in their life, and it usually just resolves itself after a few hours or days. So while some instances of diarrhea are nothing to be concerned about, others can be cause for major concern, especially if it’s something major that can be life-threatening.

Generally, diarrhea lasting for more than a day or two warrants a visit to the vet. Diarrhea itself can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalance in your Maine Coon, so it’s important to not let it continue for long periods of time.

Diarrhea that is black or bloody or that is happening alongside fever, vomiting, lethargy or loss of appetite means you should call the vet right away.

What Diet to Feed if Your Maine Coon Has Diarrhea

It might be tempting to remove or reduce food for your Maine Coon to help reduce the diarrhea, but this is not a good long-term strategy. Your Maine Coon needs nutrition to help resolve the issue, and food reduction might cause other issues such as malnutrition or weight loss.

Increasing fiber intake is usually a good solution as it can help harden the consistency of the poop. Also feeding a milder diet in smaller, more frequent increments (4 times per day) can help reduce the burden on the digestive system. Wet foods that are more pureed and less chunky is a good option, and steering away from the raw or exotic meats might also help.

Over the Counter Medications: Are they Safe?

Some articles will recommend administering Peptobismal, kaopectate or Imodium to your Maine Coon is they have diarrhea, but this is not recommended here. These products have not been tested on cats and figuring out the dosages can be tricky. It’s unsure what other effects these over the counter medications could have on your Maine Coon. Always get approval from your vet before giving your Maine Coon any sort of medication.

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