Diarrhea in a cat can have many causes, and a veterinarian warns that cancer can actually be a possible cause.

Has your cat been experiencing diarrhea lately and you’re beginning to wonder if this could be a symptom of cancer?

Causes of Diarrhea in a Cat Include Cancer

“Yes, diarrhea can be a clinical sign of cancer, particularly gastrointestinal (GI) lymphoma,” says Dr. Jules Benson, BVSc, chief veterinary officer with NationwideDVM, a pet insurer company.

This cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer in U.S. cats, and in fact, comprises 20 percent of all cancers in U.S. cats. The risk spikes once a cat reaches the age of 7 years.

However, pet parents should be aware that symptoms of this cancer can mimic symptoms of benign conditions, as well.

“If there is a suspicion that cancer could be the cause [of the diarrhea], your veterinarian may have to conduct several tests to determine the root cause,” says Dr. Benson.

“Inflammatory bowel disease [another possible cause of diarrhea] and GI lymphoma (a form of cancer) often appear so similar, even at a cellular level, that full-thickness excisions from the intestinal wall are often needed to distinguish between them,” explains Dr. Benson.

Benign Causes of Diarrhea in Cats

Diarrhea is a common symptom and usually, it does not mean cancer simply because there are so many other causes.

Dr. Benson says these causes include food intolerances or allergies, internal parasites, metabolic disease or primary GI disease like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). High fiber content can also cause some diarrhea.

Dr. Benson advises: “Because diarrhea can rapidly result in dehydration, it’s important to have your cat evaluated by a veterinarian within 24 hours of first seeing signs of GI upset, or sooner if your cat appears visibly sick or lethargic.”

Treatment Expense for Cancer

“Diagnosing and treating GI disease, especially GI cancer, can be a long, difficult and expensive process, which is why many veterinarians recommend pet insurance that covers cancers as standard,” says Dr. Benson, “to help cover these unforeseen costs.”

He notes that pet insurance has to be in effect before your cat or dog starts to show any kind of GI distress, diarrhea or other symptoms, in order for coverage to be available.

It’s a wise idea to start the insurance policy while your pet is healthy.

Dr. Benson is regularly consulted by many media outlets including ABC, NBC, FOX, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times to provide pet health advice to pet parents nationwide. pupp
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  
Source.: 2ndchance.info/lymphomaCat.htm