Can Canned Cat Food Cause Diarrhea: 10 Best Common Causes Of Diarrhea In Cats

Can canned cat food cause diarrhea? Canned cat food has been around for a long time, but with the recent rise in pet obesity and diet-related illnesses, this type of food is becoming more and more popular. But how can canned cat food cause diarrhea?

This article discusses the risks of canned cat food on a cat’s digestive system and what you might be doing to your pet by feeding it this diet.

What Is Canned Cat Food?

Canned cat food is a type of processed cat food that is essentially packaged and heat-treated, but unlike other processed foods, the processing does not alter the product (such as adding preservatives or coloring).

Canned pet food is made from meats, grains, vegetables, and starches over a long period to form the desired consistency. Some cats prefer canned pet foods because it means no fresh fishy foods to inhale.

Why Is Canned Food So Popular?

When looking for healthy pet food, you often see a long list of ingredients, and more often than not, you’re going to find something danged cat-related in the list.

Can Canned Cat Food Cause Diarrhea
Can Canned Cat Food Cause Diarrhea

Canned cat food is generally easier to find and even cheaper than some other types of cat food. This convenience (combined with the fact that it’s familiar) makes canned foods so popular with picky cats.

What Are The Concerns About Canned Cat Food?

Canned cat food can be a good and convenient alternative to other processed, extruded, or dehydrated foods, but certain concerns have been raised over the years regarding this type of pet food. Some of these concerns include:

1. Residues Inside The Can

Residues can accumulate in cans over time. This can lead to higher risks of salmonella poisoning because bacteria multiply rapidly inside the canned food.

2. Cans Are Not All Equal

Every manufacturer has its type of can. Due to manufacturing and extrusion methods, the ones that have been known to crack or break more easily than others are usually the cheaper cans.

They also have a higher risk of developing puffed paint on the cans, a metal oxide coating that will start to flake off over time.

3. Additives In The Food

Because most pet foods contain some meat, it changes the consistency and formulation of the product. Additives can be used to thicken or moisten canned food and make it more palatable for cats.

Some additives may contain high-risk preservatives or other products that can cause toxins in your pet’s body (milk protein or ground-up plastic).

4. Cats Are Not Meant To Eat Canned Food

Cats are primarily carnivores, and they thrive on fresh foods. Their digestive tract is more adapted to digesting mostly raw meats and little too processed foods. When you feed them canned food, you deprive them of the nutrients they need in their diet.

Feeding your cat canned food may result in malnutrition, so it’s better to avoid feeding this type of pet food altogether.

10 Most Common Causes Of Diarrhea In Cats

If you have a cat experiencing diarrhea, the first thing to do before deciding on what treatment to provide is to rule out other potential causes.

It is always better to be safe than sorry, ruling out these other causes before going right into a treatment plan.

The 10 most common causes of diarrhea in cats are:

1. Yeast infection.

2. Ingestion of spoiled food.

3. Ingestion of toxins.

4. Diarrhea is caused by the presence of worms in the intestines.

5. Intestinal bacterial infection.

6. Food allergies.

7. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

8. Infection of the intestinal tract caused by infectious agents, such as bacteria and viruses, and malnutrition.

9. Swallowed foreign objects.

10. Predisposition or immune system diseases.

Can Canned Cat Food Cause Diarrhea?

To rule out all of these potential causes, your veterinarian will first test to see if your cat currently has any of the symptoms that would indicate a problem.

Your veterinarian can further help you understand what could be causing your kitty’s diarrhea and what you can look for over the next few weeks to determine if it is due to a particular food.

There are also several things you can do at home if your cat has digestive issues.

1. Taking Your Cat On A Diet

Feeding your cat just canned food for some time can help him to maintain his weight and make sure he is not malnourished.

There’s no harm in giving your cat a few days’ worths of canned food per week, as long as you do not feed more than the recommended amount of food, which is about three times a day.

2. Add Probiotic Powder To His Food

A study funded by the American Society for Nutritional Sciences showed that cats with diarrhea could be put on a diet of just canned food, which can be supplemented with probiotic powder. Probiotics are a good way to replace the healthy bacteria in your cat’s intestines.

3. Adding Fiber

Adding fiber to your cat’s diet is another possible treatment for diarrhea. You can add psyllium husks to his canned food, or you can have him eat a spoonful of canned pumpkin every day.

4. Getting Some Exercise

Exercise can help reduce fiber, which is the other way to treat diarrhea in a cat. If your kitty is feeling up to it, make sure that he gets enough exercise every day to reduce his fiber intake by going to the bathroom more frequently.

5. Adding Probiotic Yogurt

Yogurt also contains healthy bacteria that your cat will need to restore his healthy intestinal flora. You can add a teaspoon of probiotic yogurt powder to your cat’s canned food daily.

6. Trying Some Milk

Cows milk can also help heal your cat’s intestinal tract and replace healthy bacteria. You can give your cat a few cow’s milk every day, but be sure that he has access to plenty of freshwaters.

7. Changing Your Cat’s Diet

It is good to change your cat’s diet just slightly by offering him something new, such as fish-based food instead of wet foods high in carbohydrates.

Does Canned Cat Food Cause Diarrhea In Kittens?

Your cat may also experience diarrhea, especially when he is young, if fed a canned food diet for too long. Kittens fed canned food can develop a very acidic stomach environment, which can lead to diarrhea.

5 Things To Consider Before Feeding Your Cat Canned Food

Canned food is convenient for pet owners because it only takes a few seconds to heat it and pour it into the bowl. There are instances where there can be more negative effects than positive ones associated with feeding your cat canned food.

1. Canned Food Has High Levels Of Sodium

Cats kept on a diet of canned food can develop a condition known as hypernatremia, which is when the sodium level in their blood becomes too high. This condition causes a cat’s cells to swell, leading to severe dehydration and kidney failure.

2. Canned Food May Lead To Obesity

Cats can become overweight easily when they are fed canned food. Canned food contains more calories than dry food, and if you feed your cat too much of it, he will become obese. Obesity is a serious problem in cats because it puts them at risk for developing diabetes and heart disease. A cat’s ideal weight should be 2 percent of his body weight, so heavier cats need to lose weight.

3. Canned Food Is Usually Very High In Carbohydrates

Cats need proteins and carbohydrates to help their bodies metabolize their energy when they eat. Humans know that too much of any nutrient can be unhealthy for us, but too much of one can cause a deficiency in cats.

The National Research Council recommends that cats should not get more than 50 percent of their calories from protein and carbs, which is about 12 percent for a cat who weighs 8 lbs (16 oz).

4. Canned Food Can Be A Source Of Carbohydrate

A cat’s digestive tract is not designed to handle high amounts of carbohydrates, and some cats may experience diarrhea if they are eating too much-canned food. This is especially true for kittens.

5. Canned Food Does Not Work As Well For Dental Health

Dry food has hard bits that help clean your cat’s teeth in chewing it. Canned food does not have these same hard bits, and therefore cats fed canned food are at greater risk for dental disease.

What Can I Feed My Cat Instead Of Canned Food?

If you decide to stop feeding your cat canned food, you need to find a suitable alternative.

The best option is to feed your cat dry food and add water to it, so the consistency resembles the texture of canned food. Doing this will help your cat adjust easier to his new diet.

Final Thoughts

Canned food is a convenient option for cat owners who want to offer their pets a healthy meal. There are, however, some important aspects to be taken into consideration when you decide to feed your cat canned food.

If you choose to feed your cat a diet of canned food, you should make sure that your cat does not eat more than the recommended amount and does not have excessive carbohydrates.

I hope this article has been helpful and that you learned a few things about feeding your cat canned food. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have, so feel free to leave a comment below if you need my help.


Why Is Wet Food Gives My Cat Diarrhea?

Cats are not adapted to the wet foods we offer them for two reasons:
1) Some cats do not need to drink water after eating. Their bodies will reabsorb the water from the food, so they won’t get diarrhea unless other factors come into play.
2) It is often dry food with a substance called lactose (milk sugar) in it. The bacteria in their intestines cannot digest it but feed on cats’ food. The bacterial waste products are then released into the cat’s intestines and cause diarrhea.

What cat does food give Cats Diarrhea?

Incorrect amounts of some amino acids (leucine, valine, and isoleucine) are thought to cause various problems in cats, including diarrhea. It is not the specific food causing the problem but something else in the cat’s diet.

Should I Give My Cat Wet Food If She Has Diarrhea?

No. Wet food has high levels of water where bacteria can grow easily, so you should avoid giving your wet cat food if he has diarrhea.

If My Cat Has Diarrhea, What Should I Do?

You should seek veterinary advice as soon as possible. You can ask your vet to prescribe a homemade diet and specific treatment for your cat.

Does Diarrhea Mean My Cat Is Sick?

Yes, it can indicate a problem in your pet’s health. If you suspect your pet has a health problem, then seek professional help from your vet as soon as possible.

What Cat Food Is Best For Cats With Diarrhea?

If you want to take care of your cat during this period, the best option is to offer him a specialized diet for cats with diarrhea. You should avoid feeding him any other food containing lactose or other substances that are not easily digested.

Does All Wet Cat Food Cause Diarrhea In Cats?

No. Some brands are specially designed to help you treat your cat’s symptoms if he has diarrhea.

Does Chicken Or Turkey Cause Diarrhea In Cats?

It depends on their environment. Cats that eat too much meat that is not fresh can develop diarrhea because bacteria from their environment can infect them, resulting in loose stools.

Can Worms Cause Diarrhea In Cats?

Yes, worms can cause diarrhea in cats. A study found that 30 percent of cats with worms have been on a wet food diet.

Does Diarrhea In Cats Cause Dehydration?

If your cat has diarrhea, he can get dehydrated because he loses fluid rapidly through his digestive tract.


Hi there! My name is Koushik; I am a cat lover. I specialize in writing about pet care & food. I have a wealth of knowledge on cat food niches and related subjects. I have worked in the pet industry for over 5 years and am passionate about helping cat owners provide the best care for their furry friends. With knowledge of cat food and nutrition, I aim to share their insights and help cat owners navigate the world of cat food niches. I enjoy playing with my two cats, reading, and exploring new cat food brands in my free time.

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