Many kittens develop diarrhoea especially in the first week or two in their new homes.
Often it is due to the big changes in their lives - a new family, leaving mum, new surroundings, but most often it is because of the new diet. Even good quality kitten food causes diarrhoea in a kitten that is not used to it. Find out what the breeder or foster carer fed your kitten and feed some of the new food mixed in with some of the old food. Gradually increase the proportion of the new food over a couple of weeks.
Kittens lose the enzyme for digesting milk very quickly so avoid dairy products. Kitten foods contain all the calcium and protein that a kitten requires.
Check when the kitten was last wormed. Worm young kittens every 2 weeks until they are 12 weeks old to avoid diarrhoea from worms.
If your kitten develops diarrhoea switch to just cooked white chicken for a couple of meals and deworm with a reputable wormer like Milbemax. Do not use a wormer based on piperazine.
If the faeces does not firm up within 24 hours or your kitten is lethargic, vomiting or not eating consult a vet immediately. Kittens quickly dehydrate and become very ill because of fluid loss.
More serious causes of diarrhoea include enteritis (also known as panleukopenia), giardia, coccidia, cryptosporidium, trichomonas,clostridia, salmonella and campylobacter. Take a sample of the diarrhoea to your vet so that we can check for them if necessary.